Employment Opportunity: Senior Staff Accountant | Oceana USA

Senior Staff Accountant

About Oceana

Nearly one billion people currently do not have enough to eat. The demand for food is projected to increase 70 percent by 2050 as the population grows to an expected nine billion. An often overlooked solution to this problem is our oceans. A fully productive ocean could provide one nutritious meal a day for 700 million people, or 13 to 15 percent of the animal protein produced on the entire planet. Moreover, wild-caught ocean fish uses no land, needs negligible amounts of water, is the lowest cost per pound to obtain, and provides human health benefits.

Unfortunately, ocean productivity is drastically declining due to overfishing, destructive fishing practices, marine habitat loss and pollution. If action is not taken to reverse this trend now, wild seafood may soon disappear as a major food source for a hungry planet. There is good news, however: restoring wild seafood is achievable and there are many examples of fish rebounding under science-based management, which is also surprisingly feasible. Science gives us clear direction about how to manage fish recovery. Fish will recover if we –

  • Set reasonable fishing quotas and reduce industrial overfishing.
  • Reduce bycatch (the incidental catch of non-targeted animals).
  • Protect marine habitat, both in preserving biodiversity and ecosystem health, as well as from the harmful effects of marine pollution.

Oceana is headquartered in Washington, DC and has offices in New York City, NY; Juneau, AK, Portland, OR, Monterey, CA, City of Belmopan, Belize; Brussels, Belgium; Brasilia, Brazil; Santiago, Chile; Copenhagen, Denmark; Lima, Peru; Manila, Philippines; Madrid, Spain; The legal entities in Belize, Brazil, Spain, and the United Kingdom follow the host country’s regulations and, as a result, are incorporated as independent entities.  Oceana boasts a worldwide staff in excess of 200 full time professionals and an annual operating budget of approximately $43 million dollars.


General Summary

Oceana is a fairly young, growing, dynamic, international organization.  We seek an experienced Senior Staff Accountant who, as part of the Finance and Accounting Department, will contribute to the delivery of timely, relevant and accurate financial information.  Ability to work independently without close supervision, manage complexity, identify and solve problems with a fair degree of resiliency is required.  S/he will lead the maintenance of accounting records in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles. S/he will supervise Oceana’s payroll-related operations for the United States. The Senior Accountant will also supervise the disbursement process and perform treasury functions. This position reports to the Accounting Manager and is based in Washington, DC.

The Senior Staff Accountant position is responsible for the effective performance of various accounting functions, including bank reconciliations, journal entries, analysis of general ledger accounts, enforcement of internal policies and conducting organizational staff trainings. The Senior Staff Accountant verifies the reliable and timely preparation of internal and external reports related to their areas of responsibility. S/He will also be expected to be a resource to staff accountants and clerical staff.


Principal Duties, Responsibilities and Essential Functions:

Maintain Oceana’s general ledger:

  • Draft reconciliation of general ledger to subsidiary ledger – including cash accounts, prepaid expenditures, fixed assets, payroll-related liabilities, other accrued liabilities, and long-term liabilities. Research and resolve any discrepancies discovered.
  • Ensure that all transactions and journal entries are recorded timely and accurately in accordance with internal policies, U.S. GAAP and governmental regulations.
  • Coordinate the collection of allocations from around the organization and prepare the monthly staff cost allocations calculations.
  • Reconcile international activity and related currency exchange gains or losses effect
  • Post-closing intercompany elimination entries
  • Prepare year-end cash-to-accrual basis adjustments to Oceana’s consolidated grant revenue.
  • Prepare audit schedules and footnotes including future minimum lease payment schedule. Resolve audit issues identified by external auditors.


Audit and Tax preparation:

  • Assist in GAAP to tax basis conversion.
  • Research and determine the appropriate capitalization and depreciation of fixed assets for U.S. entities.
  • Prepare audit work papers and compile PBC lists provided by auditors
  • Prepare supplemental schedules, functional expense detail and associated footnotes.


Review payroll for employees of U.S. entities:

  • Efficiently and accurately process semi-monthly payroll.
  • Effectively communicate with internal and external payroll customers to provide high levels of service, adding value to all interactions. Working with Human Resources, research employee issues and provide a timely and professional response/resolution.
  • Maintain a comprehensive understanding Oceana’s payroll system, benefit packages and eligibility requirements to ensure accurate employee payroll deductions and accruals.
  • Work with HR and other finance staff to ensure complete and accurate employee, timekeeping and payroll records.
  • Work with HR to prepare reports for annual workers compensation audit.
  • Collaborate with Human Resources to ensure timely submission of 403(b) contribution payments and directing the annual 403(b) audit.
  • Maintain a strong working knowledge of federal and state labor and payroll tax regulations, standards and best practices.
  • Process and issue annual W-2 forms to employees in a timely and accurate manner.



  • Assist in the review of journal entries and cash disbursements as needed.
  • Conduct regular trainings to non-accountants to ensure that personnel are well informed of changes in programs, policies, and procedures, related to areas of responsibility.
  • Run reports and queries from financial, payroll and time tracking systems.
  • Comply with local, state and federal government reporting requirements and tax filings and ensure all returns are filed timely and accurately.
  • Other duties as assigned.


Job Requirements, Education and Work Experience:     

  • Reliable team player who contributes to a productive working environment with other employees to meet organizational goals.
  • Well-developed written and oral communication and interpersonal skills to ensure effective communication.  Able to convey a clear understanding to different audiences.
  • Excellent attention to detail.
  • Strong analytical skills and problem solving skills utilizing Microsoft office products. Is able to make sense of complex, high quantity and sometimes contradictory information to effectively solve problems. 
  • Able to effectively prioritize multiple responsibilities in a faced paced environment and perform them with speed, accuracy and courtesy.
  • Possess a strong understanding about the nuances of team dynamics, and know how their words and actions impact others; and exercise good judgment to help them deal with others in an effective way. Able to build partnerships and work collaboratively to meet shared objectives.
  • Able to maintain the highest level of confidentiality regarding payroll and other confidential information.
  • Able to commit to the mission and goals of Oceana.
  • Demonstrates resiliency by maintaining a positive attitude and handling and managing difficult situations with grace and confidence. 

Education & Experience

  • Undergraduate degree in accounting required and CPA preferred.
  • At least five years of relevant progressive accounting experience.
  • Experience utilizing complex ERP and ledger system.
  • Demonstrated knowledge and experience applying United States Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), laws, regulations, and internal policies related to their areas of responsibility.


Compensation for the Staff Accountant includes a competitive base salary, along with a generous benefit package including health care insurance and retirement benefits.

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