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Financial Specialist



Food Safety and Inspection Service

Accounts Payable Management Branch



This position is located in the Financial Management Division (FMD), Office of the Chief Financial Officer (OCFO). FMD is responsible for financial policies and functions related to payroll employee reimbursements, conference planning, billing, employee relocation, foreign, local and temporary duty travel and travel advances.

This position is eligible for up to 4 days telework per pay period and other flexible work arrangements. Employee participation is at the discretion of the supervisor.

This job is open to



Career transition (CTAP, ICTAP, RPL)


Federal employees who meet the definition of a "surplus" or "displaced" employee.


Federal employees - Competitive service


Current or former competitive service federal employees.


Individuals with disabilities




Military spouses




Special authorities


Individuals eligible under a special authority not listed above, but defined in the federal hiring regulations.






Land & base management


Certain current or former term or temporary federal employees of a land or base management agency.


Peace Corps & AmeriCorps Vista



Clarification from the agency


Current permanent federal employees with competitive status, Land Management Workforce Flexibility Act, CTAP/RPL/ICTAP and VEOA eligibles, Farm Service Agency permanent county employees, 30 percent or More Disabled Veterans, Certain Former Overseas and Foreign Service Employees, Military Spouses, Interchange Agreement and Other Miscellaneous Authorities, People with Disabilities, Peace Corps and VISTA, Reinstatement, and VRA eligible candidates.



  • Prepares and delivers written and oral presentations and serves as an expert in assigned process and program area.
  • Gages in analyzing procedures, methods, and techniques involved in the financial document processing work of the Unit. Uses analysis to provide feedback, develop system enhancements, and workflow improvements.
  • Analyze data of processed time-sensitive financial docs include, but are not limited to billing docs, collections, exports certs, travel authorizations/vouchers, various reimbursements to employees, biweekly payroll time/attendance docs, etc.
  • Analyze the Unit's interaction with automated financial data system. Develops and recommends alternative data capturing methods and systems as well as potential system improvements.
  • Expected to work both independently and as a member of a team.



Conditions of Employment


  • You must be a US Citizen or US National.
  • Males born after 12/31/1959 must be Selective Service registered or exempt.
  • Subject to satisfactory adjudication of background investigation and/or fingerprint check.
  • Successful completion of one-year probationary period, unless previously served.
  • Subject to one-year supervisory/managerial probationary period unless prior service is creditable. New USDA supervisors must successfully complete all components of the required training program before the end of their probationary period.
  • Direct Deposit – Per Public Law 104-134 all Federal employees are required to have federal payments made by direct deposit to their financial institution.
  • Must pass the E-Verify employment verification check. To learn more, including your rights and responsibilities, visit E-Verify at



Applicants must meet all qualifications and eligibility requirements by the closing date of the announcement including time-in-grade restrictions, specialized experience and/or education, as defined below.

Time in grade: Applicants must have one year of specialized experience at the next lower grade to be considered for the next higher grade (e.g. one year at the GS-9 grade level for consideration for the GS-11 grade level.).

MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS: To be considered minimally qualified for this position, you must demonstrate that you have the required specialized experience and/or education for the respective grade level in which you are applying:

Specialized Experience: You must have at least one year of specialized work experience equivalent to the GS-09 grade level in the Federal service performing duties which include:

  • Analyzing financial activities;
  • Analyzing samples of financial data for proper authorizations;
  • Preparing reports from automated financial systems;
  • Researching and resolving financial issues; and
  • Interpreting/explaining for a financial institution or program area.


Education: You must possess a Ph.D. or equivalent doctoral degree or three full years of progressively higher-level graduate education leading to such a degree. This education must demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to do the work of this position. One year of full-time graduate education is considered to be the number of credit hours that the school attended has determined to represent 1 year of full-time study. If that information cannot be determined from the school, 54 semester hours should be considered as equivalent to 3 years of full-time study. (You must submit a copy of your transcripts for verification.)


Combination: You must have an appropriate combination of experience and successfully completed graduate-level education. To determine your combination, first compute your experience as a percentage of the experience listed above; then determine your education as a percentage of the education listed above; then add the two percentages. The total percentages must equal at least 100 percent. Only graduate education in excess of two full years (36 semester hours) may be used to qualify. (You must submit a copy of your transcripts for verification.)

Specialized Experience:You must have at least one year of specialized work experience equivalent to the GS-11 grade level in the Federal service performing duties which include:

  • Applying policies, precedents, goals, objectives, regulations, and guidelines of a financial program area to analyze financial activities;
  • Analyzing data from financial systems to prepare reports;
  • Researching and applying financial laws, regulations, and policies to provide guidance to other Financial Specialists;
  • Applying financial systems or techniques to modify and adapt policies and procedures; and
  • Advising program managers.

Education cannot be substituted for experience to qualify for the GS-12 grade level.

For more information on how to qualify for this position, Click Here

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 and can provide valuable training and experience that translates directly to paid employment. You will receive credit for all qualifying experience, including volunteer experience.



Education substitute for GS-11 is listed in the qualifications sections.

Education can not be substituted at the GS-12 grade level.

Additional information



  • Career Transition Assistance Plan (CTAP), Reemployment Priority List (RPL), or Interagency Career Transition Assistance Plan (ICTAP): Visit the OPM websitefor information on how to apply as a CTAP, RPL, or ICTAP eligible. To exercise selection priority for this vacancy, CTAP/RPL/ICTAP candidates must meet the basic eligibility requirements and all selective factors. CTAP/ICTAP candidates must be rated and determined to be well qualified (or above) based on an evaluation of the competencies listed in the How You Will Be Evaluated section. When assessed through a score-based category rating method, CTAP/ICTAP applicants must receive a rating of at least 85 out of a possible 100.
  • Veterans who are preference eligible or who have been separated from the armed forces under honorable conditions after three years or more of continuous active service are eligible for consideration under the Veteran's Employment Opportunity Act (VEOA).
  • Farm Service Agency (FSA) County Employees: Permanent County employees without prior Federal tenure who are selected for a Civil Service position under Public Law 105-277 will be given a career-conditional appointment and must serve a 1-year probationary period.
  • For more information on applying under special hiring authorities such as the Veteran's Recruitment Act (VRA), 30 percent disabled veterans, certain military spouses, Schedule A Disabled, etc., explore the different Hiring Paths on the USAJOBS website.
  • Land Management Workforce Flexibility Act (LMWFA) provides current or former temporary or term employees of federal land management agencies opportunity to compete for permanent competitive service positions. Individuals must have more than 24 months of service without a break between appointments of two or more years. Service must be in the competitive service and have been at a successful level of performance or better. Refer to PUBLIC LAW 114-47-AUG. 7, 2015for more information.
  • 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 and if recommended by management. However, promotion is neither implied nor guaranteed.
  • This position is eligible for up to 8 days telework per pay period and other flexible work arrangements. Employee participation is at the discretion of the supervisor.
  • This announcement may be used to fill additional like vacancies should any occur in the announced duty location(s).
  • Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) should contact: USDAs TARGET Center at 202-720-2600 (voice and TDD).
  • It is the policy of the Government not to deny employment simply because an individual has been unemployed or has had financial difficulties that have arisen through no fault of the individual. To see more information visit CHCO Council.
  • Veterans Policy
  • If claiming 10-point Veterans' Preference you must provide the DD214 or certification requirements (see above bullet), plus the proof of entitlement of this preference as listed on the SF15 Application for 10-point Veterans' Preference. The SF15 should be included but is not required. Failure to submit these documents could result in the determination that there is insufficient documentation to support your claim for 10-point preference.




A career with the U.S. government provides employees with a comprehensive benefits package. As a federal employee, you and your family will have access to a range of benefits that are designed to make your federal career very rewarding. Opens in a new windowLearn more about federal benefits.


Review our benefits

Eligibility for benefits depends on the type of position you hold and whether your position is full-time, part-time or intermittent. Contact the hiring agency for more information on the specific benefits offered.

How You Will Be Evaluated


You will be evaluated for this job based on how well you meet the qualifications above.


You will be evaluated based on how well you meet the qualifications and competencies listed in this vacancy announcement. Only those highly rated by the subject matter experts will be referred to the selecting official. Your qualifications will be evaluated based on your application materials (e.g., resume, supporting documents), the responses you provide on the application questionnaire, and the result of the preliminary resume and education (if applicable) reviewrequired for this position. You will be assessed on the following competencies (knowledge, skills, abilities, and other characteristics):

  • Interpersonal Skills
  • Oral Communication
  • Organizational Awareness
  • Writing

In addition to the online questionnaire, applicants for this position will be evaluated by one or more subject matter experts. If a panel is conducted, subject matter experts may review your resume and other application materials to determine your qualifications and assign a rating based on the required competencies. Please ensure that your resume does not simply list job duties, but also highlights accomplishments that demonstrate possession of the required competencies.

Preference will be applied to applicants who move forward after the pre-certificate evaluation. Applicants who meet the minimum qualification requirements and are determined to be among the best qualified candidates will be referred to the hiring manager for consideration. Non-competitive candidates and applicants under some special hiring authorities need only meet minimum qualifications to be referred.

To be considered for this position, you must complete all required steps in the process. In addition to the application and assessment questionnaire, this position requires a preliminary resume and education (if applicable) review to evaluate competencies and education (if applicable) required to perform the job.

Note: If after reviewing your resume and/or supporting documentation, a determination is made that you have inflated your qualifications and or experience, your score may be adjusted to more accurately reflect your abilities, or you may be found ineligible. Please follow all instructions carefully. Errors or omissions may affect your rating. Providing inaccurate information on Federal documents could be grounds for non-selection or disciplinary action up to including removal from the Federal service.

To view the application form, visit:


Required Documents


The following documents are required for your applicant package to be complete. Our office cannot be responsible for incompatible software, your system failure, etc. Encrypted documents will not be accepted. Failure to submit required, legible documents may result in loss of consideration.

  • Resume that includes: 1) personal information such as name, address, contact information; 2) education; 3) detailed work experience related to this position as described in the major duties, including work schedule, hours worked per week, dates of employment; title, series, grade (if applicable); 4) supervisor's phone number and whether or not the supervisor may be contacted for a reference check; 5) other qualifications. If you need assistance in creating a federal resume please click here.
  • If education is required or being used, you must submit a copy of your college transcripts. Unofficial copy is sufficient with the application if it includes your name and the necessary course information however, if you are selected, official transcripts will be required prior to entering on duty. Education must have been successfully obtained from an accredited school, college or university. If any education was completed at a foreign institute, you must submit with your application evidence that the institute was appropriately accredited by an accrediting body recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as equivalent to U.S. education standards. There are private organizations that specialize in this evaluation and a fee is normally associated with this service. For a list of private organizations that evaluate education, visit the NACESwebsite. All transcripts must be in English or include an English translation.
  • Current and former Federal employees:
    • Most recent non-award Notification of Personnel Action (SF-50) showing you are/were in the competitive service, highest grade held (or promotion potential) on a permanent basis, position title, series and grade AND
    • Most recent performance appraisal (dated within 18 months) showing the official rating of record, signed by a supervisor, or statement why the performance appraisal is unavailable. A performance plan is not acceptable.
  • Current permanent FSA County employees must submit your most recent non-award Notification of Personnel Action (SF50) showing your highest grade (or promotion potential) held on a permanent basis, position title, series and grade AND most recent performance appraisal (dated within 18 months) per above.
  • Veteran Authorities: VEOA, VRA, 30% Disabled Veterans: DD214, Certificate of Release from Active Duty, that shows dates of service and discharge under honorable conditions. If currently on active duty, submit a statement of discharge/certification of release or an official written document from the armed forces that certifies you are expected to be discharged or released from active duty service under honorable conditions no later than 120 days from the date the certification is signed. Enlisted Record Briefs and military identification do NOT qualify as official documentation. The certification letter should be on letterhead of the appropriate military branch of the service and contain (1) the military service dates including the expected discharge or release date; and (2) the character of service. Veterans' Preference must be verified prior to appointment.
  • Land Management Workforce Flexibility Act: Notification of Personnel Action(s) (SF50) showing the employee served in eligible appointment(s) for a period(s) of more than 24 mos. w/o a break between appointments of two+ years. Include initial hire actions, extensions, conversions and separation SF50s for each period. Submit performance rating(s) showing acceptable performance for each period counted towards eligibility signed by supervisor(s). If documentation does not exist for one or more periods, submit a statement from supervisor indicating acceptable performance. Applicants who do not have performance documentation for any period shall provide a reason why the documentation is not available and statement that performance for all periods was at an acceptable level.
  • Schedule A, Persons with Disabilities Appointment: Letter from a physician, local, state or federal rehabilitation office citing eligibility under 5 CFR 213.3102 (u).
  • Surplus/displaced employees eligible for CTAP, RPL, ICTAP priority must provide proof of eligibility (RIF separation notice, notice of proposed removal for declining a transfer of function or directed reassignment to another commuting area, notice of disability annuity termination), SF50 documenting separation (as applicable), your most recent SF50 noting position, grade level, duty location with your application per 5 CFR 330.
  • Go to: USAJOBS Hiring Path for Special Authoritiesor Special Hiring Authority


How to Apply


Please read the entire announcement and all instructions before you begin. You must complete this application process and submit all required documents electronically by 11:59p.m. Eastern Time (ET) on the closing date of this announcement.

You must complete this application process and submit all required documents electronically. We are available to assist you during normal business hours. Applying online is highly encouraged. If applying online poses a hardship, please contact our office for an alternate method. All electronic and hardship application packages with supporting documents must be complete to be considered.

This agency provides reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities on a case-by-case basis. Please contact us if you require this for any part of the application and hiring process.

To begin, click "Apply Online" and follow the instructions to complete the Assessment Questionnaire and attach your resume and all required documents.

Step 1: Create a USAJOBS account (if you do not already have one) at It is recommended that as part of your profile you set up automatic email notification to be informed when the status of your application changes. If you choose not to set up this automatic notification, then you will have to log into your USAJOBS account to check on the status of your application.

Step 2: In your USAJOBS account, you will have the opportunity to select your stored USAJOBS resume, create a new resume or upload a resume, and upload other relevant documents. All uploaded documents must be less than 3MB and in one of the following document formats: GIF, JPG, JPEG, PNG, RTF, PDF, or Word (DOC or DOCX). See "Required Documents" for details. Select the document you want to submit.

Step 3: Click "Apply Online," answer all required questions, verify the documents you selected from USAJOBS transferred into the Agency's staffing system, and attach any additional documents that may not have transferred or be required. If qualifying based on education, you must submit a legible copy of your college transcript(s), with your application package, showing your conferred degree (if any) and/or applicable coursework as proof that you qualify based on education. If you have not yet graduated, submit your current transcript.

NOTE: It is an applicant's responsibility to submit updated information. You can update your application or documents anytime while the announcement is open. Simply log into your USAJOBS account and click on "Application Status." Click on the position title, and then select "Update Application" to continue.

NOTE: Please verify that documents you are uploading from USAJOBs transfer into the Agency's staffing system as there is a limitation to the number of documents that can be transferred. However, once in the Agency's staffing system, you will have the opportunity to upload additional documents. Uploaded documents must be less than 5MB and in one of the following document formats: GIF, JPG, JPEG, PNG, RTF, PDF, TXT or Word (DOC or DOCX). Do not upload Adobe Portfolio documents because they are not viewable.

If you do not have access to the Internet, you are strongly encouraged to visit your library, state employment office, or another establishment that provides internet service to complete the online application and the assessment questionnaire. If this is not an option, refer to the Alternative Methods for Applying section below for specific instructions.

Alternative Methods for Applying: If you are unable to apply using the internet, please fax your request for an application package along with your name and mailing address to: HR (Branch 3) 1-833-795-2327.