Accountant, Principal

Position Type:

Purpose of Classification:

Under administrative direction, performs professional accounting activities for specialized, complex and/or functional areas requiring the expert knowledge and professional application of accounting principles, practices and techniques in accordance with industry standards, current laws and university policy. May supervise or lead lower level professional accountants and other staff in performing duties. Works independently under broad direction solving complex technical and managerial problems.

Distinguishing Characteristics:

This is fourth in a series of five classifications. It is distinguished from the Accountant Senior in that incumbents work at a higher level of expertise and have some responsibility for the management of a permanent unit or sub-unit. It is distinguished from the Accounting Manager, which is subject to less technical supervision with more responsibility for managing personnel and resources.

Example of Duties:

  • Supervises activities of subordinates. Assigns work and evaluates performance.
  • Plan, directs, organizes and schedules the activities of a specialized accounting function or several accounting areas.
  • Prepares and/or supervises the preparation of financial reports and reconciliation.
  • Advises administrative management regarding procedures concerning expenditures and other accounting practices.
  • Prepares and/or directs the preparation of specialized or highly complex reports, statements, surveys or analyses for management.
  • Maintains accounting and budget records.
  • Recommends alternatives to management when accounting data indicates trends or situations requiring action to be taken beyond scope of responsibilities.
  • Researches, analyzes and uses independent judgment in a variety of daily and non-routine decisions affecting assigned function.
  • Reviews statements of accounting information and other reports provided by the university general ledger system.
  • Provides internal/external training both orally and in writing on accounting systems, procedures and practices.
  • Provides technical advice and services to lower level accountants or other university staff with problems, complex issues or special projects.
  • Researches and evaluates new or changed accounting principles and practices.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

  • Knowledge of accounting principles, theory and practices including governmental accounting.
  • Knowledge of supervisory principles, practices and techniques.
  • Knowledge of computerized accounting systems and applications to include mainframe systems, personal computers, and general software applications.
  • Skill in performing detailed and complex numerical computations and reports.
  • Ability to effectively communicate.

Minimum Qualifications:

  • Bachelor's degree in Accounting or related field and four years of professional accounting experience; OR,
  • Eight years progressively responsible and diverse accounting experience and coursework which included at least four years of professional accounting in which a broad exposure to all areas of accounting and accounting principles, practices and procedures was acquired; OR,
  • Any equivalent combination of experience, training and/or education approved by Human Resources.
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