Energy Department - City of San Jose

The Position

The Principal Accountant will be responsible for leadership and oversight of fiscal management functions for San José Clean Energy (SJCE). The incumbent in this position will lead the Department’s fiscal/accounting team and oversee all fiscal management activities for SJCE, including but not limited to the following:

• Develop and maintain accounting policies, procedures, and business processes to comply with generally accepted accounting principles and satisfy the financial management requirements associated with long-term power purchase agreements;
• Lead the development of SJCE standalone audited basic financial statements and SJCE financial statements in the City’s Annual Comprehensive Financial Report;
• Prepare quarterly financial statements (unaudited);
• Facilitate external auditor inquiries for standalone financials, City Annual Comprehensive Financial Report, and Agreed-Upon Procedure engagements;
• Lead the preparation of quarterly financial statements (unaudited);
• Analyze the impact of GASB pronouncements on SJCE’s financial statements and develop accounting practices to satisfy GASB pronouncements;
• Actively participate in the financial planning and forecasting for SJCE with particular focus on validating actual financial data, proposed assumptions, and general feasibility of projections in the current and upcoming fiscal years;
• Manage external auditor inquiries pertaining to SJCE standalone financial statements and City Annual Comprehensive Financial Report.

The Ideal Candidate

The ideal candidate will have utility industry and energy market knowledge and will understand the complexity of performing financial accounting in a volatile and complex energy market that is heavily regulated. The ideal candidate should have strong analytical and proven experience in effectively multi-tasking, prioritizing, and planning activities to meet deadlines.

The ideal candidate will possess:

• Knowledge of energy markets, pricing trends, seasonal market dynamics, with a proven track record of developing accounting procedures in a complex operational environment.
• Ability to work with various teams, external stakeholders, and consultants to ensure the accuracy and integrity of SJCE’s fiscal management practices.
• Expertise in understanding the intersection of the regulated environment with the complexities of being a single jurisdiction Community Choice Aggregator with municipal policies and procedures.
• Experience with researching, compiling, analyzing, and evaluating general and quantitative information in the development of work products such as reports, policy statements, Council memos or presentations that effectively present complex energy accounting information in a way that can be understood by nontechnical audiences.
• Strong analytical skills, with a history of developing and implementing accounting practices and procedures to improve the fiscal management of complex organizations.
• Proficiency in quantitative skills, statistical analysis, including complex spreadsheets, analytical platforms, and workload planning.
• Expertise with Microsoft Office (Word, PowerPoint, Planner) and other software tools.
• Advanced Excel expertise and experience with visualization tools such as PowerBI.
• Advanced degree and/or CPA desirable.

The ideal candidate will possess the following competencies:

• 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; demonstrates knowledge of generally accepted accounting and auditing principles (GAAP), including governmental accounting as established by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and Government Accounting Standards Board. • Leadership – Leads by example; demonstrates high ethical standards; remains visible & approachable, interacts on a regular basis; promoting a cooperative work environment, allowing others to learn from mistakes; provides motivational supports and direction.
• Collaboration – Develops networks and builds alliances; engages in cross-functional activities.
• Problem Solving – Approaches situations or problem by defining the issue; determines the significance & priority, collects information from various sources; uses logic & intuition to make decisions and solution sets & outcomes.
• Fiscal Management – Understands the relationship of the budget and resources to the strategic plan; complies with administrative controls over funds, contracts, and procurements.
• 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.
• Analytical Thinking – Approaches problems or situations using a logical, systematic, sequential approach.
• Project Management – Ensures support for and drives projects, implements goals towards strategic objectives.
• Communication Skills – Effectively conveys information, expresses thoughts and facts clearly, orally and in writing; demonstrates effective use of listening skills, displays openness to other’s ideas and thoughts.

Education & Experience

Education: Completion of a Bachelor’s Degree from an accredited college or university with an emphasis in Accounting, Finance, or a closely related field, including eighteen semester units of accounting.

Experience: Five years of increasingly responsible professional experience in accounting or financial management including two years of supervising professional accountants.

Licenses: Possession of a valid State of California driver’s license may be required.

Employment Eligibility: Federal law requires employees to provide verification of their eligibility to work in the US. Please be informed the City of San José will NOT sponsor, represent or sign any documents related to visa applications/ transfers for H1B or any other type of visa which requires an employer application.

The Principal Accountant salary range is currently $115,595.48 – $176,496.58; placement within this range will be dependent upon the qualifications and experience of the individual selected. This salary includes an approximate five percent (5%) ongoing non-pensionable compensation.
The salary is supplemented by an attractive benefits package that includes, but is not limited to:

• Retirement – The City has its own competitive defined benefit retirement plan separate from and with full reciprocity with CalPERS.
• Health Insurance – The City contributes 90% towards the premium for the lowest-priced non-deductible plan. Several plan options are available.
• Dental Insurance – The City contributes 100% of the premium of the lowest-priced plan for dental coverage.
• Personal Time – Vacation is accrued initially at the rate of three weeks per year, with amounts increasing up to five weeks after 15 years of service. Vacation accrual may be adjusted for successful candidates with prior public service to reflect a vacation accrual rate commensurate with total years of public service. Executive Leave of 48 hours is granted annually and, depending upon success in the Management Performance Program, could increase to up to 80 hours. Sick Leave is accrued at the rate of approximately 8 hours per month.
• Holidays – The City observes 15 paid holidays annually.
• Deferred Compensation – The City offers an optional 457(b) plan.
• Flexible Spending Accounts – The City participates in Dependent Care Assistance and Medical Reimbursement Programs.
• Insurance – The City provides a term life insurance policy equal to two times annual salary. Long-term disability and AD&D plans are optional.
• Employee Assistance Program (EAP) – The City provides a comprehensive range of services through its EAP.
• Parental Leave Program – The City has a City-Paid Parental Leave program for which the incumbent in this position would be eligible. The program provides up to 320 hours of City-paid leave and are able to use up to 120 hours of their sick leave balances for the birth or placement of a new child, all of which must be used no later than 12 months from the birth or placement of the child.

Executive Management Benefits –

Health Benefits –

Important Information

Form 700 Filing: Upon commencement of employment and subsequently each spring, the incumbent of this position must file the Family Gift Reporting Form together with the Statement of Economic Interest-Form 700. Please view the following link for details related to the State-Required reporting: Form 700 ( and the following link for the City of San José Family Gift Reporting Form.

Application Process

This position is open until filled. First review of applications will take place on June 12, 2024. To apply for this outstanding opportunity, please submit a cover letter with current organization chart, resume (with months/years of employment and size of staff and budgets managed) via e-mail to:

Zoë McChesney Energy Department City of San Jose


Resumes will be screened in relation to the criteria outlined in the brochure and candidates with the most relevant qualifications will be invited to preliminary screening interviews for further consideration. Qualified applicants will be contacted and scheduled for interviews. Candidates will be advised of their status of the recruitment following the selection of the Principal Accountant. If you have any questions regarding this exciting opportunity, please do not hesitate to contact Zoë McChesney at Successful completion of a thorough background investigation prior to employment is required. The City of San José is an equal opportunity employer encouraging workforce diversity.

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