Accounting – Entry Level

What GS levels apply to Accounting at the Entry Level?

  • GS-7 to GS-9

What Competencies Do I Need in Order to do my Job?

These competencies are specific to the occupation

Accounting Analysis:

Analyze, evaluate and review accounting data and reports using business tools and applications,
and performance metrics to provide recommendations.

What are the proficiency traits that are needed at the entry level?
  • Applies the competency in somewhat difficult situations
  • Requires frequent guidance
  • Demonstrates familiarity with concepts and processes
What are the Behaviors that should be demonstrated at the entry level?

Applies general analytical and evaluation techniques to review accounting data in line with all accounting principles


Accounting, Concepts, Policies and Principles:

Apply federal accounting standards, fiscal law, policies, regulations, principles, standards, internal controls and procedures to financial management activities.

What are the proficiency traits that are needed at the entry level?
  • Applies the competency in somewhat difficult situations
  • Requires frequent guidance
  • Demonstrates familiarity with concepts and processes
What are the Behaviors that should be demonstrated at the entry level?

Applies knowledge of policies and procedures to ensure adherence to accounting and financial guidelines


Decision Support:

Perform value-added financial, accounting or economic analysis to make informed decisions that better utilize resources and improve mission effectiveness.

What are the proficiency traits that are needed at the entry level?
  • Applies the competency in somewhat difficult situations
  • Requires frequent guidance
  • Demonstrates familiarity with concepts and processes
What are the Behaviors that should be demonstrated at the entry level?

Interprets the data of financial, accounting and economic analysis to prepare for decision making


Financial Management Systems:

Utilize integrated federal financial management systems and sub-systems to extract data, identify and resolve system problems, and maintain data integrity.

What are the proficiency traits that are needed at the entry level?
  • Applies the competency in somewhat difficult situations
  • Requires frequent guidance
  • Demonstrates familiarity with concepts and processes
What are the Behaviors that should be demonstrated at the entry level?

Inputs and extracts data and creates recurring reports to maintain financial integrity


Financial Reporting:

Prepare, review and reconcile financial statements and financial reports to meet reporting requirements and to support management decisions

What are the proficiency traits that are needed at the entry level?
  • Applies the competency in somewhat difficult situations
  • Requires frequent guidance
  • Demonstrates familiarity with concepts and processes
What are the Behaviors that should be demonstrated at the entry level?

Prepares and/or queries financial statements and/or reports to meet the requirements as specified in the Treasury Financial Manual along with other Departmental Agency Regulations


Financial Stewardship:

Manages, allocates and monitors financial resources in compliance with laws, regulations, and policies, with sufficient transparency and appropriate internal controls to ensure these resources are efficiently applied to meet organizational goals and objectives, while considering the Federal Government’s fiduciary duty to the Nation, and to the Nation’s general welfare.

What are the proficiency traits that are needed at the entry level?
  • Applies the competency in difficult situations
  • Requires occasional guidance
  • Demonstrates understanding of concepts and processes
What are the Behaviors that should be demonstrated at the entry level?
  • Allocates funds within approved guidelines
  • Uses appropriate finance and accounting procedures to ensure compliance with laws, regulations, and policies, and efficient use of resources to meet organizational goals and objectives

These competencies complement other functional competencies specific to an occupation and offer opportunities for career broadening.

Advanced Financial Management:

Develop, monitor, interpret, and report standardized processes/operations to ensure transparency and compliance with financial statutory, regulatory, and leadership guidance with the intent of promoting effectiveness and accountability.

What are the proficiency traits that are needed at the entry level?
  • Applies the competency in somewhat difficult situations
  • Requires frequent guidance
  • Demonstrates familiarity with concepts and processes
What are the Behaviors that should be demonstrated at the entry level?

Monitors current financial processes to ensure that spending programs are affordable and sustainable over time


Audit Concepts, Policies and Principles:

Apply the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR), Generally Accepted Government Auditing Standards (GAGAS), Generally Accepted Auditing Standards (GAAS), fiscal law, internal controls, policies, regulations, principles, standards and procedures governing audit activities.

What are the proficiency traits that are needed at the entry level?
  • Applies the competency in somewhat difficult situations
  • Requires frequent guidance
  • Demonstrates familiarity with concepts and processes
What are the Behaviors that should be demonstrated at the entry level?

Applies knowledge of policies and procedures to ensure adherence to auditing and accounting guidelines


Budget Concepts, Policies and Principles:

Apply the Planning, Programming, Budgeting and Execution (PPBE), fiscal law, policies, regulations, principles, standards and procedures to financial management activities.

What are the proficiency traits that are needed at the entry level?
  • Applies the competency in somewhat difficult situations
  • Requires frequent guidance
  • Demonstrates familiarity with concepts and processes
What are the Behaviors that should be demonstrated at the entry level?

Applies knowledge of policies and procedures to ensure adherence to budget and financial guidelines.


Budget Execution:

Manage budget requirements by allocating, monitoring and analyzing budgets in compliance with statutory/regulatory guidance.

What are the proficiency traits that are needed at the entry level?
  • Applies the competency in somewhat difficult situations
  • Requires frequent guidance
  • Demonstrates familiarity with concepts and processes
What are the Behaviors that should be demonstrated at the entry level?

Develops execution reports and monitors status of funds to track organization’s budget, operations and processes


Budget Formulation, Justification and Presentation:

Manage budget requirements by forecasting, developing and justifying budgets in compliance with statutory/regulatory guidance.

What are the proficiency traits that are needed at the entry level?
  • Applies the competency in the simplest situations
  • Requires close and extensive guidance
  • Demonstrates awareness of concepts and processes
What are the Behaviors that should be demonstrated at the entry level?

Applies basic knowledge of budget principles to assist in planning


Commercial Pay Concepts, Policies and Principles:

Apply commercial pay legislation, administrative and regulatory requirements, laws and policies governing commercial pay activities and processes.

What are the proficiency traits that are needed at the entry level?
  • Applies the competency in somewhat difficult situations
  • Requires frequent guidance
  • Demonstrates familiarity with concepts and processes
What are the Behaviors that should be demonstrated at the entry level?

Ensures accuracy of recurring transactions through knowledge of policies, procedures and regulations


Financial Concepts, Policies and Principles:

Apply fiscal law, policies, regulations, principles, standards and procedures to financial management activities.

What are the proficiency traits that are needed at the entry level?
  • Applies the competency in somewhat difficult situations
  • Requires frequent guidance
  • Demonstrates familiarity with concepts and processes
What are the Behaviors that should be demonstrated at the entry level?

Applies knowledge of policies and procedures to ensure adherence to financial guidelines


Financial Management Analysis:

Analyze, evaluate and review budget and program issues, and financial data and reports using business tools and applications, cost and economic analysis, and performance metrics to provide recommendations.

What are the proficiency traits that are needed at the entry level?
  • Applies the competency in difficult situations
  • Requires occasional guidance
  • Demonstrates understanding of concepts and processes
What are the Behaviors that should be demonstrated at the entry level?

Interprets and evaluates financial information using a variety of analytical methods to provide recommendations


Fundamentals and Operations of Accounting:

Research and analyze information related to accounting processes to ensure completeness and accuracy of accounting transactions.

What are the proficiency traits that are needed at the entry level?
  • Applies the competency in considerably difficult situations
  • Generally requires little or no guidance
  • Demonstrates broad understanding of concepts and processes
What are the Behaviors that should be demonstrated at the entry level?

Examines non-routine financial management documentation to ensure accuracy and completeness of accounting transactions and accounts and identifies potential solutions for inaccurate or incomplete entries


Fundamentals and Operations of Budget:

Research and analyze information related to the federal budget process to support budget formulation and execution.

What are the proficiency traits that are needed at the entry level?
  • Applies the competency in the simplest situations
  • Requires close and extensive guidance
  • Demonstrates awareness of concepts and processes
What are the Behaviors that should be demonstrated at the entry level?

Obtains and inputs basic data utilizing financial management systems


Fundamentals and Operations of Finance:

Research and analyze information related to accounting, auditing, budgeting or other financial management activities to ensure the accuracy of transactions.

What are the proficiency traits that are needed at the entry level?
  • Applies the competency in the simplest situations
  • Requires close and extensive guidance
  • Demonstrates awareness of concepts and processes
What are the Behaviors that should be demonstrated at the entry level?

Applies knowledge of commonly used financial management procedures and techniques to perform routine and repetitive administrative tasks


Fundamentals and Operations of Military and Civilian Pay:

Research and analyze legislative and regulatory guidance related to entitlements to ensure proper payments.

What are the proficiency traits that are needed at the entry level?
  • Applies the competency in the simplest situations
  • Requires close and extensive guidance
  • Demonstrates awareness of concepts and processes
What are the Behaviors that should be demonstrated at the entry level?

Processes and corrects routine information using well-established, clear-cut procedures and/or knowledge of simple procedures


Payroll Concepts, Policies and Principles:

Apply military and civilian pay legislation, administrative and regulatory requirements, laws and policies governing military and civilian pay activities and processes.

What are the proficiency traits that are needed at the entry level?
  • Applies the competency in somewhat difficult situations
  • Requires frequent guidance
  • Demonstrates familiarity with concepts and processes
What are the Behaviors that should be demonstrated at the entry level?

Processes standardized pay actions to establish or update accounts and correct discrepancies

Accountability

Holds self and others accountable for measurable high-quality, timely, and cost-effective results. Determines objectives, sets priorities, and delegates work. Accepts responsibility for mistakes. Complies with established control systems and rules. Demonstrates responsible behavior. Is motivated to achieve.

WHAT ARE THE PROFICIENCY TRAITS THAT ARE NEEDED AT THE ENTRY LEVEL?
  • Applies the competency in difficult situations
  • Requires occasional guidance
  • Demonstrates understanding of concepts and processes
WHAT ARE THE BEHAVIORS THAT SHOULD BE DEMONSTRATED AT THE ENTRY LEVEL?
  • Implements new guidelines and procedures mandated by Congress
  • Accepts responsibility when missed deadlines affect major project outcome
  • Develops and implements internal controls for pilot program to manage potential barriers to implementation

Attention to Detail

Is thorough when performing work and conscientious about attending to detail.

WHAT ARE THE PROFICIENCY TRAITS THAT ARE NEEDED AT THE ENTRY LEVEL?
  • Applies the competency in difficult situations
  • Requires occasional guidance
  • Demonstrates understanding of concepts and processes
WHAT ARE THE BEHAVIORS THAT SHOULD BE DEMONSTRATED AT THE ENTRY LEVEL?
  • Produces fully compliant work products
  • Creates effective tools and techniques for ensuring details are not overlooked

Customer Service

Works with clients and customers to assess their needs, provide information or assistance, resolve their problems, or satisfy their expectations; knows about available products and services; is committed to providing quality products and services.

WHAT ARE THE PROFICIENCY TRAITS THAT ARE NEEDED AT THE ENTRY LEVEL?
  • Applies the competency in somewhat difficult situations
  • Requires frequent guidance
  • Demonstrates familiarity with concepts and processes
WHAT ARE THE BEHAVIORS THAT SHOULD BE DEMONSTRATED AT THE ENTRY LEVEL?
  • Develops guides and user manuals for customers
  • Ensures products and services comply with customer requirements
  • Streamlines procedures based on customer feedback
  • Solicits customer feedback and takes steps to prevent similar problems or issues from occurring with other customers

Flexibility

Is open to change and new information; adapts behavior or work methods in response to new information, changing conditions, or unexpected obstacles; effectively deals with ambiguity.

WHAT ARE THE PROFICIENCY TRAITS THAT ARE NEEDED AT THE ENTRY LEVEL?
  • Applies the competency in the simplest situations
  • Requires close and extensive guidance
  • Demonstrates awareness of concepts and processes
WHAT ARE THE BEHAVIORS THAT SHOULD BE DEMONSTRATED AT THE ENTRY LEVEL?
  • Meets with team to adjust and coordinate schedules to accommodate all team members
  • Adjusts staff assignments based on feedback and work load priorities

Integrity/Honesty

Contributes to maintaining the integrity of the organization; displays high standards of ethical conduct and understands the impact of violating these standards on an organization, self, and others; is trustworthy.

WHAT ARE THE PROFICIENCY TRAITS THAT ARE NEEDED AT THE ENTRY LEVEL?
  • Applies the competency in difficult situations
  • Requires occasional guidance
  • Demonstrates understanding of concepts and processes
WHAT ARE THE BEHAVIORS THAT SHOULD BE DEMONSTRATED AT THE ENTRY LEVEL?
  • Communicates honestly with employees regarding potential changes affecting the organization to ensure staff are treated fairly
  • Investigates issues and takes corrective action, as appropriate

Interpersonal Skills

Shows understanding, friendliness, courtesy, tact, empathy, concern, and politeness to others; develops and maintains effective relationships with others; may include effectively dealing with individuals who are difficult, hostile, or distressed; relates well to people from varied backgrounds and different situations; is sensitive to cultural diversity, race, gender, disabilities, and other individual differences.

WHAT ARE THE PROFICIENCY TRAITS THAT ARE NEEDED AT THE ENTRY LEVEL?
  • Applies the competency in difficult situations
  • Requires occasional guidance
  • Demonstrates understanding of concepts and processes
WHAT ARE THE BEHAVIORS THAT SHOULD BE DEMONSTRATED AT THE ENTRY LEVEL?
  • Makes self accessible to employees at all levels
  • Corrects employee mistakes in a courteous manner
  • Demonstrates courtesy, empathy and respect

Oral Communications

Expresses information (for example, ideas or facts) to individuals or groups effectively, taking into account the audience and nature of the information (for example, technical, sensitive, controversial); makes clear and convincing oral presentations; listens to others, attends to nonverbal cues, and responds appropriately.

WHAT ARE THE PROFICIENCY TRAITS THAT ARE NEEDED AT THE ENTRY LEVEL?
  • Applies the competency in the simplest situations
  • Requires close and extensive guidance
  • Demonstrates awareness of concepts and processes
WHAT ARE THE BEHAVIORS THAT SHOULD BE DEMONSTRATED AT THE ENTRY LEVEL?
  • Communicates agency goals and initiatives to staff in a clear and concise manner
  • Communicates information regarding organizational changes to staff
  • Updates supervisors on project status
  • Actively listens to staff ideas and concerns regarding work-related issues

Problem Solving

Identifies problems; determines accuracy and relevance of information; uses rules, principles, or relationships that explain facts, data, or other information; uses sound judgment to generate and evaluate alternatives, and to make recommendations.

WHAT ARE THE PROFICIENCY TRAITS THAT ARE NEEDED AT THE ENTRY LEVEL?
  • Applies the competency in somewhat difficult situations
  • Requires frequent guidance
  • Demonstrates familiarity with concepts and processes
WHAT ARE THE BEHAVIORS THAT SHOULD BE DEMONSTRATED AT THE ENTRY LEVEL?
  • Addresses routine organizational problems by leading a team to brainstorm solutions
  • Establishes guidelines to clarify complex and/or controversial processes

Public Service Motivation

Shows a commitment to serve the public. Ensures that actions meet public needs; aligns organizational objectives and practices with public interests.

WHAT ARE THE PROFICIENCY TRAITS THAT ARE NEEDED AT THE ENTRY LEVEL?
  • Applies the competency in difficult situations
  • Requires occasional guidance
  • Demonstrates understanding of concepts and processes
WHAT ARE THE BEHAVIORS THAT SHOULD BE DEMONSTRATED AT THE ENTRY LEVEL?
  • Approves funding documentation in accordance with procedures to ensure public resources are utilized appropriately
  • Improves processes used to monitor contractors and vendors for supplies, services, and/or equipment to ensure government funds are expended appropriately
  • Encourages a commitment to public service

Resilience

Deals effectively with pressure; remains optimistic and persistent, even under adversity. Recovers quickly from setbacks.

WHAT ARE THE PROFICIENCY TRAITS THAT ARE NEEDED AT THE ENTRY LEVEL?
  • Applies the competency in the simplest situations
  • Requires close and extensive guidance
  • Demonstrates awareness of concepts and processes
WHAT ARE THE BEHAVIORS THAT SHOULD BE DEMONSTRATED AT THE ENTRY LEVEL?
  • Reduces project deliverables following funding cut
  • Continues presentation to customer despite technical difficulties with audio-visual system

Written Communications

Writes in a clear, concise, organized, and convincing manner for the intended audience.

WHAT ARE THE PROFICIENCY TRAITS THAT ARE NEEDED AT THE ENTRY LEVEL?
  • Applies the competency in the simplest situations
  • Requires close and extensive guidance
  • Demonstrates awareness of concepts and processes
WHAT ARE THE BEHAVIORS THAT SHOULD BE DEMONSTRATED AT THE ENTRY LEVEL?
  • Writes basic communications (e.g., an email requesting straightforward information), proofreading before sending to others
  • Uses appropriate grammar, punctuation, and spelling
  • With guidance, applies the Department’s style and format guidelines to written products

 

Decision Making

Makes sound, well-informed, and objective decisions; perceives the impact and implications of decisions; commits to action, even in uncertain situations, to accomplish organizational goals; causes change.

WHAT ARE THE PROFICIENCY TRAITS THAT ARE NEEDED AT THE ENTRY LEVEL?
  • Applies the competency in the simplest situations
  • Requires close and extensive guidance
  • Demonstrates awareness of concepts and processes
WHAT ARE THE BEHAVIORS THAT SHOULD BE DEMONSTRATED AT THE ENTRY LEVEL?
  • Develops meeting agenda and determines topics for group decision making
  • Determines the appropriate individuals needed for a decision making process

Influencing/Negotiating

Persuades others; builds consensus through give and take; gains cooperation from others to obtain information and accomplish goals.

WHAT ARE THE PROFICIENCY TRAITS THAT ARE NEEDED AT THE ENTRY LEVEL?
  • Applies the competency in the simplest situations
  • Requires close and extensive guidance
  • Demonstrates awareness of concepts and processes
WHAT ARE THE BEHAVIORS THAT SHOULD BE DEMONSTRATED AT THE ENTRY LEVEL?

Inspires commitment to achieve outcomes and build coalitions


Mission and Culture

Involves the ability to meet organizational goals and customer expectations. Inherent to this competency is stewardship or resources, the ability to make decisions that produce high-quality results by applying technical knowledge, analyzing problems, and calculating risks.

WHAT ARE THE PROFICIENCY TRAITS THAT ARE NEEDED AT THE ENTRY LEVEL?
  • Applies the competency in the simplest situations
  • Requires close and extensive guidance
  • Demonstrates awareness of concepts and processes
WHAT ARE THE BEHAVIORS THAT SHOULD BE DEMONSTRATED AT THE ENTRY LEVEL?
  • Understands the organizational vision, mission and core values and applies these to daily work
  • Practices appropriate IT security, safety, and property management
  • Understands who the customer is and their expectations

Team Building

Inspires and fosters team commitment, spirit, pride, and trust. Facilitates cooperation, and motivates and works with team members to accomplish group goals.

WHAT ARE THE PROFICIENCY TRAITS THAT ARE NEEDED AT THE ENTRY LEVEL?
  • Applies the competency in the simplest situations
  • Requires close and extensive guidance
  • Demonstrates awareness of concepts and processes
WHAT ARE THE BEHAVIORS THAT SHOULD BE DEMONSTRATED AT THE ENTRY LEVEL?
  • Works with team to implement operating procedures within agency
  • Suggests utilizing team building exercises to improve office dynamics

 

Conflict Management

Manages and resolves conflicts, grievances, confrontations, or disagreements in a constructive manner to minimize negative personal impact.

WHAT ARE THE PROFICIENCY TRAITS THAT ARE NEEDED AT THE ENTRY LEVEL?
  • Applies the competency in the simplest situations
  • Requires close and extensive guidance
  • Demonstrates awareness of concepts and processes
WHAT ARE THE BEHAVIORS THAT SHOULD BE DEMONSTRATED AT THE ENTRY LEVEL?
  • Recognizes conflict and makes oneself available for conflict resolution
  • Communicates with other employees or customers to generate potential areas of agreement; notifies the supervisor of disagreements
  • Remains calm and objective during a conflict and through its resolution

Developing Others

Develops the ability of others to perform and contribute to the organization by providing ongoing feedback and by providing opportunities to learn through formal and informal methods.

WHAT ARE THE PROFICIENCY TRAITS THAT ARE NEEDED AT THE ENTRY LEVEL?
  • Applies the competency in the simplest situations
  • Requires close and extensive guidance
  • Demonstrates awareness of concepts and processes
WHAT ARE THE BEHAVIORS THAT SHOULD BE DEMONSTRATED AT THE ENTRY LEVEL?
  • Provides developmental feedback to staff on job performance
  • Involves staff in developing project goals and timelines

Human Capital Management

Builds and manages workforce based on organizational goals, budget considerations, and staffing needs.Ensures that employees are appropriately recruited, selected, appraised, and rewarded; takes action to address performance problems. Manages a multi-sector workforce and a variety of work situations.

WHAT ARE THE PROFICIENCY TRAITS THAT ARE NEEDED AT THE ENTRY LEVEL?
  • Applies the competency in the simplest situations
  • Requires close and extensive guidance
  • Demonstrates awareness of concepts and processes
WHAT ARE THE BEHAVIORS THAT SHOULD BE DEMONSTRATED AT THE ENTRY LEVEL?
  • Makes personnel decisions based upon promotion criteria and position requirements
  • Utilizes peer recognition process to recognize employees
  • Meets with employees to set performance goals
  • Hosts employee appreciation dinner for staff

Leveraging Diversity

Fosters an inclusive workplace where diversity and individual differences are valued and leveraged to achieve the vision and mission of the organization.

WHAT ARE THE PROFICIENCY TRAITS THAT ARE NEEDED AT THE ENTRY LEVEL?
  • Applies the competency in the simplest situations
  • Requires close and extensive guidance
  • Demonstrates awareness of concepts and processes
WHAT ARE THE BEHAVIORS THAT SHOULD BE DEMONSTRATED AT THE ENTRY LEVEL?
  • Attends diversity programs to increase staff awareness
  • Meets with staff to obtain input on diversity issues within workgroup

How do I develop these competencies?

  • Current Federal employees can find a list of training relevant to the listed competencies on MAX.gov (login required).