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This Position Is No Longer Available

Job Title:  Principal Accountant
Agency:  Federal Housing Finance Agency
Job Announcement Number:  DH-13-02

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

The contents of the announcement can still be viewed.
$128,811.00 to $218,978.00 / Per Year
Thursday, April 04, 2013 to Thursday, April 25, 2013
Full Time - Permanent
1 vacancy in the following location:
Washington DC, DC United StatesView Map
United States Citizens


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The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) is a small, dynamic, fast-paced federal agency whose work has far-reaching impact. If selected, you will be part of an integrated team playing a key role in the current and future U.S. housing market. 

At FHFA, every employee is critical in meeting our mission. Our team primarily consists of examiners, accountants, economists, financial analysts, information technology specialists, and attorneys – which make up our Mission Critical Occupations (MCO).  However, we also employ budget and procurement specialists, human resources specialists, administrative, facilities and space management professionals and student interns.

This position is located in the Office of Chief Accountant.  The Office of the Chief Accountant develops safety and soundness guidance and policy interpretations related to accounting, auditing, internal controls over financial reporting, and financial disclosure at the housing GSEs.  The office  monitors the compliance of the housing GSEs with such policies and also promotes the application of consistent accounting policies that promote transparency in financial reporting across the housing GSEs.

We offer competitive salaries and a great benefits package.



  • U.S.Citizen


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As a Principal Accountant, the incumbent is responsible for providing expert opinions and analyses on various internal auditing and Internal Control over Financial Reporting (ICFR) issues.  In addition, this position participates in FHFA examination oversight activities related to internal audit and ICFR.  The incumbent also plays a critical role in the continuous assessment of areas of focus during the examination process.

Principal Accountant serves as a technical expert performing testing, compiling and concluding on analyses.  Incumbent provides advice on a broad range of internal audit and ICFR issues, including risk-based auditing practices and methodologies, and all aspects of the ICFR process. 

Incumbent provides subject matter expertise to FHFA examination personnel. Principal Accountant acts as lead Accountant on key projects, organizing staff and resources, performing testing, offering insights on complex issues, and ensuring conformity with standards and regulations. 

Incumbent develops objective criteria to evaluate internal audit and ICFR processes used in assessing the effectiveness and efficiency of these areas at the Housing GSEs. Advises management of opportunities to improve or enhance operations or risk management. Communicates observations and recommendations to executive management of the Housing GSEs.

Principal Accountant represents FHFA as a subject matter expert on interagency committees and in meetings with representatives of financial regulators, other federal agencies, the Housing GSEs, private organizations, and other relevant groups and organizations dealing with issues of interest to FHFA.

Incumbent is responsible for performing field work including developing test plans, conducting relevant testing, overseeing assigned resources, developing findings, conclusions and recommendations. Gives briefings and technical presentations to senior managers and staff on these issues.  Assists in preparation of quarterly risk assessments and annual report of exams. 


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Qualifying experience for the EL-15 level includes one year of specialized experience at least equivalent to EL-14 (GS-14) which is in or directly related to the line of work of the position to be filled and which has equipped the applicant with the particular knowledge, skills, and abilities to successfully perform the duties of the position. Examples of specialized experience could include any of the following:

Expert knowledge of generally accepted auditing standards (GAAS), Standards promulgated by the Institute of Internal Auditors, Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, and Sarbanes-Oxley legislation. 

Expert knowledge of authoritative accounting literature required to conduct research on auditing and ICFR issues that affect the Housing GSEs.

Skill in researching and developing recommendations for regulations, policies, and procedures, which conform to applicable standards.

Skill in gathering, assembling, consolidating, and analyzing facts and drawing conclusions related to accounting and financial information to then be able to identify and evaluate emerging risks and policy issues.

Demonstrated experience in the financial services industry (i.e. banking, mortgage, broker-dealer, etc.), Bank Regulatory Agencies, and/or public accounting.



In addition to possessing the required specialized experience for this position, this series requires that applicants meet a positive education requirement. You meet the positive education requirement if you possess the following:

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 Certificate 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 application has successfully worked a 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.


Applicants must meet all qualifications requirements (listed above) by the Thursday, April 25, 2013 to be eligible for further consideration. Eligibility will be based on clear documentation indicating that the applicant's training and experience are of the scope, quality and level of responsibility sufficient to successfully perform the duties and responsibilities of this executive position.


All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment regardless of race, color, religion, gender, status as a parent, sexual orientation, political affiliations, national origin, age, disability, or any other non-merit factor.


Candidates who meet the basic qualification requirements for this vacancy will be rated according to Category Rating Procedures. Based on your veteran's status and responses to the job specific questionnaire you will be assigned to a pre-defined quality category. There will be three quality categories: Highly Qualified, Well Qualified and Qualified. Generally, only candidates in the top quality category will be referred to the hiring manager.

All of the information you provide will be verified by a review of the work experience and/or education as shown on your application forms, by checking references or through other means, such as the interview process. This verification could occur at any stage of the application process. Any exaggeration of your experience, false statements, or attempts to conceal information may be grounds for rating you ineligible.


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The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) offers a comprehensive benefits package that includes all of the standard federal benefits plus additional agency specific benefits.  Our unique benefits package includes the following:

DENTAL. FREE comprehensive dental coverage to employees and their family members. There is a $2,500 annual maximum per employee and a separate orthodontic benefit for dependent children to age 19. (Annual deductibles apply.)

VISION. FREE vision care coverage. This benefit covers the employee and all eligible dependents. (Co-pay applies.) Coverage includes reimbursement according to a fee schedule for eye examinations, frames and contact lenses once every 12 months.

TRANSPORTATION. 100% cost of your public transportation commuting expenses (e.g., vanpool, metro bus, metro train). The first $125 tax-free and up to $90 per month to cover the cost of parking at Metro operated lots.

LIFECYCLE PROGRAM.  FHFA's Life Cycle Program provides a taxable distribution each fiscal year for various health and wellness related expenses. This benefit is based on your employment status on October 1st of each fiscal year.  

HEALTH INSURANCE. .A variety of Federal Employee Health Benefit plans to choose from which can be paid from pre-tax income. FHFA pays 90% of the bi-weekly premium.

RETIREMENT. The Federal Employee Retirement System (FERS) is a three-tiered program consisting of: Basic Benefit (a retirement pension) Social Security, and the Thrift Savings Plan (see below).  Current CSRS employees will remain under that retirement system. Employees hired after December 31, 2012, will be covered under the Federal Employee Retirment System-Rvised Annuity Employees (RAE).

RETIREMENT SAVINGS.. The Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) is a retirement savings and investment plan for Federal employees and offers the same type of savings and tax benefits provided under 401(k) plans. A FERS employee can contribute up to $17,500 per year. The agency will match contributions up to the first 5 percent. A CSRS employee, you can contribute up to $17,500 per year. CSRS employees do not receive any agency contributions. Employees age 50 or older as of December 31, 2012, may contribute an additional $5,500 for catch-up contribution per year.

 401K PLAN. In addition to the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP), the FHFA implemented an additional retirement savings plan that is administered by T. Rowe Price. Employees contributing at least 3% to the TSP may participate in the agency 401(k) plan. 401(k) plan participants may contribute up to 10% of their salary on a pre-tax basis, with agency matching contributions of up to 3 percent.

 LEAVE. The Federal leave program offers exceptional time-off benefits, including annual leave, sick leave, Family Friendly Leave, Family Medical Leave, and ten (10) paid holidays per year.

LIFE INSURANCE. The Federal Employee Group Life Insurance offers numerous life insurance policy options covering employees and dependents.

COUNSELING SERVICES. The Employee Assistance Program provides free confidential counseling and referral services to you and your family members.

TRAINING. Career development and enrichment training is available in job-related areas.

Please visit for more detailed information on the federal benefits programs.


Interagency Career Transition Program: The ICTAP provides eligible displaced Federal competitive service employees with selection priority over other candidates for competitive service vacancies.  If your agency has notified you in writing that you are a displaced employee eligible for ICTAP consideration, you may receive selection priority if:  1) this vacancy is within your ICTAP eligibility, 2) you apply under the instructions in this announcement, and 3) you are found well-qualified for this vacancy. Well-qualified candidates are those who are rated in the well-qualified or highly-qualified category. You must provide proof of eligibility with your application to receive selection priority.  Such proof may include a copy of your written notification of ICTAP eligibility or a copy of your separation personnel action form.  Information about ICTAP eligibility is on OPM's Career Transition Resources website at

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

Veterans' Preference:  If you are entitled to veterans' preference, you should indicate the type of veterans' preference you are claiming on your résumé.  Your veterans' preference entitlement will be verified if selected.

Veterans claiming preference who have met the basic qualification requirements will be placed ahead of other applicants in the category to which they are assigned based upon the rating of their application. 


REASONABLE ACCOMMODATION: This agency provides reasonable accommodations to applicants with disabilities, except when doing so would pose an undue hardship on the employing agency. If you need a reasonable accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process, please notify the agency at (202) 649-3009. The decision on granting reasonable accommodation will be made on a case-by-case basis.


Ethics: FHFA employees are subject to government-wide ethical standards of conduct, financial disclosure requirements, and post-employment prohibitions. In addition, certain FHFA employees are prohibited from accepting compensation from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac for a two-year period after terminating employment with FHFA. Furthermore, to avoid financial conflicts-of interest or the appearance of conflicts-of-interest, FHFA employees may need to divest or sell certain assets they, their spouse, or minor children own or control, including securities issued by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, or the Federal Home Loan Banks. Employees who work on Federal Home Loan Bank issues may need to sell or divest financial interests with any of the Federal Home Loan Bank members, which may include stock in bank holding companies, insurance companies, and other financial services firms. Questions regarding these requirements and prohibitions should be directed to the Office of General Counsel at (202)649-3088.

Additional Information:

New federal employees are required to fulfill a one-year probationary period.

Favorable adjudication of the appropriate level of background investigation is a condition of employment at FHFA.

All Federal employees are required to have Federal salary payments made by direct deposit to a financial institution of their choosing.

There is currently only one vacancy available. However, should additional vacancies become available within three months from the opening date of this announcement, eligible applicants for this position may be referred for consideration for the additional position(s).


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To apply for this position, you must provide a complete Application Package which includes:

1. Your Resume or CV            

2. A complete Occupational Questionnaire
3. Additional Required Documents (see Required Documents section below)

The complete Application Package must be submitted by 11:59 PM (EST) on Thursday, April 25, 2013 .

To begin the process, click the Apply Online button to create an account or log in to your existing USAJOBS account.  Follow the prompts to complete the occupational questionnaire. Please ensure you click the Submit My Answers button at the end of the process. 
Note: To check the status of your application or return to a previous or incomplete application, log into your USAJOBS account, select Application Status, and click on the MORE INFORMATION link under the application status for this position. 

To fax supporting documents you are unable to upload, complete this cover page using the following Vacancy ID  867829 .  Fax your documents to 1-478-757-3144.

If you cannot apply online:

1. Click the following link to view and print the occupational questionnaire View Occupational Questionnaire.

2. Print this 1203FX form to provide your response to the occupational questionnaire
3. Fax the completed 1203FX form along with any supporting documents to 1-478-757-3144. Your 1203FX will serve as a cover page for your fax transmission.


  • Resume, CV or application
  • Responses to the questionnaire


Jerri Fitzpatrick
Phone: (202)649-3733
Agency Information:
Federal Housing Finance Agency
400 7th Street SW
Washington, DC


After all application packages have been received, we will review your materials to ensure you meet the basic qualification requirements.  We will evaluate each applicant who meets the basic qualifications on the information provided in his/her resume and the completed Supplemental Questionnaire.  Applicants deemed best-qualified may be contacted for an interview.  We anticipate making a final job offer for this position within 45 days after the deadline for applications.  All candidates will be notified of the final disposition.

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