Accounting profession and careers
Find out how to become a professional accountant in New Zealand.
The School of Accounting and Commercial Law (SACL) maintains excellent relationships with the accounting and legal professions and business and government communities.
Employment prospects for graduates in Accounting are wide ranging. All organisations of moderate and larger size require the services of an accountant or chartered accountant. Further information can be found in the Accounting Career View.
To become a professional accountant you need to join a professional accounting body. SACL has accreditation arrangements with New Zealand and International accounting professional bodies, to provide courses that allow our students to meet their academic requirements.
The accounting professional bodies to which Victoria are currently accredited to are:
- Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand – previously the New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants (NZICA)
- CPA Australia
- Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA), UK
- Association of Certified Chartered Accountants (ACCA)
Each professional body has different requirements that must be met before full membership of the body can be obtained. The requirements cover three areas:
- Academic or university study (both length of study and papers required to be taken)
- Professional study
- Professional experience.
To meet the academic requirements of these professional bodies, students should complete at least a 3-year BCA or BCom degree and include the following courses:
- Economics: ECON 130 and ECON 140 or ECON 141
- Statistics: QUAN 102 and QUAN 111
- Organisational Management: MGMT 101
- New Zealand Commercial Law: COML 203 and COML 204
- Introductory Accounting: ACCY 111 and ACCY 115
- Accounting Information Systems: ACCY 225
- Financial Accounting: ACCY 231 and ACCY 308
- Management Accounting: ACCY 223 and ACCY 302
- Auditing and Assurance: ACCY 330
- Taxation: TAXN 201 and TAXN 301
- Business Finance: FINA 201 or FINA 211
- Enterprise Operations: FCOM 111 and MARK 101
The completion of these courses, the remaining BCA or BCom compulsory core papers and 360 points (including one additional COML 300-level course) will give a student a BCA or BCom with an Accounting and Commercial Law major and meet the academic requirements of all the accounting professional bodies Victoria is accredited to.
The information below provides more details about what is required to become a professional accountant for each of these accounting professional bodies.
Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand
Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand is made up of over 100,000 diverse, talented and financially astute professionals who utilise their skills every day to make a difference for business the world over. In 2013 members of the Institute of Chartered Accountants Australia and the New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants voted in favour of creating Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand and, in July 2014, the two professional bodies joined forces to form a new professional body in response to the unique challenges and opportunities of today's commercial environment. The CA qualification is highly regarded, and Chartered Accountants aspire to the highest professional and ethical standards. Chartered Accountants are multi-skilled professionals. Their work involves a range of business activities, including giving advice, strategic planning, negotiating deals, management and providing financial information to support business decisions, as well as preparing financial reports, auditing and providing tax advice. To become a member of the College of Chartered Accountants you will need to complete the academic requirements, followed by three years of practical experience and complete the professional competency programme. For more information on the practical experience, professional competence and academic requirements, please go to Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand’s student website.
Meeting the academic requirements
The academic requirements for the Chartered Accountants CA College have been reviewed several times since 2007. Students who began their accounting study before 2009 should contact Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand and request an assessment of their academic record (Assessment of Study). This is free for those with a New Zealand academic record. They will check your qualifications and give you a letter stating what you need to do to meet their academic requirements (if anything). The form is available. If you began your accounting study after 2009 (that is, 2010 onwards) you should complete under the 2012 CA College academic requirements detailed below. Note: Beginning studies is defined as having passed a degree level course in accounting (e.g. ACCY 111). The following sections outline the 2012 CA college requirements. For information regarding the academic requirements for their Associate Chartered Accountants (ACA) and Accounting Technicians (AT) colleges or earlier CA requirements, see the following website nzica.
2017 Chartered Accountants college academic requirements
Under the 2017 CAANZ Academic Policy, the academic requirements for the CA College are:
- Completion of three-year, full-time equivalent degree level study. This is 360 points at Victoria University
- Completion of a recognised Bachelor’s Degree
- Completion of the following papers
- Accounting – ACCY 111 and ACCY 115
- Economics - ECON 141
- Quantitative methods- QUAN 102
- Commercial and corporate law - COML 203 and COML 204
- Information systems - ACCY 225
- Financial accounting –ACCY 231 and ACCY 308
- Management accounting - ACCY 223 and ACCY 302
- Auditing - ACCY 330
- Taxation - TAXN 201 and TAXN 301
- Finance - FINA 211 or FINA 201*
In addition to the above courses, the following 6 core B.Com courses are required:
FCOM 111 ECON 130, INFO 101, MARK 101, MGMT 101 and QUAN 102
* QUAN 111 is only required if you are planning to do FINA 201.
A CPA is a highly qualified finance, accounting and business professional. CPA Australia is one of the largest, most recognised and respected accounting bodies in the world and it is the capabilities of strategy, leadership, and global business that set CPA Australia apart in today’s dynamic business environment. As a CPA, your scope is unlimited - you can pursue career opportunities in any industry, organisation or role. CPAs are employed globally in all industries – from financial planning, international trade and consulting, through to industries as diverse as IT, sport, entertainment, music or health organisations – large or small, public or private, CPAs drive their own businesses or lead multi-nationals – from the top 100 to the Big 4 in the profession, and business leadership roles – from CEOs or CFOs to general managers and consultants.
With over 155,000 members working in 121 countries, the CPA designation is widely recognised and respected, from Asia Pacific to the UK and USA. The CPA designation is one of the world’s most portable qualifications and is a valuable tool for opening doors locally and internationally. Numerous professional accounting bodies throughout the world recognise the CPA Program and the CPA designation.
CPAs are recognised around the world for their strategic business skills. The CPA Program is a post-graduate accounting program that combines professional education with 3 years’ relevant practical experience, ensuring you gain both the technical and commercial skills required to stand out. Depending on your previous studies you can either commence the CPA Program right away or complete foundation units before starting the Program. www.cpaaustralia.com.au.
Join the CPA Student Network of over 200,000 students at cpaaustralia.
Meeting the CPA Australia academic requirements
To meet the accreditation requirements for CPA Australia at Victoria University of Wellington requires a three-year Bachelors degree including passes in the following courses.
- For students who commenced study from 2017
- ACCY 111 and ACCY 115
- ACCY 223 and ACCY 302
- ACCY 231 and ACCY 308
- TAXN 201 and TAXN 301
- ACCY 330
- ACCY 225
- COML 203 and COML 204
- FINA 201 or FINA 211
- ECON 130 and ECON 141
- QUAN 102 and QUAN 111
To check you have met all core subject requirements within your CPA Australia accredited degree at Victoria University of Wellington.
Chartered Institute of Management Accountants
CIMA, founded in 1919, is a leading membership body that offers an internationally recognised professional qualification in management accounting, which focuses on accounting for business. For further information about CIMA.
Our recent accreditation for CIMA (UK), for students who graduate between 2013 and 2018, requires a BCA or BCom degree with a Major in Accounting; specified courses are required to be included in the course of study.
To obtain an exemption from the CIMA-Certificate in Business Accounting, the following courses need to be taken
- ACCY 001, ACCY 111, ACCY 223, ACCY 225, and ACCY 231
- QUAN 102 and QUAN 111
- ECON 130 and ECON 140 or ECON 141
- COML 203 and COML 204
To obtain an exemption from the operations level of the CIMA-Advanced Diploma in Management Accounting, the following additional papers need to be completed:
- FCOM 111, MGMT 101 and MARK 101
- ACCY 302 and ACCY 308
- TAXN 201 and TAXN 301
For students who graduated prior to 2013, to obtain an exemption from the CIMA-Certificate in Business Accounting, the following courses needed to be taken:
- ACCY 111, ACCY 001, and ACCY 223;
- FCOM 111 (110), ECON 130, STAT 193; and
- COML 203 and COML 303.
Exemption from PO1 as part of the CIMA-Advanced Diploma in Management Accounting can be obtained by passing ACCY 223 and ACCY 302.
Association of Certified Chartered Accountants
ACCA is the global body for professional accountants with nearly 500,000 members and students in 170 countries and 82 offices around the world. Its members are employed in industry, financial services, the public sector and in public practice.
Our accreditation for ACCA requires a BCA or BCom degree with a Major in Accounting; specified courses are required to be included in the course of study.
For further information about ACCA.
For students who graduate between 2013 and 2019, to obtain an exemption from the fundamental level courses (F1-F4) requires the completion of a BCA or BCom degree with a Major in accounting. Exemptions are also available for the other fundamental level courses (F5-F9). These are:
- ACCY 223 and ACCY 302 (F5)
- TAXN 201 and TAXN 301 (F6)
- ACCY 115, ACCY 231 and ACCY 308 (F7)
- ACCY 330 (F8)
- FINA 211 or FINA 201 (F9)