Senior Accountant, Department of Finance, Payroll

  • City of San Jose
  • San Jose, California
  • May 24, 2019
Full Time Accounting and Finance
  • Salary: 85529.6
  • Salary Top: 104208

Job Description

The actual salary shall be determined by the final candidate’s qualifications and experience.  In addition to the starting salary, employees in the Senior Accountant classification shall also receive an approximate five percent (5%) ongoing non-pensionable compensation pay.

The Finance Department is seeking a Senior Accountant (Payroll) within the Payroll section of the Accounting Division. Under general supervision from the Principal Accountant, the Senior Accountant will provide the necessary resources to ensure appropriate internal controls for implementation and customization to the City’s payroll system including non-pensionable compensation increases that will help mitigate risks of incorrect pay and benefits calculations while ensuring employees are paid in timely manner.

The Senior Accountant will be responsible for processing accounting and payroll transactions, preparing the journal entries, and reconciling the entries between Labor Distribution and the City’s Payroll system. The Senior Accountant will supervise and manage an Accountant and an Accounting Technician responsible for biweekly payroll production. Other responsibilities include communicating issues and organizational changes related to the payroll processes in City publications, Finance websites, payroll training programs, ensuring compliance with the requirements of the City’s bargaining unit agreements, as well as defining and documenting internal procedures, and working with the Information Technology Department to implement changes required in the Oracle PeopleSoft HR / Payroll System.  

The essential duties of a Senior Accountant include the following: 

- Performing monthly analysis between reconciled Payroll Bank Account and Labor Distribution entries, ensure that uncashed checks within specified time will go through escheatment process.

- Reconciling various accounts related to Payroll.

- Coordinating various audits with external CPA firms and internal City Auditors.

- Supervising, mentoring, and training staff.

- Overseeing the operations of complex systems used to generate the City of San Jose’s bi-weekly payroll.  

- Preparing and completing the payroll reports as required by the federal, state and other regulatory agencies (State Controllers Report).

- Implementing and complying with the regulation related to IRS, Department of Labor, State and other governmental agencies as well as negotiated labor agreements.

- Coordinating special payroll related projects.

- Performing other duties and assignments as assigned.

This recruitment may be used to fill multiple positions in this, or other divisions or departments. If you are interested in employment in this classification, you should apply to ensure you are considered for additional opportunities that may utilize the applicants from this recruitment.

Job Requirements

Education: completion of a Bachelor’s Degree from an accredited college or university in Accounting, Business Administration, or related field, including at least 18 semester units in accounting subjects 

Experience: four (4) years of experience at the working level of a professional accountant. 

Employment Eligibility: Federal law requires all employees to provide verification of their eligibility to work in this country. Please be informed that the City of San Jose will NOT sponsor, represent or sign any documents related to visa applications/transfers for H1-B or any other type of visa which requires an employer application. 


The ideal candidate will possess the following competencies, as demonstrated in past and current employment history.  Desirable competencies for this position include:

Job expertise - Demonstrates knowledge of and experience with applicable professional/technical principles and practices, Citywide and departmental procedures/policies and federal and state rules and regulations.

Communication Skills - Effectively conveys information and expresses thoughts and facts clearly, orally and in writing; demonstrates effective use of listening skills; displays openness to other people's ideas and thoughts.

Computer Skills - Experienced with common business computer applications including but not limited to: MS Outlook, MS Word, MS PowerPoint, MS Access, and MS Excel. 

Teamwork & Interpersonal Skills - Develops effective relationships with co-workers and supervisors by helping others accomplish tasks and using collaboration and conflict resolution skills.

Analytical Thinking - Approaching a problem or situation by using a logical, systematic, sequential approach.

Planning -Acts to align own unit's goals with the strategic direction of the organization; Defines tasks and milestones to achieve objectives, while ensuring the optimal use of resources to meet those objectives.

Problem Solving - Approaches a situation or problem by defining the problem or issue; determines the significance of problem(s); collects information; uses logic and intuition to arrive at decisions or solutions to problems that achieve the desired outcome.

Supervision - Sets effective long and short-term goals based on a good understanding of management practices; establishes realistic priorities within available resources; provides motivational support; empowers others; assigns decision-making and work functions to others in an appropriate manner to maximize organizational and individual effectiveness.

Selection Process:

The selection process will consist of an evaluation of the applicant's training and experience based on the application and responses to the Job Questions. Only the candidates whose backgrounds best match the position will be invited to proceed in the selection process. Additional phases of the selection process will consist of one or more interviews, one of which may include a practical/writing exercise.

You will be prompted to answer the following job-specific questions during the online application process. Please note that there is a 4,000-character limit, including spaces, for each text response.

1. Please describe your Payroll experience that qualifies you for this position.  Please include the payroll applications that you have used, the modules, and the number of years of experience you have completing payroll related tasks.

2. Please describe your supervisory experience and management style.


3. Please describe your experience in preparing reconciliations, researching variances and making corrections.  In your response, please explain the issues you worked on, your recommendations, and the end results. 


4. The City has its own defined benefit retirement systems and the Senior Accountant will participate in making sure that the employee and employer contributions are properly calculated and reported. Please describe your experience with calculating, reconciling, and submitting retirement contributions.

5. Please describe your knowledge of current FLSA rules as well as various Federal, State, and local government regulatory and compliance requirements relating to Payroll.

6. Please describe your experience working with different Memorandum of Agreements (MOA) and ensuring payroll compliance with the various MOAs.

You must answer all job-specific questions in order to be considered for this vacancy or your application will be deemed incomplete and withheld from further consideration. If you have questions about the duties of this position, the selection or hiring processes, please contact Jun Kim at