Tax Auditor (Entry or Mid Level)

Tax Auditor (Entry or Mid Level)
City of Lakewood Finance Department
 Lakewood, Colorado
Job Description

JOB SUMMARY

Tax revenues at the City account for ~60% of the City's revenues. The Tax Auditor position plays a critical role in helping the City maintain financial strength by educating those doing business in the City and performing compliance reviews of their financial records. This work involves interpreting tax codes and regulations of the City and State and a knowledge of court cases relating to the administration and enforcement of tax or license provisions. The auditor should exhibit professional maturity; keen investigative instincts; and strong time management, analytical, communication and interpersonal skills. This highly professional individual is also responsible for assisting in licensing, tax return preparation, and the collection of taxes assessed during an audit.

Tax auditor positions are flexibly staffed and are normally filled by advancement from level I or, when filled from the outside, require previous and directly related experience.

Tax Auditor I

  • Under direct supervision, this is the entry-level class for Tax Auditors. Incumbents in this class typically have limited related work experience. The Tax Auditor I class is distinguished from level II by the performance of less than the full range of duties assigned to level II. Incumbents are expected to exercise more independence and initiative as processes and procedures of assigned area of responsibility are learned.

Tax Auditor II

  • Under general supervision, this is the journey-level class in the Tax Auditor series and is distinguished from level I by the ability to perform the full range of duties, including audits with only occasional instruction or assistance as needed. Incumbents in this class must be able to work with independence and initiative.

Major Tasks, Duties, and Responsibilities:

ESSENTIAL FUNCTIONS

Audit-

  • Schedule, plan, and perform sales and use tax compliance audits.
  • Conduct audits in accordance with professional auditing and accounting methods; Examine business's' financial records including journals, ledgers, financial statements, invoices, sales agreements, and tax returns to verify that transactions have been properly recorded and are in compliance with the Lakewood Municipal Code and/or Colorado Revised Statutes.
  • Evaluate internal controls and reporting issues.
  • Create and maintain work papers, schedules, and reports; apply professional judgment in identifying and quantifying tax compliance shortfall situations and recommendations for corrective action.
  • Maintain all records and documentation pertaining to the audit and related audit findings in a clear and well documented manner.
    Review audit findings and conclusions with business owner and/or their agent; respond to questions and provide education on the Code to improve compliance.
  • Prepare final narrative reports and determine collection plan as required.
  • On rare occasion, testify in formal or informal hearings or in a court of law regarding accounting and auditing techniques, audit findings, and the interpretation and application of the Code.
  • Audit financial records of contractors performing construction projects in the City.
  • Meet or exceed revenue goals.

Research and Education-

  • Attain knowledge of the Code and Regulations, including the City's auditing policies, goals and procedures.
  • Research other municipal, state, and federal tax collection policies and procedures.
  • Research applicable statutes, regulations, industry related revenue rulings and court decisions when conducting audits to ensure audit adjustments are fully supported and in compliance.
  • Assist businesses, in person or on the telephone, by answering questions and applying the City's Code to their unique business operation.
  • Research and compile findings related to audit issues with the ability to formulate a position and effectively communicate that position to the city.
  • Assist with education programs, which includes making presentations at tax workshops.

ESSENTIAL QUALIFICATIONS

Education

  • High school diploma or equivalent and some college course work related to accounting is required. A Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration, Accounting, Public Administration, Finance, Economics or related field is highly desired.

Experience

Tax Auditor I

  • Experience in auditing or applied accounting is preferred. Previous municipal government experience is desirable.

Tax Auditor II

  • Minimum of two years of experience in sales and use tax auditing for a government entity or direct experience in private industry. Some experience in performing sales and use tax audits of all types and sizes of businesses.

KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS, AND ABILITIES

Tax Auditor I

  • Knowledge of the policies, procedures, and goals of the City, Finance Department and Revenue Division;
  • Knowledge of the practices, principles, and theories of accounting, including Generally Accepted Accounting Principles and Generally Accepted Auditing Standards;
  • General knowledge of other municipal, state, and federal tax collection policies and procedures; ability to formulate a position for review by a Tax Auditor III or Revenue (Audit) Supervisor;
  • Skill in interpreting and applying written guidelines, precedents and work practices with some independent judgment;
  • Skill in exercising initiative, judgment, and decision making in solving problems and meeting organizational objectives;
    Proficiency in leveraging applications, such as Excel, to mine through large amounts of data; format and manipulate to analyze output;
  • Skill in strong time management, necessary to adhere to audit schedules of concurrent audits;
  • Skill in customer service-related position dealing with various levels of management and/or the general public;
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills. Must be able to read, understand, interpret and explain tax laws and audit findings;
  • Ability to work within different accounting systems and compile information from incomplete records;
  • Ability to perform smaller audits and reconciliations independently; co-audit with other auditors;
  • Ability to analyze sales invoices, purchases and disbursement, and apply operating and accounting procedures to determine sales and use tax liability;
  • Ability to travel to and conduct work at the place of business being audited, primarily located within the Denver metro area. Travel is arranged to accommodate the schedule of the business being audited;
  • Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with businesses and their representatives, City employees, other governmental jurisdictions and the public;
  • Background check, credit check, and motor vehicle record required.
  • Meet or exceed revenue goals.

Tax Auditor II

In addition to previous requirements:

  • Deeper knowledge of other municipal, state, and federal tax collection policies and procedures;
  • Ability to provide some direction to the Tax Auditor I class;
  • Ability to perform more complex audits independently; lead co-audits
  • Ability to complete peer reviews for accuracy, completeness, quality, and conformance to departmental policy, Code and Statute requirements. Make recommendations for proper completion;
  • Ability to make recommendations to Revenue (Audit) Supervisor regarding audit policies and programs;
  • Strong contributor in audit team discussions;
  • Skill in exercising initiative, judgment, and decision making in solving problems and meeting organizational objectives;
  • Special assignments – i.e. attain data for research, budget analysis, and financial planning; identify and implement work processes to drive efficiency and cost savings.
  • Exceed revenue goals.

ORGANIZATIONAL RELATIONSHIPS

Supervision Received:

  • General supervision from the Revenue Supervisor and Revenue Division Manager; leadership from Tax Auditor III.

Supervision Given:

  • None.

PHYSICAL AND MENTAL REQUIREMENTS

PHYSICAL REQUIREMENTS

Lifting and carrying

  • Must be able to lift equipment and supplies weighing from 2 to 20 pounds several times a day. Position may be required to lift portable laptop computer, briefcase and other supplies to/from business location.

Pushing and Pulling

  • May push or pull boxes weighing 10-25 pounds to/from storage rooms, etc. at City Hall and/or in business locations. A pull-cart will be available to ease transportation at City Hall. Carts and/or assistance in lifting may not be available at business locations.

Body Positions

  • Sits at a desk for extended periods of time. Must be able to answer the phone and use a computer. May be required to perform data entry functions and record review in adverse working environments controlled by business. Height, lighting and other physical characteristics of the workstations, tables or desks located at business locations will vary. On occasion, may transport oneself to and from other areas within municipal center and off-site locations.

Hearing

  • Employee must hear the phone and audible signals from equipment.

Vision

  • Employee uses vision to read handwriting, review records, enter and review data on computer.

MENTAL REQUIREMENTS

Mathematics

  • Must have fundamental mathematical and statistical skills including addition, subtraction, multiplication and division for analyzing and calculating complex data. Must possess strong analytical skills, inquisitive or investigative skills, and ability to research data and make sound judgment as to relevance, appropriateness and application. Must be able to quickly ascertain and assimilate information.

Language Ability

  • Must be able to read and interpret detailed and complex mathematical, statistical, and financial reports. Written communications must be at an advanced technical/business level. Must be able to speak and verbally present information to communicate with other members of the organization, the management team, City Council members, financial auditors, citizens and others.

Reasoning

  • Must be able to thoroughly research and review financial programs/projects and make difficult analytical decisions and sound recommendations for use by the department/organization.

WORK ENVIRONMENT

  • Work is performed in an office environment.
  • Work includes frequent interruptions, a high volume of work and tight deadlines.
  • Work involves dealing with angry, frustrated or upset individuals.
  • Work may require travel to meetings/audits outside of office. May be required to travel out of the metropolitan area and/or state of Colorado.
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