This Position Is No Longer Available
  1. Overview
  2. Duties
  3. Qualifications & Evaluations
  4. Benefits & Other Info
  5. How to Apply

Job Title:Supervisory Staff Accountant

Department:Department Of Agriculture

Agency:National Institute of Food and Agriculture

Job Announcement Number:NIFA-S13N-0002

This position is closed and no longer accepting online applications through USAJOBS.

The contents of the announcement can still be viewed.


$105,211.00 to $136,771.00 / Per Year


Monday, October 15, 2012 to Friday, November 09, 2012




Full Time - Permanent




1 vacancy in the following location:
Washington DC Metro Area, DC United States


All US Citizens. Status Candidates, VEOA eligibles, reinstatement eligibles, and those eligible under noncompetitive or special appointing authorities should apply to Merit Promotion vacancy announcement number NIFA-M13N-0003.


The National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) is the Federal component of a nationwide extramural research, educational, and outreach system which supports the global, science-based agricultural enterprise and accomplishes its missions in partnership with land-grant universities and other academic and scientific organizations. To learn more about NIFA, please visit

The Supervisory Staff Accountant serves as the Chief of the Oversight Branch and conducts analytical and evaluative work requiring a comprehensive knowledge of financial, accounting and business principles, standards, practices and operations of a wide range of organizations in order to interpret financial and accounting data, records and reports and negotiate and advise on the reasonableness and allowability of acceptable costs on various types of awards.  


The Supervisory Staff Accountant is responsible for highly specialized accounting and cost analysis activities including 1) indirect cost rate development; 2) maintaining information on indirect cost rates established by  the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) and other Federal agencies; 3) review, analysis, and resolution of audit findings contained in Office of the Inspector General (OIG) , Government Accountability Office (GAO) and  Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-133 issued audit reports; and 4) financial, compliance, and administrative reviews at NIFA partner institutions and other clientele organizations, including compliance reviews for the Improper Payments Information Act (IPIA) of 2002.



  • You must be a U.S. Citizen to apply for this position
  • Suitable for Federal employment, determined by a background investigation
  • A one year probationary period is required for first time supervisor


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Provide technical and administrative supervision to the Oversight Branch within the Policy & Oversight Division of the OGFM.


Analyze indirect cost rate proposals together with supporting financial statements and detailed cost data submitted to NIFA by universities, non-profit organizations and commercial firms for the purposes of establishing appropriate indirect cost rates used in funding and closing out NIFA grants and cooperative agreements.  


Conduct special studies of indirect cost rates and recommends appropriate policies with respect to the indirect cost rates.


Maintain liaison and cooperates with other government agencies in establishing indirect cost rates.   


Visit  awardees in connection with indirect cost proposals to examine supporting data, discusses with high level organizational personnel areas of disagreement and negotiates appropriate indirect cost rates for use by NIFA and other Government agencies.   


Assist program managers and other NIFA personnel in the proper understanding and use of indirect cost rate data, cost and pricing data, and related aspects of awardee financial, accounting and administration matters.


Develop indirect cost rate computation guidelines.


Review and analyzes audit reports issued by OIG and others to determine the adequacy of the findings for both questioned costs and compliance and/or internal control issues.   


Determine corrective actions required to address compliance and internal control issues in accordance with applicable cost principles and regulations.


Maintain various audit information databases, including an audit tracking system, Status Log on Audit Reports, and Final Action and Compliance File.


Respond to inquiries of awardees, audit forms, NIFA National Program Leader's and the general public in regard to cost allowability of audit related issues.


Participate , assist and advises  Division Director in developing current and long-range proposals for on-site financial, compliance and administrative reviews.  


Conduct research and performs reviews and evaluations of new and high-risk grantees which require intensive efforts in problem solving and analysis. Prepares working papers, summaries, and reports detailing the results of work performed.


Provide assistance to recipient organizations in maintaining their financial and administrative systems and internal controls in order to ensure they are in compliance with applicable Federal laws and regulations.     





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Required Qualifications:

To be minimally qualified for this position you must meet one of the Basic Qualifications as listed below.

A.        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" in this standard. Similarly, "accountant" should be interpreted, generally, as "accountant and/or auditor.")


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.

NOTE: If you meet the basic requirements for A or B, you are REQUIRED to submit a copy of your college transcript OR a list of college courses with credit hours, dates completed, and grades received to verify education.

Education must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education in order for it to be credited towards qualifications (particularly positions with a positive education requirement.)   Therefore, applicants must report only attendance and degrees from schools accredited by accrediting institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.



At the GS-14 level: Qualifying experience for GS-14 includes one year of specialized experience comparable to GS-13 which is directly related to the work of this position and which has equipped the applicant with the knowledge, skills, and abilities to perform successfully the duties of the position.   Specialized experience for this position includes experience conducting the analysis of indirect cost rate proposals together with supporting financial statements and detailed cost data; being a liaison and cooperating with others regarding financial matters ;developing current and long-range proposals for on-site financial matters, compliance and administrative reviews; conducting research and performing reviews and evaluations of new and high-risk grantees which require intensive efforts in problem solving and analysis; preparing working papers, summaries, and reports detailing the results of work performed; reviewing and conducting resolution activities of A-133 audits and preparing reports on the status of audit resolution; and supervising or acting as a lead of a financial office and/or oversight personnel.

Qualification requirements must be met by the closing date of this vacancy announcement.


Unofficial transcripts will be accepted.

Selections are typically made within 30 days of the closing date of the announcement.


Your application will be evaluated and rated under Category Rating Procedures. Qualified candidates will be placed for selection consideration into three categories:  Best Qualified, Well Qualified or Qualified.  Within these categories, applicants eligible for veteran's preference will receive selection priority over non-veterans.  Your resume will be reviewed and compared against your responses to the online questionnaire.  We strongly encourage you to answer every question that accompanies this vacancy, as your responses will better highlight your specific qualifications.

Your qualifications will be evaluated on the following competencies:  

 ·    Skill in the area of cost accounting, cost principles, and indirect costs in order to analyze, develop and implement policies as they relate to indirect costs in grants and cooperative agreements.

·    Knowledge of accounting and auditing concepts, practices and techniques, together with knowledge of basic trends and current developments in the accounting/auditing profession

·     Skill  in managerial practices related to team building, internal budget planning, setting goals and developing standards.  

Please note that your resume must thoroughly support your responses to the assessment questionnaire.  High self-assessment in the applicant questions that is not supported by information in your resume may eliminate you from best-qualified status and subsequent referral to the selecting official.

Displaced/Surplus Employees:  Individuals eligible under the USDA Career Transition Assistance Program (CTAP) or the Interagency Career Transition Assistance Program (ICTAP) must be well qualified for the position to receive consideration for special priority selection.  CTAP and ICTAP eligibles within the local commuting area will be considered well qualified if the applicant meets the basic eligibility requirements and all selective factors, and is rated in the Well Qualified Category as described in the How You Will be Evaluated section.  Employees seeking CTAP/ICTAP eligibility must submit a copy of the agency notice, a copy of their most recent performance rating and a copy of their most recent SF-50 noting current position, grade level and duty location.  Please annotate your application to reflect that you are applying as a CTAP or ICTAP eligible.   CLICK HERE for additional information on CTAP and ICTAP.




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A benefits package is authorized for this position. CLICK HERE for more information concerning federal benefits.



Selective Service System:
Males over age 18 who were born after December 31, 1959, must have registered with the Selective Service System (or have an exemption) to be eligible for Federal employment.
CLICK HERE for further information.

Optional Form 306, Declaration for Federal Employment:
If you are selected for this position, you will be required to complete this form before an offer may be made.
CLICK HERE to access the Optional Form 306.

Financial Disclosure Requirement:
The Research, Education and Economics (REE) agencies inspire public confidence in our missions by maintaining high ethical principles. Employees are subject to Federal government-wide regulations and statutes as described on the
REE Ethics Webpage. You may be required to submit a financial disclosure report if hired for this position.

False Statements:
If you make a false statement in any part of your application, you may not be hired; may be fired after beginning work; or may be fined or jailed.

Reasonable Accommodation:
Reasonable accommodation is provided to applicants with disabilities. If you need a reasonable accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process, or have questions regarding reasonable accommodation and/or accessibility for any part of the application and hiring process, please contact the Disability Program Manager on 202-720-6161 or through the DC Relay Service on (202) 855-1234 (TDD). The decision to grant reasonable accommodation is made on a case-by-case basis.


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Your application package must be complete by 11:59 p.m. (EST) on Friday, November 09, 2012.  You must apply online or by fax (see below for details).  Applications sent by mail (including e-mail) or hand-delivered will not be accepted.  Certain individuals are entitled to file a late application and must contact the Agency Contact listed below for details and application instructions.

Choose either Option A or Option B to apply for this position:

Option A:  Online Application

Click the Apply Online button to create an account or log in to your existing USAJOBS account.  From USAJOBS, you will be routed to Application Manager.  Follow the prompts to complete the occupational questionnaire and upload (or reuse) supporting documents.  You must click the Submit My Answers button at the end of the process.

If you need technical assistance with the online application process, please send an e-mail to

Note: To return to a previously saved or incomplete application, use the following link:  Track your progress to a Complete Application Package using the My Application Packages checklist and status displays in Application Manager.

To fax supporting documents that you are unable to upload:
Click here to print a fax cover page
2. Complete all blocks on the cover page using Vacancy ID 760594.  Documents will not be processed if information is missing.
3. Fax the completed cover page and your documents to 1-478-757-3144.

Option B:  Fax

If you cannot apply online, follow these steps to fax your complete application package.

1. Click the following link to print the occupational questionnaire View Occupational Questionnaire
2. Print the
1203FX form, which you will use to provide your responses to the occupational questionnaire, and  
3. Fax the completed 1203FX (all 6 pages), your resume, and supporting documents (including those specified in the Required Documents section below) to 1-478-757-3144.  The 1203FX will serve as the cover page for your fax transmission and must be placed on top of all other documents.


The following documents are required:

  • Assessment questionnaire (completed online or submitted by fax using the 1203FX)
  • Resume (OF-612 will not be accepted)

In addition, you may need to submit supplemental documentation (as outlined below).  Failure to submit supplemental information by the closing date of this announcement will result in the loss of the particular consideration you are requesting.

Veterans' Preference:  To determine your eligibility for Veterans' Preference, CLICK HERE.  To claim 5-point veterans' preference, submit a copy of your DD-214 or other proof of eligibility.  To claim 10-point veterans' preference, submit an SF-15, Application for 10-Point Veterans' Preference, plus the documentation required by that form.  

Transcripts:  If you indicate that you possess any form of post-secondary education, you must submit transcripts detailing your coursework and/or degree(s). At the time your education was obtained, the entire institution, applicable school within the institution, or the applicable curriculum must have been appropriately accredited by an accrediting organization recognized by the Secretary, U.S. Department of Education. You may lose consideration for this position if you fail to provide this information. CLICK HERE for more information on this topic.

Foreign Education:  To receive credit for education outside the U.S., you must show proof that the education has been submitted to a private organization that specializes in interpretation of foreign educational credentials and that such education has been deemed to be at least equivalent to that gained in conventional U.S. education programs. There is normally a fee associated with this service. For a list of private organizations that are accredited to evaluate education, visit National Association of Credential Evaluation Services.


Wahkeela Hines
Phone: (301)504-2373
Agency Information:
National Institute of Food and Agriculture
800 9th Street SW
Washington, DC


Once your complete application package (including all required documents) is received, we will conduct an evaluation of your qualifications and determine your ranking.  The best qualified candidates will be referred for further consideration and possible interview.  You will be notified of the outcome.


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