Assistant Director of Finance

Assistant Director of Finance
City of Lake Forest Finance Department
 Lake Forest, California
Job Description

The City of Lake Forest, California is conducting a state-wide search for the position of Assistant Director of Finance. The dynamic individual chosen for this position will be responsible for providing highly responsible and complex management support to the Director of Finance in in planning, directing, managing, and overseeing the activities and operations within the Department. Key responsibilities will include overseeing day-to-day accounting functions, overseeing annual audits, financial reporting, and developing the CAFR. This position is responsible for leading and overseeing professional and technical planning staff. The ideal candidate will have the ability to understand, interpret, and apply Government Accounting Standards Board (GASB) practices including significant experience with municipal audits, prepare a variety of financial reports including the CAFR, provide financial oversight and planning for capital projects, and develop creative and strategic solutions for a variety of municipal government challenges including disruptions to local government revenue sources.

A Bachelor’s degree in finance, accounting, business or public administration, or a closely related field of study is required. This position requires a minimum of 5 years of increasingly responsible professional level planning experience including 2 years of management or supervisory experience. CPA designation is highly desired. The City of Lake Forest is offering a competitive salary of $115,080 - $149,604, DOQE.

Apply prior to May 7, 2021 by submitting a cover letter, resume, and 6 professional references to For confidential inquiries contact Doug Johnson at (916) 630-4900. Detailed brochure available at


Under direction, plans, directs, manages, supervises, and coordinates assigned activities and operations of the Finance Department, which may include accounting, purchasing, contracts, cash management, treasury, budgeting, and financial reporting; performs complex financial analysis and other professional accounting work; develops recommendations on various financial, accounting and investment matters; and coordinates assigned activities with other divisions, departments and outside agencies; and provides highly responsible and complex administrative support to the Director of Finance.


The duties listed below are intended only as illustrations of the various types of work that may be performed. The omission of specific statements of duties does not exclude them from the position if the work is similar, related, or a logical assignment to the class.

  • Assumes management responsibility for assigned services and activities of the Finance Department including general accounting, payroll, accounts payable, accounts receivables, purchasing, treasury, budgeting, and financial reporting.
  • Participates in the development and implementation of departmental goals, objectives, and priorities for each assigned service area; recommends and administers policies and procedures.
  • Monitors and evaluates the efficiency and effectiveness of service delivery methods and procedures; recommends, within departmental policy, appropriate service and staffing levels.
  • Plans, directs, coordinates, and reviews the work plan for finance staff; assigns work activities, projects, and programs; reviews and evaluates work products, methods, and procedures; meets with staff to identify and resolve problems.
  • Selects, trains, motivates, and evaluates assigned personnel; provides or coordinates staff training; works with employees to correct deficiencies; implements discipline and termination procedures.
  • Manages the preparation of the City budget, including revenue and fund balance projections, and the implementation of expenditure controls during the year.
  • Oversees and performs year-end accounting functions, including the preparation and reconciliation of year-end closing financial statements and auditing processes.
  • Reviews and analyzes financial statements and accounting transactions and schedules, including daily cash deposits, account coding, and other transactions to ensure completeness and accuracy.
  • Purchases investments and maintains the City’s investment portfolio; updates the City’s Investment Policy on an annual basis.
  • Confers with personnel from other agencies; meets with brokers, financial institutions, and interested parties related to department policies and projects.
  • Assesses and monitors workload, administrative and support systems, and internal reporting relationships; identifies opportunities for improvement; directs and implements changes.
  • Participates in the development and administration of the department budget; approves the forecast of funds needed for staffing, equipment, materials, and supplies; approves expenditures and implements budgetary adjustments as appropriate and necessary.
  • Provides responsible staff assistance to the Director of Finance; prepares and presents staff reports and other necessary correspondence.
  • Represents the Finance Department to other departments, elected officials, and outside agencies; coordinates assigned activities with those of other departments and outside agencies and organizations; participates on a variety of boards, commissions, and committees.
  • Explains, justifies, and defends department programs, policies, and activities; negotiates and resolves sensitive and controversial issues.
  • Attends and participates in professional group meetings; maintains awareness of new trends and developments in the field of finance; incorporates new developments as appropriate.
  • Responds to and resolves difficult and sensitive citizen inquiries and complaints.
  • Performs related duties as required.


The following generally describes the knowledge and ability required to enter the job and/or be learned within a short period of time in order to successfully perform the assigned duties.

Knowledge of:

Operations, services, and activities of a comprehensive finance program; principles and practices of program development and administration; principles and practices of public agency financial management including general and governmental accounting, budgeting, auditing, and reporting functions and Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP); investment portfolio management methods and investment practices; principles and practices of auditing; types and sources of municipal revenues and financing; purchasing and contract administration practices; financial accounting software; City’s personnel rules and regulations; principles and practices of municipal budget preparation and administration; principles of supervision, training, and performance evaluation; organizational and management practices as applied to the analysis and evaluation of programs, policies, and operational needs; recent developments, current literature, and sources of information related to assigned programs and services; advanced methods and techniques of effective technical and administrative report preparation and presentation; office procedures, methods, and equipment including computers and applicable software applications such as word processing, spreadsheets, and databases; pertinent federal, state, and local laws, codes, and regulations.

Ability to:

Oversee and participate in the activities and operations of the Finance Department; participate in the development and administration of departmental goals, objectives, and procedures; analyze and assess programs, policies, and operational needs and make appropriate adjustments; research, analyze, and evaluate new service delivery methods and techniques; select, supervise, train, and evaluate staff; plan, organize, direct, and coordinate the work of lower level staff; delegate authority and responsibility; analyze problems, identify alternative solutions, project consequences of proposed actions, and implement recommendations in support of goals; manage special projects, activities and programs; prepare clear and concise technical, administrative, and financial reports; prepare and administer large and complex budgets; interpret and apply applicable federal, state, and local policies, laws, and regulations; identify and respond to sensitive community and organizational issues, concerns, and needs; read and understand financial statements; analyze financial data and make investment decisions; develop and implement financial procedures and controls; perform complicated mathematical calculations and analyses; prioritize workload; undertake or supervise technical, complex and sensitive projects; interpret and apply laws, policies, procedures, and regulations; effectively present information and respond to questions from groups of managers, clients, customers, and the general public; gain cooperation through discussion and persuasion; operate office equipment including computers and supporting word processing, spreadsheet, and database applications; adapt to changing technologies and learn functionality of new equipment and systems; communicate clearly and concisely, both orally and in writing; establish and maintain effective professional working relationships with those contacted in the course of work.

Licenses/Certificates/Special Requirements:

  • A valid Class C California driver’s license and the ability to maintain insurability under the City’s Vehicle Insurance Policy.


A typical way of obtaining the knowledge, skills and abilities outlined above is graduation from a four-year college or university with a bachelor’s degree in finance, accounting, or a closely related field and five years of progressively responsible financial management and accounting experience, including two years of management and administrative responsibility; or an equivalent combination of training and experience. Possession of a Certified Public Accountant designation is highly desirable.


The physical and mental demands and work environment described here are representative of those that must be met by employees to successfully perform the essential functions of this class. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

Physical Demands

While performing the duties of this class, the employee is regularly required to work in an office setting; to stand or sit for prolonged periods of time; to occasionally stoop, bend, kneel, crouch, reach, and twist; to lift, carry, push, and/or pull light to moderate amounts of weight; to operate office equipment requiring repetitive hand movement and fine coordination including use of a computer keyboard; and to verbally communicate to exchange information. Specific hearing abilities required by this job include hearing in the normal audio range with or without correction. Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision and the ability to adjust focus.

Mental Demands

While performing the duties of this class, the employee is regularly required to use oral and written communication skills; read and interpret data, information and documents; analyze and solve problems; observe and interpret data and situations; use math and mathematical reasoning; perform highly detailed work under changing, intensive deadlines, on multiple concurrent tasks; learn and apply new information or new skills; work with constant interruptions; and interact with City officials, media, citizens groups, employees and others encountered in the course of work, including occasionally dealing with conflict situations.

Work Environment

The employee works primarily in a standard office environment with some travel to different sites and locations; incumbents may be required to work extended hours including evenings and weekends and may be required to travel outside City boundaries to attend meetings.