Finance Director

City of Takoma Park, MD Class Specification

CLASS TITLE: Finance Director
REPORTS TO: City Manager
DATE: 03/2009
PDF Download Available PDF icon with link


Under administrative direction, plans, directs, and supervises the operations and staff of the Finance and Information Technologies Department.


Customer Service

Handles customer questions and complaints, communicates with customers, handles service problems politely and efficiently, always available for customers, follows procedure to solve customer problems, understands all City services, maintains pleasant and professional image. Anticipates, monitors and meets the needs of internal and external customers and responds to them in an appropriate manner. Continually seeks to provide the highest quality service to all customers. Listens carefully when dealing with the public and communicates concern through tone of voice and by taking action to solve their problems in a timely manner. Complies with the City’s Customer Service Policy, including 24-hour response time for telephone calls and e-mails. Explains departmental and City issues to the public in a manner that demonstrates interest and concern for their problems. Listens well, diffuses conflict before it starts, finds causes of and solutions to problems, handles difficult people.


Communicates well both verbally and in writing when required, creates accurate and punctual reports, delivers presentations, shares information and ideas with others, has good listening skills. Effectively conveys information and expresses thoughts and facts. Demonstrates effective use of listening skills and displays openness to other people’s ideas and thoughts. Keeps key employees informed regarding relevant information. Shares information with other members of the team to foster teamwork and to further attainment of the City’s goals. Written and oral information is presented in a manner that projects a positive and professional image of the City.

Reports problems, concerns, issues that should be corrected. Readily shares information and ensures that team members are kept informed and up-to-date. Establishes team and individual accountability for goals, objectives and outcomes. Intervenes as necessary to identify and resolve conflict among team members. Makes conscious and deliberate efforts to build team spirit and identity.

Job Knowledge

Understands duties and responsibilities, has necessary technical skills, understands the City’s mission/values, keeps job knowledge current. Demonstrates the appropriate level of proficiency in the principles and practices of one’s field or profession. Demonstrates a commitment to continuous improvement, including the understanding and application of technology where appropriate. Operates within the organization's formal and informal structures, builds allies and relationships across departments, uses allies to build consensus and create results, is appropriately diplomatic, understands others' roles and perspectives, can sell projects and ideas across the organization. Adapts to change, is open to new ideas, takes on new responsibilities, handles pressure, adjusts plans to meet changing needs. Prioritizes well and reacts to opportunities. Is attentive to detail and accuracy, is committed to excellence, looks for improvements continuously, monitors quality levels, finds root cause of quality problems, owns/acts on quality problems.


Budget/Cost Control

Plans for and uses resources efficiently, always looks for ways to reduce costs, creates accurate and realistic budgets and budget projections, tracks and adjusts budgets, contributes to budget planning. Prepares and submits budget within specified time constraints. Anticipates depart mental operating and capital needs and budgets adequately for needed expenditures. Reports departmental expenditures within specified time constraints. Bills are submitted for payment on time. Completes and files all applicable reports related to grants, agenda items, etc. within specified deadlines. Anticipates long-term budgeting needs in manner that allows the City to anticipate and plan for  sources of revenues for extraordinary future expenses. Controls expenditures to deliver department's services within agreed upon budget. Follows established procurement procedures in obtaining goods and services.

Decision Making/Judgment

Recognizes problems and responds, systematically gathers information, sorts through complex issues, seeks input from others, addresses root cause of issues, makes timely decisions, can make difficult decisions, uses consensus when possible, communicates decisions to others. Knows when to notify and/or involve the department head or the City Manager prior to making a decision.


Leads through change and adversity, makes the tough call when needed, builds consensus when appropriate, motivates and encourages others. Addresses projects, issues, and situations using innovative solutions that consider dollar and human resources as well as service goals. Asks clarifying questions, actively listens, stays open to other viewpoints, manages distractions and interruptions. Manages a fair workload, volunteers for additional work, prioritizes tasks, develops good work procedures, manages time well. Sets challenging and productive goals for team, keeps team accountable for actions, provides leadership, and motivation, uses checkpoints and data to track progress, sets up systems and processes to measure results.

Managing Performance

Applies clear/consistent performance standards, handles performance problems decisively and objectively, is direct but tactful, provides guidance and assistance to improve performance. Allocates work with adequate number of personnel so that project deadlines are never missed due to manpower allocation. Fully understands provisions of applicable collective bargaining agreement and ensures compliance with it. Consistently applies policies and procedures in an equitable manner with no valid complaints from subordinates. Trains and instructs employees in proper City techniques and procedures, including those designed to provide a safe working environment. Communicates job expectations and monitors employee progress such that there is sufficient documentation to justify performance appraisals, distinguished increases and/or disciplinary actions. Identifies and takes action to improve employee performance. Completes performance reviews within time-frame prescribed by City policy. Provides feedback and coaching, rewards hard work and risk taking, takes mentoring role, challenges and develops employees, accepts mistakes, provides visibility/opportunity. Defines roles and responsibilities, motivates and challenges employees, delegates effectively, and rewards contributions.


Develops realistic plans, sets goals, aligns plans with City’s goals, plans for and manages resources, creates  contingency plans, coordinates/cooperates with others. Creates and communicates a long-term vision, balances short and long term goals, keeps own and team's work aligned with overall goals, creates and adjusts strategic plans. Generates new ideas, challenges the status quo, takes risks, supports change, encourages innovation, solves problems creatively.


Carries out supervisory responsibility in accordance with policies, procedures and applicable laws including: interviewing, hiring and training, planning, assigning and directing work; appraising performance; rewarding and disciplining employees;  addressing complaints and resolving problems.

Provides supervision and oversight to Finance staff to ensure the City’s financial records are accurate and maintained on a current basis. May approve or prepare adjusting journal entries.

Records adjusting journal entries; prints audit trails for balance sheet, income and expenditure accounts; reviews documents for mis-postings or other errors; prints revenue and expenditure status report and reviews with City Manager and other staff, reviews with Council as needed. Reviews account reconciliations.

Ensures billings are completed by scheduled dates; reviews revenue accounts for accuracy.

Develops and recommends departmental operating budget annually; monitors and administers approved budget.

Invests City funds in accordance with the Investment Policy, state and federal regulations; monitors daily cash balances and transfers funds as needed; reviews collateral for investments monthly; prepares required reports.

Coordinate annual audit and preparation of CAFR.

Signs payroll and accounts payable checks bi-weekly.

Participate in monthly management meetings and management projects as assigned.

Maintains all financial records in accordance with state guidelines.

Reviews Finance Department purchase orders and invoices and approves for payment.

Reviews payroll process and all required reports and documentation.

Reviews daily cash receipts, cash reports, and deposits and approves.

Reviews internal controls, discusses with team, and makes appropriate changes as needed.

Manages the purchasing and inventory control of parts, equipment, and supplies for unit.


Secures, justifies, and monitors use of budgetary monies and capital. Reviews trial balances and audit trails.

Prepares RFP to hire independent auditing firm to conduct the annual audit; plans and schedules audit; prepares and requests audit confirmation; prepares all required documentation and reports required by the auditors, or as a result of the audit.

Answers telephone inquiries.

Performs other related duties as assigned.


  • Computer
  • General Office Equipment


Education and Experience

Master's degree from an accredited college or university in Accounting, Finance, or a related field; and,

Five to seven years of progressively responsible experience, preferably in local government, including two years of management experience; or,

Any combination of education, training and experience which provides the required knowledge, skills, and abilities to perform the essential functions of the job.

Licenses and Certifications

CPA (desirable).


Knowledge of:

Principles, practices and theories of Public Finance, Accounting, and Public Administration.

Principles and practices of budgeting.

Administrative principles and practices, including goal setting and program budget development and implementation.

Administration of staff and activities, either directly or through subordinate supervision.

Applicable state, federal and local ordinances, laws, rules and regulations.

All computer applications and hardware related to performance of the essential functions of the job. City uses

Pentamation Accounting Software.

Methods and techniques of research, statistical analysis and report presentation.

Skill in:

Using tact, discretion, initiative and independent judgment within established guidelines.

Analyzing and resolving office administrative situations and problems.

Researching, compiling, and summarizing a variety of informational and statistical data and materials.

Organizing work, setting priorities, meeting critical deadlines, and following up assignments with a minimum of direction.

Communicating clearly and effectively, orally and in writing.

Planning, organizing, assigning, directing, reviewing and evaluating the work of staff.

Selecting and motivating staff and providing for their training and professional development.

Mental and Physical Abilities

Ability to speak effectively before groups of employees.

Ability to speak effectively before public groups and respond to questions.

Ability to define problems, collect data, establish facts and draw valid conclusions.

Ability to interpret a variety of technical instructions with abstract and/or concrete variables.

While performing the essential functions of this job the employee is frequently required to sit, use hands to finger, handle, or feel, and speak and hear.

While performing the essential functions of this job the employee is occasionally required to lift and/or move up to 10 pounds.

Working Conditions

Work is performed in a normal office environment with little or no exposure to outdoor temperatures or dirt and dust.

The incumbent's working conditions are typically moderately quiet.

file: Finance Director

This class specification should not be interpreted as all inclusive. It is intended to identify the essential functions and requirements of this job. Incumbents may be requested to perform job-related responsibilities and tasks other than those stated in this specification. Any essential function or requirement of this class will be evaluated as necessary should an incumbent/applicant be unable to perform the function or requirement due to a disability as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Reasonable accommodation for the specific disability will be made for the incumbent/applicant when possible.