General Ledger Specialist


OPEN DATE: April 1, 2024                    

CLOSING DATE: April 22, 2024               

POSITION TYPE: Trust Fund (non-federal) 


SCHEDULE: Full Time 


Position sensitivity and risk: Non-sensitive (NS)/Moderate Risk

Open to all qualified applicants

Starting salary: $99,200-$122,425 (full salary range: $99,200-$153,154)

What are Trust Fund Positions?

Trust Fund positions are unique to the Smithsonian. They are paid for from a variety of sources, including the Smithsonian endowment, revenue from our business activities, donations, grants and contracts. Trust employees are not part of the civil service, nor does trust fund employment lead to Federal status. The salary ranges for trust positions are generally the same as for federal positions and in many cases trust and federal employees work side by side. Trust employees have their own benefit program and may include Health, Dental & Vision Insurance, Life Insurance, Transit/Commuter Benefits, Accidental Death and Dismemberment Insurance, Annual and Sick Leave, Family Friendly Leave, 403b Retirement Plan, Discounts for Smithsonian Memberships, Museum Stores and Restaurants, Credit Union, Smithsonian Early Enrichment Center (Child Care), Flexible Spending Account (Health & Dependent Care). 

 Conditions of Employment

  • Pass Pre-employment Background Check and Subsequent Background Investigation for position designated as low risk.
  • Complete a Probationary Period
  • Maintain a Bank Account for Direct Deposit/Electronic Transfer.
  • The position is open to all candidates eligible to work in the United States.  Proof of eligibility to work in U.S. is not required to apply.
  • Trust applicants must meet all qualification and eligibility requirements within 30 days of the closing date of this announcement. 

Work Environment:

Work is hybrid, the incumbent is expected to be in-office two days per week.  Work is performed in an office setting, although there are occasional visits to Smithsonian units, research sites/museums to meet with project staff. The working hours are Monday – Friday (variable hours between 7am-6pm ET).


Founded in 1846, the Smithsonian is the world’s largest museum and research complex of 19 museums and galleries, the National Zoological Park and nine research facilities. There are 6,000 Smithsonian employees, including approximately 500 scientists. Smithsonian staff submit grant and contract proposals and receive over $100M in funding each year from government and private sources in support of research, education, and exhibit programs.

The Office of Sponsored Projects (OSP) is the primary contact of administrative and financial interface between the Smithsonian (1) public and private organizations that provide funds for research, exhibitions, and other sponsored activities, (2) Federal government officers charged with writing/enforcing regulations related to research funded through grants and contracts.

The position is in the Post-Award section of the Office of Sponsored Projects, which has decision-making authority, policy analysis, and interpretation, providing advice and problem resolution services to Principal Investigators (PIs) and unit financial managers regarding post-award financial management of grants and contracts.  The position is responsible for preparing technical advice, financial analysis for management, and performing complex administrative financial and audit tasks in OSP’s functional accounting area. This includes determining the indirect cost rate formulation, application, and establishment processes for the Smithsonian, as well as audit schedules and various sponsored project reports and reconciliations. 


Prepare and Consolidate the Incurred Cost and Forward Pricing Indirect Cost Rate Proposals 

The incumbent prepares two sets of multi-rate Smithsonian proposals for submission to the government. Prepares an incurred cost submission which details the actual costs incurred for the Smithsonian Mall activities during the last completed fiscal year, to establish final indirect cost rates for that year. Prepares a projected indirect cost rate proposal for the Smithsonian activities in one or more future years, in order to establish the indirect cost rates and employee benefit rates for proposal and billing purposes.  Works with SI central offices to update SIERP with new rates.

Develop, Analyze, and Reconcile Sponsored Project Audit Schedules and Reports 

The incumbent develops, reconciles, and analyzes audit schedules between financial statements and detailed sub ledgers. Prepares audit schedules showing addition and deletion of pledges and submits schedules to auditors for the financial statement audit, as well as prepares a Schedule of Expenditure for Federal Awards (SEFA) for the OMB Uniform Guidance single audit and other audits.

Financial Analysis 

The incumbent develops, analyzes, and reconciles monthly activity reports and recommends corrective actions. Reports include deficit, prepayment, and monthly metrics reports, as well as monthly interactive dashboard. Incumbent maintains complete documentation for all reporting and reconciles reports, including billings, to the General Ledger.

Administrative, Reporting and Professional Development 

Conducts best business practices through analyzing and researching the impact of externally driven and internal changes on research-related policies, procedures, and systems, and prepares written reviews, interpretations, and recommendations. Provides formal and informal training about multifaceted issues related to financial grant administration and policy. Participates in OSP grant management workshops and seminar presentations. Identifies administrative practices, policies or procedures which should be developed or revised to enhance the quality of financial management services. Works closely with all units in management and implementation of relevant fiscal aspects of grants and contracts. Prepares periodic management reports and metrics and ensures all grants and contracts documentation, information, and correspondence are kept and available for review and audit. Maintains a reference manual on indirect cost calculation processes and works with OSP colleagues to maximize the quality of services provided to its clients. Participates in OSP meetings and attends professional training opportunities.

Financial management and invoicing

Provides back up support to the post award team in managing the financial aspects of sponsored projects, to include preparing invoices and financial reports required by sponsors. Provides guidance on grant/contract related questions and works with management to resolve complex financial issues regarding sponsored project expenditures, allowability, allocability and reporting.


OSP employees are mission driven; we take initiative, pursue goals with minimal supervision and are adept at managing multiple assignments effectively.

  • Mastery of the professional knowledge of accounting theories, practices, methods, and techniques to conduct analysis and develop corrective action for any discrepancies identified and/or developed using benchmark best practices.
  • Supervisor outlines available resources for post-award work and provides objectives. The incumbent and supervisor, in consultation, discuss timeframes, scope of the assignment including stages, and possible approaches to establish and execute a work schedule, ensuring that the necessary financial analysis, approvals, negotiations, and other requirements are completed in a timely manner. The employee is a technical authority with responsibility for planning and carrying out the assignment; resolving most of the conflicts that arise; coordinating the work with others as necessary; interpreting policy and regulatory requirements; developing changes to plans and/or methodology; and/or providing recommendations for improvements to meet program objectives.
  • Guidelines consist of OMB circulars, directives, regulations, Smithsonian program goals and policy statements and policies that are general in nature; pertain only to routine issues and matters; are stated in terms of goals to be accomplished rather than the approach to be taken. Although these guidelines provide general guidance, often they do not have specific applicability to the particular grant/contract and the wide variety of situations encountered at the Smithsonian. The incumbent must select and apply the most appropriate procedures relating to grant/contract account fund establishment and financial accounting and reporting.
  • Work consists of performing varied duties that require resolving particularly difficult and complex problems in highly responsible circumstances. The work also requires applying many different and unrelated processes and methods to a broad range of activities or to activities that entail substantial depth of analysis. The incumbent selects appropriate techniques and guidelines to research, analyze, resolve, collaborate, and recommend solutions to various assignments. The incumbent must make judgments and decisions under considerable amounts of pressure.
  • The purpose of the work is to provide advice and guidance on complex financial issues, and to provide an independent and critical analysis on the calculation, review, and negotiation of Institutional indirect costs, to ensure that SI is maximizing indirect cost recovery on sponsored projects. The work directly affects the planning, justification, and execution of sponsored projects budget, as well as the financial well-being of Smithsonian.
  • Contacts are made to influence, motivate, persons or groups when there is wide disagreement on the merits of a proposed action, or when persons contacts are fearful, or uncooperative. Contacts are made to calculate indirect cost rates, respond to audit requests, resolve financial matters of grants and contracts with Federal, private foundation and corporate officials and subgrant collaborators. They are also used to analyze routine or complex grant/contract issues, advise principal investigators and administrative staff of Smithsonian policies and administrative procedures, and ensure a proper and supportable course of action. 

At least 1 year of that experience must have been specialized experience at or equivalent to work at the grade 11 level, and must have provided the knowledge, skills, and abilities to successfully perform the work of the position as described above.

Applicants, who wish to qualify based on education completed outside the United States, must be deemed equivalent to higher education programs of U.S. Institutions by an organization that specializes in the interpretation of foreign educational credentials. This documentation is the responsibility of the applicant and should be included as part of your application package.

Any false statement in your application may result in your application being rejected and may also result in termination after employment begins.

The Smithsonian Institution values and seeks a diverse workforce. Join us in "Inspiring Generations through Knowledge and Discovery."

Resumes should include a description of your paid and non-paid work experience that is related to this job; starting and ending dates of job (month and year); and average number of hours worked per week.  

What To Expect Next: Once the vacancy announcement closes, a review of your resume will be compared against the qualification and experience requirements related to this job. After review of applicant resumes is complete, qualified candidates will be referred to the hiring manager.

Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
The Smithsonian Institution provides reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities where appropriate. Applicants requiring reasonable accommodation should contact Determinations on requests for reasonable accommodation will be made on a case-by-case basis.  To learn more, please review the Smithsonian’s Accommodation Procedures.

The Smithsonian Institution is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We believe that a workforce comprising a variety of educational, cultural, and experiential backgrounds support and enhance our daily work life and contribute to the richness of our exhibitions and programs. See Smithsonian EEO program information:

About Smithsonian Institution

Founded in 1846, the Smithsonian is the world’s largest museum and research complex of 19 museums and galleries, the National Zoological Park and nine research facilities. There are 6,000 Smithsonian employees, including approximately 500 scientists. The total number of objects, works of art and specimens at the Smithsonian is estimated at nearly 137 million.

Contact Information

Smithsonian Institution
First Name
Last Name
Contact Email
Contact URL

Background Information

High School
Years of Experience
  • Government
  • Sponsored Projects/Programs
  • Finance, Operations
Work Authorization
Authorized to work in the US
Security Clearance

Target Job Information

Job Type
  • Full Time