Under the supervision of a higher ranking accountant, fiscal or program officer, positions in this class perform professional accounting or auditing tasks requiring a knowledge of accounting principles and procedures in the development, examination, review, analysis or supervision of financial and accounting records including the preparation of related reports and statements. Within broad administrative policy limitations and following well established and accepted accounting and auditing methods and procedures, accountants design new or revise existing accounting systems. A Senior Accountant may perform both accounting and auditing activities or, depending on the nature of an agency program and the assignment, may specialize in one functional area. Senior Accountants functioning as auditors, will conduct or supervise on-site field audits of the accounts and operations of regulated corporations and others governed by State and local laws and regulations.
Positions in this class are located in many different agencies in the State and are assigned to the main office or to a district or field office.
A Senior Accountant may supervise a small staff of professional accountants and, if required, clerical support personnel in an accounting or auditing operation or will independently perform the more complex accounting or auditing work which is characterized by such factors as the size of the organization, the number of program areas and client groups serviced, the laws and regulations controlling the program and the existence of a highly refined accounting system involving a number of different subsidiary journals and ledgers.
Typically, positions in this class work under the direction of a higher ranking Accountant and must have a knowledge of, and apply agency guidelines and procedures or a body of laws or regulations, in performing the required activities and tasks.
Other positions performing accounting and/or auditing responsibilities include Senior Accountant (Public Service), which in the Department of Public Service perform professional fiscal and accounting audits of public utilities to determine that all financial records have been maintained in accordance with applicable statutory regulations. Such positions require a knowledge of the Public Service Law and of Commission Orders.
Positions of Senior Abandoned Property Accounts Auditor in the Department of Audit and Control, conduct on-site field audits of the financial and business records of individuals, partnerships and corporations to insure that all abandoned property is properly recorded, accounted for, and turned over under the provisions of New York State Abandoned Property Law. Other classes in the Department of Audit and Control responsible for the audit of the financial records and accounts of public jurisdictions include positions in the State Accounts Auditor Series, which examine the records of State agencies and departments of the city of New York, and Examiner of Municipal Affairs Series, which review the records of local jurisdictions including school districts and special districts as water, sewage and fire districts.
Supervises a staff of accountants and clerical support personnel in an accounting operation or segment of an accounting operation.
Assists a higher level accountant in the activities of an accounting operation or may supervise a segment of a large accounting operation.
May recommend revisions or assist higher level accountants in the evaluation of existing accounting or auditing methods and procedures and in the development of modifications or new procedures to make the system more workable and responsive to program needs.
The Senior Accountant may provide advice and assistance to program officials, line supervisors and others in State and local jurisdictions as well as to individuals and groups in the private sector concerning accounting matters in his program area. These judgments are based on a knowledge of the accounting system, on accounting, financial data, reports and trends within a framework of well-established accounting principles, theories, concepts, and practices or a body of laws, rules, and regulations.
May plan, conduct or supervise subordinate accountants in the fiscal audit of agency operations or of regulated corporations, associations, trusts, and others governed in whole or in part by State laws and regulations and report on the audit findings. The audits, either field or internal, evaluate and report on such areas as adherence to prescribed policies; the effective control of expenditures, receipts, and revenues; and to determine that the financial records have been maintained in accordance with applicable regulations.
- Receives the audit assignment with specific instructions.
- Reviews all relevant background material including contracts, correspondence, vouchers and the like to become thoroughly familiar with the project.
- Arranges for and conducts a pre-audit conference to explain audit, establish contacts and to obtain any additional information needed.
- Carries out the audit according to plan.
- Develops audit findings and recommendations.
- Completes all work papers supporting audit findings.
- Conducts exit interview with the program people concerned with the audit to discuss audit findings.
- Prepares final audit exhibits and schedules.
- Writes narrative audit report for supervisor's review and approval.
- Participates in post audit conferences as required.
Positions in this class responsible for the fiscal audit of regulated corporations and others have frequent verbal and occasional written communications with fiscal officers, program manager and others concerned with the operation under study. Verbal communications are concerned with the explaining of audit procedures and plans, requesting information on the accounting practices followed and the location of records, gaining the cooperation of the organization being audited, and providing technical expertise in explaining and interpreting the applicable laws and regulations under which the audit is being conducted.
Within an agency, a Senior Accountant in charge of an accounting program may be called on to provide advice and assistance by way of written correspondence, telephone, or personal contact to program officials and others concerning accounting matters in program areas. In turn, the incumbent has a close working relationship with the subordinate staff in making assignments, evaluating performance, giving instructions and providing assistance in difficult matters. Frequent verbal and occasional written communications are maintained by the Senior Accountant with the supervisor.
Positions in this class may assist attorneys in litigated matters by providing technical accounting assistance and appearing as expert witnesses.
A Senior Accountant independently performing an accounting operation under supervision deals primarily with the supervisor as described below.
A Senior Accountant with supervisory responsibilities for a subordinate staff performing an accounting or audit operation makes assignments; gives instructions; evaluates work by direct observation, the review of reports and by comparing performance against standard acceptable levels, and is available for advice or assistance as needed. Typically, written guidelines and procedures covering the accounting or audit operation are provided the Senior Accountant by the supervisor who monitors work by the review of reports and personal observation, gives verbal and written instructions and provides guidance and direction to the program on a continuing basis. The Senior Accountant may recommend revisions to the accounting system and may assist the supervisor with planning and scheduling activities within the program area.
A Senior Accountant independently performing an accounting or audit operation with no supervisory responsibilities receives assignments, instructions, and assistance from the supervisor, typically an Associate Accountant.
Positions of Senior Accountant are normally filled by promotion of those having at least one year of permanent service as an Assistant Accountant.