Opportunities at Work

Interdepartmental Promotion Examination Open To All Qualified Employees of New York State

Principal Account Clerk

Written Test To Be Held
October 15, 2011
Applications Must Be Submitted or Postmarked By
September 12, 2011


Exams Included on This Announcement
Exam Number Exam Title Open to Employees of Salary Salary Grade Fee
36-579 Principal Account Clerk Multiple Agencies $43,270 G-14 $15
36-580 Principal Actuarial Clerk Multiple Agencies $43,270 G-14 $15
36-581 Principal Audit Clerk Multiple Agencies $43,270 G-14 $15
36-582 Principal Clerk Multiple Agencies $43,270 G-14 $15
36-583 Principal Clerk Personnel Multiple Agencies $40,477 G-14 $15
36-584 Principal File Clerk Multiple Agencies $43,270 G-14 $15
36-585 Principal Mail and Supply Clerk Multiple Agencies $38,612 G-12 $10
36-586 Principal Statistics Clerk Multiple Agencies $43,270 G-14 $15
36-587 Principal Stores Clerk Multiple Agencies $38,612 G-12 $10
36-588 Purchasing Assistant 2 Multiple Agencies $43,270 G-14 $15

* The salary you receive will depend upon the negotiating unit of the position.

For Promotion in State Departments, Facilities, and Agencies

  1. Within Promotion Units
  2. Within Entire Departments
  3. To Other Departments

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Minimum Qualifications

On or before October 15, 2011, you must be a qualified employee of New York State and have had three months of permanent competitive or 55-b/55-c service in a clerical, keyboarding, or paraprofessional** title allocated to Grade 7 or higher. Qualifying titles are available at: www.cs.state.ny.us/examannouncements/announcements/36579titles.cfm.

** Only paraprofessional titles in an office environment will be considered qualifying. Service in a direct care title is not qualifying experience.

If you were permanently appointed to a qualifying title on or before July 15, 2011, and have served continuously in this title since that date, you are eligible to file for this examination.

Qualifying Experience for Appointment from the Eligible List

After one year of the service described in the Minimum Qualifications, successful candidates will be qualified for appointment from the eligible list.


  1. Applications must be postmarked or submitted online by September 12, 2011. Late applications will not be accepted.
  2. The Department of Civil Service does not provide study material for this examination. Civil Service offers candidates information on How to Take a Written Test(pdf105KB), and answers to frequently asked questions for examinations and tests.
  3. You may bring a hand-held, battery- or solar-powered calculator for use on the test.
  4. You will not be scored for any exam for which you did not apply.
  5. If you do not receive a confirmation number after submitting your online application, your application was NOT processed.

The Positions

View the locations of the Principal Clerical positions by counties and agencies:

Principal Account Clerk: http://careermobilityoffice.cs.state.ny.us/cmo/gotit/titleinfo.cfm?jobcode=0100500&nu=02

Principal Actuarial Clerk: http://careermobilityoffice.cs.state.ny.us/cmo/gotit/titleinfo.cfm?jobcode=0750500&nu=02

Principal Audit Clerk:http://careermobilityoffice.cs.state.ny.us/cmo/gotit/titleinfo.cfm?jobcode=0102500&nu=02

Principal Clerk: http://careermobilityoffice.cs.state.ny.us/cmo/gotit/titleinfo.cfm?jobcode=2501500&nu=02

Principal Clerk Personnel: http://careermobilityoffice.cs.state.ny.us/cmo/gotit/titleinfo.cfm?jobcode=2501590&nu=02

Principal File Clerk: http://careermobilityoffice.cs.state.ny.us/cmo/gotit/titleinfo.cfm?jobcode=2503500&nu=02

Principal Mail and Supply Clerk: http://careermobilityoffice.cs.state.ny.us/cmo/gotit/titleinfo.cfm?jobcode=2709500&nu=02

Principal Statistics Clerk: http://careermobilityoffice.cs.state.ny.us/cmo/gotit/titleinfo.cfm?jobcode=0702500&nu=02

Principal Stores Clerk: http://careermobilityoffice.cs.state.ny.us/cmo/gotit/titleinfo.cfm?jobcode=1831500&nu=02

Purchasing Assistant 2: http://careermobilityoffice.cs.state.ny.us/cmo/gotit/titleinfo.cfm?jobcode=2510200&nu=02

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Subject of Examination

There will be a written test which you must pass in order to be considered for appointment. The written test is designed to test for knowledge, skills, and/or abilities in such areas as: For Examination Numbers
36-579 36-580 36-581 36-582 36-583 36-584 36-585 36-586 36-587 36-588
1. General and governmental account keeping - These questions are designed to test for a candidate's knowledge of concepts of double entry bookkeeping and account keeping as they apply to the private sector and government. X                  
2. Office management - These questions test for knowledge of the principles and practices of planning, organizing, and controlling the activities of an office and directing those performing office activities so as to achieve predetermined objectives such as accomplishing office work within reasonable limits of time, effort, and cost expenditure. Typical activities may include but will not be restricted to: simplifying and improving procedures, increasing office efficiency, improving the office work environment, and controlling office supplies. X X X X X X X X X X
3. Preparing written material - These questions test for the ability to present information clearly and accurately, and to organize paragraphs logically and comprehensibly. For some questions, you will be given information in two or three sentences followed by four restatements of the information. You must then choose the best version. For other questions, you will be given paragraphs with their sentences out of order. You must then choose, from four suggestions, the best order for the sentences. X                  
4. Supervision - These questions test for knowledge of the principles and practices employed in planning, organizing, and controlling the activities of a work unit toward predetermined objectives. The concepts covered, usually in a situational question format, include such topics as assigning and reviewing work; evaluating performance; maintaining work standards; motivating and developing subordinates; implementing procedural change; increasing efficiency; and dealing with problems of absenteeism, morale, and discipline. X X X X X X X X X X
5. Understanding and interpreting tabular material - These questions test your ability to understand, analyze, and use the internal logic of data presented in tabular form. You may be asked to perform tasks such as completing tables, drawing conclusions from them, analyzing data trends or interrelationships, and revising or combining data sets. The concepts of rate, ratio, and proportion are tested. Mathematical operations are simple, and computational speed is not a major factor in the test. X X X         X    
6. Understanding and interpreting written material - These questions test how well you comprehend written material. You will be provided with brief reading selections and will be asked questions about the selections. All the information required to answer the questions will be presented in the selections; you will not be required to have any special knowledge relating to the subject areas of the selections. X X X X X X X X X X
7. Actuarial calculations - These questions test a candidate's knowledge, skill, and ability in the area of performing calculations based on actuarial principles and practices. Definitions, formulas, charts, and other information will be provided in the questions, and candidates will be required to calculate values based on the information provided. Topics covered may include, but are not restricted to: payments, reserves, incurred costs, and benefit amounts for workers' compensation claims; insurance premiums and liability amounts; and survivors' benefits.   X                
8. Office record keeping - These questions test your ability to perform common office record keeping tasks. The test consists of two or more "sets" of questions, each set concerning a different problem. Typical record keeping problems might involve the organization or collation of data from several sources; scheduling; maintaining a record system using running balances; or completion of a table summarizing data using totals, subtotals, averages, and percents.       X   X     X X
9. Personnel principles and practices - These questions test for knowledge of the principles and practices used in performing procedures and in addressing issues that are part of the personnel function in a governmental agency, and in responding to general questions about the personnel function.         X          
10. Civil Service laws, rules, and regulations relating to personnel transactions - These questions test for knowledge of Civil Service laws, rules, and regulations that are used in performing personnel functions in a public agency.         X          
11. Files management - These questions test for knowledge in such areas as the creation, filing, storage, retention, transfer, and destruction of paper, electronic and other records. The questions may concern but will not be limited to filing rules, systems, equipment, and supplies.           X        
12. Storeskeeping and inventory control - These questions will test for general knowledge of storeskeeping and inventory control in a governmental setting including knowledge used to monitor rates of inventory usage; determine inventory order quantities and re-order points; assess the criticality of stores items; minimize obsolescence and spoilage; and respond appropriately to changes in availability and usage.             X   X  
13. Mailroom practices, including the rules, regulations, and charges of letter and parcel delivery services - These questions test for a candidate's knowledge of mailroom practices, including the rules, regulations, and charges of letter and parcel delivery services.             X      
14. Basic statistical concepts and applications - These questions test for knowledge of the analytical methods used to reduce and describe large sets of numerical data. The questions cover such areas as the organization and presentation of data, statistical terminology, central tendency, and variability. The test does not require any substantial manipulation of data. The questions also test the candidate's familiarity with computerized databases and spreadsheets, and with methods of extracting and/or combining data contained in them into files and reports. Knowledge of specific database/spreadsheet software will not be required.               X    
15. Purchasing - These questions will test for general knowledge and understanding of governmental purchasing, including such aspects as competitive bidding, interaction with vendors, and working with specifications. Candidates will be required to demonstrate knowledge of purchasing terminology and the appropriate action to take in given situations. Some arithmetic computation may be necessary.                   X

If you pass, your seniority credit(s), if any, will be included in the computation of your final score. Rank on the eligible list will be determined after adding any wartime veterans' credits to your final passing score.

Credit for Seniority

Seniority is credited at the rate of one credit for each five-year period (or fraction thereof), excluding the first year of service.

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As a Principal Account Clerk, you would supervise and perform various activities necessary to the fiscal or business management of state agencies, facilities, or institutions or to the fiscal transactions with local agencies. This work may include assigning and directing the work of subordinate account and audit clerks; processing financial claims against the state; preparing annual and quarterly budgets; setting up ledgers from appropriation acts and budget segregations; keeping ledgers of revenue receipts and reconciling balances with monthly bank statements; preparing or auditing payrolls; answering correspondence; and doing related work as required. You may also supervise other clerical operations including inventory records and/or personnel records. In addition, there is an emphasis in this class on General and New York State Accounting Procedures, the rules and regulations of the Office of the State Comptroller, and on State Finance Law.

As a Principal Actuarial Clerk, you would supervise and perform computations on death and permanent disability cases involving death and remarriage contingencies and interest factors in connection with actuarial computations requested by the Workers' Compensation Board for Aggregate Trust Fund deposits and State Fund loss reserve evaluations and in the Employee's Retirement System; review computations made by Senior Actuarial Clerks; review claim records of open Workers' Compensation disability cases; and establish proper estimates of ultimate incurred loss of these cases.

As a Principal Audit Clerk, you would supervise a staff of clerks and others in the clerical review of documents to verify the accuracy of recorded data and adherence to prescribed procedures, rules, and regulations. This work requires close attention to prescribed procedures, and exact application of these procedures in verifying the correctness of recorded data.

As a Principal Clerk, you would supervise a staff of clerical employees engaged in processing, recording, maintaining, and reviewing state forms, documents, licenses, and other official papers. In agencies having data processing operations, you might supervise data entry and quality control activities. In agencies having optical imaging systems, you may supervise staff involved in electronic indexing, document entry, and retrieval utilizing PCs while ensuring quality and quantity standards.

As a Principal Clerk (Personnel), you would be responsible for various aspects of personnel clerical tasks and perform a variety of personnel operation support tasks such as maintenance of personnel records, composing letters and memoranda, recruiting staff, setting up interviews, orienting new employees, monitoring probationary and performance evaluations, monitoring leaves, processing payroll and benefit transactions, informing payroll of employee status changes, processing records and forms for new and existing employees, and advising supervisors and employees of benefits, Civil Service Rules and Regulations, and agency personnel policies. In addition, you may also supervise clerical employees engaged in the performance of these duties.

As a Principal File Clerk, you would supervise a staff of clerical employees in the systematic storage, reference, and scheduled disposition of records in a large and active filing system in accordance with policy guides and agency operating manuals. In agencies having optical imaging systems, you may supervise staff involved in electronic indexing, document entry, and retrieval utilizing PCs while ensuring quality and quantity standards.

As a Principal Mail and Supply Clerk, you would supervise staff responsible for the receipt, control, and timely routing of incoming written communications, in accordance with the rules and regulations of the United States Postal Service and procedures established by the Office of General Services; supervise the collections, preparation, control, and disposition of outgoing written communication; and supervise the receipt, storage, retrieval, and distribution of office supplies, equipment, furniture, and other material.

As a Principal Statistics Clerk, you would supervise a statistical-clerical staff engaged in the collection, compilation, computation, description, coding, organization, and presentation of statistical data. You may assist professional staff in the development of work materials and might analyze data collected to determine its reasonableness.

As a Principal Stores Clerk, you would supervise a staff of clerical and other storehouse employees, possibly including facility inmates or clients assigned to the stores operation, in the receipt storage and issuance of a wide variety of goods including perishables and volatile materials.

As a Purchasing Assistant 2, you would prepare and process purchase orders for supplies, materials, equipment, and services subject to the rules and regulations of the Office of General Services, the Office of the State Comptroller, the provisions of existing contracts, and those portions of the State Finance Law governing purchasing practices. In addition, you may supervise a clerical staff engaged in the performance of these duties.

The level of duties and responsibilities of the titles in the clerical series vary based on the level of supervision, complexity of the duties involved, degree of independent judgment, etc.

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How To Apply

This announcement is for viewing purposes only.

All statements you make on your application are subject to investigation.

If you do not receive a confirmation number after submitting your online application, your application was NOT processed.

Additional Information

New York State is an Equal Opportunity Employer

It is the policy of the State of New York to provide for and promote equal opportunity in employment, compensation and other terms and conditions of employment without discrimination on the basis of age, race, color, religion, disability, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, or arrest and/or criminal conviction record unless based upon a bona fide occupational qualification or other exception.

Religious Accommodation

Most written tests are held on Saturdays. If you cannot take the test on the announced test date, due to a conflict with a religious observance or practice, check the box under “Religious Accommodation.” We will make arrangements for you to take the test on a different date (usually the following day).

Reasonable Accommodations in Testing

In addition, it is the policy of the Department of Civil Service, in accordance with the New York State Human Rights Law and the Americans with Disabilities Act, to provide qualified persons with disabilities equal employment opportunity and equal opportunity to participate in and receive the benefits, services, programs, and activities of the Department. It is the policy of the Department to provide such persons reasonable accommodations and reasonable modifications as are necessary to enjoy equal opportunity. Persons with disabilities who require an accommodation to participate in an examination must note this on their applications. Further information is available from the Special Arrangements Unit of the Department of Civil Service at 518-457-2487 [press 2, then press 2] in the Albany area, toll free at 1-877-697-5627 [press 2, then press 2], or via TDD (telecommunications device for the deaf) at 518-457-8480.

Admission to Examination

Notice to appear for the test may be conditional as review of applications may not be made until after the test. If you have not received your notice to appear for the written test three days before the date of the test, call 518-474-6470 in the Albany area or toll free at 1-877-697-5627 [press 2, then press 1].

Multiple Examinations Scheduled for the Same Day

With the exception of written tests announced by New York City, if you have applied to take a written test announced by a local jurisdiction (county, town, city) scheduled to be held on the same test date as this written test, you must call 518-474-6470 in the Albany area or toll free at 1-877-697-5627 [press 2, then press 1], no later than two weeks before the test date, to make arrangements for taking all tests at one test site. All tests will be held at the state examination center.

Eligibility for Examination

To be eligible to compete in this examination, you must be employed in the specified department or agency on a permanent or contingent permanent basis in the competitive class, or in the non-competitive class or labor class if specifically noted on this announcement (or be on an appropriate preferred list), and have the specified time in the specified title or salary grade. You may not compete in a test for a title if you are permanently employed in that title (unless you are still on probation) or in a higher direct line of promotion.

Cell Phones or Electronic/Communication Devices at the Test Site

Do not bring cell phones, beepers, headphones, or any electronic or other communication devices to the test site. The use of such devices at the test site in the test room, hallways, restrooms, building, grounds, or other areas could result in your disqualification.

S1/TA1 SAR-tmc
Issued: 7/29/11

This announcement is subject to amendment or cancellation without notice. Do not copy it, or post it to any other site, but link to it instead.

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