HR: Employment Opportunities
 Job posting 20-24
Opening date: February 11, 2020
Closing date: February 26, 2020

TITLE: Accountant, IS-0510, Grade 9; $58,909 - $76,583 annually
TYPE OF POSITION: Trust Fund (non-Federal) Indefinite, Part Time, 30 hours a week
DIVISION: - Financial Management Department
LOCATION: Cambridge, MA
AREA OF CONSIDERATION: This position is open to all candidates eligible to work in the United States.


This is the position of Accountant for the Financial Management Department of the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory. Works with and supports Financial Management staff by providing accounting assistance in solving accounting issues as well as implementation of new or revised regulations, policies, procedures or systems. Performs accounting activities involved in the maintenance of financial accounting records.


1. Prepares and processes financial components of sponsored project closeout procedures based on contractual agreement of the awards where period of performance has passed and includes reviewing outstanding balances pertaining to encumbrances, prepayments, accounts receivable, revenue and contra revenue accounts, submitting close-out documentation to the Sponsored Programs Section (SPS) staff and sponsor, and requesting refunds when necessary.

2. Performs quantitative analytical review of accounting data from multiple reports and queries to assist division administrators and management.

3. Reviews in detail the proposal budgets for accuracy, compliance and proper certification in order that they can be approved and forwarded to the SPS section three days prior to submission deadline.

4. Reconcile and analyze complex project activities (including, but not limited to, Federal Funds, Trust Funds, Contracts and Grants activities), account balances (such as revenue and expense) and balance sheet accounts. Prepare adjusting entries.

5. Applies a thorough knowledge of the total accounting system and of well- established accounting principles, techniques and regulations to process a wide variety of transactions in the integrated financial systems.

6. Performs routine entry and update of vendor records, stipend or invitational traveler information into ERP systems. Work with division administrators and other service groups to resolve vendor issues.

7. Performs a wide variety of duties to support the payroll application systems which include webTA, National Finance Center, and PeopleSoft systems. Assist payroll supervisor and lead payroll accountant as needed.

8. Communicates clearly, precisely and skillfully when working with SAO staff along with SI counterparts and NFC to resolves concerns in a timely and efficient manner.

9. Performs related duties as required. <


This position has a Basic Educational requirement. All applicants must meet the following Basic Educational Requirements:

Degree: Accounting; or a degree in a related field such as business administration, finance, or public administration that included or was supplemented by 24 semester hours in accounting. The 24 hours may include up to 6 hours of credit in business law. (The term "accounting" means "accounting and/or auditing").


Combination of education and experience: at least 4 years of experience in accounting, or an equivalent combination of accounting experience, college-level education, and training that provided professional accounting knowledge that must also include one of the following:

1. Twenty-four semester hours in accounting or auditing courses of appropriate type and quality. This can include up to 6 hours of business law;

2. A certificate as Certified Public Accountant or a Certified Internal Auditor, obtained through written examination; or

3. Completion of the requirements for a degree that included substantial course work in accounting or auditing, e.g., 15 semester hours, but that does not fully satisfy the 24-semester-hour requirement mentioned above. In addition to the basic education requirements, candidates must meet the following specialized experience: One year of full-time experience at the grade 7 level (Federal or private sector) that is close or similar to the work of this position. Qualifying experience may have included the following: reconciliation of accounts, processing journal entries, analyzing expense reports and assisting with audits.


Related master's or equivalent graduate degree, or 2 years of progressively higher level graduate education leading to a master's degree, if related.


Have a combination of graduate education and specialized experience that meets 100% of the qualification requirements for this position.

APPLICATION PROCEDURE: We will only accept applications on line for this position. To view the complete vacancy posting, requirements and the procedures to apply, please visit: USAJOBS

The Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory is an equal opportunity employer committed to diversity in our workplace.

Visit our SAO website.


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