Why Choose Finance
Finance offers opportunities to work in a fast-paced, exciting, and prestigious organization with great potential for personal development and career advancement. We provide opportunities to influence public policy and decision-making through the State Budget and legislative processes and opportunities to work with top management in State Government and with the State Legislature.
Employment Opportunities within Departmental Units
Accounting and Fiscal Systems
Activities: The Department of Finance's Fiscal Systems and Consulting Unit (FSCU) maintains the State's uniform codes and funds' manuals, and sections of the administrative manual; administers the federal Cash Management Improvement Act; develops the State assessments for administrative services and the cost allocation plan apportionments for federally-funded programs; prepares budget items; and provides fiscal consultation and training to State departments on general fiscal issues and federal funding requirements.
The Department's California State Accounting and Reporting System (CALSTARS) unit administers the State's accounting system, developed to more accurately, consistently, and systematically account for all revenues, expenditures, receipts and disbursements of State agencies. The Unit's staff works with State agencies to implement CALSTARS and improve the timeliness and accuracy of the State's financial information, and expand agencies' accounting and reporting capabilities.
Staffing: These units utilize staff in the Administrative Analyst and various Information Technology and Programmer Analyst series.
Office of State Audits and Evaluations
Activities: The Office of State Audits and Evaluations (OSAE) performs a variety of professional services including financial and performance audits, program evaluations, and risk and control consultation. These activities serve to improve the efficiency and performance of State agencies, and help assess the need for changes in program structures or resources.
The audits and evaluations include review of financial statements; contracts and grants; internal and management controls; organizational policies and procedures; computer-based systems; program economy, efficiency, and effectiveness; and/or program operations. OSAE conducts its operations in accordance with applicable audit standards, including those promulgated by the federal General Accounting Office, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, and the Institute of Internal Auditors.
Staffing: OSAE uses the Finance Program Evaluator (FPE) series, for which the FPE is the entry level. Information regarding the FPE series can be found on our Finance and Performance Evaluator brochure. Under supervision, FPEs assist with planning, data gathering, analyzing, and reporting tasks associated with larger assignments, and may also independently perform smaller or less complex assignments. FPEs prepare work papers, develop findings, and prepare point sheets for reports.
The audit and program evaluation experience gained at the Department of Finance can be considered as qualifying experience for meeting Certified Public Accountant, Certified Internal Auditor, or Certified Government Financial Manager requirements. OSAE staff may also advance through the FPE series to the Associate, Staff, Senior, and Supervising levels, and potentially on to higher management positions, or opportunities in other units or departments.
Budgets and Policy Units
Activities: The Department's budget units work with State departments and agencies to develop and implement the annual State financial plan (budget). Each unit serves a particular program area, such as:
Business, Transportation and Housing
Corrections, Criminal Justice, Consumer Services and General Government
Education (higher, K–12)
Employee Compensation and State Pension Systems
Financial Operations and Investable Resources
Health and Human Services
Resources and Environment
Some of the specific tasks of budget unit staff include: developing concise written analyses and recommendations regarding budgetary proposals, and orally presenting the recommendations to Department management; presenting and defending the Governor's Budget before legislative committees; analyzing legislation for fiscal impacts, and recommending official Administration positions to the Governor's Office; developing models and analyzing data; representing the Administration before the Legislature and other public or private entities; and reviewing proposed budget revisions and other technical adjustments to the budget.
Staffing: The budget units use the Finance Budget Analyst (FBA) series. Information regarding the FBA series can be found on our Finance Budget Analyst brochure. New staff typically enter at the Junior Staff Analyst or FBA Range A levels and from there may progress to the FBA Range B, Staff, and Principal Program Budget Analyst (PPBA), and potentially into management (e.g., Program Budget Manager). Under the general supervision of a PPBA, new FBAs perform the various activities of budget preparation, budget defense, administration and control, legislative analysis, policy review, and issue analysis.
Information Technology Consulting
Activities: The Department of Finance, Information Technology Consulting Unit (ITCU) operates in accordance with Government Code Section 11547. The ITCU's primary functions include performing fiscal analysis of proposed statewide information technology (IT) policies and enterprise initiatives and fiscal oversight of Finance-identified critical IT projects. The ITCU supports the department's budget units through the review of IT proposals and existing IT projects to ensure IT expenditures represent a prudent investment of resources while meeting the state¹s business needs.
Staffing: This unit uses primarily the Data Processing Manager (DPM) series, as well as the multi-level Analyst series.
The Data Processing Manager positions evaluate the fiscal impact and critique the operational and policy implications of new statewide policies and directives proposed by the Office of the Chief Information Officer and the Office of Information Security and Privacy Protection. In addition, DPMs evaluate selected individual high-profile or high-risk IT projects. The DPMs assist in supporting Finance in the development of the Governor’s Budget and the Governor’s legislative program. Candidates typically enter at the DPM III level and can progress into management (e.g., DPM IV).
The Analyst staff perform varied and complex technical staff services assignments, such as assisting with data analysis, policy analysis, and bill analysis. They also provide analytical assistance, as needed, to the Information Services Unit.
Demographic, Economic, and Financial Research
Activities: The Department's Demographic Research Unit (DRU) is the official source for demographic and enrollment data for the State of California. DRU staff analyze demographic data and trends regarding such topics as population size and composition, immigration to the state, and future population and school enrollment growth and distribution. DRU consults with and provides demographic data to various government agencies, academic institutions and school districts, and private organizations. DRU's State Census Data Center provides consultation and data from censuses and surveys.
The Department's Financial and Economic Research Unit (FR/ER) provides revenue estimates for the annual State budget process, analyzes financial legislation, and evaluates financial developments potentially significant to the State. FR/ER staff prepare comprehensive economic forecasts, develop and maintain California data and forecasting models, prepare analyses of various economic developments; and advise State departments and local government agencies.
Staffing: The DR and ER units generally use the Research Analyst series. Entry level staff (Research Analyst I) perform the basic technical research and statistical work. Journey level staff (Research Analyst II) independently perform the more complex technical research and analysis. The series offers opportunities to advance on into the multi-level Specialist series, and unit management positions. As in the budget units, the FR unit utilizes the FBA series and provides for the same promotional opportunities.
Activities: Information Services (IS), comprised of four units, develops and maintains the Department's computing infrastructure. The Specialized Systems Development Unit develops applications typically used by an individual Finance unit. The Enterprise Systems Development Unit develops applications used by most Finance units. Staff in both of these units analyze business requirements and systems, and design, code, test, implement, and maintain applications.
Staff in the User Support Unit install and maintain computer workstations; develop and maintain the department's Internet and Intranet web-servers; and provide technical assistance (Help Desk) and training. The Infrastructure & Architecture Unit administers the Department's computer network; installs and maintains the operating systems and systems software on file, print and application servers; develops and maintains departmental databases; and designs and monitors the department’s application architecture and network and security infrastructure.
Staffing: The IS unit generally uses staff in the Information Systems Analyst, Programmer Analyst, or System Software Specialist series. Under general supervision of a Data Processing Manager, these analysts work individually, or in small teams, to solve software and hardware problems; conduct training; analyze, develop and maintain applications; and support the network, hardware, system software and application infrastructure. Staff in these series may advance through the Associate, Staff, and Senior levels, and potentially into management.
(Note: The Department of Finance also hires staff to fill a variety of other general administrative support positions [e.g., Office Assistants, Administrative Assistants].)