City of Ames Finance Department
 Ames, Iowa
Job Description

Centrally located in the heart of Iowa, Ames is a vibrant, progressive community with more than 60,000 residents providing an excellent quality of life. Home to Iowa State University, Ames offers year-round recreation opportunities, diverse cultural offerings, a stable economy, safe neighborhoods, and a high-achieving school district.

The City of Ames is conducting a recruitment to establish a Civil Service eligibility list for this classification. The list will be valid for up to one year from the date of certification by the Ames Civil Service Commission and may be used to fill one or more vacancies in this classification. In addition, City of Ames Civil Service employees who have previously held Civil Service status in this classification and are interested in voluntarily demoting or laterally transferring into the current vacancy must submit their application by the deadline.

The Accountant, under general supervision of the Accounting and Reporting Manager, performs accounting, auditing, and internal control functions of the City of Ames (City). Monitors financial transactions, prepares audit work papers, and assists in the preparation of the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR). Performs other related duties as assigned.

Compensation Philosophy:

The City of Ames has a compensation philosophy that the starting pay for our merit salary ranges establishes the salary for employees who meet minimum requirements of a position. The median of any merit salary range is for an employee who can reasonably meet all expectations of the position
responsibilities without initial extensive training. In order for employees to have an opportunity to grow within their position, we may consider a candidate's education, experience, and skills above the minimum requirements when looking at a salary closer to or slightly above the median. The
median salary for this position is $70,915 annually.

In order to be considered for this position, all applicants must submit their online application by the deadline listed on this posting. Your application includes complete responses to the supplemental questions. Please keep in mind that submission of a resume in lieu of work history on your application or answering the supplemental questions is not sufficient.

Our comprehensive benefits package can be viewed at: City of Ames Benefits Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program: The PSLF Program is a federal program that is intended to encourage individuals to work in public service by forgiving the balance of their federal student loans. To qualify, the individual must have made 120 qualifying payments while employed by a qualifying employer. For more information, please visit the website through this link: PSLF Program


Compiles information and prepares audit work papers, financial statements, tax forms, and other reports; prepares journal entries; reviews and updates accounting system transactions; provides information for external auditors; develops accounting policies and procedures; assists all City departments by answering accounting questions; maintains accounting records; monitors and tracks contract payments and retainage; tracks, documents, and reconciles grant reimbursement requests; ensures compliance with all grant requirements and policies; reconciles bank accounts, credit cards, bond payments, and other accounts as assigned; reviews and validates travel and expense reports for organization; tracks taxable clothing and reports required deductions to payroll; tracks property tax and special assessments; prepares monthly departmental reports and other reports as needed; assists other accounting personnel as needed.

Each employee is expected to continually strive to bring shared values to life through our Excellence Through People organizational culture. ETP values include: committing to continuous improvement, inspiring creativity and innovation, being customer driven, making data-driven decisions, championing employee involvement, striving for excellence, having fiscal stewardship, acting with honesty and integrity, exhibiting leadership, choosing a positive attitude, respecting one another, promoting safety and wellness, and cultivating teamwork. For leaders, this includes creating a work culture that brings these values to life. For all employees, this includes maintaining a Total City Perspective. The purpose of ETP is to deliver exceptional services to the public at the best price, and for employees to experience an enjoyable and stimulating work environment.


Education and Experience:

  • A bachelor's degree in accounting, business, or closely-related field and two years of experience involving the regular use of accounting principles and practices.
  • An associate's degree plus four years of related experience may serve as a substitute for a bachelor's degree.
  • Prefer experience with government accounting, maintaining accounting records, financial statements and working with external auditors.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

  • Knowledge of accounting principles and practices, recent accounting standards, and auditing procedures. Knowledge of governmental accounting helpful but not required.
  • Skill with spreadsheet and word processing programs; excellent oral and written communication skills; experience working with complex financial software; and analytical skills.
  • Ability to present a positive attitude, effectively communicate, deal courteously with customers and coworkers, and maintain effective relationships.
  • Ability to classify accounting transactions and prepare workpapers and financial statements; ability to understand and apply established
    guidelines and methods; ability to analyze accounts and transactions for discrepancies and effect on financial statements.


Required Physical Activities:

  • Talking, hearing, and finger dexterity; occasional walking, reaching, standing, pulling and repetitive motions.

Physical characteristics of Work:

  • Sedentary work requiring the exertion of up 10 pounds of force occasionally and or a negligible amount of force frequently or constantly to lift, carry, push, pull, or otherwise move objects. Involves sitting most of the time, with walking and standing required only occasionally.

Vision Requirements:

  • The minimum standard for use with those whose work deals largely with preparing and analyzing data and figures, accounting, and the use of a computer.

Environmental Conditions:

  • The work is performed inside and the worker is not substantially exposed to adverse environmental conditions.

Selection Process:

  • The selection process will also include completion an evaluation of education and experience, a phone interview, a behavioral assessment, an in person interview (which will include a written exercise), reference checks, and a criminal background check, which includes a sex offender registry check. All candidates will be notified by email of their application status.

**Preference may be given to applicants possessing qualifications above the minimum.**

Depending on the number of qualified applicants, the City may forego phone interviews.

E-Verify Process:

The City of Ames participates in E-Verify and will provide the Social Security Administration (SSA) and, if necessary, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), with information from each applicant’s Form I-9 to confirm work authorization. All candidates who are offered a position with the City of Ames must complete Section 1 of Form I-9 along with the required proof of their right to work in the United States and proof of their identity on their first day of employment.

Please be prepared to provide required documents on your first day of employment. For additional information regarding acceptable documents for this purpose, please contact Human Resources at 515-239-5199 or go to the US Citizenship and Immigration Services web page at:

NOTE: Persons with disabilities must submit requests for ADA testing accommodations to the Human Resources Department prior to the application deadline.

The City of Ames is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, creed, age, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, ancestry, national origin, marital status, disability,
or protected veteran status and will not be discriminated against. Inquiries can be directed to the Human Resources Department at 515-239-5199.
Depending on the number of qualified candidates, the City may forego phone interviews.