On this page:
- Victoria innovation showcased to world’s business schools
- Reshaping accounting systems for women’s empowerment
- SACL professional staff recognised in annual PGSA awards
- Remembering Kevin Simpkins
- 2016 Accounting, Taxation and Commercial Law Tutor Applications
- Fellowship for Head of School
- Local chapter attends annual Beta Alpha Psi event in Milwaukee
- New international accounting students welcomed
- Introducing the 'Student Brand Champs'
- VBS accounting alumnus wins Friend of New Zealand Award
- New Zealand Superannuation: The facts and the fiction
- Launch of the Asian Pacific Copyright Association
- Installation of Victoria Chapter of Beta Alpha Psi
- Research finds strategies to overcome ethnic discrimination in accounting industry
- SACL student wins with Summer Gold Poster
- New Financial Markets Law Publication
- SACL’s Achievements Ceremony - top students’ Awards for Excellence and Prizes night
2 February 2016
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:
- Chair in Digital Government
- Chair in Public Finance
- BNZ Chair in Business in Asia
- Chair in Economics of Disasters
- Diana Unwin Chair of Restorative Justice
- Chair in Ethical Leadership (to commence in 2016)
6 January 2016
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.
15 December 2015
Rachel Qi, an administrator at the School of Accounting and Commercial Law, was presented with a PGSA Life Membership Award by Association president Yinka Moses.
This award recognises a postgrad student who has made an outstanding contribution to the PGSA, postgraduate life and community at Victoria University, and who is held in high regard by their peers.
The PGSA Executive Committee vote on this award.
28 October 2015
The news that our colleague, Adjunct Professor Kevin Simpkins, passed away over Labour weekend, was met with immense sadness amongst staff and students of the School. Kevin suffered a fatal heart attack while walking with friends on Saturday, 24 October.
Kevin joined the School in early 2007 following a distinguished career. He was previously Deputy Controller and Auditor-General, a former Technical Director of the New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants, and National Director of Accounting at Ernst & Young New Zealand. He was also Deputy Chair of the Financial Reporting Standards Board, and Technical Advisor and member of the International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board. In March 2009, he was appointed Chairman of the Accounting Standards Review Board and was the inaugural Chairman of the External Reporting Board from July 2011 to February 2014. Kevin was very highly regarded by the accounting profession worldwide. He was awarded the American Express Outstanding Service to the Profession Award at the New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants Leadership Awards in 2011. He was a former member and past Chair of the Trans-Tasman Accounting and Auditing Standards Advisory Group, and a member of the Australian Financial Reporting Council from 2009 to 2014.
Kevin was an outstanding teacher. Recently, he was the ACCY 111 - Accounting, Course Coordinator and Lecturer and Course Coordinator for ACCY 308 - Advanced Financial Accounting. He was also a successful teacher on the MBA programme.
Kevin was a person of great integrity and kind heart. He will be remembered for his warm, gentle and open manner, for his generosity, so giving with his time with every person he met, and especially with his students. He gave an outstanding contribution to the Centre for Accounting, Governance and Taxation Research for over 14 years, five as a member of its Advisory Board and the remaining years as a member of the profession and a staff member of SACL.
We are all deeply saddened at the loss of our treasured colleague.
Kevin was a loyal Hurricanes and All Blacks supporter, an accomplished choral singer and deeply involved with volunteer organisations and the not-for-profit sector.
Kevin is survived by his wife, Joanne, and his two daughters Lauren and Jemma.
13 October 2015
The School of Accounting and Commercial Law invites applications for part-time tutoring positions in undergraduate accounting and taxation courses in 2016. The role includes tutoring, student consultation and tutorial marking in some courses.
If you have an outgoing personality, excellent communications skills and want to be part of a diverse teaching team, the advertisements and application forms are available today.
Applications close on 27 October 2015.
For further information contact Jane Perry
17 September 2015
In recognition of Professor Ian Eggleton’s sustained commitment to the accounting profession, he has been made a Fellow of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand.
Professor Eggleton holds a BCA Honours (1st Class) in Accounting from Victoria University, an MBA and PhD from the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business. He was a Fulbright Scholar during his years in Chicago, as well as receiving many other awards.
In addition to numerous high quality publications, he has served with distinction on academic boards and associations, and made considerable contributions in the disabilities sector’s governance and management in Western Australia.
He is an Emeritus Professor of the University of Western Australia, and Head of the School of Accounting and Commercial Law at Victoria University.
20 August 2015
The Victoria chapter of Beta Alpha Psi (BAP) was represented at the 2015 annual meeting held in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, which was attended by over 1000 students from BAP chapters in the United States and Australasia.
BAP is an honours society for accounting, finance, and information systems students, and the Victoria Chapter was installed as the 308th chapter of this international organisation in March 2015.
Representing the local chapter were Donna Yang, a final year Master of Professional Accounting student and a member of the 2015 BAP executive, and Trish Keeper (faculty advisor) who is a senior lecturer from the School of Accounting and Commercial Law.
Donna participated in the "Project Run With It" competition at the annual meeting, which required BAP students from 72 chapters, in groups of four, to engage in a real-world consulting project for a not-for-profit organisation located in the greater Milwaukee area.
Working with three American students to advise the Wisconsin Women's Business Initiative Corporation on feedback and funding issues, Donna commented that it was "an intense and challenging competition".
One aspect of BAP is community service, and Trish Keeper participated in the BAP International Day of Literacy project that involved visiting local Milwaukee schools to distribute books and teach the importance of literacy in our lives.
14 July 2015
Victoria University welcomed 39 international students during July, who are the first transferring cohort to arrive from Kolej Yayasan Saad Business School (KYSB) in Melaka, Malaysia.
KYSB runs an accounting programme in partnership with Victoria and the universities of Auckland and Canterbury.
KYSB teaches the Victoria Foundation Studies and 100-level commerce curriculum, and the students transfer to one of the three universities to complete 200- and 300-level study.
At the ceremony, the students met with staff from Victoria International and the Victoria Business School, as well as Foundation Studies teachers who had overseen some of the teaching in Melaka.
In welcoming the students, Pro Vice-Chancellor (International Engagement) Professor Rob Rabel noted they were following in the footsteps of distinguished Victoria alumnus Tan Sri Halim Saad, who owns KYSB and who had made the programme possible.
Professor Bob Buckle, Pro Vice-Chancellor and Dean of Commerce, similarly encouraged them to take advantage of the many academic and other opportunities available through study at Victoria Business School.
8 July 2015
The 2015 'Student Brand Champs' are Victoria Business School students recruited by Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand to be their representatives on campus.
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 come to the CA ANZ and SBC drop-in sessions held regularly on Thursdays from 12.00-1.00 pm (next one on 16 July in RH 629).
7 July 2015
Congratulations to VBS alumnus Tan Sri Halim Saad, who won the Friend of New Zealand Award at the Kea World Class New Zealanders ceremony for his work building relationships between New Zealand and Malaysia.
Tan Sri Halim Saad is one of Malaysia's most influential business leaders, responsible for projects such as Malaysia’s North-South Expressway and Kuala Lumpur International Airport’s satellite terminal.
He has maintained close ties with Victoria University and New Zealand since graduating with a Bachelor of Commerce and Administration in accounting from Victoria in 1977.
Vice-Chancellor Professor Grant Guilford says Tan Sri Saad has been an "outstanding supporter of the University" and is a "well deserving recipient of the Friend of New Zealand Award".
"Halim's generosity and support of Victoria over the years has enriched the University's connections with Malaysia. It is an honour to count him as an alumnus, and we are incredibly privileged as a university to benefit from his expertise, experience and ability to create educational opportunities between New Zealand and Malaysia," says Professor Guilford.
Tan Sri Saad has spearheaded several learning initiatives at Victoria, including a new programme that will enable Malaysian students from his Kolej Yaysan Saad International College to complete their accounting degrees at Victoria, Auckland and Canterbury universities.
The first group of 140 students will arrive in New Zealand next week, with numbers expected to grow in 2016.
He has also been a key supporter and co-founder of Victoria's Chair of Malay Studies, and sponsors the Saad lecture and seminar series in Malay Studies at the University. He received a Distinguished Service Award from Victoria in 1999.
26 June 2015
The following commentary by Dr Lisa Marriott, Associate Professor in Taxation at Victoria Business School, was published in The Dominion Post.
The facts about New Zealand Superannuation
If you are a New Zealander who meets the residency test you are entitled to New Zealand Superannuation (the old-age pension) when you reach the age of 65.
The pension is not asset-tested – you can have unlimited assets and receive the pension. Nor is it income-tested – you can have unlimited income and qualify for the benefit. You do not need to be 'retired' – you can have a full-time job and still collect the full pension.
While this may sound like we have already started talking fiction, these are indeed the facts.
In 2015, a single person aged over 65 and living alone will receive $374.53 per week ($19,475.56 per annum). A couple living together, where both receive the pension, will receive $576.20 jointly ($29,962.40 per annum). These rates are after tax has been deducted.
In contrast, a single person seeking work aged over 25 years of age will receive Jobseeker Support of $210.13 after tax. A jobseeker aged 20-24 years will receive $175.10 after tax, or less than half of their retired counterparts.
It is unclear why a single retired person needs $165 per week more than a single younger person seeking work. Yes, health costs may be higher for our older generations, but the health system is largely government-funded and subsidies exist for those with high health needs.
Census 2013 reports that 607,035 people aged 65 years and over are usually resident in New Zealand, with the majority receiving New Zealand Superannuation.
In 2013/14 we spent $10.9 billion on superannuation payments. By comparison, we spent $4.3 billion on other core benefits comprising $1.7 billion in Jobseeker Support and emergency benefits; $1.2 billion in sole parent support; and $1.4 billion in supported living payments.
Budget 2015/16 provides $12.2 billion for New Zealand Superannuation payments, which is an increase of 12 percent from two years earlier.
Provisions for other core benefits remains unchanged from 2013/14 at $4.3 billion, or around one-third of the cost of New Zealand Superannuation.
The fiction about New Zealand Superannuation
Many believe that New Zealand Superannuation is an entitlement, and the universal nature of the pension is one of its many strengths.
Our health system is largely universal, but health care is provided according to need – to those who are sick. So, why do we automatically pay a pension to those who have no need for the funds?
For argument's sake, New Zealand Superannuation could be tapered back for people with incomes over $50,000 and eliminated by the time this income is $100,000.
The question also needs to be asked about the level of superannuation appropriate for those with significant capital assets, e.g. over $2 million. Perhaps people with such portfolios should be expected to support themselves in their retirement?
These issues are unlikely to impact on most people aged over 65, but will remove the current anomaly whereby people who have no need for the pension still receive it.
We frequently hear that New Zealand Superannuation is affordable. In theory, we can afford anything, but the real issue is how we pay for it.
Currently, New Zealand Superannuation accounts for 16 percent of core crown revenue. Projections are that retired people will number 1.1 million by 2031, with accompanying pension costs increasing to $20 billion a year.
The Government will have to take measures to be able to afford pension payments, which could include seeking more revenue to fund it through tax increases, reducing expenditure in other government services, or increasing debt (which will also need to be paid for, so back to square one).
Back to the facts
The Finance Minister recently claimed that the real funding issue in New Zealand is long-term welfare dependency, not New Zealand Superannuation.
The reality is they are both problematic.
However, we have twice as many superannuitants as beneficiaries, and the majority of them are long-term recipients of state assistance.
Average life expectancy is currently around 81 years of age – slightly more for women and slightly less for men. Therefore, on average, retired people will receive 16 years of pension payments.
Yes, some people receiving welfare benefits are also long term recipients of state assistance. However, we shouldn’t let this fact be used as a tool to distract from the much needed public debate on the future of New Zealand Superannuation.
29 May 2015
“Would the Asian Pacific region benefit from harmonisation of copyright laws throughout the region?” was the topic on the menu at a breakfast Business Links Seminar held on 20 May.
Organised jointly by the Centre of Accounting, Governance and Taxation Research (CAGTR) and the Asian Pacific Copyright Association (APCA), the seminar was attended by lawyers and people involved with copyright. It was also an opportunity to introduce APCA to the public for the first time.
Associate Professor Susan Corbett, General Secretary of APCA and its driving force, introduced the four presenters: Susy Frankel, Professor of Law at Victoria University and Chair of the Copyright Tribunal; Lida Ayoubi, PhD candidate in Law at Victoria University; Jonathan Barrett, Senior Lecturer in the School of Accounting and Commercial Law at Victoria University and Kate Duckworth, Partner at Catalyst Intellectual Property and a leading intellectual property specialist.
Associate Professor Corbett also acknowledged Professor Adrian Sterling, an expert in copyright and founder of APCA. Professor Sterling, who resides in England, sent a message to participants. “From the point of view of the individual countries of the region, harmonisation will assist in the local administration of rights, for instance by establishing principles concerning justiciability and applicable law,” he wrote.
At the end of the seminar, APCA president Brent McAnulty outlined the importance of having a copyright voice in the Asia Pacific and encouraged attendees to join ACPA.
29 May 2015
Formal installation of the Victoria Wellington chapter of Beta Alpha Psi (BAP) into the international organisation took place during a ceremony during April.
Kevin Stocks, President of BAP, and Regional Adviser Pearl Rozenberg, (left and right above with the BAP Executive) attended the function at Rutherford House to oversee the formal process and welcome students, School of Accounting and Commercial Law staff members, and other guests.
Pearl Rozenberg explained that Beta Alpha Psi is both an honour and professional organisation.
“Membership in Beta Alpha Psi recognises academic excellence, and complements members’ formal education by providing interaction among students, faculty, and professionals.”
The Victoria Wellington Chapter has become the 308th BAP chapter internationally, and Ms Rozenberg congratulated those students present.
“We are installing this Chapter today because each of you has achieved a personal record of superior scholarship in your academic endeavours, and has demonstrated active participation in the programme of your petitioning chapter.”
BAP President Kevin Stocks presented the Charter, Banner, and Gavel to the local President of Beta Alpha Psi, James Van Dissen.
Mr Stocks encouraged the students, both past and present, to continue to strive for excellence academically and in their personal lives.
“If you practice the attributes of scholarship, responsibility, and tolerance, you will exemplify the ideals for which Beta Alpha Psi stands, and which are fundamental for the well-being of society.”
Trish Keeper (pictured below), senior lecturer at the School of Accounting and Commercial Law and the Victoria Wellington Chapter mentor, concluded the proceedings by also congratulating the students on their achievement.
18 May 2015
Aspiring accountants from an ethnic minority have greater success finding a job if they adopt strategies that minimise their cultural differences, a Victoria University of Wellington PhD graduate has found.
Dr George Huang, from the School of Accounting and Commercial Law, has found accounting graduates from an ethnic minority have a harder time entering the accounting industry in Wellington than New Zealanders.
His research confirms previous studies that show Chinese and Indian nationals are more likely to be excluded from entering the workforce, based on factors that are determined by their ethnicity.
But Dr Huang’s study goes a step further and finds those from the Middle East, Africa and other Asian countries are also more likely to face discrimination than their New Zealand counterparts.
Dr Huang explains that employers typically have two streams of criteria when hiring new employees.
The first is based on technical knowledge, skills and qualifications. The second includes social and cultural factors such as mannerisms, oral language skills and local experience, which are most often determined by the applicant’s ethnic background.
"I found New Zealand society can place too much attention on social and cultural constructs. When employers do this, they can overlook the capability and functionality of the accountant.
"The second part of my thesis provides several strategies for aspirant accountants to overcome potential discrimination on social and cultural bases.
"Some strategies, such as cutting out the overseas qualifications or experience from their CV, or changing to an English surname are not so positive, but really worked," he says.
Dr Huang also found aspiring accountants had more success finding a job if they focussed on niche roles and developed local social networks in the industry.
Forty-five accounting graduates from across 20 ethnic backgrounds were interviewed in Wellington in early 2014 for the research and of those, 38 have since found employment appropriate to their qualifications.
Professor Rachel Baskerville from the School of Accounting and Commercial Law says Dr Huang's research is "a unique contribution" to other studies on exclusion factors in the workplace.
"He was able to give voice to many aspiring professionals who are otherwise silent," she says.
1 April 2015
Harry Berger, a third year student in accounting and law, won a Faculty Best Poster prize for his rendition of “The Third Sector in 2045”. Harry’s research, the result of his summer scholarship in 2014/15 used scenario mapping to forecast the future of the not-for-profit (or third) sector. He identified specific drivers that were most likely to affect the future of the third sector and then combined them to forecast how this might affect the sector in 2045. With each scenario synopsis, he also provided a caution, showing the shape of excess. Harry was supervised by Associate Professors Carolyn Cordery (SACL) and Karen Smith (School of Management). Harry's poster is available here.
Photo: Harry Berger and Carolyn Cordery beside Harry's winning poster
24 March 2015
A book that provides guidance on the legislative scheme implemented by the Financial Markets Conduct Act 2013, co-written by senior lecturer Dr Trish Keeper, was recently launched during a function at Buddle Findlay.
Financial Markets Conduct Regulation: A Practitioner’s Guide is designed to provide a resource for all those advising on, or working within, the reformed financial markets regime. The Financial Markets Conduct Act was the largest change in New Zealand's financial market laws in the last 20 years.
The book is co-authored with Victoria Stace from the Victoria University Law School and practitioners from law firms in Wellington, Hamilton and Auckland. It is published by LexisNexis.
20 March 2015
Top students in the School of Accounting and Commercial Law were recently honoured at the School’s Achievements Ceremony held on Tuesday, 10 March with Awards for Excellence in Accounting, Commercial Law and Taxation. A number of students were also commemorated for prizes they had won in a number of sponsored courses in the School.
The ceremony was held in the Memorial Theatre, Student Union Building in the presence of family and friends of the award winning students, SACL staff members and representatives from the sponsoring firms and organisations, and friends of SACL.
The keynote speech was given by Tony Dale, Chief Executive of the External Reporting Board and an alumnus of the School. Mr Dale addressed the students, congratulating them on their achievement and encouraging them to aim high, consider further study and appreciate the high quality of the accounting, commercial law and taxation courses they were studying.
The Prize Winners received their certificates from senior management in private and public sector organsiations while the Excellence Award winners were the best academic performers in their second and third years of study in Accounting, Commercial Law and Taxation courses.
The full list of Excellence Award and Prize winners is:
Liam Beattie, Elizabeth Goggin, Matthew Lunny, Carolyn Palmer, Timothy Paterson, Dawn Richardson, Arushi Sharma and James Van Dissen with Shuhua Chen and Nicole Sullivan receiving their prizes in absentia.
Excellence Award Winners
Certificate of Excellence in Accounting
Zoe Brandon, Cory Dixon, Ursula Inder, Nadeeja Liyanage, Alicia McQuade, Shane Philipsen, Derek Snow, Brittany Stewart and Andrea Tarelli. Kelly David and Akmal Idris received their certificate in absentia.
Certificate of Excellence in Commercial Law
William Lower, Rosie Murphy and Alice Niland-Williment. Receiving their certificate in absentia were: Peter Childs, Evelyn Elisara, Robert Holland, Michael Nelson and George Spittle.
Certificate of Excellence in Taxation
Jonathan Jeevaraj, Harneet Kalra, Davina Lach and Alison Snellen with David Wing receiving his certificate in absentia.
There were also ten students who achieved Excellence in two disciplines:
Samuel Barr, Siobhan Bassett, Sarah Burr, Youh-Chern Lin and Alex Tunstall (with Shuhua Chen and Harriette Moore in absentia) who received Certificates of Excellence in Accounting and Commercial Law; and Elizabeth Goggin, Zoe Goodwin and Caroline Young who received Certificates of Excellence in Accounting and Taxation.