Accounting Manager

Accounting Manager
Santa Clara Valley Water District Accountng Unit
 San Jose, California
Job Description

General Accounting Unit (Position Code 0386)


Valley Water is seeking a highly experienced public sector Accounting Manager to oversee its Accounting Unit, including general accounting, accounts payable, accounts receivable, bank deposits, financial reporting, employee expense reimbursements, payroll, and payroll and financial systems maintenance. The Accounting Manager oversees the work of 16 employees, including three senior accountants.

About Valley Water:

Valley Water is a public agency with an operating and capital budget of $610 million, and over 850 employees. With headquarters in San José, Valley Water provides water supply, enhances streams and watersheds through creek restoration and habitat protection, provides flood protection for homes, schools, businesses and roadways, and partners with other agencies to provide trails and open space for the community.

Valley Water manages 10 dams and surface water reservoirs, three water treatment plants, an advanced recycled water purification center, a state of-the-art water quality laboratory, nearly 400 acres of groundwater recharge ponds, and more than 275 miles of streams. Valley Water provides wholesale water and groundwater management services to local municipalities and private water retailers who deliver drinking water directly to nearly 2 million people in Santa Clara County that stretches 1,300 square miles and encompasses 15 cities and unincorporated areas.

Key Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Management of daily Accounting Unit activities including accounts payable, accounts receivable, payroll, financial reporting, and general ledger.
  • Management of the development and preparation of Valley Water’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles and standards of the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting program.
  • Manages general accounting services responsible for performing general accounting, financial systems maintenance and control, and financial reporting functions to ensure compliance with laws, regulations, Valley Water and Board policies, and professional standards, as well as to ensure financial internal controls are in place.
  • Manages accounts payable services including processing authorized payments for goods and services accurately and timely to vendors, contractors, and consultants.
  • Manages accounts receivable, bank deposits, and the accounting of all revenue income.
  • Manages payroll services including processing biweekly payroll, benefit and payroll tax disbursements in accordance with provisions of employment agreements, Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) agreements, labor laws, tax regulations, policies, and professional standards.
  • Management of special projects as required including financial systems maintenance, CFO requests and support work of other Finance Division units.
    Supervision of the work of 16 employees in the Accounting Unit including three senior accountants.
  • Verifies and approves financial records; directs the preparation of mandatory reports and tax returns for federal, state, and local agencies as required.
  • Directs the preparation of complete audit schedules and manages successful completion of the interim and final annual financial audits.
  • Recommends, establishes, and administers internal accounting controls in accordance with standard audit requirements; ensures compliance with Government Accounting Standards Board (GASB) financial reporting requirements and updates.
  • Reviews and signs off on processing of agreements valued less than $225,000 for financial propriety and impact, funding source verification, and proper account coding.
  • Represents Valley Water to auditors, vendors, contractors, consultants, benefits third party administrators, and financial institution management and staff.

Ideal Candidate's Background Includes:

  • Applicants whose experience and background best match the ideal experience, knowledge, skills, abilities and education are considered ideal candidates for the position. To determine the top candidates, each applicant will be assessed based on the ideal candidate criteria listed below.

Ideal Experience:

  • Five or more years of public agency accounting management experience.
  • Two or more years of direct supervisory experience of accounting functions in a public agency setting (preferably managing at least ten or more staff).
  • Five or more years of experience managing government accounting, payroll, accounts payable, and general ledger.
  • Experience implementing GASB requirements.
  • Experience overseeing and preparing financial statements for audits, CAFR, State Controllers.

Ideal Skills and Abilities:

  • Administers complex, technical, and sensitive accounting services and projects in an independent and cooperative manner.
  • Analyzes complex accounting transactions and applies to development of financial statements.
  • Prepares various financial reports, including the CAFR.
  • Develops, revises, utilizes, and maintains manual and automated accounting systems.
  • Establishes internal accounting controls in accordance with accounting operations.
  • Evaluates and develop improvements to accounting operations, procedures, policies, or methods.
  • Conducts accounting research, evaluate alternatives, make sound recommendations, and prepare effective staff reports.
  • Excellent communication, presentation, and relationship-building skills.
  • Impeccable judgment and responsible decision-making in situations with minimal oversight.
  • Drives toward solutions even as priorities change and challenges arise on a moment-to-moment basis.
  • Flexibility to adapt to ever-changing and fast-paced environment.
  • Ability to navigate the political field without violating policy or ethics.
  • Ability to lead staff, build cohesive teams and create a culture of service excellence.
  • Energetic and motivating team leadership style.
  • Strong work ethic.

Ideal Knowledge:

  • Generally accepted accounting principles.
  • Principles, practices, and applications of governmental accounting, auditing, and accounting standard board statements applicable to Valley Water.
    Organization and quality management practices as applied to the development, analysis, and evaluation of programs, policies, and operational needs of accounting services.
  • Principles and practices of budget development and administration, contract negotiation and management, and sound financial management policies and procedures.
  • Practices of researching accounting issues, evaluating alternatives, making sound recommendations, and preparing and presenting effective staff reports.

Ideal Training and Education:

  • Equivalent to graduation from an accredited four-year college or university with major coursework in accounting, finance, economics, business or public administration, or a related field.
  • CPA and/or MBA is preferred.


  • Possession of, or ability to obtain, an appropriate, valid California driver's license. Individuals who do not meet the driver's license requirement due to a disability will be considered for a reasonable accommodation on a case-by-case basis.