Accountant Kaikaute Pūtea

Accountants provide accounting services to companies, organisations and individuals. They prepare financial statements and forms, and advise clients on financial aspects of business.

Membership with an accounting professional body is recommended but not compulsory.

Accountants may do some or all of the following:

  • prepare financial statements and reports for clients or company management
  • record the amount of money spent and received daily by clients or company management
  • develop, forecast and check budgets
  • prepare goods and services tax (GST) and other returns, such as surveys, pay as you earn (PAYE) and tax forms
  • advise on financial aspects of businesses such as budgets, tax and cashflows
  • review accounting procedures and analyse the financial performance of businesses
  • assist management with strategic planning and human resources.

Useful Experience

Useful experience for accountants includes:

  • accounts and auditing work
  • accounting software experience
  • work in offices and administration.

Personal Qualities

Accountants need to be:

  • methodical and accurate, with a good eye for detail
  • able to work well under pressure
  • honest and responsible
  • skilled in analysing and interpreting information
  • skilled in organising and planning
  • good problem solvers
  • good communicators and able to relate well to people.

Skills

Accountants need to have:

  • knowledge of finance, economics and marketing
  • knowledge of business management practices, including business ethics
  • ability to use accounting software, such as Xero, MYOB, iFirm or SAP
  • accounting and maths skills.

Conditions

Accountants:

  • usually work regular hours, but may work weekends or evenings to meet deadlines
  • usually work in offices, but may work from home
  • may travel to visit clients.

Subject Recommendations

A tertiary entrance qualification is required to enter further training. Useful subjects include accounting, business studies, economics, English and maths.

Related Courses

Accountants can earn around $67K-$196K per year.

Chances of getting a job as a Accountant are good due to a shortage of people interested in this type of work.

Pay for accountants varies depending on qualifications, experience, the region they work in, and the size and type of organisation they work for.

Accountants with:

  • less than five years' experience earn on average $67,000 per year.
  • five to 10 year's experience earn on average $103,000 
  • 11 to 15 years' experience earn on average $137,000
  • 16 to 20 years' experience earn on average $161,000 
  • over 20 years' experience earn on average $196,000.

Source: Chartered Accountants Australia New Zealand (CAANZ), '2021 Member Remuneration Survey: New Zealand', 2021.

Accountants may move into senior management positions, such as finance manager, or auditor or financial adviser roles.

Accountants may specialise in accounting roles such as:

Financial Accountant
Financial accountants manage the finances of an organisation. They may prepare financial statements for the public, prepare taxation returns, and report on business costs, profit and productivity.
Management Accountant
Management accountants identify what financial information an organisation needs, give advice on financial planning and risks, and make reports to managers to help with decision-making.
Systems Accountant
Systems accountants review and identify issues with the performance of business IT systems. They work with IT teams to develop systems for business, and review and maintain financial system policies.
Taxation Accountant
Taxation accountants report and provide advice on taxation issues to organisations or individuals, prepare taxation returns and reports, and handle disputes with taxation authorities.

Years Of Training

2-6 years of training required.

To become an accountant you usually need an accounting degree, or a business or commerce degree majoring in accounting.

Join a professional organisation

Most accountants are members of Chartered Accountants Australia New Zealand (CA ANZ). Some accountants are members of CPA Australia.

To become a Chartered Accountant (CA) or a Certified Practicing Accountant (CPA) you must:

  • complete a degree from an approved university
  • complete three years of professional experience
  • complete qualifications set by CA ANZ or CPA Australia.

People working in accountancy in New Zealand may also join the Accountants or Tax Agents Institute of New Zealand (ATAINZ).

 To become a member of ATAINZ you must:

  • have a two-year accounting diploma or a degree in accounting or business studies.

Accounting technician entry requirements

To become an accounting technician you need to complete two years of tertiary study. This could be either:

  • a New Zealand Diploma in Business (Level 6)
  • degree-level study in accounting and business.

Accounting technicians must also complete one year of relevant accounting experience before, during or after they complete their tertiary study.

Accountant