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Cost Analyst

Salary: Cost Analyst I (#1878)

$26.67-$32.55 hourly / $4,638-$5,662 monthly / Range: 5916

Cost Analyst II (#1879)

$29.46-$35.97 hourly / $5,124-$6,256 monthly / Range: 6116

DEFINITION: Under general direction, coordinates County programs whose funding crosses departmental lines with detailed cost analysis and cost reports; responsible for reporting, calculating, and estimating federal and state reimbursements or service charges; responsible for analyzing and negotiating state rates for services provided; prepares proper documentation for audits; interprets and resolves audit findings; consults with County Administrator staff regarding budgets for major programs and the Auditor-Controller staff to assure full cost recovery and proper reporting; participates in the development of specialized cost accounting systems; and performs related duties as required.

DISTINGUISHING CHARACTERISTICS: This class series is found in the Auditor-Controller's office and financially complex departments. This series is distinguished from the Financial Systems Analyst I/II by the complex policies and legislation that the Cost Analyst routinely encounters and the latter's emphasis on the technical development of financial accounting systems. Furthermore, the Cost Analyst is responsible for interpreting audit findings, resolving audit findings, and representing the department during audits. The Cost Analyst series is distinguished from the Accountant or Accountant-Auditor series in that, these series are generalist series while the Cost Analyst is a specialty class focused on cost accounting and analysis to optimize revenues from fee reimbursements and grants.

Cost Analyst I is the journey level in which incumbents apply Federal, State, and County accounting policies and procedures; analyze, learn, and interpret complex legislation related to assigned program; use complex accounting systems and applications; learn and apply federal and state cost reimbursement standards (OMB Circular A-87). Incumbents in selected departments will be responsible for optimizing reimbursements for state and federally funded programs, grants, or fee reimbursable programs.

Cost Analyst II is the advanced level in which incumbents are expected to have advanced knowledge about complex legislation and regulations pertaining to the implementation of multi-departmental policies and procedures. Incumbents at the II level are expected to have advanced in their knowledge of computer systems, spreadsheet skills, and database management.

EXAMPLES OF DUTIES:

1. Prepares or reviews complex cost reports and cost allocation plan; reviews financial documents prepared by others for accuracy, form, and content; interprets and resolves audit findings. Reviews reimbursement estimates of departments and recommends revisions as appropriate. Conducts rate analysis to determine appropriate reimbursement levels and sets rates accordingly.
2. Reviews or prepares intergovernmental claims for reimbursement, fee proposals, and indirect cost rate proposals for departments (ICRP'S); measures cost per unit of service to determine whether fees are being set at appropriate levels; consults with and advises department management and accounting personnel on a wide variety of intergovernmental and fee reimbursable cost accounting matters; advises internal fiscal units on cost accounting procedures and practices.
3. Extracts and manipulates data from databases to establish cost accounting data; writes simple databases; designs and may develop more complex databases. Evaluates work process, organizational systems, policies, procedures, and computer technology in order to establish cost accounting data. Analyzes system design alternatives for development of new cost accounting systems and improvements to existing systems.
4. Coordinates major County-wide programs with detailed cost analysis and cost reports; responsible for reporting, calculating, and estimating federal and state reimbursement; responds to federal and state audits by resolving audit findings; represent and advocate department position during audits. Monitors revenues and expenditures to determine whether reported levels meet anticipated levels.
5. Reviews or prepares the annual County wide cost allocation plan.

EMPLOYMENT STANDARDS:

Cost Analyst I:

1. Possession of a valid certificate as a Certified Public Accountant and one year of professional experience as a cost accountant; or,
2. possession of a bachelor's degree in accounting, business administration, computer science, or a related field, and two years of professional experience as a cost accountant; or,
3. a combination of training, education, and experience that is equivalent to one of the employment standards listed above and that provides the required knowledge and abilities.

Cost Analyst II:

1. Possession of a valid certificate as a Certified Public Accountant and two years of experience performing cost analysis to maximize revenues from fees or intergovernmental reimbursement; or,
2. possession of a bachelor's degree in accounting, business administration, computer science, or a related field, and three years of experience performing cost analysis to maximize revenues from fees or intergovernmental reimbursement; or,
3. a combination of training, education, and experience that is equivalent to one of the employment standards listed above and that provides the required knowledge and abilities.

Knowledge of: Both Classes - Generally Accepted Accounting Principles; principles and practices of project management; standard English usage and grammar; working knowledge of cost accounting principles; full cost determination; step-down cost methodology; various county financial systems and software; principles of database design; cost pools; cost objectives; standard costing and government cost allocation methodology; database and spreadsheet software.

Cost Analyst II - Intermediate database technology and database design methods; thorough working knowledge of OMB Circular A-87.

Ability to: Both Classes - Gather and analyze cost data, develop solutions, project consequences, and evaluates results; plan, organize, and prioritize work; establish and maintain a working relationship with a variety of County staff and vendors (i.e. grant agencies, contract service providers, and outside auditors); prepare a variety of written documents; make presentations to groups; maintain impartiality, objectivity; apply principles of governmental accounting; learn and apply Federal, State, and County policies and procedures; provide direction to others; represent the County or department with tact and diplomacy.

Cost Analyst II - Delegate work; balance competing priorities; coordinate work of others over whom one has no direct authority; exercise independent judgment; gain cooperation and consensus through discussion and persuasion; influence others to work together towards common goals; use advanced spreadsheet and database skills.
 



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