California State Controller's seal

Chief, State Accounting and Reporting Division, CEA Level B


$10,360.00 - $12,341.00


For more information regarding this examination, please contact the Examinations analyst Arlene Curry at 916-322-7646.


With general direction provided by the Chief Operating Officer (CEA Level C) the incumbent will plan, organize, and direct the work of division staff engaged in the operation of the State Controller’s constitutional responsibility to superintend the fiscal affairs of the state, namely managing accounting, fiscal controls and reporting (including the Budgetary Legal Basis Report and the State’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report) for the State of California’s total budget; formulating long-term and short-term goals and objectives; functioning as a key policy advisor for statewide accounting and reporting programs relative to public funds; accomplishing statutory and legislative mandates; superintending the apportionment of public revenues; administering cost programs; superintending the receipts of Federal funds; overseeing cash management for the General Fund; and determining the legality of movement of funds within the State Treasury.

Are you searching for a challenging career that fulfills your drive for meaningful public service?  Are you interested in working in a dynamic professional environment, alongside highly skilled individuals, with ample opportunities to learn and contribute? If yes, then please consider applying for the position of Chief of the State Accounting and Reporting Division.  

The State Controller’s Office is a destination employer and one of the few constitutional officers with responsibilities that impact many aspects of the State of California and its state and local governments.  This particular position is responsible for the oversight of the accounting functions for the State of California.  This is a highly sensitive position within the agency responsible for overseeing state accounting and financial reporting
Typical tasks assigned to this position include but are not limited to the following:

Duties and Responsibilities:
(Candidates must perform the following functions with or without reasonable accommodations.)

  • Recommend resolution to the most complex governmental accounting issues to the Chief Operating Officer, Chief of Staff, and/or State Controller;
  • Assist the State Controller on matters of statutory, constitutional and policy authority on high level policy-making committees;
  • Superintend the apportionment of public revenues and administer cost programs;
  • Oversee cash management for the State of California’s General fund;
  • Direct and manage all accounting, fiscal controls, and reporting for the Office of the State Controller, and ensure that related assignments meet and further the constitutional and statutory financial responsibilities of the State Controller;
  • Provide consultative services to the Deputy State Controllers, State Controller, Legislature, Chancellor’s Office, Governor’s Office, and other governmental and private financial institutions regarding accounting and reporting statues relative to the use of state and/or federal public funds;
  • Function as a key policy advisor for statewide accounting and reporting programs;
  • Formulate positions with regard to legislative issues affecting the state’s financial health and the State Controller’s statutory and constitutional authority to administer fiscal programs; 
  • Work cooperatively with various jurisdictions and internal senior level management team members;
  • Participate in Executive Office discussions and presentations before dignitaries as assigned;
  • Travel to and from offsite meeting locations when required. 

Desirable Qualifications:

  • Demonstrated knowledge of state policies, rules & standards relative to accounting requirements;
  • Experience in recommending, developing and implementing policies relative to program issues;
  • Administrative experience communicating with state control entities such as the Department of Finance and/or the Legislature;
  • Public service focus and a commitment to instilling and renewing a strong customer service focus among a staff of more than 130.
  • Managerial experience that demonstrates the ability to successfully apply organizational leadership, communicate clearly, facilitate decision-making, promote team work, and define and achieve success across multi-disciplinary stakeholder interests;
  • Knowledgeable of budgeting process; 
  • Professional and tactful communication: internally and externally;
  • Demonstrable writing skills;
  • Valid and current CPA License.

CEA examinations are open to all applicants who possess the knowledge and abilities, and any other requirements as described in the examination bulletin. 

Eligibility to take a CEA examination does not require current permanent status in civil service.

Applicants must also satisfy the minimum qualifications as shown below:
A.    Ability to perform high administrative and policy influencing functions effectively; such overall ability requires possession of most of the following more specific knowledge and abilities:
1.    Knowledge of the organization and functions of California State Government including the organization and practices of the Legislature and the Executive Branch; principles, practices, and trends of public administration, organization, and management; techniques of organizing and motivating groups; program development and evaluation; methods of administrative problem solving; principles and practices of policy formulation and development; personnel management techniques;
2.    Ability to plan, organize, and direct the work of multi-disciplinary professional and administrative staff; analyze administrative policies, organization, procedures and practices; integrate the activities of a diverse program to attain common goals; gain the confidence and support of top level administrators and advise them on a wide range of administrative matters; develop cooperative working relationships with representatives of all levels of government, the public, and the Legislative and Executive branches; analyze complex problems and recommend effective courses of action; prepare and review reports; and effectively contribute to the department’s Equal Opportunity Office objectives;
B.    These knowledge and abilities are expected to be obtained from the following kinds of experience with substantial participation in the formulation, operation, and/or evaluation of program policies (experience may have been paid or volunteer; in State service, other government settings, or in a private organization):

  1. CEA Level A: Supervisory/administrative experience in a line or staff activity, including the execution and/or evaluation of program policies;
  2. CEA Level B: Broad administrative or program manager experience with substantial participation in the formulation, operation, and/or evaluation of program policies;
  3. CEA Level C: Extensive managerial and program administrative experience which has included substantial responsibility for a combination of management functions such as program planning, policy formulation, organization coordination and control, and fiscal personnel management. Where high technical professional qualifications are of primary importance in performing the duties of a given high-level position, then the above required experience may have been in a staff capacity exercising professional skills to influence and contribute to program, policy, and methods of providing those professional services. 

C.    Strong verbal and written communication/advocacy skills.
D.    Well-developed administrative, managerial, and interpersonal skills and abilities.

  1. Completed current version of the State Examination/Employment Application STD. Form 678 (when not applying electronically), or the Electronic State Employment Application through your Applicant Account at All Experience and Education relating to the Minimum Qualifications listed on the Classification Specification should be included to demonstrate how you meet the Minimum Qualifications for the position; referring solely to the resume for information (i.e., “See Resume”) is not acceptable. The Job Control number and examination title (JC – 204891 Chief, State Accounting and Reporting Division, CEA Level B) must be indicated on the application.
  2. Resume is required and must be included. A Resume does not take the place of the completed STD. 678 application.
  3. Statement of Qualifications (SOQ) - Please see the Statement of Qualifications Instructions section below for specific instructions.

Note: Applicants who fail to submit all the required documents as instructed may be eliminated from the examination/hiring process.

Applications (STD 678) must be postmarked or received no later than the final filing date. Applications postmarked, personally delivered, or received via inter-office mail or electronically via CalCareer after the final filing date will not be accepted. Faxed or emailed applications will not be accepted.

*File by Mail:
State Controller’s Office
HR – Examination Unit    
P.O. Box 942850-5877
Sacramento, CA 94250-5877
Attn: Crystal Mar

*File in Person:
State Controller’s Office
HR – Examination Unit
300 Capitol Mall, Suite 300
Sacramento, CA 95814
Attn: Crystal Mar

*Candidates are responsible for obtaining proof of mailing or submission of their application to the Examination Unit.

This examination consists of an evaluation of your Training and Experience weighted 100%.

Your Training and Experience will be evaluated based on the information indicated on your STD. 678 application. This examination will utilize an evaluation of each candidate’s experience and education/training compared to a standard developed from the class specification. For this reason, it is especially important that each candidate take special care in accurately and completely filling out his/her STD. 678 application. List all experience relevant to the minimum qualifications shown in this announcement, even if that experience goes beyond the seven-year limit printed on the application. Supplementary information may also be accepted (e.g., a resume, etc.); however, it will not take the place of your STD. 678 application. Please read the “Minimum Qualifications” carefully to see what kind of information will be useful to the staff doing the evaluation.

The SOQ should include detailed and concise information specifically addressing how the candidate's education, training, experience, and competencies relate to each of the items listed; responses should be high-level, but specific enough to provide the general nature of the services provided and involvement in the oversight.

The SOQ items must be numbered and addressed in the same order as listed; do not consolidate the responses. The SOQ should be no more than three pages in length, single-spaced, with one-inch margins and a minimum font size of Arial 12. 

Applicants who fail to submit the SOQ as instructed may be eliminated from the examination/hiring process.

Your SOQ must provide responses and specific examples for each item listed below to be considered for the position:

  1. Please describe your experience overseeing the preparation of annual financial statements, including a Comprehensive Annual Financial Report.  What are some of the most difficult challenges you have overcome in this process and how did you overcome them? In your response please describe your background working with internal and independent entities to obtain financial reports necessary for the compilation of your annual financial report.  What strategies did you use to gain compliance and ensure deadlines were met?
  2. Please describe your background in cash management for a large enterprise.  What obstacles have you experienced in maintaining cash in an economic downturn and how did you overcome those obstacles? 
  3. Please describe your background implementing a comprehensive new financial system.  What challenges did you overcome and what steps did you take to manage change with your subordinates.   
  4. Please describe your knowledge of the principles and practices of program performance assessments, including your experience performing such assessments and implementing changes based on findings.  Please include in your response how you measured and improved customer experience. 
  5. Please describe your experience organizing and directing multi-level staff, including your knowledge of training, staff development, succession planning, recognition, and progressive discipline.

A minimum total rating of 70% must be attained to obtain list eligibility. Hiring interviews may be conducted with the most qualified candidates. All candidates will receive written notification of their examination results. The results of this examination will be used only to fill the position of Chief, State Accounting and Reporting Division, CEA Level B with the State Controller’s Office. The eligible list will expire after twelve (12) months.

Following a selection, those individuals remaining on the eligible list may be contacted for subsequent interviews should a vacancy occur in this position within the next twelve (12) months.

For an examination without an advertised examination date, it is the candidate's responsibility to contact the State Controller's Office Examination Unit, (916-324-0811), three weeks after the final filing date if he/she has not received a progress notice.

Applications are available at, CA Department of Human Resources (CalHR) offices, local offices of the Employment Development Department (EDD), and the State Controller's Office.

If you meet the requirements stated in this bulletin, you may take this examination, which is competitive. Possession of the entrance requirements does not assure a place on the eligible list. Your performance in the examination described on this bulletin will be compared with the performance of others who take this test, and all candidates who pass will be ranked according to their scores.

General Qualifications: Candidates must possess essential personal qualifications including integrity, initiative, dependability, good judgment, and ability to work cooperatively with others.

The State Controller’s Office reserves the right to revise the examination plan to better meet the needs of the service if the circumstances under which this examination was planned change. Such revision will be in accordance with civil service law and rules and all competitors will be notified.

California Relay (Telephone) Service for the Deaf or Hearing Impaired: From TDD phones: (800) 735-2929, from voice phones: (800) 735-2922