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Chief Accountant is Seeking Candidates for 2020 Professional Accounting Fellow Positions

Nov. 14, 2019

The SEC's Office of the Chief Accountant (OCA) is accepting applications for Professional Accounting Fellow (PAF) positions that will begin in the summer of 2020.  The PAF program, which began in 1972, is designed to provide participating fellows with outstanding opportunities for public service and personal development.  During the two-year term of the fellowship, the successful candidates may lead and participate in teams assigned to study and develop rule proposals under the federal securities laws; liaise with accounting, auditing, and other professional standard-setting bodies; and consult with public companies and auditors on accounting, auditing, and reporting matters.   

OCA is seeking candidates who can draw upon their significant experience in auditing the financial statements of, consulting with, or working for public companies to exhibit an understanding of and an ability to succinctly explain policy or practice matters affecting public companies that are associated with either (or both) of the following: 

  • The application or implementation of accounting standards by public companies.
  • The application or implementation of auditing and quality control standards related to the audits of the financial statements of public companies or broker-dealers registered with the SEC.

Candidates must be U.S. citizens or non-U.S. citizens lawfully admitted for permanent residence and actively seeking U.S. citizenship at the date of hire to be eligible to begin employment as a PAF. 

Applicants are required to submit to OCA:

  • A resume;
  • At least two letters of recommendation from non-relatives; and
  • A ten to twelve page essay single spaced (see further information below). 

Applicants are required to submit these items on or before Friday, January 10, 2020 to the Chief Accountant of the Securities and Exchange Commission.  Applicants should complete the application online at USAJobs, using the following link: 

Applicants are required to submit an essay on a current accounting or auditing topic that either affects or may in the future affect financial reporting by public companies in the U.S. capital markets or broker-dealers registered with the SEC. Applicants are encouraged to select any current accounting or auditing topic in which they possess expertise. The essay should meet the following parameters:

  • Include an executive summary section focused on the key recommendations made in the essay.  The executive summary should not exceed one page (the executive summary should be excluded from the overall page count).
  • Include the applicant’s consideration of the associated policy level issues.

For United States veterans, in order to receive credit for military service you must indicate dates of service on your resume and provide proof of veteran status (DD-214, Member Copy 4 or other documentation containing dates of service and character of discharge).  Disabled veterans and other applicants eligible for 10-point Veteran's Preference please include documentation to validate your claim (VA letter, SF-15, etc.).

In considering all applications, OCA will follow the Commission’s policy of affording equal employment opportunity to all eligible applicants.   

Inquiries about the PAF program may be addressed to Ms. Sheena Lam in OCA at (202) 551-6592 or or Mr. Jeffrey Nick in OCA at (202) 551-4467 or

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