For nearly 50 years, Public Advocates Inc. has been at the forefront of social justice movements in California as a nonprofit law firm and advocacy organization that challenges the systemic causes of poverty and racial discrimination in areas such as public education, fair and affordable housing, public transit and climate justice.

Public Advocates has an opening for a full-time experienced Finance Associate to join its exceptional and dedicated staff in a significant “back office” role in support of social justice.  The Finance Associate bears primary responsibility for day-to-day finance and accounting activities including grant budgeting and reporting as well as all aspects of payroll processing and HR administration.  The Finance Associate will work closely w/and report to the Director of Finance & Administration.



Accounting & Financial Reporting:

  • Manage accounts receivable (monitoring, posting) and accounts payable (reviewing and processing invoices, expense reports and check requests on a timely basis); maintain all related files
  • Reconcile bank and investment accounts monthly
  • Assist w/monitoring and reporting grant expenditures and expense allocations
  • Reconcile accounting database information with donor software information, work with development team to address discrepancies
  • Prepare timely and accurate financial reports (Statement of Activities, Statement of Financial Position, etc.) in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles
  • Maintain fixed asset schedules and perform yearly fixed asset inventory; maintain other schedules including depreciation and prepaids
  • Lead preparation for annual financial audit and various tax filings – includes preparing audit schedules, confirmation letters, general ledger and other supporting documentation

Payroll & HR Administration:

  • Manage bi-weekly payroll processing and ensure compliance w/labor laws
  • Administer all employee benefits including enrollment and termination in various mandatory (workers’ comp, state disability) and optional (group health, 403(b), commuter benefits, etc.) plans; maintain accurate records for employee paid time off
  • Process new hires and terminations
  • Maintain payroll and personnel records for all staff
  • Reconcile quarterly payroll tax returns with general ledger

Grant Budgeting & Reporting:

  • Work w/program teams and the DFA to develop project budgets for grant proposals
  • Prepare budget reports as required by grant agreements


  • Manage organizational insurance policies and renewals
  • Work w/the DFA to identify internal systems and processes that are candidates for automation or other improvement
  • Assist w/vendor management
  • Other duties as assigned




  • Bachelor’s degree
  • At least 3 solid years of increasingly responsible accounting experience (preparing financial statements and supporting schedules, making journal entries, etc.) – including demonstrated understanding of accounting principles and GAAP, cost allocation procedures and internal controls
  • Very high level of demonstrated personal and professional integrity and maturity; ability to exercise good judgment; ability to observe and protect confidentiality of all personnel information
  • Demonstrated high level of proficiency w/accounting software applications
  • Strong proficiency in Microsoft Excel (facility w/formulas, formatting, etc.), Word and Outlook; familiarity w/electronic file management
  • Impeccable attention to detail
  • Strong analytical skills and a desire to use those skills to anticipate and solve problems
  • Reliable, responsive and proactive communicator, both orally and in writing
  • High degree of self-motivation and “get-it-done-right-and-on-time” orientation; ability to effectively manage varied and, at times, demanding work load; ability to meet frequent and recurring deadlines
  • Ability and interest in maintaining excellent documentation and highly organized files
  • Willingness to submit to background check

Highly Desired:

  • Accounting degree or additional years of experience in lieu of degree
  • Fund accounting experience (experience accounting for temporarily restricted net assets and functional expenses) strongly preferred
  • Previous experience working w/cloud-based accounting software is a huge plus
  • Experience processing payroll
  • Enthusiasm for learning how to use new technology/software to improve processes
  • Familiarity w/grant budgeting and reporting
  • Nonprofit experience and/or a strong desire to put one’s talents to work for a mission-driven nonprofit


Qualities expected of all Public Advocates staff include integrity, high professional standards, commitment to progressive social change and working successfully with diverse colleagues, clients and community partners.  This includes active participation in promoting healthy workplace culture through our organizational diversity and inclusion initiative – an ongoing and intensive process of communication, trust-building and learning about our individual and organizational areas for growth.  We strive to build a culture of cooperation and mutual support and value flexibility, resilience, optimism, curiosity and a sense of humor.


Compensation & Work Setting

The position is full-time (37.5 hours/week) and exempt.  The starting salary range for this role is $65,000-$71,000 depending on experience.  Benefits include full health and dental insurance for employee and eligible family members; life and long-term disability insurance; generous vacation and paid holidays; 403(b) retirement plan; and paid sabbatical after 7 years.  Our San Francisco office is currently located on the Embarcadero near the Ferry Building in San Francisco, convenient to public transportation (we offer access to tax-advantaged commuter benefits).

*At the time of this posting all our staff are working from home through September 6, 2021.  We anticipate a return to the office when it is safe to do so.



Applications welcome immediately; position open until filled.  Applications must include: 1) your resume; 2) a thoughtful cover letter addressing your relevant experience and your specific interest in working for Public Advocates; and 3) names and contact information for three references, at least two of whom have directly and recently supervised your work.  Submit electronic application to  Position will remain open until filled.


Public Advocates reflects the rich diversity of California.  More than two-thirds of our employees and 60% of our Board members are people of color.  Our senior leadership team also reflects our commitment to diversity.  Four of seven members — including our President & CEO — are people of color, and three of seven members are women.

Public Advocates seeks to fill this position with someone who shares our values, including our organizational commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion.  We encourage all interested individuals to apply — especially Black, Indigenous and People of Color; women; people from low-income backgrounds; people with disabilities; people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender or anyone belonging to any other federal or state protected category.  Read our Diversity Vision Statement here.

Finance Associate
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