City and County of San Francisco

Accountant IV (#1657)

$50.49-$61.36 Hourly / $8,751.00-$10,636.00 Monthly / $105,014.00-$127,634.00 Yearly


Under minimal direction, this class performs highly complex accounting duties including but not limited to: participates in the implementation of accounting and fiscal procedures; makes recommendations for proper reporting and internal control; assists in providing directives and training to departments to enhance operational inefficiencies; plans, directs, reviews the posting of accounting transactions; initiates, oversees and performs analyses in year-end closing activities; monitors departments overall financial position, monitors expenditure projections to actual; prepares and presents management with financial status reports; presents and explains accounting activity to financial and non-financial managers, co-workers and clients; may lead in identification and preparation of functional processing and reporting requirements for financial processing and reporting systems; issues guidance and instructions to departments on accounting matters.

Distinguishing Features

The 1657 Accountant IV is the highest level of the professional accounting series. Class 1657 Accountant IV is distinguished from the 1654 Accountant III class in that incumbents in class 1657 Accountant IV are responsible for  highly complex accounting work and may delegate assignments to subordinate staff engaged in budget preparation, purchasing activities, payroll analysis, grants management.  Incumbents in this class exercise a high degree of independent judgment on highly complex accounting work, have significant accountability and ongoing decision-making associated with their work impacting multiple types of funds with a very high consequence of error for a department or organization. Incumbents in this class receive general direction from department managers, department directors or related management staff.

Supervision Exercised

Incumbents in class 1657 Accountant IV may train and supervise incumbents in class 1654 Accountant III, 1649 Accountant Interns, incumbents in the Account Clerk series, and other clerical staff.

Examples of Important and Essential Duties

According to Civil Service Commission Rule 109, the duties specified below are representative of the range of duties assigned to this job code/class and are not intended to be an inclusive list.

1.    Performs highly complex accounting functions consistent with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP).

2.    Supervises, plans, directs and coordinates workload and assignments for professional accounting, administrative and clerical staff.  Assigns, manages, and evaluates fiscal accounting work including budget preparation, purchasing activities, payroll and general ledger analyses, accounts receivables, payables, grants, bonds, revenue, cost allocation, capital assets, expenditures, and other accounting activities. 

3.    Researches, analyzes and implements accounting rules and regulations as stipulated by Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB), Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) or other regulatory agencies.

4.    Plans, directs and performs analysis and reconciliation of fiscal and accounting records and reports from automated financial information systems.  Reviews transactions to conform with existing fiscal and legal requirements. 

5.    Supervises staff in reviewing financial documents, accounting reports of receipts, disbursements and encumbrances affecting various funds and accounts to ensure conformance with budget and fiscal procedures, existing laws, ordinance and other fiscal requirements.

6.    Coordinates annual audits and investigations of City departments, concessionaries and public service enterprises to ensure conformance with accounting procedures, forms, lease and insurance requirements.  May perform ad hoc audits as needed.

7.    Analyzes and interprets complex accounting procedures, prepares recommendations for their revision, participates in development and installation of accounting and fiscal procedures and methods.

8.    May lead in or participate in the identification or preparation of functional processing and reporting requirements, end-user testing training and documentation, and related procedures and policies for financial processing and reporting systems.  May act as liaison between accounting staff, financial staff, and information systems staff. 

9.    Develops ad hoc reports by direct access or through extracted data using various data files or databases.  Presents and explains reports orally and in writing to management, accounting staff, and other stakeholders.

10.  Plans and conducts meetings related to accounting issues, professional skills, and informational issues; assists in problem solving.

11.  Evaluates staff performance by setting goals, objectives while providing feedback.  Identifies staff needs and recommends or provides appropriate training for professional growth and career development.

12.  Initiates and maintains contact with key departmental staff and other parties in order to keep abreast of complex accounting and financial information.

13.  Supervises the identification, creation and maintenance of accounting codes and structures to ensure accurate recording, reporting and control in financial systems.

14.  Performs special projects and other duties as assigned.


Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

Knowledge of: Extensive Generally Accepted Accounting Principles, demonstrates the knowledge in applying those principles in performing highly complex accounting functions; Extensive knowledge in applying the terminology and procedures involved in performing highly complex governmental accounting functions; Extensive knowledge of governing laws, ordinances, rules and regulations regarding accounting constraints, controls, budgets and expenditures. Includes incorporating fiscal provisions set forth by the City Charter and administrative code. 

Ability to: analyze and interpret fiscal and/or accounting data and reports; to determine compliance with policies and procedures set forth by the City charter, various agencies and other existing legal requirements; and the ability to make appropriate decisions based on this information; lead, supervise and delegate accounting and auditing functions to internal and external staff; ability to organize tasks/projects by planning, directing, and assigning the work programs, assist in training and coaching subordinates including developing staff capabilities and professional growth, and monitoring and evaluating staff performance

Skill in:  the use of personal computers refers to advance skills using personal computers including, but not limited to computer software such as Microsoft Excel and Word; use of large complex, multi-departmental, financial systems, and demonstrate required knowledge by interpreting resulting financial, accounting reports, budgets, and summaries.  Includes the ability to use financial analysis software; relating, working well with others, and respond tactfully, professionally and courteously; communicating in writing clearly and effectively, demonstrate this skill by rendering technical details and reports in a form readily understandable to management and the public.  Including skill in presenting concise financial information to a variety of audiences.

Experience and Training

These minimum qualifications establish the education, training, experience, special skills and/or license(s) which are required for employment in the classification.  Please note, additional qualifications (i.e., special conditions) may apply to a particular position and will be stated on the exam/job announcement.

Education and Experience:

1.    Requires a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university, preferably with major course work in accounting, finance, business administration or a closely related field. Such education must include at least  eighteen (18) semester units or  twenty-four (24) quarter units of coursework in accounting; AND

Six (6) years of professional accounting experience which includes analysis or problem solving.  Experience must include: Working with automated financial system (preferably a government system), performing difficult and responsible accounting and reporting work, preparing financial records, reports, and financial statements, in compliance with General Accepted Accounting Principles.  Experience must include two (2) years of verifiable experience supervising subordinate staff. OR

2. City and County of San Francisco Employees with six (6) years of professional accounting experience including experience as a 1652 Accounting II or 1654 Accountant III.  Experience must include two (2) years of verifiable experience supervising subordinate staff.


A Master’s degree in accounting, business administration, computer information systems, public policy, or a closely related field may be substituted for one year of work experience.

License or Certificate




From: 1654 Accountant III

AMENDED DATE:   8/01/04; 3/18/08; 10/20/09, 5/31/2012, 10/09/13

Disaster Service Workers

All City and County of San Francisco employees are designated Disaster Service Workers through state and local law (California Government Code Section 3100-3109). Employment with the City requires the affirmation of a loyalty oath to this effect. Employees are required to complete all Disaster Service Worker-related training as assigned, and to return to work as ordered in the event of an emergency.

CLASS: 1657; EST: 1/6/1980; REV: 10/9/2013;