Accountant
Department Of Agriculture - Chicago, IL

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The mission of the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) is to increase food security and reduce hunger in partnership with cooperating organizations by providing children and low-income people with access to food, a healthy diet, and nutrition education in a manner that supports American agriculture and inspires public confidence.

This position is located in the Midwest Regional Office, Office of Grants Management and Administrative Services. The mission of the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) is to increase food security and reduce hunger in partnership with cooperating organizations by providing children and low-income people with access to food, a healthy diet, and nutrition education in a manner that supports American agriculture and inspires public confidence. FNS provides excellent opportunities for specialized training through its own facilities and outside resources. Career guidance and on- and off-the-job training programs are tailored to an individual employee's needs. If you want to apply your knowledge and skills to food program activities that seek to strengthen America, there is a challenging and rewarding career waiting for you with FNS!

Key Information:
FNS offers alternative and flexible work schedules.

Click "Print Preview" to review the entire announcement before applying.

KEY REQUIREMENTS

DUTIES:
The following are the duties of this position at the GS-11 level. If you are selected at a lower grade level, you will have the opportunity to learn to perform all these duties, and will receive training to help you grow in this position. As an Accountant, you will:

Be responsible for controlling the direction and conduct of a variety of tasks, projects, and multi-functional assignments requiring the applied professional and theoretical knowledge of accounting principles, concepts, systems, practices and methods.

Conduct in-house and on-site reviews and surveys to inspect complete accounting systems or specialized areas to evaluate effectiveness, determine need for modification and recommend changes to assist management in achieving efficiency in methods and procedures and improving financial control over assets and costs related to programs.

Assist the Section Chief in the preparation and reconciliation of internal accounting reports such as the monthly trial balance, reconciliation of allowances and expenditures and analysis of abnormal balances.

Provide management with accurate and timely advice on the relationship between accounting and its potential usefulness in achieving a particular management objective.

QUALIFICATIONS REQUIRED:
In order for your application to be considered, you must meet the following requirements by the closing date of this announcement:

Basic Requirements:
A. Degree: in 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. Similarly, "accountant" should be interpreted, generally, as "accountant and/or auditor.")

OR

B. 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. The applicant's background 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 of paragraph A, provided that (a) the applicant has successfully worked at the full-performance level in accounting, auditing, or a related field, e.g., valuation engineering or financial institution examining; (b) a panel of at least two higher level professional accountants or auditors has determined that the applicant has demonstrated a good knowledge of accounting and of related and underlying fields that equals in breadth, depth, currency, and level of advancement that which is normally associated with successful completion of the 4-year course of study described in paragraph A; and (c) except for literal nonconformance to the requirement of 24 semester hours in accounting, the applicant's education, training, and experience fully meet the specified requirements.

Minimum Qualification Requirement:
Specialized Experience:
For GS-07 level: You must have one year of experience at a level of difficulty and responsibility equivalent to the GS-05 grade level in the Federal service. Experience for this position includes professional knowledge of accounting concepts, principles, and methods sufficient to work using conventional procedures and practices that apply to most situations, such as: Assisting in the routine maintenance of automated accounting systems; Researching technical directives and policies as well as accounting and other fiscal issues; Assisting in reconciling a variety of general ledger accounts; Using an automated system to find, review, or change accounting data in transaction files, ledgers, accounts, summary reports, and financial statements.

For GS-09 level: You must have one year of experience at a level of difficulty and responsibility equivalent to the GS-07 grade level in the Federal service. Experience for this position includes professional knowledge of accounting concepts, principles, and methods sufficient to work independently using conventional procedures and practices that apply to most situations, such as: Identifying accounting problems such as inadequate maintenance of fund controls, inaccurate records and reports, improper methods for document control, and lack of documentary evidence to support performance of regulatory reconciliations; Compiling centrally requested cost reports and reports of variance from standards, developing reports comparing actual results to plans and budgets; Conducting special cost analysis of various operations to determine, for example, if proposals for revised methods or new equipment would affect savings, performing statistical analyses of agency productivity trends, participating with other accountants in developing cost estimates for in-house projects and contractor proposals.

For GS-11 level: You must have one year of experience at a level of difficulty and responsibility equivalent to the GS-09 grade level in the Federal service. Experience for this position includes professional knowledge of accounting concepts, principles, and methods sufficient to: Operating or inspecting accounting systems; Prescribing accounting standards, policies, and requirements; Examining, analyzing, and interpreting accounting data, records, and reports; Conducting special studies or specialized projects and assignments.

Education: You may substitute directly related education for specialized experience as follows:

For the GS-07 level: One year of graduate education or superior academic achievement. A description of superior academic achievement may be found at http://www.opm.gov/qualifications/policy/ApplicationOfStds-04.asp .

For the GS-09 level: Two years of progressively higher level graduate education leading to a master’s degree or master’s or equivalent graduate degree.

For the GS-11 level: Three years of progressively higher level graduate education leading to a Ph.D. degree or Ph.D. equivalent doctoral degree.

Notes: The experience may have been gained in either the public or private sector. One year of experience refers to full-time work; part-time work is considered on a prorated basis. The education generally must be from an accredited (or pre-accredited) college or university recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. Foreign education must be evaluated by a credentialing agency. You may qualify by a combination of experience and education. Options for qualifying based on a combination will be identified in the online questions.

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HOW YOU WILL BE EVALUATED:
Your application includes your:
Resume,

Responses to the online questions, and

Required supporting documents.

We use a multi-step process to evaluate and refer applicants:
1. Minimum Requirements: Your application must show that you meet all requirements, including the education and/or experience required for this position. You will be found "not qualified" if you do not possess the minimum competencies required for the position. If your application is incomplete, we will rate you as ineligible.
2. Rating: Your application will be evaluated in the following areas:

Ability to apply accounting principles, theories, and methodologies.

Ability to operate and maintain automated accounting systems.

Ability to communicate effectively orally and in writing to present facts, ideas and concepts.

Your application will be rated based on the extent and quality of your experience, education and training relevant to the duties of this position. We may lower your rating if your responses to the online questions are not supported by the education and/or experience described in your application.

We may lower your rating if your responses to the online questions are not supported by the education and/or experience described in your application. Category Rating will be used to rank and select eligible candidates. If qualified, you will be assigned to one of three categories, Best Qualified, Well-Qualified or Qualified depending on your experience and education related to this position. Veterans' preference is applied after applicants are assessed. Preference-eligibles will be listed at the top of their assigned category and considered before non-preference-eligibles in that category.

3. Referral : If you are among the top qualified candidates, your application may be referred to a selecting official for consideration and possible interview. If you are a displaced or surplus Federal employee (eligible for the Career Transition Assistance Plan (CTAP)/Interagency Career Transition Assistance Plan (ICTAP)), you must be assigned to the Well Qualified category or higher to be determined as well qualified to receive special selection priority.

We recommend that you preview the online questions for this announcement before you start the application process.
To preview questions please click here .

BENEFITS:
Our comprehensive benefits are some of the most generous. Explore the major benefits offered to most Federal employees at: http://www.usajobs.gov/ResourceCenter/Index/Interactive/Benefits#icc

OTHER INFORMATION:
We may select from this announcement or any other source to fill one or more vacancies.

Relocation expenses are not authorized.

This is a bargaining-designated position.

If you are retired from the Federal Government and are selected for this vacancy, your retirement annuity may be offset from your pay.

If you are selected for a position with further promotion potential, you will be placed under a career development plan, and may be non-competitively promoted if you successfully complete the requirements. However, promotion is neither implied nor guaranteed.

Creditable Service for Annual Leave Accrual: Newly-appointed employees or employees reappointed after a break in service may be eligible to receive credit toward annual leave accrual based on prior work experience. FNS may grant service credit for prior non-Federal work experience or active duty uniformed service that is directly related to the position being filled. Creditable service must be determined prior to the effective date of the employee's entry on duty. For more information, contact the Human Resources Specialist listed under "Contact Information."

To file a complaint of discrimination, within 45 days of notification, write USDA, EEO Counselor, FNS, Office of Civil Rights, 12th floor, Alexandria, VA 22302-1500, or call (703) 305-2195. USDA is an equal opportunity employer.

FNS has contracted with the Treasury's Bureau of the Public Debt (BPD) to provide certain Human Resource services to its organization. BPD's responsibilities include advertising FNS' vacancies, accepting and handling applications, and extending job offers.

CONDITIONS OF EMPLOYMENT: If selected for this position, you will be required to:

Complete a one-year probationary period (unless already completed).

Complete a Declaration for Federal Employment to determine your suitability for Federal employment.

If you are a male applicant born after December 31,1959, certify that you have registered with the Selective Service System or are exempt from having to do so.

Have your salary sent to a financial institution of your choice by Direct Deposit/Electronic Funds Transfer.

Go through a Personal Identity Verification (PIV) process that requires two forms of identification from the Form I-9 . Federal law requires verification of the identify and employment eligibility of all new hires in the U.S.

Travel locally and/or overnight approximately 20% of the time.

Obtain and use a Government-issued charge card for business-related travel.

Successfully complete a background investigation.

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