Senior Financial Services Specialist (Payroll)

Senior Financial Services Specialist (Payroll)
City of Ukiah Finance Department
 Ukiah, California
Job Description

Recruitments posted as "Continuous" are subject to close at any time following an initial two-week posting period.  Upon closing, the applications received will be screened and notices will be sent to the applicants regarding the status of their application.

Under direct supervision of the Finance Controller, Senior Accountant, or Financial Services Manager to perform or provide direct support to a variety of general accounting and clerical functions including, but not limited to, the following: processing of payroll, including timesheet review and reconciliation; processing and filing of accounts payable invoices and checks; monthly processing of general billing and collections of outstanding invoices; manual general ledger journal entries; assist with data entry and miscellaneous clerical duties for procurement; distribution of bid documents; data gathering; placing of orders; maintain files and a variety of department records; and provide support to the Finance Department as needed. The Financial Services Specialist is distinguished from the Finance Controller, Senior Accountant, or Financial Services Manager roles in that the former is not required to attain a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university with major course work in accounting, business, public or business administration.


These examples by function or activity are intended only as illustrations of the various types of work that may be performed.  The examples of work performed are neither restricted to nor all-encompassing of the duties to be performed under this job title.  


  • Maintain confidentiality related to all payroll information, including but not limited to employee pay changes, garnishments and leave status. 
  • Perform or assist in performing regular payroll activities, including the initiation and completion of the payroll process, timesheet audit and reconciliation, maintenance of payroll records and electronic timesheets, new employee set up and system entry, calendar year-end procedures, executing special or non-routine payroll instructions, reconciling, verifying and preparing A/P vouchers for monthly insurance invoices, and issuance of annual W-2s.
  • Accurately maintain employee payroll records and files. 
  • Accurately and timely prepare, reconcile and submit quarterly federal and state tax returns 
  • Accurately and timely prepare payroll vendor payments, including reconciliation to payroll reports and the general ledger.
  • Assist with the compilation and submission of annual State Controller Salary report. 

Accounts Payable:

  • Perform regular accounts payable activities, including invoice receipt, analysis, coding to the purchasing system and general ledger, and warrant issuance. 
  • Review invoices for compliance with state sales/use tax assessments
  • Perform year end reconciliation of accounts payable aging to the general ledger 
  • Investigate and resolve invoice discrepancies by contacting vendors and/or City personnel. 
  • Matching of documents and data coding of vendor invoices for data entry. 
  • Timely respond to vendor and/or City personnel inquires 
  • Accurately file purchasing, accounts payable, and general accounting records and documents. 
  • Prepare or assist in preparing regular sales tax returns to the state
  • Perform other duties and support as assigned. 

Accounts Receivable:

  • Perform regular accounts receivable activities, including invoice preparation, general ledger coding, adjustments and collection. 
  • Perform year end reconciliation of accounts receivable aging to the general ledger. 
  • Investigate and resolve invoice discrepancies by contacting customer and/or City personnel and input adjustments, if needed. 
  • Matching of documents and data coding of invoices for data entry. 
  • Timely responding to customer and/or City personnel inquiries and contacting customers to collect past due invoices. 
  • Accurately file accounts receivable and general accounting records and documents.
  • Perform other duties and support as assigned. 


  • Assist the Procurement Division with data entry and document distribution.
  • Assist with analysis of purchase history.
  • Place small orders.
  • Receive and distribute ordered materials. 
  • Create asset tags.
  • Maintain filing system.
  • Perform other duties and support as assigned.  

General Accounting, Bookkeeping, and Administrative:

  • Perform regular bookkeeping functions as assigned by the Finance Controller, Senior Accountant or Financial Services Manager. 
  • Prepare routine monthly bank reconciliations. 
  • Perform daily cash reconciliation. 
  • Assist with year-end procedures, including the calculation and journal entry preparation of accruals related to outstanding City obligations, including, but not limited to, revenue, compensated absences, depreciation schedules, and interest due on outstanding debt.
  • Perform accurate data entry on a variety of accounting, billing, and other computer programs involving numeric and text entry.
  • Assist with the analysis of accounting records and prepare a variety of routine journal entries for review by the Finance Controller, Senior Accountant or Financial Services Manager. 
  • Compile data for a variety of periodic report/returns for governmental agencies. 
  • Compile documentation for fixed asset records. 
  • Perform job costing tasks as assigned by the Finance Controller, Senior Accountant or Financial Services Manager. 
  • Provide direction and oversight to assigned staff members.
  • Perform other duties and support as assigned. 


Knowledge of:

  • Generally accepted accounting principles including, account reconciliation and journal entry preparation.
  • Cost accounting.
  • Computer operations.
  • Modern office practices, procedures, equipment and standard clerical techniques.
  • Microsoft Excel or comparable spreadsheet program.
  • Fundamental payroll procedures and processes.

Ability to:

  • Maintain confidently with all payroll information. 
  • Perform arithmetic and mathematical calculations rapidly and accurately (i.e. fractions, percentages, and pro-rations).
  • Understand and carry out oral and written instructions.
  • Prepare basic journal entries for review and approval by the Finance Controller, Senior Accountant or Financial Services Manager.
  • Work under pressure to meet established deadlines.
  • Operate office and mailroom equipment.
  • Perform data entry for extended periods of time.
  • Communicate effectively and courteously with employees, Management personnel and other reporting agencies. 
  • Maintain harmonious and cooperative working relationships with other City employees and the public.
  • Lift up to 40 pounds.

In addition to the above, a Senior Financial Services Specialist shall demonstrate a high degree of competency in one or more functions or activities of financial services, and should have the ability to:

  • Lead in the performance of their assigned function or activity, ensuring it is executed accurately, timely, and of high quality (limited error).
  • Identify and troubleshoot errors and issues.
  • Apply best practices to their respective function or activity.
  • Analyze and understand transactions processed and their effects on the general ledger.
  • Ensure or work to improve the quality of work from others assigned to their respective function or activity.


  • For a Senior Financial Services Specialist, five or more years performing general accounting or bookkeeping, accounts payable, accounts receivable, procurement, or payroll functions, preferably in a governmental or public agency setting. Experience as a team lead or supervisor highly desirable.


  • For a Senior or Financial Services Specialist II, completion of coursework toward, or attainment of either:
  • Associate’s Degree in Business Administration, Accounting, Payroll, Bookkeeping, or related field; or
  • Professional certification in payroll, purchasing, accounts payable or receivable or other appropriate field.

Necessary Special Requirement:

  • Possession of a valid Class C California Driver License.


Applications must be filled out completely.  Applications will be reviewed by a screening committee and those applicants who appear to be among the best qualified will be selected for the examination process.  This process may include a variety of techniques designed to test applicants’ knowledge, skills, and abilities to perform the duties and responsibilities of the job.  An eligibility list will be established by ranking candidates by their overall score and a selection will be made from the candidates on this list.  All employment offers are subject to a City-paid physical examination and a thorough reference and background check.

In accordance with the Immigration Reform Act of 1986, the City must verify, once an employment offer has been made, that all persons have written proof of their right to work in the United States.

In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), if special accommodations are necessary at any stage of the testing process, please notify the Human Resources Department in advance at (707) 463-6244 so your request may be reviewed prior to the occurrence of the test.

The City of Ukiah is an Equal Opportunity Employer committed to building a diverse workforce.

Continually working to promote diversity, equity, transparency, and justice through the adoption and implementation of City practices, policies, and procedures.