School of Accounting and Commercial Law


On this page:

SACL Student receives inaugural Wellington International Student Excellence Award

20 October 2016


PhD student Olayinka Moses was one of four Victoria International students who received awards at the inaugural Wellington International Student Excellence Awards held at Parliament on 14 October 2016.

Presented by Deputy Prime Minister Hon Bill English, the awards recognise the region’s twelve best all round international students and Yinka was rated as the equal best of the group.

Olayinka, whose home country is Nigeria, is undertaking a PhD in Financial Reporting and Financial Management at Victoria.

Yinka, as he is affectionately known, was recognised for his excellent academic achievements and contributions to the community.

He has just completed service as President of the Postgraduate Students’ Association for 2015/16, a demanding position that involves representation of postgraduate students across a number of University fora including the Academic Board and Academic Committee.

Yinka has helped to organise multiple academic and social events at Victoria and contributed to a number of charities in New Zealand.

“International students make up an important part of our student community, bringing diverse perspectives, cultures and languages to the University environment,” says Victoria Vice-Chancellor Grant Guilford.

“It is fantastic to see the hard work of four of Victoria’s students acknowledged, for their achievements in the academic and sporting field, as well as their contribution to the university and wider Wellington community.”

Award winners’ family and friends were also present to congratulate and participate in the occasion, and Yinka acknowledged Education Wellington for recognising the achievements and contributions of international students in Wellington.

“I’m very delighted to receive this award and would like to thank Education Wellington.
“I have received tremendous support from the Craig Buck Andrews Scholarship I hold, and from my School to attend top conferences and network with leading scholars.

“I’m also very thankful to my Supervisors Professor Tony van Zijl and Dr. Noor Houqe, who have supported and encouraged me to attain this and several other achievements.

Yinka also had praise for Wellington as a learning environment.

“Living in Wellington is a good opportunity to appreciate the institutional contrast between New Zealand and developing countries that is helping me understand good governance practices that would be useful when I return back to my country.

“In sum, my experience in Wellington is more than just an academic one, but a complete life-learning experience.”

Well done ‘Yinka!

Back to top ^

All Kiwis gain from putting paid to tax avoidance mysteries

6 October 2016

This commentary, provided by Professor Norman Gemmell, Chair in Public Finance at Victoria Business School, was published in the Dominion Post on Thursday 5 October.
Prof Norman Gemmell

Professor Norman Gemmell, the Chair in Public Finance at Victoria University

It is no surprise to anyone to be told most people don't like paying more tax.

Recent media attention has focused especially on companies' behaviour, with accusations of multinationals effectively choosing where to pay their taxes and how much to pay—or avoiding tax altogether.

However, the issue is just as relevant for ordinary New Zealanders. For example, someone currently earning $75,000 a year pays $15,670—or about 21 percent—in income tax but for every dollar they earn over $70,000 ($5,000 in this case), they pay 33 cents in tax, taking home just 67 cents.

Now imagine this top tax rate is almost doubled to 60c in the dollar. If they keep earning $75,000, they will pay an extra $1,350 in tax, raising their average tax rate by less than two cents to 23 percent but for every dollar earned over $70,000, this taxpayer now only gets to take home 40 cents.

Would you work extra overtime if you got to keep just 40 cents out of every dollar earned instead of 67 cents or more? And, of course, if earning more also means losing payments like family tax credits, you could end up effectively with less than 40 cents per dollar.

High tax rates have another, more insidious, effect on people's taxable earnings—some taxpayers go looking for ways to avoid the extra tax, either legally or illegally.

Negatively gearing a rental property or earning less income while your lower-paid partner earns more are two of the legal ways, or you might go and work in Hong Kong where tax rates are lower.

Research project looks at how behaviour alters when taxes change

Discovering which people respond like this to higher taxes, how and how much, is the main motivation behind a new research project being run by Victoria University of Wellington over the next three years, supported by funding from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.

Using the latest modelling techniques and data for New Zealand, the project will help to answer some of the questions around how people alter their behaviour when taxes change.

This is important for several reasons.

Clearly, illegal tax avoidance undermines the tax system's fairness and credibility by forcing law-abiding taxpayers to pay more, and all tax-avoiding responses involve lost revenue that otherwise could fund better public services or welfare benefits.

Such difficult-to-predict revenue losses make it harder for governments to forecast how much extra revenue they can expect from a new tax policy, and so how much more they can afford to spend.

These responses also undermine the efficient running of our economy. If entrepreneurs and the self-employed spend their time on ways to minimise their taxes, this is time that could be better spent doing what they are good at, generating new ideas and employment along the way.

Looking at Australian behaviour

If you think these responses to tax rates are not much of a big deal, consider an example from our neighbours across the Tasman.

For Australian employees who have a company-owned car, Fringe Benefit Tax (FBT) is levied on any kilometres driven for personal use.

Until recently, the tax rate per kilometre was lower (on all the personal use kilometres) if you travelled more than 15,000kms, then lower still if you travelled more than 25,000kms and more than 40,000kms. So, clearly, driving more—or claiming to—would be good for your FBT bill.

How far did Australians claim they drove using their company cars for private use and did FBT make a difference? It is hard to know exactly how many kilometres our Aussie friends would have driven if there was no FBT regime.

But data on how many cars travel various distances show an awful lot of Australians paying FBT reckoned they drove just over 15,000, 25,000 and 40,000 kilometres, with very few company cars apparently travelling other distances. Strangely, that aligned remarkably well with their fiscal interest.

Tax researchers in other countries have identified many other examples similar to this Aussie case, but not a lot is known about New Zealand taxpayers.

So getting a better appreciation of how our fellow Kiwis respond to their taxes, through the Victoria University tax-modelling project, could potentially help improve understanding of our tax system and assist future tax policy setting.

Certainly, a first step towards a fairer and less distorting tax system has to be better knowledge of how distorting and equitable the current system is.

This way, we might help New Zealand governments and voters make better choices over what kind of tax system we want.

Back to top ^

Professor John Creedy receives NZIER Economics Award

28 September 2016

Prof John Creedy gets NZIER Economics Award

Professor John Creedy receiving the NZIER Economics Award for 2016

Congratulations to Professor John Creedy, who was awarded the NZIER Economics Award for 2016 earlier this month.

The New Zealand Institute of Economic Research-sponsored award is New Zealand’s most prestigious Economics Award, decided by a panel comprising experienced economists, policy experts and a representative of the business community.

Professor John Creedy lectures at the School of Accounting and Commercial Law and also works with the New Zealand Treasury as Principal Advisor in the Tax Strategy team. He has had a distinguished academic and publishing career with interests in public economics, labour economics, income distribution and the history of economic analysis.

His recent work on long term fiscal policy has addressed major conceptual issues in the Treasury’s approach and made significant contributions towards enhancing policy advice in this area.

He has also been influential in the development and implementation of tax policy in New Zealand through his work on The Treasury's tax models and his contributions to the Tax Working Group, and more recently his work on measuring inequality in New Zealand.

In his acceptance speech, Professor Creedy said he was very pleased to be recognised in this way, and honoured to be included among the list of previous awardees.

"Another very pleasing aspect of the award is the fact that it is explicitly not for a general contribution to economics, but relates specifically to contributions to New Zealand and indeed comes from a non-academic institution.

"I've always taken the view that, since I’m paid by taxpayers, it is appropriate to devote a large proportion of my research to local practical issues."

The independent panel determining the NZIER-sponsored award is instructed to "look for outstanding contributions to the advancement of economics and its applications in New Zealand". To qualify for the Award a contribution "must advance economic matters of direct relevance to New Zealand", and must be "likely to be of long-term lasting importance to New Zealand".

Back to top ^

US visit offers unique lessons for VBS students

28 September 2016

Beta Alpha Psi representatives Jared Cotton and Jacqueline Yee

Beta Alpha Psi representatives Jared Cotton and Jacqueline Yee

Two Victoria Business School students represented Victoria University’s chapter of Beta Alpha Psi (BAP) at the international organisation's annual meeting in Baltimore, last month.

Jared Cotton competed in the International Project Run With It (PRWI) business case competition, while Jacqueline Yee participated in the Community Service Event for International Literacy Day, visiting primary schools in Baltimore.

The PRWI competition was a highlight for Jared. The competition saw his team given just 24 hours to formulate a strategic business plan for a not-for-profit organisation in Baltimore that was experiencing financial difficulty.

"Being able to use the knowledge that I have learnt at VBS to make a tangible difference to the organisation was an extremely rewarding experience for me.

"This trip was a fantastic example of the opportunities that BAP and VBS afford students at Victoria."

As part of Jacqueline's community service event, she visited under-served schools around Baltimore to distribute books and teach children the importance of literacy.

"After four hours of non-stop and high-energy activities with the children, we read them the book Miss Rumphius – a story book about giving back to the community and making the world more beautiful – which they got to keep afterwards."

Jacqueline and Jared said other highlights included presentations from keynote speakers including former NBA player Walter Bond, and KPMG managing director John Howell who was on board the flight that landed in the Hudson River in 2009.

Both students agreed the knowledge they gained from attending the conference will be instrumental in developing the Victoria chapter's plan for the upcoming year.

Back to top ^

Prof Rachel Baskerville made a CA ANZ Fellow

25 August 2016

Prof Rachel Baskerville with Kathleen Makale

Prof Rachel Baskerville (R) receives her Chartered Accountant Fellow award, pictured with Kathleen Makale (L), an Assistant Lecturer at SACL (Credit: Dom Thomas, Brady Dyer Photography)

Congratulations to Professor Rachel Baskerville, who has been made a Fellow of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CA ANZ) in recognition of her sustained commitment to the accounting profession.

Professor Baskerville teaches financial accounting at the School of Accounting and Commercial Law, and her varied research projects include many studies of the history of the accounting profession in New Zealand, and aspects of ethnicity and culture in accounting research.

Positions at the University of Auckland and University of Exeter have interspersed her tenure since first being appointed as a lecturer at Victoria Business School in 1996.

Professor Baskerville has been involved with professional qualifying education and examinations for most of this time, and judged the Annual Report of the Year for a number of years.

An enthusiastic supporter of many community organisations over the years, including her church community and the Oral History Association, Professor Baskerville is also a member of professional accounting committees and committees within the University.

She is currently a Joint Editor of Pacific Accounting Review, and sits on a number of Editorial Boards.

Kathleen Makale, an Assistant Lecturer in the School, also received her Chartered Accountant membership certificate.

Back to top ^

Accolades for PhD thesis

2 August 2016

School of Accounting and Commercial Law lecturer Dr Farzana Tanima

SACL lecturer Dr Farzana Tanima

School of Accounting and Commercial Law lecturer Dr Farzana Tanima has recently received accolades for her PhD thesis on "Microfinance and women’s empowerment in Bangladesh: A study of competing logics and their implications for accounting and accountability systems".

Her first award was the "Best PhD Thesis completed in 2015", given by the Accounting and Finance Association of Australia and New Zealand at their recent Conference held in the Gold Coast, Queensland from 3-5 July.

Dr Tanima was also announced as the winner of the APIRA Broadbent and Laughlin Emerging Scholar Award at the conference's main dinner, held in Melbourne during July.

These awards recognise the high quality of Dr Tanima's research, and the thesis topic is one she has a personal interest in. Her research focuses on economic growth and socio-political issues in her home country Bangladesh, where there is widespread poverty and few education opportunities, particularly for rural women.

"I wanted to undertake research where I could reflect on how the disadvantaged social position of Bangladeshi women could be transformed by accounting and accountability systems such as financial reports," says Dr Tanima.

Earlier this year Dr Tanima was also the recipient of a Dean's Award for Doctoral Achievement.

She is honoured to have received these awards, and acknowledges the support of her supervisors Professor Judy Brown and Professor Trevor Hopper.

"Judy and Trevor have given me the best possible guidance. They have greatly influenced, encouraged and empowered me to pursue the issues pertinent to this research. I am very grateful for their unrelenting support."

Back to top ^

SACL student gets scholarship to study intellectual property in China

11 July 2016

Vladimir Samoylov, PhD candidate in the School of Accounting and Commercial Law

PhD candidate Vladimir Samoylov

A scholarship to attend the International Summer School of Intellectual Property in Xiamen University during July will be an exciting opportunity for School of Accounting and Commercial Law PhD candidate Vladimir Samoylov.

Vlad is undertaking a comparative study of industrial design law in New Zealand and China with a view to providing a roadmap for New Zealand designers and design-based businesses.

"Being accepted for the International Summer School is a great privilege and honour for me," says Vlad.

"The opportunity for me to learn from leading professors at one of China's most respected and prestigious Law Schools is very exciting. It is also a great opportunity to not only learn about, but also experience Chinese culture first hand."

At the 2015 Asian Pacific Copyright Association conference, Vlad had the opportunity to meet top copyright researchers from around the world.

Attending the Xiamen summer school will give Vlad the opportunity to catch up with Texas-based Professor Peter Yu, one of the world’s leading experts on Chinese intellectual property law. Professor Yu has already provided advice to Vlad on his research, and the summer school will be invaluable for making further contacts in China.

"I am very happy with everything about my PhD studies, especially the help and support I get from my supervisors, Susan Corbett and Jonathan Barrett," adds Vlad.

"I am enjoying the research and writing process, plus all the additional opportunities I have been given – from tutoring to attending conferences, to now getting to visit China – it is far more than I could have ever expected."

Back to top ^

BCom accounting student 'five cows' richer after competition success

22 June 2016

VBS student Rebecca Matthews won the ‘Compete for Cash Cow’ competition

Second-year accounting and finance student Rebecca Matthews, winner of AccountingPod’s nationwide 'Compete for Cash Cow' competition

Second-year accounting and finance student Rebecca Matthews is five milking cows richer after winning AccountingPod’s nationwide 'Compete for Cash Cow' competition.

Three hundred accounting students from universities all over the country took part in the competition that saw students running a virtual dairy farm for twenty-two days.

The prize money, around $10,000, will be paid out monthly to Rebecca based on the cost of the gross milk income of five dairy cows for the 2016-17 milking season.

Rebecca is "absolutely thrilled" to win the competition.

"We had to complete six challenges on AccountingPod’s online learning portal that simulated running a dairy farm on a day-to-day basis. They started off easy and got progressively harder."

The three finalists then had 24 hours to create a concept that added value to milk. Rebecca's concept was infusing milk with ingredients such as honey and spices to boost the health benefits of milk.

Rebecca says the competition gave her the opportunity to put skills she has learned at Victoria into practice.

"A lot of what we were doing related back to my courses, especially in tax and financial accounting. I also gained insight about the industry, the New Zealand economy, and gained experience using Xero accounting software," she says.

Competition organiser, AccountingPod director Judith Cambridge, says the competition aimed to expose students to digital business tools and learn about the New Zealand business environment.

Back to top ^

An internship in Colombia for BCom graduate

14 June 2016

VBS alumna Gracie Miles, image courtesy of Helen Young Photography

Gracie Miles heads to Medellin for a management accounting internship (Helen Young Photography)

The chance to practice accounting in an emerging market overseas is an opportunity too good to turn down for Victoria Business School alumna Gracie Miles.

Gracie graduated in 2013 with a Bachelor of Commerce majoring in Accounting, Commercial Law, and International Business, and is headed to Medellin in Colombia to complete an internship in the field of management accounting.

"After recently receiving the details of my role, I’ve realised how lucky I am – it's exactly what I see myself doing in the future."

Although she studied Spanish briefly at high school, it wasn't until Gracie was required to take a language paper as part of her International Business course that she realised how passionate she was about the language.

"I would really love to be fluent in Spanish and that's part of my motivation to go to South America – to really practice the language and get amongst the culture.

Gracie credits studying Accounting and International Business at Victoria with her success so far in her career.

"If I had never done International Business, I probably wouldn't be where I am now and heading to Colombia.

"The combination of International Business with my Accounting background has made me stand out and has given me confidence."

It was a friend, who is also a Victoria graduate, who recommended Gracie look at The Intern Group programme. "I went home, got click happy and applied."

Gracie is now looking for help to cover the costs of the six week internship, but says that regardless of what happens and how much she raises, she’ll be heading off.

"Not going is not an option – I know how beneficial this is going to be for my career and what it's going to do for my future.

"Spanish is now the second most widely spoken language in the world and Latin America is a major focus from New Zealand. This role and the experience I’m going to gain is going to open a lot of doors.

"When I return to New Zealand, I hope to be able to share what I learn while in Medellin."

Gracie plans on returning to New Zealand after her internship and complete her studies towards becoming a chartered accountant, and has set up a Givealittle page to help cover the costs of her six week internship.

Back to top ^

SACL student gets Pacific Scholarship Top Achiever Award

2 June 2016

Sina Ah Sam receives her New Zealand Pacific Scholarship Top Achiever Award

Sina Ah Sam with the pounamu necklace she was presented as part of her New Zealand Pacific Scholarship Top Achiever Award

There were tears of pride in the audience when SACL student Sina Ah Sam received her New Zealand Pacific Scholarship Top Achiever Award at a special ceremony.

The second-year commerce student received the award in front of Samoan High Commissioner Leasi Papali'i Tommy Scanlan, as well as a crowd of friends, University staff and representatives from award sponsors, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Sina received the award for outstanding academic results in her first year in the New Zealand Pacific Scholarship, run by the New Zealand Aid Programme at Victoria.

Sina is studying Accounting and Commercial Law and Taxation. In addition, she is this year a mentor for first-year commerce students for the Māori and Pasifika mentoring programme, Te Pūtahi Atawhai. Sina is also a member of the Samoan Students’ Association and Victoria Plus.

She also recieved a special award at the recent Victoria Business School Excellence Awards, the Adrian Wimmers Prize for the top first year Commerce student.

In her speech, Sina encouraged her fellow Pasifika students to make the most of opportunities studying at Victoria.

"When we come here to study, we not only represent ourselves and our families, we are representing a nation that is hopeful of us and is awaiting our return so we can use the knowledge we gain to make a difference back home and contribute to its development."

Helena Cook and Julia McEnteer from Victoria's New Zealand Aid Scholarships team presented Sina with a pounamu necklace as a taonga to recognise her success.

Dr Cook says she remembered Sina from the moment she stepped off the plane in Wellington from Samoa last year.

"She was very shy and quiet, but has blossomed into someone who’s confident and doing such an amazing job. I’ve been really impressed with her heart, the way she’s endlessly upbeat and acing her classes."

Assistant Vice-Chancellor (Pasifika) Associate Professor Hon. Luamanuvao Winnie Laban praised Sina's perseverance and passion that has seen her achieve top grades, and her generosity in finding time to help other students as a mentor.

"Sina studies hard and aims high, and that’s going to provide wonderful opportunities in the future when she starts her career. Sina is a great role model for our Pasifika students as she personally demonstrates the importance of academic achievement."

Back to top ^

Future business leaders celebrated at VBS Excellence Awards

2 June 2016

Prizewinners gather in the Memorial Theatre for the 2016 Victoria Business School Excellence Awards

Prizewinners at the annual Victoria Business School Excellence Awards gathered in the Memorial Theatre

Victoria Business School’s highest achievers, including School of Accounting and Commercial Law students, were celebrated at the Business School’s fourth annual Excellence Awards in May.

The awards recognise Victoria Business School's top graduating students across each of its disciplines, as well as its best PhD and Master’s students. A number of special awards were also presented including the Victoria Business School and AVC (Pasifika) Scholarships.

Pro Vice-Chancellor and Dean of Commerce Professor Bob Buckle says it was great to acknowledge the successes of Victoria Business School’s best and brightest ahead of graduation.

"These awards acknowledge the years of hard work and commitment our students have dedicated to their education and to being the very best they can be. This is a great achievement."

Guest speaker, Victoria Business School alumnus and Faculty Advisory Board Member Vanisa Dhiru, told the audience she was humbled to be in the company of such great achievers, and to never be disheartened when things don't go to plan.

"It's the people behind you—your family, whanau, community—who will help push you past those boundaries to follow your dreams."

Professor Buckle expressed his gratitude to sponsors who had partnered with Victoria Business School to provide named prizes.

"We are proud of the strong working relationships we enjoy with leading New Zealand businesses and government agencies.

"Their involvement in these awards not only demonstrates their ongoing support for Victoria Business School, but for the future leaders who received the awards."

Listed below are the names of those students involved with the School of Accounting and Commercial Law.

Victoria Business School Award winners


  • Dr Mary Ashby — Management
  • Dr Edgar Pacheco Benavente — Information Systems
  • Dr Argelia Larroa — Management
  • Dr Judith Lawrence — Public Policy
  • Dr Matthew Lewellen — Information Systems
  • Dr Germana Nicklin — Public Policy
  • Dr Mele Paea — Management
  • Dr Farzana Tanima — Accounting


  • Siobhan Bassett — Greenwood Roche Award for Commercial Law / Excellence Award for Accounting
  • Liam Beattie — KMPG Award for Accounting / Excellence Award for Commercial Law
  • Kelly David — Excellence Award for Taxation
  • Rebecca D’Souza — Excellence Award for Accounting
  • Derek Snow — Excellence Award for Accounting
  • Alex Tunstall — CPA Award for Accounting / Excellence Award for Commercial Law
  • James Van Dissen — CPA Award for Accounting
  • Caroline Young — KMPG Award for Taxation / Excellence Award for Accounting / Excellence Award for Commercial Law


  • Herewini Ammunson — VBS & AVC (PASIFIKA) SCHOLARSHIPS
Sponsors for the Excellence Awards

Victoria Business School is grateful to all the organisations who have generously sponsored prizes for the Excellence Awards that celebrate our highest achieving undergraduate students.

Sponsor logos for the VBS Excellence Awards

Back to top ^

Economic models: toyshop or practical workshop?

6 May 2016

Professor John Creedy

Professor of Public Economics and Taxation John Creedy will draw on over 40 years of research and experience for his inaugural public lecture on Tuesday 10 May

Professor of Public Economics and Taxation John Creedy will draw on over 40 years of research and experience for his inaugural lecture to provide insight into how economic modelling has helped shape tax and welfare policies.

Renowned internationally for his work in labour economics, public economics and the history of economic thought, Professor Creedy has promised a "non-technical talk" where he explains how models have contributed to policy analysis specifically in tax and welfare.

'Economic models: Toyshop or practical workshop?' will address a common misconception that economic models are too abstract and bear little relevance to real problems and issues.

For example, tax, he says, matters to everyone.

"Tax changes inevitably involve winners and losers. So it’s important to have as detailed a picture as possible of the tax structure and how it can affect things like income distribution and labour supply."

Professor Creedy has been at the School of Accounting and Commercial Law since 2011, and shares his time between Victoria University and New Zealand Treasury, where he is a principal advisor in the Tax Strategy section.

Since graduating from University of Bristol and then University of Oxford in the United Kingdom (UK), Professor Creedy has been a professor at a number of universities including Durham University in the UK, Pennsylvania State University in the United States, and most recently University of Melbourne where he was the Truby Williams Professor of Economics.

Victoria University’s Vice-Chancellor Professor Grant Guilford says Professor Creedy's wealth of experience and knowledge is an asset to the university.

"As well as extensive experience in the academic world, Professor Creedy’s skills have proven hugely valuable to the public sector, particularly in his current position at Treasury and through his links with government departments in the UK and Australia," Professor Guilford says.

"His output of research is phenomenal, with thirty-six books, fifty-eight book chapters and about 275 journal articles bearing his name.

"His published material is indicative not only of the breadth of his knowledge, but also demonstrates the many ways his expertise can provide insight into some of the big social issues of our time such as pensions, welfare changes and social inequality.

"It is a privilege to count Professor Creedy as a member of the Victoria community."

  • What: Inaugural lecture by Professor John Creedy – Economic models: Toyshop or practical workshop?
  • When: 6pm, Tuesday 10 May
  • Where: Old Government Building, Lecture Theatre 1 (GBLT1), Lambton Quay
  • RSVP: with 'Creedy' in the subject line, or call 04-463 6700.

Back to top ^

Accounting students recruited to represent CA ANZ on campus

10 May 2016

Victoria and Massey CA ANZ student reps for 2016

Victoria Business School students recruited to represent Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand, with their Massey University counterparts

Victoria Business School students have been recruited by Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand to be their representatives on campus during 2016.

These BCom students, all majoring in accounting, will be working with students, educators, and employers to promote the profession and the benefits that a career in business and commerce can provide.

Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand is the trans-Tasman professional body for chartered accountants and represents more than 100,000 current and future professionals and business leaders operating throughout the world.

Students are welcome to find out more at the CA ANZ drop-in sessions, held regularly on Thursdays during term time.

  • Where: Rutherford House, Room RH G16 (behind the Information Counter on the Ground floor)
  • Time: 11.30am-12.30pm

Back to top ^

Summer scholars win Summer Gold

15 April 2016

Congratulations to David Cheng and Charlotte Langman, two of our Summer Scholars who won prizes this week for their posters in the Summer Gold Competition.

David Cheng: Economic Effect of Cartels
Summer Gold prizewinner David Cheng

Prizewinner David Cheng

David Cheng won best poster prize in the Accounting and Commercial Law / Information Management academic group for his research on the "Economic effect of cartels".

Hosted (and partly funded by) the Commerce Commission, David's literature review focused on cartel overcharging, length of collusion and prevalence.

David's research was particularly pertinent to his double major in Economics and Law, and has made this trimester’s course in Competition Law even more relevant.

He has also enjoyed the opportunity to be part of a busy and productive organisation.

David was supervised by Lilla Csorgo at the Commerce Commission, and Jonathan Barrett and Trish Keeper in the School of Accounting and Commercial Law.

Charlotte Langman: Understanding Paramedic Staff Requirements
Summer Gold prizewinner Charlotte Langman

Prizewinner Charlotte Langman

Charlotte Langman won a prize for Most Engaging Demonstration of Research with her poster on "Understanding paramedic staff requirements – a project with Wellington Free Ambulance (WFA)".

WFA hosted and partly funded Charlotte, who found learning more about our local ambulance service very valuable.

As an Honours student in Information Systems, Charlotte extended her skills to establish WFA's needs in understanding the costs and flows of paramedics.

From this, key principles were distilled to help WFA to develop software to better capture and report these costs and flows.

Charlotte was impressed by the complexity of WFA and its service delivery, enjoyed being part of an invigorating not-for-profit business, and is inspired to engage further with the community.

She was supervised by Sarah Lewis at WFA and Carolyn Cordery in the School of Accounting and Commercial Law.

Back to top ^

Accounting student featured online as a 'Future Leader'

15 April 2016

BCom student Carlo Lim

Carlo Lim, a Bachelor of Commerce student majoring in Accounting and Information Systems at Victoria Business School, has been featured as a 'Future Leader'

Carlo Lim, a Bachelor of Commerce student majoring in Accounting and Information Systems at Victoria Business School, has featured in a recent online column profiling 'Future Leaders'.

The Naked CEO website selects students they regard as rising stars studying at universities internationally, and asks them what their hopes and career dreams are.

Carlo's goals include becoming a CEO of a large and well-respected organisation, which upholds its integrity to benefit not only the company itself but also society, and become a positive example for people doing business worldwide.

"Of course, I know I do not have to be a CEO of a large company to start being a positive role model, I try to leave a positive mark on people who I meet," he says.

To this end Carlo has looked for volunteering opportunities, both within Victoria University and in the wider community.

One of his first involvements was with CPA Australia, initially as a Student Ambassador.

"On my second year, I wanted to pass on my knowledge and experience to the new students, so I became a Campus Coach, Class Representative, and I'm planning on becoming a tutor for the upcoming year."

Outside of the university, Carlo decided to concentrate on roles that would give him the most relevant experience for his Commerce degree.

"I chose to become a Budget Adviser, which has not only taught me how to enable clients to become financially independent, it has given me experience in dealing with finance agencies such as banks and creditors on behalf of clients."

Carlo credits his parents' influence with the initial choice to study for an Accounting degree, and says his interest in Information Systems grew as he became more aware of the increasing technological advancements that are used in major aspects of business.

"I also believe that having a major in both would give me an excellent foundation in doing business in the unpredictable workplace."

Back to top ^

Top SACL students celebrated

12 April 2016

The Excellence Award and other prize winners  with, in the front row, the sponsors of the prizes

SACL Excellence Award winners and other prize winners seated with sponsors in the front row

Top students in the School of Accounting and Commercial Law were recently honoured at the School's annual achievements ceremony.

Awards were presented for excellence in Accounting, Commercial Law, and Taxation, along with a number of students also commemorated for prizes they had won in some of the School's sponsored courses.

The ceremony was held in the Hunter Council Chamber in the presence of family and friends of the award-winning students, SACL staff members, representatives from the sponsoring firms and organisations, and friends of SACL.

Keynote speaker Garth Ireland congratulated the award-winners and encouraged them to appreciate the high quality of the courses they were studying.

Garth is chair of the SACL and CAGTR Advisory Board, a director of financial advisory firm Ireland, Wallace & Associates Limited, and is an alumnus of the Victoria Business School.

Full list of award winners

  • Siobhan Rachael Bassett - KPMG Prize in Advanced Financial Accounting
  • Sarah Boyle - Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand Prize for Law of Organisations
  • Sarah Ashleigh Burr – KPMG Prize in Auditing
  • Rebecca Kate Clarke - Deloitte Prize for Advanced Taxation
  • Bianca Heffernan* - KPMG Prize in Taxation
  • Mohamed Akmal Idris* - CPA Australia Prize in Accounting
  • Michelle Kai Lu - KPMG Prize in Advanced Domestic Taxation
  • Olayinka Moses - RW Steele Scholarship in Accounting
  • Muhammad Firdaus Muhammad Nadzri - Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand Prize for Accounting
  • Callum Oliver* - Auditor-General's Prize for Government Accounting & Finance
  • Daniel O'Sullivan - Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand Prize for Introduction to Accounting Information Systems
  • Shane Philipsen - Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand Prize for Advanced Management Accounting
  • Vladimir Samoylov - RW Steele Scholarship in Accounting
  • Jonty Sanders - Internet NZ Prize
  • Muhammad Faris Zulkifle - KPMG Prize in Financial Accounting

Certificate of Excellence in Accounting
Callum Brazier - Rebecca D'Souza - Aimee Edwards - Ramachandran Gnanasekaran - Henry Graham* - Zoe Hawthorne - Courtney Hook - Georgia Ingham - Millicent Jackson - Chun Kwan* - Cameron Martin - Greer Mullin - Roshan Patel - Daniel Phillips - Scott Riordan - Siti Samsul - Alison Snellen* - Muhammad Faris Zulkifle

Certificate of Excellence in Commercial Law
Shaun Bradley - Ruby Campbell - Anneka Herdson* - Phoebe Ikin - Natasha Ingram - Ashleigh Parker – April Richardson - William Townsend - Lauren Walker

Certificate of Excellence in Taxation
Michael Chatterley - Ashleigh Dale - Kelly David* - Blake Hawes* - Mohamed Akmal Idris* - Rosemary Murphy - Alice Niland-Williment* - Chelsea Spencer - Harry Tothill*

Certificate of Excellence in Two Disciplines
Accounting and Taxation - Georgia Allen
Accounting and Commercial Law - Sarah Boyle

* in absentia

Back to top ^

Discovering why New Zealand entities need to adopt integrated reporting

12 April 2016

A panel of integrated reporting experts at a ‘Business Links Seminar’, organised by the Centre for Accounting, Governance and Taxation Research

(L-R): Warren Allen, Jane Diplock, Paul Druckman, Professor Tony van Zijl (CAGTR director), Ann Webster, and Mark Hucklesby at the recent Business Links seminar

Presentations from a panel of integrated reporting experts featured at a recent Business Links Seminar organised by the Centre for Accounting, Governance and Taxation Research.

The panel discussed the importance of New Zealand adopting integrated reporting, a process that captures how an organisation’s strategy, governance, performance and prospects lead to the creation of value over time.

The seminar attracted nearly 100 attendees from academia and the public and private sectors. As well as the benefits of integrated reporting, discussion covered integrated reporting's domestic and international progress and the actions needed to make it more "top of mind" for decision-makers.

International Integrated Reporting Council chief executive officer Paul Druckman gave the keynote address, which was followed by presentations by Jane Diplock, deputy chairman and lead independent director of the IIRC Board; Warren Allen, chief executive of the External Reporting Board; Ann Webster, assistant auditor-general; and Mark Hucklesby, technical director at Grant Thornton.

The same seminar was also delivered at University of Auckland Business School, jointly organised with Auckland's Department of Accounting and Finance.

Back to top ^

“Copyright, Libraries, New Zealand, and the World” - an APCA Seminar

6 April 2016

Image from APCA seminar featuring Professor Kenneth Crews

A/Prof Susan Corbett, Professor Kenneth Crews, and NZCIEL director Professor Susy Frankel

While copyright law in New Zealand has been in the spotlight recently as a result of Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations, for many years agreements administered by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) have in fact had greatest influence.

WIPO commissioned Professor Kenneth D. Crews, a renowned attorney, author, professor and international copyright consultant, to undertake worldwide studies of copyright exceptions for libraries and archives.

Professor Crews, whose research, policymaking, and teaching over the past 20 years have centred on copyright issues of importance to education and research, presented some of his findings in a seminar at Victoria Business School during March.

Hosted by the Asian Pacific Copyright Association (APCA) and the New Zealand Centre for International Economic Law (NZCIEL), Professor Crews reflected on the law of New Zealand and other countries in the region during his presentation "Copyright, Libraries, New Zealand and the World".

The event was well attended by representatives from both the public and private sectors, libraries, and academia.

APCA general secretary Associate Professor Susan Corbett, who introduced Professor Crews, mentioned the crucial importance of educational and library provisions in copyright law for economic growth in the Asia-Pacific region as discussed at APCA's recent inaugural conference.

She also noted that it was a privilege for APCA members and other attendees to hear from a scholar of such international repute.

A recording of the presentation by Professor Kenneth D. Crews is available below.

Back to top ^

Victoria innovation showcased to world’s business schools

2 February 2016

Professor Bob Buckle

Professor Norman Gemmell, Chair in Public Finance

Victoria Business School’s programme of professorial chairs has been internationally acknowledged by a leading global business network in Miami, Florida today.

The Partnering Professorial Chairs programme, which connects Victoria Business School with businesses, the public sector and community organisations, was selected as one of the ‘Innovations That Inspire’ to be showcased at the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) International conference.

Victoria Business School’s Chairs programme allows high calibre academics to focus their research, teaching and graduate supervision on contemporary and critically important issues for New Zealand, and to engage more extensively with stakeholders.

Pro Vice-Chancellor and Dean of Commerce Professor Bob Buckle is thrilled the Victoria Business School programme has been selected as one of 30 initiatives to feature at the conference.

"Business schools were invited to share ways in which they have challenged the status quo through an innovation.

"Our Partnering Professorial Chairs programme is exactly that, and exemplifies how the School is reaching out to stakeholders, sharing expertise and addressing important issues for businesses and the wider community," he says.

Victoria Business School has been building its programme over several years and currently has six established Chairs.

The Chairs works closely with stakeholders in research, implementing initiatives, and training staff on critical issues. Each is supported by an advisory board comprising of partnering organisations from businesses, government agencies, and private trusts.

"We are most grateful to our partners who have worked with us to establish these Chairs, which have now gained international recognition," says Professor Buckle.

William H. Glick, chair of the AACSB Board of Directors and Dean of the Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Business at Rice University in Houston, Texas said: "We are proud to spotlight Victoria Business School's innovation, as the ideas found within demonstrate how institutions are embracing out-of the-box thinking – creating global solutions that shape best practices, form new business ties, and improve the educational experience for students and faculty alike."

The six Chairs are:

Back to top ^

Reshaping accounting systems for women’s empowerment

6 January 2016

VBS accounting graduate Farzana Tanima

Accounting graduate Farzana Tanima

Accounting and feminism are not academic disciplines that often go together but their convergence is exactly the area that Victoria Business School graduate Farzana Tanima wanted to explore in her doctoral research.

The accounting graduate grew up in Bangladesh and moved to Wellington in 2006 to study at Victoria.

During her Honours year the keen mathematician was introduced to the idea that accounting was more than a "number-crunching discipline", but also could shape organisational and societal realities.

With a personal interest in the growth and socio-political issues in her home country, she focused on Bangladesh where there is widespread poverty and few education opportunities, particularly for women.

"I wanted to undertake research where I could reflect on how the disadvantaged social position of Bangladeshi women could be transformed by accounting and accountability systems such as financial reports," Farzana says.

"A distinguishing feature of Bangladesh is its poverty alleviation efforts through microfinance. It is a critical, anti-poverty tool of the poorest of the poor.

"Extending financial services to poor people, mainly women, allows them to generate income through self-employment and lessen the burden of seasonal employment."

Farzana argues microfinance practices can therefore empower Bangladeshi women, who are more vulnerable to poverty because they lack working opportunities.

By increasing their earning potential, microfinance also improves women's importance and influence in the household and local community.

Conflict between social and commercial imperatives

However, Farzana points out that microfinance companies’ core economic principles are driven by commercial imperatives, such as maximising profit and meeting responsibilities to their investors.

Herein lies the conflict which, she says, is too often weighed towards economic imperatives.

"For example, NGOs' accountability duties, such as annual reporting and financial statements, lean towards more powerful groups such as donors and funders.

"This takes NGOs attention away from broader social goals such as empowerment and poverty alleviation and their beneficiaries who are the purpose of NGOs existence in the first place.

"I argue that in order to address women’s empowerment issues, you need to understand that accounting is the core language of the day-to-day running of NGOs and hence accounting itself as a tool needs to be revised."

Farzana recognises there is no easy fix to transforming accounting and accountability systems into a more socially responsible tool.

But by shining the light into this little understood topic, she has created awareness and provided a platform for wider discussion and eventually change.

Back to top ^