Accounting Supervisor

Accounting Supervisor
South Coast Water District Finance Department
 Laguna Beach, California
Job Description


This position is located within the Finance Department. Under general direction, supervises and coordinates general accounting and revenue functions, general auditing functions and budgeting functions; participates in performing professional accounting duties in the analysis, preparation and maintenance of financial records and reports.


This position reports to the Director of Finance. The incumbent supervises staff within the Accounting Division.


The Accounting Supervisor is a first-line supervisor responsible for supervising, coordinating and participating in the work of accounting staff assigned to accounts payable, accounts receivable and budget preparations. In addition, the position performs highly responsible accounting duties requiring a more extensive understanding of the application of current and proposed Governmental Accounting and Auditing Standards. Provides highly responsible and complex staff assistance to the Director of Finance. The Accounting Supervisor supervises professional accounting and accounting support staff who are responsible for specialized accounting work in performing calculations and preparing and processing journal entries to record accounting transactions.

The incumbent ensures that her/his activities are aligned with and support the South Coast Water District’s policies, mission, vision, core values, core strategies, and annual priority action items, as well as performance measures.


Duties may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Plans, assigns, supervises and reviews the work of accounting staff and performs highly responsible, specialized financial and analytical work related to accounting, auditing, budgetary, treasury, financial reporting and completes special projects as assigned.
  • Supervises, reviews, and participates in the work of employees preparing and processing monthly journal entries for investment accounts, tax apportionments, expenditure reclassifications and other special purposes; reviews entries for accuracy and reasonableness; analyzes and verifies account and bank reconciliations and performs the more difficult and complex reconciliations; supervises weekly and monthly activities related to maintenance of South Coast Water District’s accounting system, records and reports; researches and resolves problems and discrepancies; reconciles the project ledger to the general ledger.
  • Participates in the preparation of a variety of financial reports, statements and schedules for internal use and as required by county, state and federal agencies; prepares the Annual Comprehensive Financial Report (ACFR) according to Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB pronouncements; conducts research and analysis of final information.
  • Supervises the preparation of standard monthly and annual financial statements, schedules, and footnotes; reviews budget to actual variances and develops analyses of operating and capital improvement program accounts.
  • Manages the work of employees responsible for accounts payable and receivables.
  • Participates in the annual budget process by providing expense projections for departments, reviewing budget drafts for accuracy and completeness, allocating revenue and expense accounts by month, reconciling revenue and expense accounts and generating special reports.
  • Coordinates accounting staff support and assignments during the annual audit process; serves as primary day-to-day contact with outside audit personnel; assigns the preparation of working papers and responses to auditor questions.
  • Develops and recommends accounting policies and procedures; maintains and ensures adherence to internal control procedures and accounting standards; ensures smooth operations of South Coast Water District’s general ledger accounting computer system; manages software changes/fixes, enhancements and/or upgrades to current systems.
  • Reviews entries for accuracy; answers staff and department questions about appropriate accounts for charging of expenses; analyses and verifies account reconciliations and performs the more difficult and complex reconciliations.
  • Attends and participates in professional group meetings; maintains awareness of new trends and developments in the field of accounting; incorporates new developments as appropriate into programs.
  • Teaches and assists staff with general billing for variety of receivable transactions including property rentals.
  • Researches and responds to accounts receivable inquiries and makes adjustments and write-offs for accounts receivable (as needed).
  • Monitors developer deposits and prepares documentation for general ledger and/or project ledger entries.
  • Performs related duties and responsibilities as required.


Knowledge of:

  • Principles, practices and methods of accounting and auditing in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), Generally Accepted Auditing Standards (GAAS), Financial Accounting Standards (FASB), Statements of Auditing Standards (SAS) and Government Accounting Standards Boards (GASB).
  • Principles and practices of general and enterprise accounting including financial statement preparation and methods of financial control and reporting.
  • Principles and practices of cost accounting.
  • Internal control and audit principles and practices.
  • Laws and regulations relating to the financial administration of public agencies and utilities; South Coast Water District functions and associated financial management and reporting issues.
  • Principles and practices of business data processing particularly related to the processing of accounting and financial information.
  • The operations, requirements, and coding structure for the South Coast Water District’s automated general ledger system.
  • South Coast Water District personnel rules and policies.
  • Principles and practices of effective supervision.
  • Office procedures, methods, and equipment including computers and applicable software applications such as word processing, spreadsheets, and databases.

Ability to:

  • Manage, direct, and coordinate work of supervisory, professional, technical and support personnel.
  • Select, supervise, train, and evaluate staff.
  • Analyze and make sound recommendations on complex financial data and operations.
  • Understand, interpret, explain and apply South Coast Water District, state, and federal laws regulating South Coast Water District financial accounting, reporting and recordkeeping.
  • Understand and accurately use the South Coast Water District's chart of accounts and accounting systems.
  • Develop and implement financial procedures and controls; perform complicated mathematical calculations and analyses.
  • Prepare clear, concise and comprehensive financial statements, reports and written materials; exercise sound independent judgment within general policy guidelines.
  • Maintain accurate records and files.
  • Operate modern office equipment including computer equipment and specialized software applications programs.
  • Use English effectively to communicate in person, over the telephone, and in writing.
  • Use tact, initiative, prudence, and independent judgment within general policy, procedural, and legal guidelines.


Any combination of experience and training that would likely provide the required knowledge and abilities is qualifying. A typical way to obtain the knowledge and abilities would be:


  • Five (5) years of progressively responsible experience in governmental fund accounting, budgeting and finance.
  • One (1) year of lead supervisory experience.
  • Public sector experience is desirable.


  • Graduation from an accredited four-year college or university with major coursework in accounting, finance, business administration or closely related field.

License or Certificate:

  • Possession of a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) licenses is desirable.
  • Valid California class C driver’s license with satisfactory driving record.


Must possess mobility to work in a standard office setting and use standard office equipment, including a computer; to operate a motor vehicle and to visit various District and meeting sites; vision to read printed materials and a computer screen; and hearing and speech to communicate in person, before groups and over the telephone. This is primarily a sedentary office classification although standing in work areas and walking between work areas may be required. Finger dexterity is needed to access, enter and retrieve data using a computer keyboard, typewriter keyboard or calculator and to operate standard office equipment. Positions in this classification occasionally bend, stoop, kneel, reach, push and pull drawers open and closed to retrieve and file information. Employees must possess the ability to lift, carry, push, and pull materials and objects weighing up to 25 pounds.


Employees work in an office environment with moderate noise levels, controlled temperature conditions and no direct exposure to hazardous physical substances. Employees may interact with upset staff and/or public and private representatives in interpreting and enforcing departmental policies and procedures.

The specific statements shown in each section of this classification description are not intended to be all-inclusive. They represent the essential functions and minimum qualifications necessary to successfully perform the assigned functions. Management reserves the right to add, modify, change or rescind the work assignments of different positions and to make reasonable accommodations so that qualified employees can perform the essential functions of the job.