Occ. Code 0403400

New York State Department of Civil Service

Classification Standard


An Associate Accountant, often the ranking accountant in an accounting operation, performs accounting or auditing work requiring a professional knowledge and application of accounting principles and procedures and agency guidelines or a body of laws or regulations in the performance or supervision of work involved in the planning and carrying out of audit activities, the maintenance of accounting records, the preparation and analysis of financial and accounting reports. Positions in this class design new or revise existing accounting systems including systems utilizing electronic data processing capabilities within broad administrative policy limitations and accepted accounting or auditing methods and procedures. An Associate Accountant may perform both accounting and auditing activities or, depending on the nature of the agency program and assignment, may specialize in one functional area. Positions functioning as auditors will supervise the on-site field audits of the accounts and operations of regulated corporations and others governed by State 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.


An Associate Accountant supervises a staff of professional accountants and clerical support personnel in a large accounting or audit operation with the number supervised varying with the nature of program, or independently performs accounting and/or auditing work requiring a high degree of independent judgment and advanced accounting knowledge. Positions in this class, often the top accountant in an organization, are required to apply resourcefulness in applying accounting principles and practices in support of major agency programs. Consultation, assistance and advice are provided program officials and others concerning technical accounting matters in the planning, implementation and control of an accounting or audit program, and in the development of policy as related to the organization's accounting and financial programs.

Positions in this class work under the direction of a Principal Accountant or a fiscal or program officer.

Typical of other classes performing professional accounting and/or auditing responsibilities is Associate Accountant (Public Service), who in the Department of Public Service supervises the fiscal 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 Associate Abandoned Property Accounts Auditor in the Department of Audit and Control, supervise the 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 the New York State Abandoned Property Law.

Positions of Associate State Accounts Auditor in the Department of Audit and Control supervise the audits of the accounts and fiscal affairs of departments, agencies and authorities of New York State and New York City to determine compliance with appropriate laws, rules and regulations. An Associate Examiner of Municipal Affairs conducts the field examinations of the accounts and fiscal affairs of the largest local jurisdictions of the State excluding New York City, under the provisions of the General Municipal Law and the State Finance Law.


Supervises subordinate accountants and other supporting personnel in an accounting operation or segment of an accounting operation.

Within an established accounting system with guidelines set down by appropriate laws, policies and procedures, may be responsible for the day-to-day operation of a unit which includes such activities as the receipt, recording and deposit of cash; the preparation of statements for management; the disbursement of funds; the maintenance of accounting books of record or automated accounting records and the preparation of financial accounting and statistical statements and reports.

The Associate Accountant provides advice and assistance to program officials, line supervisors and others in State and local jurisdictions as well as to individuals or groups from the- private sector concerning accounting matters in a program area to insure the objectives of such programs are achieved. These judgments are based on accounting and financial data reports and trends, within the framework of established accounting principles, theories, concepts and practices or a body of laws, rules and regulations.

Evaluates existing accounting or auditing methods and procedures and develops or recommends modifications or new procedures including systems utilizing electronic data processing capabilities to make the system more workable and responsive to program needs.

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 independent or internal, evaluate and report on such areas as: adherence to prescribed policies; the effective control of expenditures, receipts and revenues; to determine if organization is managing or utilizing its resources in an economical and efficient manner; and to determine that the financial records have been maintained in accordance with applicable regulations.

Following the prescribed procedures as set forth in the audit plan, personally conducts audits or assigns subordinate accountants to an audit.

Prepares or supervises subordinate accountants in the preparation of a written report of the audit, identifying and describing any improper practices with recommendations for improvement based on findings.


Positions in this class responsible for the supervision of the fiscal audit of regulated corporations and others, have frequent verbal and occasional written communication with fiscal officials, program managers and others concerned with the operation under study. Verbal communications are concerned with the explanation of procedures and plans, requesting information on the accounting practices followed and the location of records and reports, gaining the cooperation of the organization being audited, providing technical expertise in interpreting the applicable laws and regulations under which the audit is conducted, and explaining and interpreting the audit findings.

An Associate Accountant in charge of an accounting program supplies accounting data, secures information on operations and problems as they relate to the accounting program and furnishes technical accounting advice based on well-established principles and practices by way of written correspondence, telephone or personal contact with program officials and others both within and outside of the organization, and assists and prepares correspondence as directed on matters relating to agency policy and procedures for either internal or external programs. 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 Associate Accountant with program officials and with private groups concerned with the accounting program.

Incumbents of these positions may assist attorneys in litigated matters by providing technical accounting assistance and advice and appearing as an expert witness.


An Associate 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 comparing performance with accepted standards. Advice and assistance concerning the operations and the solution of accounting problems are provided to the staff as needed.

Positions in this class, often the ranking Accountant in an organization, work with a high degree of independence under broad agency guidelines, applicable laws, policies and regulations. Incumbents of these positions work under the direction of higher level accountants, fiscal or program officers who make assignments, interpret policy, give general instructions and are available to provide advice and assistance. The work of the Associate Accountant is reviewed by the superior for compliance with instructions, policy and for overall quality, to insure that the accounting system is operating as intended.



Positions of Associate Accountant are normally filled by promotion of those having at least one year of permanent service as a Senior Accountant.

Date: 4/75