1649 Accountant Internship Program Manual (HTML)



The 1649 Accountant Intern Program was established to ensure technical competency for the City and County of San Francisco's Accountant Series. This Program is the first step in the Accountant classification series. Overall responsibility for the 1649 Accountant Intern Program for the City and County of San Francisco resides with the Office of the Controller, by delegation from the Department of Human Resources. The International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers, Local 21, AFL-CIO, the bargaining unit representing the classifications in the Accounting series, endorses this Program.

The 1649 Accountant Intern Program ensures that entry-level accountants are trained properly before they promote to professional level accounting positions. Accountant Interns serve as permanent exempt employees for the duration of the Internship. This means that, unlike permanent Civil Service employees, there is no Civil Service list for the 1649 series. Interns are trained in an 18-month Program and mentored by higher level, experienced accountants throughout the City and County. To provide Interns with optimum training and experience citywide, they participate in two 9-month rotations generally at two different departments.

At the conclusion of the Program, successful Interns may compete to be promoted to permanent status in Class 1652 Sr. Accountant. For this process, a ranked Civil Service list is established. The certification rule for this examination is rule-of-the-list. This means that participating departments can hire anyone on the list. Interns can only advance to the level of Sr. Accountant by successfully completing the 1649 Accountant Intern Program.


Under the direction of the Controller of the City and County of San Francisco, the
1649 Accountant Intern Steering Committee (Steering Committee) was formed. The Steering Committee is comprised of chief fiscal and financial officers from various City departments. The Deputy Controller chairs the Steering Committee. The Controller's Office Personnel and Administrative staff serve as non-voting members of the Steering Committee. The members of the current Steering Committee are:

* Monique Zmuda, Deputy Controller, Office of the Controller
* John Bilmont, Director of Accounting and Budgeting, City College of San Francisco
* Ben Kutnick, Finance Director, San Francisco International Airport
* Carlos Jacobo, Budget Director, Public Utilities Commission
* Frances Lee, Director of Accounting Operations, Office of the Controller
* Nelly Lee, Finance Manager, Department of Public Health
* Nini Leigh, Accounting Manager, Department of Public Works
* Jeannie Wong, Director of Administration, Office of the Controller

The Steering Committee governs and provides oversight to all aspects of the Accountant Intern Program. The Steering Committee develops Program policies and makes determinations on Program issues and/or concerns. Its authority includes the oversight of examinations, selection criteria and curricula, and other training needs for the 1649 Accountant Intern Program. The Steering Committee conducts entrance, mid-Program and final interviews for Interns. They monitor Intern progress and determine placements. The Steering Committee makes the final ruling of whether an Intern has successfully completed the Program and can graduate.


The Controller's Office Personnel Unit, under the direction of the Director of Administration, is responsible for the administration of the 1649 Accountant Internship Program for the City and County of San Francisco. The Controller's Office Personnel Unit also serves as liaison for all candidates, 1649 Accountant Interns, Mentors and Supervisors of the Program. The Personnel Office is responsible for a variety of duties, including examination development and administration; recruiting and selection; orientation and program coordination; monitoring intern progress; coordinating placement; training; and, evaluation data compilation and coordination. The Personnel Office members are:

* Louis Voccia, Room 488 City Hall, (415) 554-7552
* Mirna Palma, Room 488 City Hall, (415) 554-7530

Departments request to participate in the Program and departmental vacancies of 1652 positions are reviewed by the Controller's Office Personnel unit and the Steering Committee. This review determines the department's ability to provide supervision and mentorship to potential Interns while ensuring accurate classification of vacancies.


Senior Accountant (1652) vacancies in the City are monitored by the Controller's Office regularly. When a new applicant pool is needed to fill vacancies, the Controller's Office Examination unit, following standard City procedures, issues a permanent exempt examination announcement. Interested candidates usually have two weeks in which to apply for the examination.

After the final filing date to apply has passed, applications are reviewed, and candidates who demonstrate that they clearly meet the requirements described in the terms of the announcement are invited to participate in the examination process. After the examination is administered, tests are scored and then evaluated by the Steering Committee to determine who will be selected for entry into the program. The test score is one of the key factors for advancement in the selection process. The Steering Committee may use a variety of selection criteria/devices to consider acceptance of individuals in the Program. A goal of the program is to place every Intern into a permanent 1652 Sr. Accountant position at the end of their final rotation; however, no placements or promotions are automatic or guaranteed.


City departments must inform the Controller's Office of expected 1649 and 1652 vacancies as early as possible. The departments work with the Steering Committee, through Controller's Personnel Office, to determine initial and rotational placements. Various members of departments may also serve on a rotating basis as selection panel members for some of the processes. Departments are also required to provide release time for Training Workshops so that Interns can augment their departmental training experience. In addition, departments are asked to provide time during the day when necessary, to study new concepts and processes, and to prepare for the final presentation given at the end of the second rotation.

Further, departments may be asked to fund any additional workshops and/or training as determined by the Steering Committee. They are expected to establish and oversee Intern supervision, training, and performance assessment/appraisal plans in conformance with citywide standards. The Steering Committee expects departments to work with Controller's Office to identify performance issues and develop work plans for performance improvement when necessary. Departments are invited to provide feedback to the Steering Committee about the Program, and to make recommendations for Program graduation.


Interns are assigned a Mentor and Supervisors during each rotation to guide and train them. There may be multiple Supervisors during a rotation and/or Supervisors may change, depending on the training topic. The roles and responsibilities of the Mentors and Supervisors are as described below. In some cases, the Mentor and Supervisor can be the same person. Mentors and Supervisors work closely together to provide Interns with comprehensive, quality training.

Mentor: The role of a Mentor is to provide overall guidance to Interns relative to Program goals and criteria, activities and career development. Mentors provide orientation to the Intern on how their department fits in the overall organizational structure of the City and how their functionalities affect the accounting process. Mentors serve as a liaison between Interns, Supervisors and the Steering Committee. Mentors are expected to oversee Intern supervision, training and performance, as well as make recommendations for Program graduation. Mentors, with the assistance of the Supervisors, ensure that all competencies planned for the rotation are met and progress or deficiencies are being monitored. Progressive and final assessments are the ultimate responsibility of the Mentors.

Supervisor: The role of a Supervisor is to provide day-to-day direction and training to Interns relative to meeting required competencies and demonstrating required skills to successfully graduate from the Program. They are responsible for managing the Interns during each rotation and providing Interns with a quality learning experience achieved through the provision of an environment and structure where Interns can learn and develop. They also develop work plans and identify performance issues. They prepare the Intern's Training and Experience Evaluations, in conformance with citywide standards.


Interns are expected to successfully complete two, 9-month rotations of on-the-job training in two different departments. Intern placement for rotations is determined by the Steering Committee. At the beginning of each rotation, Interns meet with their Mentors and Supervisors to discuss their upcoming rotation and complete a Competencies Skill Checklist as a planning session for each rotation.


Successful completion of the 1649 Accountant Intern Program will be partially based on the Intern's ability to meet specific competencies and demonstrate specific skills. The Competencies Skill Checklist covers a range of areas and skills that Interns are expected to understand, demonstrate and/or articulate.

The written Training and Experience Evaluations (see Intern Evaluations and Other Graduation Criteria below) of Interns are based upon the Competencies Skill Checklist areas and is utilized to evaluate how well an Intern has met each competency and/or what improvement is needed.


During the 18-month Internship, the Interns attend various training workshops to build their technical competencies and develop an understanding of the City's purchasing and accounting procedures. In addition to specific accounting systems training, the Interns are also familiarized with various City and County processes, policies and procedures with emphasis on their relationship to accounting.


Interns are required to develop a Documentation Binder. The Binder will document the Intern's training experience and will include information relative to meeting the Competencies Skill Checklist areas. At the conclusion of the 18-month Program, Interns will present their Binders to the Steering Committee for review. The Binder is another element of the final rating that the Intern will receive. The Binder will also serve as a reference for the Interns in the future as they progress in their professional accounting career.


Prior to determination of graduation and as part of the final Program activities, Interns will make an oral and written presentation to the Steering Committee, Mentors and Supervisors, as well as other Interns. Interns will select a topic from their Documentation Binders as their presentation topic. This element of the Program helps meet the Competencies Skill requirement under VIII. Communication.


The Steering Committee meets as necessary to review progress of Interns and monitor the Program. At the end of each rotation, Interns receive a Training and Experience Evaluation by their Mentor and/or Supervisor. The evaluation is reviewed by the Steering Committee. If the Intern has received, at minimum, a Competent and Effective rating in the first rotation, the Steering Committee agrees, and a requisition is available, the Intern proceeds on to a second rotation to complete the remaining training components.

At the end of the second rotation, Mentors and/or Supervisors prepare a final evaluation of the Interns. Again, Interns must receive, at minimum, a Competent and Effective rating to be considered for graduation.

The Steering Committee meets with the Mentors and/or Supervisors of the Intern from the final rotation to assess the Intern's overall accounting competencies. Copies of all evaluations and training records are reviewed by the Steering Committee. At the same meeting, the Interns are interviewed by the Steering Committee to get a general sense of their overall accounting competencies and to get feedback on the Program. Other elements that are considered in whether the Intern should graduate are the Documentation Binder and the Intern Presentation.

At the conclusion of this final meeting, the Interns receive a rating from the Steering Committee representing their overall performance. The ratings are used to determine if the Intern will graduate or be terminated from the Program. Ratings are also used in the computation of an intern's ranked score for placement on the 1652 Sr. Accountant Eligible list, required for permanent placement into the class.


Interns receive official notification of successful completion of the Program, from the Controller's Office Personnel Unit. Copies of this notice are also sent to the corresponding departments to which Interns will be permanently assigned. Successful Interns who complete the Program must then submit applications for the 1652 Sr. Accountant Examination. The Controller's Office Personnel Unit administers this examination.

A combination of factors from the Internship Program, as specified in the 1652 Sr. Accountant examination announcement, may be used to score the interns for the Sr. Accountant Eligible list. Using approved criteria, the list is ranked in order of final scores, using the City's standard 700-1000 point scale. This list is posted and adopted following Civil Service Rules. The eligibles are certified and permanent placements are made.


Generally, Accountant Interns serve as permanent exempt employees for the duration of the Internship. There is no Civil Service list for the 1649 series and Civil Service rules and procedures do not apply. Interns can be terminated from the program at any time during the course of the Internship for unsatisfactory performance or for budgetary reasons. The decision to terminate an Intern is made by the Steering Committee and is not subject to the Civil Service Appeal process. Interns that have other permanent positions with the city may be able to return to their former classification.

City and County of San Francisco
1649 Accountant Intern Program

Office of the Controller