Account/ Utility Rate Analyst at Public Service Commission
The Public Service Commission seeks an accounting professional to aid our agency in maintaining high-caliber internal operations as well as regulatory oversight of some of the largest essential industries within Montana to ensure fair prices, responsible business practices, and reliable, affordable services for Montana customers who rely upon them.
This position offers a unique opportunity to work with an innovative state agency in the beautiful capital city of Helena, Montana, as well as carefully examine and learn about the underlying technology and financial platforms of numerous utilities regulated by the Commission. The successful candidate will find the work to be interesting, meaningful, and critical to our agency’s goal of serving the citizens of Montana extraordinarily well.
• Develops and applies accounting, finance, and economic methods and processes for evaluating and regulating a wide range of public utilities including emerging technology.
• Analyzes and provides advice and recommendations regarding accounting, financial, technical, operational and policy issues related to the operation of our agency and the regulation of the entities we regulate.
• Analyzes and evaluates utility rate applications and other regulatory filings, and issues financial, accounting, and business perspectives to determine the reasonableness of revenue requests, capital structures, rates of return, rate changes, rate designs and other proposals.
• Examines utility rate increase requests and other financial filings for compliance with utility accounting standards established by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) and Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (“GAAP”).
• Analyzes and provides recommendations on other accounting matters as required including assisting with agency legislative financial audits and preparing reports to support analysis.
• Assists in the discovery process as appropriate in contested case proceedings.
• Prepares questions and information for the cross-examination of utility and intervener witnesses for rate hearings; audits utility financial records and information; prepares documents that summarize testimony and issues that may be examined during public hearings; analyzes record evidence; formulates conclusions and recommendations on ratemaking and policy issues; presents the conclusions and recommendations in writing and verbally at Commission business meetings and work sessions.
• Prepares reports to support analysis; Commission orders; or notices.
• Assesses the regulatory impacts of draft legislation and, at direction of the Commission, represents the Commission in outside proceedings.
• Some work-related travel is occasionally required.
• The position reports to the Regulatory Division Administrator.
The Commission seeks a candidate with a strong knowledge of generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) and who is a Certified Public accountant or is willing to complete an educational agreement or training assignment to acquire certification with the agency’s support. Additionally, the ideal candidate will have a strong work ethic, , keen analytical abilities, a desire to expand their knowledge and abilities, and a genuine commitment to high standards of professional integrity.
• Significant experience with and knowledge of financial accounting and reporting.
• Ability to interpret and analyze accounting records, rules, and policies.
• Ability to resolve accounting and budget problems within legal limitations through analysis, reconciliation and application of proper accounting and budgeting concepts.
• Strong organizational, analytical, investigative, and problem-solving abilities.
• Thorough knowledge of accounting theory, principles, and practices; knowledge of Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP); and knowledge of or familiarity with Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) standards and guidance.
• Proficient at creating and managing spreadsheets.
• Flexibility, impartiality, and attention to detail.
• Ability to work independently and with a team.
• Ability to build and maintain good interpersonal relationships with work associates and internal and external constituencies.
• The ability to learn and apply utility accounting and ratemaking theory and law, and keep current with utility industry events, federal regulatory policies, state law, and PSC rules and policies.
• Ability to provide verbal and written presentations of complex topics to non-expert audiences is essential.
• Ability to organize workloads in such a manner that assignments are completed on time with minimal supervision.
Minimum qualifications are a bachelor’s degree in Accounting, Finance, Business Administration, Economics or related field and two years of professional accounting experience. The experience requirement may be waived for candidates with a graduate level degree in Accounting or designation as a Certified Public Accountant.
A Certified Public Accountant (“CPA”) or equivalent designation is preferred (candidates with a CPA will be given preference and their salary offer will consider this designation). Additionally, the PSC is willing to support the successful candidate in achieving a CPA or equivalent designation. Such support may include sponsorship of fees and paid work time to prepare for the examination, subject to an educational agreement or training assignment with the agency.
The salary range for this position is $62,000 - $82,000 depending on qualifications.
The PSC will reward your contributions to the State with competitive compensation and generous benefits including, but not limited to:
• Market-Competitive Salary.
• Work/life balance including the ability to earn comp time (additional paid leave earned for each hour worked over 40 per week).”
• The ability to work from home if necessary, under the newly adopted TeleWork program.
• Medical, dental, and vision coverage.
• A constitutionally guaranteed retirement plan including disability and death benefits with the state contributing 8.77% of salary on your behalf and the ability to contribute to a supplemental deferred compensation program.
• Generous paid vacation, sick leave, and holidays.
• Pre-tax flexibility spending accounts.
• A vibrant Employee Assistance Program.
• State of Montana employment may qualify you to receive student loan forgiveness under the Public Service Loan Forgiveness. Look here (https://studentaid.gov/manage-loans/forgiveness-cancellation/public-service) to learn more and understand whether you may qualify.
Additional benefits package information is available here (https://statecareers.mt.gov/_docs/StatewideBenefitsFlyer.pdf).
ABOUT THE ORGANIZATION
The Montana Department of Public Service Regulation (DPSR) is a small state agency with a big impact. We are headed by 5 elected commissioners (the Public Service Commission) representing every region of beautiful Montana. Commonly referred to as the PSC, our agency is staffed by a team of approximately 30 professionals in the Legal, Regulatory, and Administrative Services Divisions. The PSC is responsible for supervising monopolistic industries within Montana to ensure fair prices, responsible business practices, and sustainable, reliable service for the Montana customers who rely upon them. Regulated industries currently include privately held power, water, sewer, telecommunications, sanitation, and certain commercial transportation providers. The PSC also plays a vital role in railway and pipeline safety. The agency is developing a clear and well-defined strategic plan to enhance our operations, work environment, and value to the public. This provides a unique opportunity for the successful candidate to have a hand in shaping our operations and culture. Our team includes seasoned leaders with expertise and institutional knowledge coupled with newly elected commissioners with innovative ideas for the organization. Learn more about the PSC here (http://psc.mt.gov).
Employees enjoy a personable work environment. Staff members are encouraged to cross-train with other positions, affording themselves the opportunity for diversified professional experiences and advancement. The PSC provides ample parking in a private parking lot immediately adjacent to our ground-floor office space, and the building is conveniently located between two of Helena’s least congested thoroughfares -- making the drive, walk or ride to work quick and easy.
ABOUT THE COMMUNITY – HELENA
The Public Service Commission makes its home in the city of Helena. Helena is located in Lewis and Clark County, situated less than three hours from Yellowstone National Park and just over three hours from Glacier National Park. Helena is both the capital of Montana and the county seat for Lewis and Clark County. Helena is known as the Queen City of the Rockies and has a rich history originating from a gold rush boom that fueled the development of the beautifully preserved Victorian architecture that makes up the city’s historic district. Helena’s community life in the City is abundant and alive with theaters, museums, fairs, rodeos, and art centers. The Helena area has a robust public school system, and is proudly home to Carroll College, a private liberal arts institution and Helena College, a two-year public satellite location of the University of Montana.
Being ideally located for outdoor enthusiasts near the wide Missouri River and the rugged Rocky Mountains, Helena provides opportunities for hunting, fishing, swimming, camping, water-skiing, and boating. Downtown Helena offers access to the second largest city park, second to New York’s Central Park, with 1738 acres of open and undeveloped parkland, including Mount Ascension Park and Mount Helena City Park with more than 90 miles of hiking, running, and biking trails Learn more about moving to and/or living in Helena, Montana https://helenachamber.com/
ABOUT THE MONTANA
Living in the great state of Montana brings great opportunity! Montana has several local nicknames that speak to what you can expect, including "Big Sky Country" and "The Treasure State", and slogans that include "Land of the Shining Mountains" and more recently "The Last Best Place". Overall, Montana is populated by just over 7 people per square mile, meaning traffic jams are essentially nonexistent - except when summer tourists fill our parks or an occasional herd of animals blocks a road.
Montana contains numerous mountain ranges in the western half of the state, while vast prairies and badlands are predominant in the East. Montana is comprised of seven large city districts: Billings, Bozeman, Butte, Missoula, Great Falls, Helena, and Kalispell. Many nearby towns provide abundant opportunities for small town living.
The economy is primarily based on natural resources including ranching, grain farming, oil, gas, coal, hard-rock mining, and logging. The health care, service industry, and government also add to the state's economy. The state's fastest-growing industry is tourism. Nearly 13 million tourists annually visit Glacier National Park, Yellowstone National Park, Beartooth Highway, Flathead Lake, Big Sky Resort, and other Montana tourist attractions.
May 15, 2021
How to Apply:
Please go to the State of Montana website. https://statecareers.mt.gov
APPLICATION AND SELECTION PROCESS
The position is open until filled. Selection procedures to be used in evaluating applicant’s qualifications may include but are not limited to: an evaluation of the resume; an evaluation of education, training and experience; an evaluation of answers to supplemental questions; a structured oral interview; background and reference checks. You are REQUIRED to submit to following application materials:
1. A cover letter describing how your professional career and education prepared you to meet the requirements of this position.
2. A resume detailing all relevant work experiences including employer, duties, dates of employment (month & year - start & end), and reason for leaving.
3. The names, titles, and telephone numbers of three work-related references.
All applicants selected for interviews will be required to submit educational certificates and licenses.
For more information and to apply go to: www.statecareers.mt.gov
Training Assignment: This agency may use a training assignment. Employees in training assignments may be paid below the base pay established by the agency pay rules. Conditions of the training assignment will be stated in writing at the time of hire.