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This Position Is No Longer Available

Job Title:  Accounting Technician
Agency:  Smithsonian Institution
Job Announcement Number:  13-08

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

The contents of the announcement can still be viewed.
$42,406.00 to $55,132.00 / Per Year
Thursday, February 14, 2013 to Friday, March 29, 2013
Full Time - Indefinite Trust Appointment. This is not a Federal position.
1 vacancy in the following location(s):
Cambridge, MA, USView Map
02138View Map
This position is open to all candidates eligible to work in the United States from the local communting area.


The Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory is part of what is arguably the largest and most diverse astrophysical institution in the world, where the staff carries out a broad program of research in astronomy, astrophysics, and earth and space sciences. If you would like to join this exciting organization, apply today!

The Accounting Technician is responsible for accounts payable functions within the Financial Management Department. 


  • Pre- and post-appointment background investigation.
  • May be required to serve a one-year probationary period.
  • Must maintain an account for Direct Deposit/Electronic Transfer.


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Duties may include but are not limited to:

Processing vendor payments and resolving accounts payable problems.

Processing on-line voucher payments which may come from multiple funding sources.  Verifies accuracy of vendor invoice, review supporting documentation, determines whether partial or full payment is being requested.  Review line item voucher detail and determines if budget check certification can be administered.  Takes corrective action for discrepancies.

Validates, monitors, controls and maintains accounts payable transactions.  Reconciles purchase order and voucher activity to the subsidiary ledgers and general ledger.  Researches discrepancies, requests purchase order modifications and processes voucher adjustments.

Reviews all delinquent accounts payable bills (those bills that have remained unpaid 31 days and over) to determine validity and ensure all applicable interest processing fees and penalty fees are calculated to the commercial customer.

Monitors purchase order and accounts payable ERP system implemented requirements document tolerance rules and match exception rules to ensure that payable transactions are not delayed due to internal requirements.

Verifies the accuracy of the authorizing documents, reconstructs the payment history for the period involved, determines the amount and extent of underpayment or overpayment, if any, and the procedures for disbursing the underpayment or collecting overpayment.

Monitors status of scheduled payments and researches any delayed payments.  Works with SI, banking and vendor staff to resolve incorrect, missing, or misdirected payments.  Initiates payment cancellation as necessary.



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You must meet at least ONE of the requirements below:


Grade 7: You must have one year of full-time experience equivalent to grade 6 in the federal service related to billing and accounts receivable; working with automated accounting systems; using automated office applications to run reports; and, preparing detailed invoices and supporting documentation for disbursed and cost reports.

Or Education

Education is generally not applicable for the substitution of the 1 year of
specialized experience. However, graduate education may be credited in those few instances where the graduate education is directly related to the work of the position.

Or a Combination

Education and experience may be combined to meet the basic qualifications; for example, a half year of experience and a half year of education in the field may be qualifying.

Part-time and/or unpaid experience related to this position will be considered to determine the total number of years and months of experience.  Be sure to note the number of paid or unpaid hours worked each week.

Qualification requirements must be met within 30 days of the job opportunity announcement closing date.

For information on qualification requirements, see Qualification Standards Handbook for General Schedule Positions viewable on the web at


Your application will be evaluated first for the basic qualifications described above.


The applications that meet the basic qualifications will be evaluated further against the following criteria:

  • Knowledge of accounting methods, procedures and techniques to conduct difficult and responsible analysis and determinations to validate transactions and to perform research to resolve inconsistencies.
  • Knowledge of the interrelationships of various accounting systems applications and computer file systems and content to resolve problems of processed transactions (e.g. knowledge of computer master file systems, document processing, and the effects of transactions on existing records to modify normal automated processes in existing accounts while protecting historical data).  The modifications relate to obligations, collections, disbursements, and interfund transactions or other actions involving complicated adjustments such as carry back and carry forward and restricted interest cases.
  • Knowledge of established bookkeeping and accounting methods and techniques for receiving, reviewing for accuracy and processing accounts payable transactions.
  • Knowledge enterprise financial information systems as related to accounts payable functions such as vendor maintenance, the entry of regular and correction vouchers, payment processing, and resolution of exceptions.
  • Knowledge of interpersonal skills required to obtain accurately or to communicate effectively information in an environment that can sometimes be marked with urgency or conflict to ensure the timely resolution of discrepancies and payment-related problems.
  • Ability to independently research and resolve time-critical problems in complex systems.

Your resume and supporting documentation will be compared to your responses to the occupational questionnaire or other assessment tool for consistency. If a determination is made that you have rated yourself higher than is supported by your resume, you will be assigned a rating commensurate to your described experience.

Your resume should provide detailed information regarding how your education and experience relate to this position, including the major duties and qualifications criteria listed.

To preview questions please click here.


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The Smithsonian offers a comprehensive benefits package that includes, in part, vacation and sick leave, holidays, commuter benefits, health/life insurance, and accidental insurance.

Please see Benefits at for a
complete description.



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Click on the "Apply Online" button on the upper right side of the page.

Please Note:
  • You must apply for this position online through the 'Apply Online' button and submit required supplemental documents (if they are relevant to you).
  • You may submit required documents by uploading them online during the application process;
    You may manually fax required documents.  Faxes are received by an automated system, not a physical fax machine.  Documents that are faxed as part of the application process must be sent with the system generated cover sheet by the closing date.  Documents faxed without the system generated coversheet are not retrievable and cannot be considered as part of the application package.  
  • The complete application package, including any required documents, is due in the Smithsonian Office of Human Resources on the closing date of the announcement by 11:59 PM Eastern Time.
  • If you are unable to apply online, paper applications may be accepted with prior approval of the Contact Person listed below.


Your application package should include the following documents:
  • Detailed resume created in the USAJOBS Resume Builder.
  • Unofficial school transcripts, if the position has an education requirement or if you are using education to qualify.  If selected for the position, you must provide an official transcript before appointment.
  • Proof of U.S. accreditation for foreign study, if applicable.


Judy Gallagher
Phone: 617-495-7374
Fax: 617-495-7263
Agency Information:
Human Resources
60 Garden Street Cambridge, MA 02138
Mail Stop 17
Cambridge, MA
Fax: 617-495-7263


At the end of the application process you will be able to create and save a PDF file that contains your responses to the assessment questions.  You may save this file as receipt of your application.      

The Smithsonian receives many applications for each job.  Each application is reviewed carefully which may take a few weeks.  We will send you an e-mail to update you as we go through phases of the application review process.  You may also check your application status by logging into and selecting the tab "My USAJOBS;" e-mailing; or by contacting the Office of Human Resources Representative listed.

Additional Information:
  • The Smithsonian does not pay relocation expenses.

  • The Smithsonian embraces diversity and equal employment opportunity (

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