Staff Accountant

U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission

Location: Philadelphia Regional Office, D.C. Headquarters, & Boston Regional Office

3 vacancies

Salary: $76,949 to $160,155

Open: March 26 to April 9, 2021



The Division of Examinations administers the SEC's nationwide examination and inspection program for registered self-regulatory organizations, NRSROs, broker-dealers, transfer agents, clearing agencies, investment companies, and investment advisers.


The Staff Accountant positions are located in the Division of Examination's Philadelphia Regional Office, Headquarter Office, and Boston Regional Office.

Typical Duties:

  • Providing technical assistance and support in one or more of the Division of Examination's accounting/examining program with emphasis on registered self-regulatory organizations, investment companies, investment advisers, broker-dealers, transfer agents, and clearing agencies, (collectively "registrants");
  • Planning and conducting examinations, developing reports of findings, communicating verbally in meetings, drafting detailed findings in reports, and providing advice and recommendations for complex clearing agency examinations;
  • Providing technical advice and assistance in the areas of accounting principles and standards, evaluating internal control processes, performing complex and difficult assignments supporting the mission of the Exam's program; and
  • Analyzing complex internal control systems and processes, analyzing the methods used for valuing and accounting for a portfolio of securities, reconstructing records and process flows, analyzing cash-management systems, investigating new financial products, analyzing performance calculations, and/or analyzing risk.

Travel Required

Occasional travel - Travel averages one week or 5 days a month.


Conditions of Employment

  • You must be a US Citizen.
  • Application procedures are specific to this vacancy announcement. Please read all the instructions carefully. Failure to follow the instructions may result in you not being considered for this position.
  • Supplementary vacancies may be filled in addition to the number stated in this announcement.
  • This position has promotion potential to the SK-14 level.
  • PROBATIONARY PERIOD: This appointment may require completion of a one-year probationary period.
  • SECURITY CLEARANCE: Entrance on duty is contingent upon completion of a pre-employment security investigation. Favorable results on a Background Investigation may be a condition of employment or selection to another position.
  • DRUG TESTING: This position may be subjected to drug testing requirements.
  • PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION (PCS): Moving/Relocation expenses are not authorized.
  • DIRECT DEPOSIT: All Federal employees are required to have Federal salary payments made by direct deposit to a financial institution of their choosing.
  • This position is in the collective bargaining unit.
  • Due to COVID-19, the SEC is currently in a mandatory telework posture through June 25, 2021. If selected, you will be permitted to temporarily telework from a location outside the local commuting area.
  • Once employees are permitted to return to the office, you will be expected to report to the duty station listed on this announcement within 60 days. At that time, you will be eligible to request telework in accordance with the SEC 's telework policy.



All qualification requirements must be met by the closing date of this announcement.

Qualifying experience may be obtained in the private or public sector. Experience refers to paid and unpaid experience, including volunteer work done through National Service programs (e.g., Peace Corps, AmeriCorps) and other organizations (e.g., professional; philanthropic; religious; spiritual; community, student, social). Volunteer work helps build critical competencies, knowledge, and skills and can provide valuable training and experience that translates directly to paid employment. You will receive credit for all qualifying experience, including volunteer experience. Qualifying education must have been obtained from an accredited college or university recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.


  • 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.") OR
  • 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: In addition to meeting the basic requirement, applicants must also meet the minimum qualification requirement.

SK-11: To be eligible at the GS-11 level, you must meet at least ONE of the following conditions as defined below: Specialized Experience, Education, or a combination of Education and Experience.

  1. Specialized Experience: Applicant must have at least one year of specialized experience equivalent to at least the GS/SK-09 level. Specialized experience includes experience performing at least one of the following functions:
    • Performing audits, examinations, investigations, or internal compliance reviews of securities-related financial institution, such as investment advisers, investment companies, broker-dealers, clearing agencies, and transfer agents;
    • Analyzing financial, operations or securities data;
    • Assisting with projects focused on topics related to the control functions of a financial services firm; e.g. the review of procedures, practices, and records related to the issuance, distribution, and trading of securities, risk management, accounting treatment, capital treatment, financing structures, or assessment of risk controls; or
    • Applying public accounting and auditing standards such as Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) or International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS).
  2. Education: A Ph.D. or equivalent doctoral degree; LL.M., or 3 full years of progressively higher level graduate education leading to such a degree; if related to business administration, finance, or accounting.
  3. Combination of Education and Experience: A combination of education and experience which includes education exceeding two years of graduate study in business administration, finance or accounting and at least six (6) months of specialized experience equivalent to GS/SK-09 level conducting the activities described above.

SK-12: Applicant must have at least one year of specialized experience equivalent to at least the GS/SK-11 level. Specialized experience includes experience performing at least two of the following functions:

  • Participating in examinations, investigations, audits or internal compliance reviews of securities-related financial institutions such as investment advisers, investment companies, broker-dealers, clearing agencies, national securities exchanges or transfer agents
  • Assisting in the adoption, implementation, or testing of internal controls or internal risk management programs (such as enterprise or operational risk management);
  • Analyzing financial, operational, or securities industry data;
  • Assisting with the review of procedures, practices, and records related to the issuance, distribution, and trading of securities;
  • Engaging in securities trading, portfolio management, or investment management or performing investment analysis or management of securities; or
  • Applying public accounting and auditing standards including Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) and/or Generally Accepted Auditing Standards (GAAS).


ARE YOU USING YOUR EDUCATION TO QUALIFY? You MUST provide transcripts or other documentation to support your educational claims. Unless otherwise stated: (1) official or unofficial transcripts are acceptable, or (2) you may submit a list with all of your courses, grades, semester, year, and credit for the course. All materials must be submitted by the closing date of the announcement.

PASS/FAIL COURSES: If more than 10 percent of your undergraduate course work (credit hours) were taken on a pass/fail basis, your claim of superior academic achievement must be based upon class standing or membership in an honor society.