Tentative Classification Standards issued by the Division of Classification & Compensation are shared with the operating agencies of State government for their consideration and comment. Accordingly, this document that you are viewing is subject to change and will be issued in final form at the completion of the review period.

New York State Department of Civil Service

Division of Classification & Compensation


Tentative Classification Standard


                                                                                                Occ. Code 0403300


Senior Accountant , Grade 18       0403300

                    Associate Accountant, Grade 23        0403400



Brief Description of Class Series


            Accountants perform professional accounting tasks requiring knowledge of accounting principles and procedures. These positions perform and oversee staff who develop, examine, review, and analyze financial and accounting records including the preparation of financial reports and statements. They follow Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) and design new or revise existing accounting systems. These positions may be assigned to oversee a broad range of accounting areas such as general accounting, accounts payable, purchase requisitions, vouchers, account reconciliations, and capital programs.



Distinguishing Characteristics


Senior Accountant: full-performance level; independently performs the full-range of accounting activities for assigned program by following accounting principles and practices.


Associate Accountant: trains and supervises three or more Senior Accountants and clerical staff; oversees a section or functional area of a larger accounting organization.



Related Class


Auditors 1 and 2 plan and conduct comprehensive audits, examinations, and appraisals of accounting records and financial affairs, of public, for profit, and non-profit organizations and businesses to ensure that accounts are maintained in compliance with governing laws, rules, regulations and contracts. Auditors determine the ability of the organization to conduct its programs efficiently and effectively; and evaluate internal controls and practices. These activities require the application of professional accounting and auditing standards and practices.



Illustrative Tasks


          Senior Accountant

Assists higher-level accountants in the activities of an assigned accounting operation.

·         Maintains manual or automated ledgers including books of account or general ledgers, the classification and recording of transactions, the maintenance of controls and the preparation of required accounting statements and reports.

·         Verifies, classifies and codes financial transactions for input following GAAP and applicable laws, rules and regulations.

·         Performs and oversees record-keeping and required fiscal reporting for State and federally funded agency programs by interpreting guidelines, instructions, and monitoring schedules and reports.

·         Independently performs the more difficult accounting work that is characterized by the size of the organization as determined by the number of diverse functional or program areas, client groups serviced, or by accounting system utilized, including the preparation of supporting accounting statements and reports.

·         Assists in budget preparation by compiling necessary data.

·         Monitors revenue collection to determine if revenue goals are being met.

Recommends revisions and assists in the evaluation of accounting or auditing methods and procedures. Assists in determining if new or revised procedures are required.

Provides advice and assistance to impacted State and local jurisdictions, and private sector concerning accounting matters. Advice is based on GAAP principles, theories, concepts, and practices, and relevant body of laws, rules, and regulations.

         Associate Accountant


May perform all the duties and functions of a Senior Accountant.

Supervises staff in an accounting operation, or section of an accounting operation.  

·         Assigns and schedules work and reviews work for accuracy and completeness.

·         Provides technical assistance on accounting problems and answers questions from staff ensuring that all operating objectives of the program area are being met.

·         Develops functional procedures and reporting guidelines, including reconciliation procedures between transactions.

·         Oversees the day-to-day operation of a unit that includes activities such as receiving, recording and depositing cash; the preparation of financial statements; the disbursement of funds; the maintenance of accounting records; and the preparation of financial accounting and statistical statements and reports.

·         Analyzes, reviews, and approves accounting transactions.

Plans, oversees and conducts the fiscal accounting and/or auditing of agency operations, regulated corporations, associations, trusts, and others governed by State laws and regulations.  

·         Prepares written reports identifying and describing any improper practices with recommendations for improvement based on findings.

·         Advises on the preparation of agency budgets, spending plans, and grant applications for federal, State and other funding streams. Adjusts spending plans to available resources, enforcing funding cutbacks, when necessary, and identifying and making recommendations for sources of additional funds.

Evaluates existing accounting methods and procedures and develops or recommends modifications.

·         Conducts review, testing, and desk audits of risk management mechanisms within unit.

·         Assists in the development and design of testing for future risk management activities.


Minimum Qualifications


Senior Accountant


Open Competitive: bachelor's degree in accounting, auditing, or taxation or any bachelor’s degree including or supplemented by 24 semester credit hours in accounting and/or auditing, and completion of a two-year traineeship.


           Associate Accountant


Promotion: one year of permanent service as a Senior Accountant.




Note: Classification Standards illustrate the nature, extent, and scope of duties and responsibilities of the classes they describe. Standards cannot and do not include all the work that might be appropriately performed by a class. The minimum qualifications above are those required for appointment at the time the Classification Standard was written. Please contact the Division of Staffing Services for current information on minimum requirements for appointment or examination.