Senior Accountant

Department/Agency of position: 
City of Carlsbad
Location of position: 
Carlsbad, CA
$80,855 – $111,137/annually
Date Posted: 
Tuesday, December 10, 2019
Closing Date: 
Friday, January 10, 2020
Job Description: 

The City of Carlsbad's Finance Department supports an organization of 1,200 diverse individuals and a city of over 115,000 residents achieve the City Council Strategic Policy Goals and Community Vision. To help the city achieve its goals, our Senior Accountant answers questions, offers advice, moderates discussions, provides training to staff, and serves as an advocate for the city's mission, vision, and values.

As a Senior Accountant, a typical day may include the following:

  • Auditing a new system implementation to ensure revenue accounts have been set up correctly
  • Reviewing staff reports and recommending ways to improve the fiscal analysis
  • Resolving funding issues with the state
  • Working on financial statements for the comprehensive annual financial report
  • Preparing and assembling auditor requested items for a compliance audit
  • Networking with other managers at the quarterly managers meeting
  • Reviewing journal entries from your staff and providing feedback as necessary
  • Chatting about a stretch assignment with your staff to help them advance their career
  • Supporting the city's departments by problem solving and sharing information
  • Brainstorming ideas with other finance managers for an upcoming employee appreciation event
  • Watching webinars on a new accounting standard
  • Preparing for a staff presentation to Council
  • Listening to an analyst's budget request and collaborating ways to strengthen the business case
  • Assisting payroll with reconciling balancing issues
  • Responding to emails
  • Scheduling meetings with one of your service departments to help them with grant reporting

This job might be for you if: You're a numbers nut. You love accounting for them, balancing them, analyzing them, forecasting them, visualizing them, and helping others understand them.

You communicate clearly. You're well-written and well spoken. You can explain just about anything to just about anyone.

You enjoy helping people. The world's a full of challenges and, as far as you're concerned, it's a little bit easier with help. Your patience and resourcefulness get them to a solution every time.

You enjoy solving problems. Complex issues allow your creativity to shine. You aren't bothered if you don't immediately know the answer because “True Grit” was the name of your autobiography.

You pay attention to the details. While you didn't coin the phrase ‘anything worth doing is worth doing right’, you wish you had. You're focused and nothing gets by you on your watch.

You think on your feet. To you learning is fun and learning quickly is more fun. When things change, chances are, you were a key contributor.

You take initiative. You take pride in being at the head of the volunteer line because you want to make a difference. You will make your time with us impactful.

We have: Flexibility. You want to come in late to watch your kid get an award for being awesome? Flex time can make that possible. Enjoy three day weekends? Optional 9/80 schedules provide every other Friday off. We understand the importance of flexibility and will work with you to balance life and a career in a way that benefits us both.

Support. You want to brush up your presentation skills? Done. You want to develop your leadership abilities and work on a stretch assignment? Done and done. We want to give you the tools to make you successful. Your success is our success.

Feedback. You want to know how you're doing? We'll tell you. You want to know how to knock it out of the park? We've got an opinion. We promise transparency so you can do your best.

Fun. Enough said.

What you'll need: To be considered for this position, you need to have experience with numbers and, preferably, experience supervising people. The number experience doesn't have to be traditional: we have a wide range of majors in our department. Just make sure your application demonstrates your number super powers.

*Please be sure to review the Qualifications and Minimum Education and Experience requirements below.*

Save The Date: Oral Panel Interviews are tentatively scheduled to take place the week of January 13th, 2020


  • Supervise and participate in all aspects of the city's accounting activity as assigned.
  • Supervise and train technical and clerical staff as assigned, assign and prioritize work activities, recommend methods and procedures, assess performance and make salary recommendations.
  • Coordinate the fiscal year-end audit activities including preparation and review of the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR).
  • Analyze and research complex financial transactions to provide proper accounting treatment in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP).
  • Review current legislation and changing governmental standards to update and recommend changes to policies and procedures.
  • Assist in developing, recommending and implementing departmental policies and procedures to ensure compliance with governmental accounting standards.
  • Interface with and serve as finance representative at interdepartmental and professional meetings as required.
  • Participate in a wide array of fiscal activities including administration of bond issues and assessment districts, and participation in the city investment process.
  • Respond effectively to public inquiries and complaints.
  • Prepare staff reports and present the information to City Council or other groups as necessary.
  • Develop and prepare narrative and statistical reports pertaining to fiscal activities, policies and procedures; prepare special studies and reports as required.
  • Coordinate citywide budget preparation and administration including the estimation of anticipated revenues; collection, assimilation and analysis or departmental expenditure requests; preparation of fund balance projections; and other budget related functions as assigned.
  • Analyze budget submittals from other departments including preparing both numerical and narrative reports; participate in budget development for various departments and/or funds.
  • Coordinate and participate in the development of the annual Capital Improvement Program (CIP).
  • Use, maintain and maximize efficiency of automated accounting systems.
  • Supervise and participate in auditing accounting systems and procedures to ensure proper internal control and compliance with policies; review and approve journal entries made by subordinates.
  • Supervise and participate in auditing city revenue sources when necessary.
  • Perform other related work as required.


  • Principles and practices of accounting (including working knowledge of all pertinent Governmental Accounting Standards Board requirements), budgeting, auditing, financial reporting and administration as practiced in municipal organizations.
  • Applicable federal, state, and city laws, regulations, and policies related to assigned work.
  • Automated financial reporting systems, spreadsheets, and computer applications.
  • Posting, ledger and journal activity, reconciliation, double-entry bookkeeping, math and financial records.
  • Methods and techniques of research, statistical analysis and report presentation.
  • Principles of supervision.

Ability to:

  • Perform complex accounting activities with minimal supervision.
  • Audit and analyze accounting systems and procedures to determine compliance with applicable laws, regulations and policies.
  • Coordinate, analyze and reconcile complex financial data and transactions.
  • Develop and implement efficient accounting procedures.
  • Communicate clearly and concisely both orally and in writing.
  • Supervise, train and evaluate professional and/or clerical staff.
  • Establish and maintain cooperative working relationships with employees, outside agencies and the public.
  • Analyze problems, identify alternative solutions, project consequences of proposed actions, and implement recommendations in support of goals.
  • Exercise good judgment, flexibility, creativity, and sensitivity in response to changing situations and needs.
  • Work well under pressure to meet deadlines.

EXPERIENCE & EDUCATION: Any combination equivalent to the education and experience that could likely provide the required knowledge and abilities is qualifying. A typical background would include:

Bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university in accounting, or a closely related course of study, and three years of professional-level accounting experience.

Supervisory experience is desirable.