Accounts Payable Specialist

  • San Diego Association of Governments - SANDAG
  • San Diego, CA, USA
Full Time Accounting Business Development Finance

Job Description

Financial Monitoring and Review

SANDAG has great pride in being a fiscally responsible public agency and has implemented rigorous accounting processes and financial reporting procedures to monitor expenses, encumbrances, grant funds, and project budgets, and accurately document various types of financial transactions. The agency has been awarded the Government Finance Officers Association’s (GFOA) Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting for its Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) for the past nine years.

The Accounting team has a role in supporting all agency programs through functions such as accounts payable, accounts receivable, payroll, and cash receipts through to cash flow analysis, debt management, and financial reporting. The team is regarded for their ability to maintain an exceptional level of accuracy and for providing outstanding customer service. Each week, two Accounts Payable staff process an average of 400 to 500 invoices for payments to vendors and consultants. During the course of the year, these payments total more than $1 billion.

Accounts Payable Specialist Role

The Accounts Payable Specialist is responsible for preparing vendor checks on a weekly basis and performing associated record keeping duties. This position requires a high-level of initiative to gather and verify information, frequent interaction with employees and other customers, and adherence to control processes developed to ensure quality and timeliness of payments.

Job Responsibilities

This position is ideal for an entry to mid-level accounting clerk with a strong interest in furthering their expertise with the accounts payable function. We anticipate career development will occur while working on the types of duties and responsibilities described below and through mentoring and close collaboration with senior staff. Examples of primary responsibilities include:

  • Prepare regular, accurate, and timely payments to vendors and consultant by receiving and organizing the documents needed to process invoices for payment.
  • Verify account coding and payment authorization on incoming invoices, purchase orders, expense reimbursement claims, travel vouchers, or other payment requests; review for completeness and compliance with established policies, procedures, and executed contracts.
  • Perform the initial review of consultant invoices; match invoices to corresponding contracts, task orders, or purchase orders; verify labor rates against contract documents; ensure invoices are billed within the appropriate cost code and project; and check for mathematical accuracy.
  • Research incomplete invoices, invoice inconsistencies, and complex invoicing issues; problem solve and communicate with consultants, SANDAG project managers, and other departments to resolve invoice questions and payment discrepancies.
  • Perform timely and accurate data entry of payment request information from which weekly accounts payable checks and electronic fund transfers will be prepared; compile, print, obtain authorized signatures, and mail checks and remittance advices; maintain an accurate file of disbursements.
  • Research accounts payable inquiries from vendors, staff, and auditors; locate documents and provide copies of documents when requested.
  • Review contracts and purchase orders to identify and record encumbrances (obligations); process encumbrance revisions or adjustments as necessary.
  • Track invoices; maintain electronic invoice logs and filing system.
  • Reconcile various management reports, vendor statements, and financial records.
  • Generate reports and prepare journal entries as needed; maintain routine financial records and reports using automated accounting software and Excel spreadsheets.
  • Assist with maintaining accurate data by reviewing transaction journals, control reports, and other financial system reports, performing appropriate adjustments, and balancing and reconciling transactions in accordance with standard practices.
  • Process work in a manner that results in a complete and evident audit trail; assist in preparing comprehensive and accurate documentation of transactions and adjustments; maintain complete files and records and ensure that all documentation is filed appropriately.
  • Respond to mail, telephone calls and messages, email, and internal correspondence in a prompt, professional, and courteous manner.
  • Assist in the preparation of agency records for annual audits and for audits conducted by various governmental agencies.
  • Assist in ongoing maintenance of automated accounting systems; participate in the development and implementation of new procedures related to accounts payable operations.
  • Perform a variety of general administrative support work; establish and maintain files; assist with special projects and tasks as assigned.

Experience and Qualifications

Numerous factors contribute to an individual’s ability to be successful in any given role. For this position, we are searching for a candidate who is detail-oriented and organized with a professional attitude and helpful disposition. Excellent communication skills, problem-solving skills, and the ability to use sound judgment and confidentiality when working with employees are essential.

The minimum education, training, and experience qualifications include a high school diploma or equivalent and one to five years of recent experience providing support for accounts payable, accounts receivable, or other functions related to the review of invoices for payment, preferably with a government-related organization. Specialized training or college level course work in accounting, business, finance, or a related field is desirable.

The following information describes the specific types of career experiences that are most relevant to this position.

  • Demonstrated knowledge of the principles and techniques involved in accounts payable administration and related accounting practices such as proofing and balancing of accounts, transactions and/or data entry, and data processing methods used in payment preparation.
  • Demonstrated experience processing a high-volume and variety of invoices for payment; experience with accurate balancing of accounts and records.
  • Demonstrated data-entry experience using automated financial accounting software applications and Microsoft Excel; ability to type at a speed necessary for successful job performance.
  • Ability to perform accurate mathematical computations, reconcile differences. and review financial data for accuracy.
  • Experience researching and compiling financial information; experience producing summary reports from assembled data; ability to analyze data and draw logical conclusions.
  • Proficiency with file and record management to include hard copy and electronic file records maintenance; ability to keep accurate records with complete, auditable, files and records.
  • Excellent customer service skills, including strong communication skills; demonstrated ability to establish, maintain, and foster cooperative working relationships with those contacted in the course of work.
  • Demonstrated ability to work well under pressure and with frequent interruptions from telephone calls, emails, and employees; ability to adapt to changing processes.
  • Effective time management and organizational skills and the ability to prioritize multiple tasks in order to ensure timely processing; ability to exercise good judgment, confidentiality, and work independently.
  • Experience providing administrative support; good working knowledge of modern office procedures, methods, and equipment.
  • Knowledge of audit principles and practices; experience supporting financial audits is desirable.
  • Experience preparing general ledger journal entries is desirable.
  • Demonstrated computer software proficiency using the Microsoft Office Suite, conducting research on the Internet, and other PC-based applications; experience using software such as IFAS/One Solution is preferred.
  • Candidates must pass a pre-employment criminal background check; periodic background checks will be a condition of ongoing employment. The selected candidate also can anticipate a driving record check upon hire, and approximately annually thereafter.

Salary and Benefits

SANDAG rewards the efforts of its employees with a comprehensive compensation package. Competitive salaries are supplemented with a flexible and generous offering of health, financial security, and time-off benefits to meet the work and life needs of employees and their families.

This Accounts Payable Specialist position will be filled at the I, II, or III level depending on qualifications and experience of the selected candidate. The annual salary ranges are: Specialist I - $32,504 to $52,007 per year; Specialist II - $34,484 to $55,174 per year; Specialist III - $38,018 to $60,829 per year.

Our benefits include traditional health, dental, and vision insurance as well as employee assistance, wellness, and work/life balance programs. Retirement and financial security benefits are provided through a pension plan and deferred compensation program. And to support the need to rest and rejuvenate, employees are provided with a bank of paid time off in addition to paid holidays.

How to Apply

We encourage all interested candidates to apply for this position by completing a SANDAG Employment Application form. Resumes, cover letters, and work samples may be submitted in addition to the Employment Application but are not a substitute for this document.

The Employment Application can be downloaded in PDF format from the SANDAG website. Alternatively, a copy can be requested by calling (619) 699-1900 or emailing Completed applications and related materials can be submitted via email, fax, regular mail, courier, or delivered by hand. See our Careers / How to Apply webpage for additional information.

This position is open until filled. The first review of applications will begin on Friday, January 11, 2019.

In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), SANDAG will accommodate persons who require assistance in order to apply for a position at SANDAG. Applicants requiring an accommodation due to a disability during any stage of the recruitment and selection process, including requesting this document and related application materials in an alternative format, should make their needs known by contacting Human Resources at (619) 699-1900, (619) 699-1904 (TTY), fax (619) 699-6905, or

Application Supplement

To help us further evaluate the skills and experience of individuals interested in this position, applicants are asked to respond to the Supplemental Questions below. The information can be up to 200 words per question and should be submitted with the Employment Application. This is considered a required component of the application; applications received without a response will be screened out of the selection process.

Supplemental Questions

  1. Describe three work habits or strategies that best demonstrate your ability to support a busy team.
  2. Please provide an example of a time when you had to deal with an upset customer while communicating invoicing or other accounts payable related information. What steps did you take to help resolve the situation?

Candidate Selection and Notification

Following the first review date for applications, all candidates will receive written confirmation that their application has been received. The hiring manager will begin reviewing and evaluating applications within a few days of the first review date. Based on this evaluation, the best qualified candidates will be invited to continue in the selection process. All candidates will receive written notification as to the final outcome of their application.

Further Information

The SANDAG website contains a wealth of information about our various project and program areas. The Careers section of the site lists all of our current Job Openings as well as information on how to apply for positions and Frequently Asked Questions about our recruitment process.

In compliance with the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, applicants hired by SANDAG must show acceptable proof of identity and evidence of authorization to work in the United States.

SANDAG is an Equal Opportunity Employer


Account Management

Education Requirements

High School Diploma


Specialist I - $32,504 to $52,007 per year; Specialist II - $34,484 to $55,174 per year; Specialist III - $38,018 to $60,829 per year.