Business School

Why study Accounting?

Accounting provides information for decision making. Almost every business and organisation needs accountants to measure performance and provide information for decisions.

What you will learn

You will learn how to present financial statements that can be used to assist business planning and decision making. You will also learn financial analysis techniques.

Should you wish to study accounting at postgraduate level, you will cover more advanced subjects and methods to enable you to further develop your skills, knowledge, and career options.


Areas of study

There are two areas of study: Financial Accounting and Management Accounting. Financial accounting involves consideration of the presentation of financial statements and techniques for their analysis. Management accounting explores the use of accounting data for managerial planning, decision making, and control.

Students commencing study from 2012 can choose to complete a three-year degree programme that satisfies the academic requirements for obtaining membership to two professional accounting bodies - the New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants (NZICA) and CPA Australia. To become fully qualified both organisations require a further two years distance education and practical experience. To find out more about professional accountancy requirements visit the NZICA and CPA Australia websites.


Career opportunities

The study of accounting can be regarded as either a specialist professional area in itself or as a basic tool which can be applied across the broad spectrum of business or non-profit organisations.

If you study accounting at undergraduate level, you may decide to embark on a career in one of these careers:

  • Financial accounting: accountant or auditor in a chartered accountancy practice, industry, or the public sector.
  • Management accounting: business consultant or financial manager in a manufacturing, service, or consultancy organisation.

You can further develop your knowledge with postgraduate study leading to more senior or specialised career roles in both financial and management accounting.

An academic career specialising in accounting is also an option when you complete either an undergraduate or a postgraduate degree.


Programmes available

You can study accounting in the following programmes:

Bachelor of Commerce (BCom) 
The BCom offers Accounting as a single major or as a double major alongside one of the other majors offered within the BCom. Due to the close link between the two disciplines, Accounting combines well with Finance and is one of student’s most popular double major choices. You can also study the Bachelor of Commerce in Accounting as part of a conjoint degree programme where you study for two degrees at once.

Bachelor of Commerce (Hons) 
The BCom (Hons) in Accounting is one year of full-time postgraduate study following the Bachelor of Commerce degree. Entry is by invitation only and is based on superior grades in the subject area.

Master of Commerce (MCom) 
The MCom degree is a two-year programme. The first year is coursework, which may also be taken as a bachelor honours, while the second year comprises a research thesis.

Master of Professional Accounting (MProfAcctg) 
The Master of Professional Accounting is a professional coursework business masters degree that will provide you with knowledge and skills in business, accounting, finance, commercial law and taxation.

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) 
As a general rule you need to have successfully completed either a bachelors honours degree or masters degree to be considered for a PhD in Accounting.