Accounting in New Zealand

Accountants are in Demand in New Zealand

Robert Half Finance and Accounting, in partnership with Institute of Chartered Accounts New Zealand (ICANZ), hosted a roundtable discussion between high profile Chief Financial Officers, Finance Directors and Partners from some of New Zealand’s major companies and academic organisations to address the critical skill shortage of accountants in New Zealand that is impacting on business. The discussions resulted in a white paper entitled “The Global War for Talent and its Effect on the Finance and Accounting Teams in New Zealand”.

David Jones, managing director of Robert Half International said the skills shortage is reaching alarming levels as the demand for accounting services increases and international businesses react to increased regulation and corporate governance.

While the profession is actively working to combat this trend by promoting itself as a viable career choice and providing ongoing training and graduate placement, it is exacerbated by a lack of sufficient numbers of qualified migrants entering New Zealand.

The white paper encourages organisations to actively recruit the pool of untapped local resources as well as migrants entering or currently residing in New Zealand.

Mr. James said “In essence, the industry needs to go fishing in the global talent pond until the needs of the New Zealand industry are met.”

New Zealand Skill Shortage Lists

Immigration New Zealand has listed the following accountants on their skill shortage lists:

 Auditors are on the Long Term Skill Shortage List in New Zealand, to be eligible your qualifications must be comparable to the standard of New Zealand qualification which is a degree (level 7) qualification majoring in accountancy and membership with the New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants.

 Senior Chartered Accountants are on New Zealand’s Immediate Skill Shortage List, to be eligible the following qualifications are required New Zealand recognised qualifications obtained from the New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants and/or completion of the Chartered Accountant examination and 3 relevant years experience.

Accounting Standards

The Accounting Standards Review Board (the Board) is responsible for facilitating the harmonisation of New Zealand and Australian accounting standards. The Board focuses on specific aspects of proposed standards and where any proposals differ from standards issued by the Australian Accounting Standards Board or the International Accounting Standards Board a satisfactory explanation for the difference is required.

The Boards overall objectives are to contribute to the improvement, and the quality, of external financial reporting in the public and private sectors, for the benefit of users, and to assist preparers and auditors of financial reports. The Board also seeks to ensure harmonisation of accounting practices between the public and private sectors in New Zealand. Both sectors are subject to the Board’s jurisdiction.

In December 2002 The Board announced that New Zealand entities would be required to apply International Financial Reporting Standards, issued by the International Accounting Standards Board, for periods commencing on or after 1 January 2007, but would have the option to adopt for periods commencing on or after 1 January 2005.

The board can be contacted at:

Accounting Standards Review Board
Private Bag 92-162
Auckland, New Zealand
Telephone: + 64 9 355 8062
Facsimile: + 64 9 355 8026

Accounting and Finance Association of Australia and New Zealand (AFAANZ) state that they are the premier body representing the interests of accounting and finance academics and other persons interested in accounting and finance education and research in Australia and New Zealand. Its membership base is drawn from the following areas:
 Academics from universities and other tertiary institutions
 Professionals from major corporations, business houses, banking, finance and investment bodies
 Libraries/companies
 Others

To find out more about the AFAANZ log on to their website

New Zealand Association of Accountants (NZAA) is a support group for Accountants and Auditors either qualified overseas or in New Zealand as certified public, certified practising, certified management, members of other professional accounting bodies, chartered or tertiary qualified or who have worked overseas as accountants and auditors and have migrated to New Zealand and those who are employed, self employed or are students.

This association is promoting opportunities for networking, fellowship, diversity, support, help, professional and personal development, employment, self-employment, education, sports and social activities.

According to the NZAA they are passionately filling the need for an alternative, proactive, cohesive, informed, participative, inclusive, user-friendly and progressive self-regulating professional body to unify members. It is an inclusive group and all accountants are welcome to join.

You can log on to the NZAA website at

New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants (NZICA) is the professional body representing Chartered Accountants in New Zealand. They represent more than 29,000 members of the accounting profession in New Zealand and over 90 other countries. Most public accountants and accounting technicians in New Zealand belong to the NZICA. Their aim is to uphold the highest levels of responsibility and trust by providing appropriate standards and services to support members.

The NZICA has five Regions, divided into 18 branches and sub-branches or service centers throughout New Zealand and the world. Branches offer a wide range of opportunities to their local members, including professional development, Special Interest Groups and networking.

There are three "Colleges" or membership groupings within the NZICA:

 Chartered Accountants

The Chartered Accountant designation denotes an accountant qualified to offer the full range of accountancy services privately and to the public. Members of the CA College term themselves Chartered Accountants and use the designatory letters CA.

 Associate Chartered Accountants

Members of the Associate Chartered Accountant College use the designatory letters ACA. The Associate Chartered Accountant designation is a mid-level qualification. Members of the ACA College must complete professional education requirements, but are not entitled to offer service to the public.

The designation Associate Chartered Accountant is not directly comparable to the Associate Chartered Accountant (ACA) designation offered by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales and the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland. In the latter cases, ACA denotes a fully qualified Chartered Accountant.

 Accounting Technicians

NZICA includes among its members persons qualified at accounting technician level who belong to the College of Accounting Technicians and may use the designatory letters AT. New Zealand's practise in this respect is not followed in other countries. For example, in the United Kingdom, accounting technicians generally belong to the Association of Accounting Technicians

Mutual recognition agreements

The NZICA has mutual recognition agreements with the following Institutes:
 Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants
 Institute of Chartered Accountants of Australia
 Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales
 Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants
 Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland
 Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland
 South African Institute of Chartered Accountants

The NZICA members may admit to full memberships of the above institutions after passing an aptitude test or subject to other specific requirements.

Membership of NZICA through a mutual recognition agreement is subject to meeting certain criteria, including knowledge of New Zealand tax and law.

Members of the following professional associations are given limited advanced standing by NZICA:
 Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA)
 CPA Australia
 Institute of Chartered Accountants of India

Members of the Association of Accounting Technicians may obtain advanced standing for membership of the College of Accounting Technicians.

Public practice

Members of the College of Chartered Accountants may apply for a Certificate of Public Practice. Every member of the NZICA who offers accounting services to the public must be a Chartered Accountant and hold a Certificate of Public Practice (CPP). The requirements for the issuing of this certificate are that (amongst others) a member must have had two years of acceptable practical experience while a member of the College of Chartered Accountants and have attended a course for new practitioners.

In order to audit public companies an individual must be a member of either the NZICA or an organisation gazetted in accordance with Section 199 of the Companies Act 1993: Qualifications of Auditors.

The NZICA has been appointed by Immigration New Zealand as the registration authority for accountants, their contact details are:

New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants
PO Box 11 342, Wellington
Telephone: 64 4 474 7840
Facsimile: 64 4 473 6303

Expected Salaries for Accountants in New Zealand
The average salaries for accountants according to the latest NZICA survey are:

Accounting Position Average Wage ($NZ)
Accounting Manager $89,877
Analyst (Business/ Finance) $113,724
Assistant Accountant (Non-Studying) $58,788
Assistant Accountant (Studying) $57,085
Audit Manager $102,556
Audit Senior $70,155
Auditor $63,756
Business Services Accountant $63,243
Business Services Manager $92,366
Business Services Senior $75,856
CEO / MD $200,517
CFO $202,906
Company Secretary $162,309
COO Corporate $211,059
Services Manager $141,058
Cost Accountant $89,378
Finance Director $195,658
Finance Manager $114,361
Financial Accountant $80,060
Financial Controller (With Accounting Reports) $126,736
Financial Controller (Without Accounting Reports) $108,081
Forensic/Investigating Accountant Fund $101,873
Accountant $90,278
Group Financial Controller $150,530
Group Accountant $97,204
Internal Audit Manager $151,470
Internal Auditor $82,229
Management Consultant $147,971
Management Accountant $86,997
Project Accountant $104,613
Sole Practitioner $145,104
Systems Accountant $97,109
Tax Accountant $72,457
Tax Manager $123,347
Treasurer $146,060
Treasury Accountant $109,584
Other Accounting Role $113,989