AAA Financial Accounting and Reporting Section


Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB)
Since 1973, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) has been the designated organization in the private sector for establishing standards of financial accounting that govern the preparation of financial reports by nongovernmental entities.

Job Title: FASB Senior Research Manager Reports to: FASB Technical Director
Position Summary:

The primary objective of the Senior Research Manager position is to bring the findings of rigorous, empirically-based research to bear in the development of financial accounting and reporting standards. To this end, this position has four major areas of responsibility:

  1. Directly engage in (or supervise) project-specific research activities.
  2. 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.
  3. Identify rigorous, empirically-based research of general relevance to accounting standards-setting.
  4. Encourage/stimulate relevant research by others on issues important to the FASB.

In carrying out those responsibilities, the Senior Research Manager 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 Senior Research Manager 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 Foundation’s post-implementation review of FASB and GASB standards.

Position Responsibilities:
I. Directly engage in (or supervise) project-specific research activities
Activities consistent with this responsibility generally would include:

  • Identifying and critically evaluating existing rigorous, and empirically-based 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 Senior Research Manager 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.

II. 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 Senior Research Manager 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.

III. 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.

IV. 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; and
  • 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 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.

V. 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 or GASB standard.

Essential Skills and Experience:
The individual holding this position is someone with the following skills and experiences.

Required job-related experience includes:

  1. A PhD in accounting; CPA desired but not required.
  2. At least six years of experience conducting or reviewing accounting research relevant to accounting standards setting, including a record of publication in recognized journals, and staying current on developments in accounting and financial reporting.

Required technical knowledge and skills include:

  1. An excellent working knowledge of U.S. GAAP and the FASB conceptual framework. A working knowledge of IFRS, in addition to U.S. GAAP, is desirable but not required.
  2. Strong ability to analyze problems and identify key issues.

Required personal characteristics include:

  1. Strong written and verbal communications skills are essential, in particular, the ability to communicate complex thoughts and ideas simply and effectively, with a minimum of research jargon.
  2. Because this position is new and many FASB members and staff are not familiar with academic research and how it can inform their thinking, the individual must be a confident, out-going, and highly motivated self-starter who can creatively evolve the position. Opportunities to add value and contribute to standards-setting exist, but the individual will need to root them out, at least until the position is established and integrated.
  3. Because the work is demanding and, at times, subject to external pressures for timely completion, candidates must be creative, organized, and highly motivated.
  4. Because on-point research is unlikely to exist for many issues, this position requires clear thinking and the ability to identify and glean insights from research of analogous reporting issues.
  5. Respectful and tolerant of the views of others.
  6. Strong commitment to the independent development of accounting standards for the benefit of investors and other users.

Qualified candidates that meet the requirements of this position should forward their resume, with cover letter and salary requirements to: Ginny Cintron, Personnel Manager, vicintron@f-a-f.org.

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