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FASB Post-Doctoral Fellow

Financial Accounting Foundation

Job Description

FASB Post-Doctoral Fellow

Full Job Description

The FASB seeks a highly motivated Ph.D. graduate (current or within the past two years) to serve a one-year, competitively paid, term as its Post-Doctoral Fellow. The ideal candidate will bring academic research and skills to bear on accounting standard setting. To this end, this position has four major areas of responsibility:

  • Directly engage in project-specific research activities;
  • Integrate identified research results into staff analyses that are used as a basis for Board decision-making; broadly educate the Board and staff on the nature and use of empirical research;
  • Identify rigorous, empirically-based research of general relevance to accounting standards-setting; and
  • Liaise with the academic community and encourage/stimulate relevant research by others on issues important to the FASB.

In carrying out those responsibilities, the Post-Doctoral Fellow will be an assigned member of certain project teams (in particular, projects in the pre-agenda research phase and active standards projects that involve highly complex and conceptual issues). The Post-Doctoral Fellow also will serve as an ad-hoc consultant on all other projects.

In addition, as requested by the Technical Director, this position may undertake or assist with research activities in other areas, such as the post-implementation review of FASB standards.

Position Responsibilities:

Directly engage in project-specific research activities

Activities consistent with this responsibility generally would include:

  • Identifying and critically evaluating existing rigorous research findings that are relevant to the issues in a project or potential project, preparing written research syntheses that clearly communicate the research findings and their implications to FASB Board and staff members. The activity of identifying relevant research is expected to be undertaken continuously throughout the various stages of a project, including the pre-agenda evaluation of potential new projects, the development of proposed and final standards, or during the implementation of recently issued standards;
  • Facilitating staff efforts to gather data during outreach in the pre-agenda research phase or in active projects, such as assisting in the development of surveys and questionnaires, designing field tests, framing questions to be included in Exposure Drafts and discussion papers, and evaluating the empirical data generated from these activities; and
  • Monitoring and synthesizing current practice issues as evidenced in SEC comment letters to registrants, FASB technical inquiries, and other such sources.
  • While the primary focus of these research activities is to aid Board decision-making, subject to approval of the Technical Director, the publication of research syntheses or other research results in a top-tier, peer-reviewed academic journal is both possible and encouraged. The Post-Doctoral Fellow shall always make clear that any published findings represent his or her opinions and are not the opinions or positions of the FASB Board or staff, either collectively or individually. Additionally, the Fellow will have some time allotted to work on their own research.

Integrate identified research results into staff analyses that are used as a basis for Board decision-making; Broadly educate the Board and staff on the nature and use of empirical research

Activities consistent with this responsibility generally would include:

  • Helping staff to understand the implications of the research findings and to incorporate those research findings and implications into their broader analyses and recommendations. In some cases, the Post-Doctoral Fellow may be responsible for preparing the staff analysis contained in a Board memorandum;
  • Participating in meetings of the Board (both decision-making meetings and education and small group meetings) to explain research findings or respond to questions about the research and its implications; and
  • More generally, conducting training sessions with the Board and Staff to improve their understanding of the strengths and limitations of empirical research and to familiarize the Board and staff with best practices in conducting and consuming empirical research.

Identify research of general relevance to accounting standards- setting

Activities consistent with this responsibility generally would include:

  • Developing an overall methodology and approach for monitoring, identifying, evaluating, and communicating relevant research;
  • Conducting or supervising the monitoring activities; and
  • Liaise with the research capabilities of other standards setting and regulatory bodies (e.g., at the IASB, PCAOB, SEC, and other such agencies), and the broader academic community to identify and discuss relevant research of mutual interest.
  • Attending all relevant academic conferences.

Encourage/stimulate original research by others on issues important to the FASB

Activities consistent with this responsibility generally would include:

  • Helping organize the annual FASB Financial Reporting Issues Conference;
  • Organizing the annual FASB Faculty/Doctoral Student Summer Program;
  • Communicating issues that are important to the Board and related research opportunities to the broader research community through activities such as:
    • Preparing papers describing relevant research opportunities, publishing them on the FASB website, in academic journals, or other appropriate venues;
    • Hosting periodic roundtable meetings or conference calls with the broader academic community;
    • Making presentations at relevant academic or other conferences;
    • Meeting regularly with individuals responsible for research at other standards-setting and regulatory bodies (e.g., at the IASB, PCAOB, SEC, and other such agencies), and the broader academic community.
    • Staff liaison to the Academic Resource Group and the Financial Reporting Policy Committee of the Financial Accounting and Reporting Section of the American Accounting Association.

Undertake or assist with other research activities as requested by the Technical Director

This position may also be asked to undertake or assist with other research activities, for example, research undertaken as part of the Foundation’s post-implementation review of a FASB standard.

Essential Skills and Experience

The individual holding this position is someone with the following skills and experiences:

  • Required job-related experience includes a recent PhD in accounting earned no more than two-years prior; CPA desired but not required.
  • Required technical knowledge and skills include:
    • An excellent working knowledge of U.S. GAAP and an understanding of the FASB conceptual framework. A working knowledge of IFRS, in addition to U.S. GAAP, is desirable but not required.
    • Strong ability to analyze problems and identify key issues.
    • Excellent training in analytical, archival, or experimental research methods; familiarity with more than one method is desired but not required.
    • Interest in financial reporting issues.

Required personal characteristics include:

  • Strong interpersonal skills necessary to successfully manage and motivate technical and administrative staff individually and as a team
  • Ability to self-assess performance and identify strengths and areas for improvement
  • Strong listening skills
  • Strong oral and written communication skills
  • Clear thinker—able to see the big picture as well as the details
  • Good working relationship with Board members and Technical Directors/Assistant Directors
  • Open-minded of alternative views, able to actively listen to feedback and clearly communicate others’ perspectives and views
  • Self-confident and able to defend own views
  • Demonstrates strong commitment to the organization, including a willingness to step outside of technical assignments to take on other initiatives that benefit the organization.

Compensation and Benefits:

The FASB Post-Doctoral Fellow will receive a competitive salary and a comprehensive benefits package, including:

  • Paid vacation, sick, personal and holidays
  • Medical, dental, & vision insurance
  • Life insurance and AD&D
  • Employee Referral Program
  • Fitness reimbursement
  • Pre-tax commuter benefit

To learn more about the FASB Post-Doctoral Program, please click here.

Applications for this role must be received by 11/11/22.

The FAF is an equal opportunity employer and complies with all applicable federal, state, and local fair employment practices laws. The FAF strictly prohibits and does not tolerate discrimination against employees, applicants or any other covered persons because of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, ancestry, ethnicity, age, gender, gender identity or expression, marital or civil union status, sexual orientation, genetic information, citizenship, military service, mental or learning disability or physical disability, pregnancy, or any other characteristic protected under applicable federal, state, or local law. All Employees are prohibited from engaging in unlawful discrimination. This Policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including, but not limited to, hiring, training, promotion, discipline, compensation, benefits, and termination of employment.

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