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Accounting

Studying accounting is your pathway to working with clients to help them make their businesses more profitable and successful, and reduce their exposure to financial risk. With accounting you'll gain the skills you need to become a trusted business adviser and make strategic financial decisions for organisations. A qualification in accounting can lead you into all kinds of industries, such as agribusiness, manufacturing or entertainment.

Accountants can earn attractive salaries and are in demand both in New Zealand and overseas. They often work in high-level management positions where skills in financial control, decision making, legal compliance and leadership are essential.

If you enjoy working with numbers and people, and want to help businesses grow, then accounting may be a good fit for you.

In this subject, you'll learn how to prepare financial records to comply with professional reporting standards, and gain an understanding of commercial and taxation laws that apply to businesses.

Become a professionally qualified accountant

Professionally qualified accountants are paid attractive salaries, and can work anywhere in the world.

By following a specific programme of study, you can meet the academic requirements to join either Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CAANZ), the Association of Certified Chartered Accountants (ACCA) or CPA Australia once you graduate, and gain an internationally recognised qualification. See below for details.

Qualifications

If you wish to take Accounting as your 1st Major, you'll need to enrol for either the 3-year Bachelor of Business, or the 4-year Bachelor of Management Studies with Honours.

Otherwise you can normally take it as a 2nd Major (8 papers) or Minor subject (4 papers) for any other bachelor's degree offered at the University of Waikato.

If you have never studied accounting before at university level, and wish to study towards becoming a professionally qualified accountant, graduates of any bachelor's degree may enrol for the Master of Professional Accounting, a 14-month accelerated programme.

If you'd like to gain specialist expertise through postgraduate research, take a look at our Master of Management Studies in Accounting.

Internationally recognised

Waikato is ranked in the world's top 200 universities for Accounting, Finance, and Business and Management Studies, in the prestigious QS Subject Rankings 2018.

You'll study at our internationally recognised Waikato Management School, which has Triple Crown Accreditation from AACSB, EQUIS and AMBA, placing it in the top 1% of all business schools worldwide.

Apply to enrol

Key information

Study Locations: Hamilton; Tauranga; Online
Faculty:

Career opportunities

  • Auditor
  • Business consultant
  • Chief financial officer
  • Company accountant
  • Financial accountant/controller
  • Management accountant
  • Tax accountant

Prescriptions for the GradCert(Acc) and GradDip(Acc)

A Graduate Certificate and Graduate Diploma are available to graduates who have not included Accounting at an advanced level in their first degree. The qualification regulations define the subject requirements for the Graduate Certificate and Graduate Diploma. There are no specified subject papers that must be completed for these programmes.

Prescriptions for the BBus(Hons), PGCert(Acc), PGDip(Acc), MMS and MPAcct

The qualification regulations define the subject requirements for the BBus(Hons), PGCert(Acc), PGDip(Acc) and MMS. There are no specified subject papers that must be completed for the BBus(Hons), PGCert(Acc) and PGDip(Acc) programmes.

MMS students must complete MNMGT581 and one of ACCTN590, ACCTN591, ACCTN592, ACCTN593, ACCTN594.

MPAcct students must complete MNMGT504, ECONS506, ECONS507, ACCTN570, ACCTN571, ACCTN572, ACCTN573, ACCTN574, ACCTN575, ACCTN576, ACCTN577, ACCTN578, ACCTN581 and one of ACCTN582 or ACCTN583.

Prescriptions for the MPhil

The Master of Philosophy is a one year research-based degree in which students undertake a programme of approved and supervised research that leads to a thesis which critically investigates an approved topic of substance and significance, demonstrates expertise in the methods of research and scholarship, displays intellectual independence and makes a substantial original contribution to the subject area concerned, and is of publishable quality.

Prescriptions for the PhD

The Doctor of Philosophy is a three year research-based degree in which students undertake a programme of approved and supervised research that leads to a thesis which critically investigates an approved topic of substance and significance, demonstrates expertise in the methods of research and scholarship, displays intellectual independence and makes a substantial original contribution to the subject area concerned, and is of publishable quality.

100 Level

Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
ACCTN101Accounting for Management19A (Hamilton), 19A (Tauranga), 19B (Hamilton), 19B (Tauranga) & 19C (Zhejiang University City College, Hangzhou China)
This paper explains that accounting is an important social practice; an integral aspect of organisational management and covers both the technical aspects of the provision and use of accounting information.
ACCTN102Introductory Financial Accounting19A (Hamilton), 19A (Tauranga), 19B (Hamilton), 19B (Tauranga), 19C (Zhejiang University City College, Hangzhou China) & 19S (Hamilton)
An introductory computer based accounting paper examining the preparation of accounting records. This paper provides opportunity to learn the language of accounting through addressing practical problems.

200 Level

Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
ACCTN202Intermediate Financial Accounting19A (Hamilton), 19A (Tauranga), 19B (Hamilton), 19B (Tauranga) & 19S (Hamilton)
This paper deals with the practices, principles and regulations of Financial Reporting in New Zealand with emphasis on financial reporting in partnerships and companies.
ACCTN203Management Accounting: Accounting for Organisational Control19A (Hamilton), 19A (Tauranga), 19B (Hamilton) & 19B (Tauranga)
This paper examine the skills involved in everyday practice of management accounting; covers the organisational and behavioural aspects of accounting practices, and considers the ethical environment within which accountants operate.
ACCTN204Accounting Information Systems19B (Hamilton) & 19B (Tauranga)
This paper focuses on the practical application of technology in an Accounting context. Students experience a hands-on approach to the use of spreadsheets, relational databases, and dedicated accounting software through practical exercises.
MNMGT201Business Law and the Legal Environment19A (Hamilton), 19A (Tauranga), 19B (Hamilton) & 19B (Tauranga)
This paper overviews the sources of New Zealand business law and obligations that arise under this law, and critically examines the importance of key aspects of: the Legal System and Treaty of Waitangi; Jurisdiction; Business forms; Directors duties; Agency; Contracts and On- line Contracts; Consumer Law - Fair Trading Act 1996 and...

300 Level

Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
ACCTN301Capstone in Accounting19A (Hamilton), 19A (Tauranga) & 19T (Hamilton)
The development of accounting and accounting theory, the conceptual framework, non-mandatory reporting, ethics and governance, unresolved issues, and a consideration of the nature and scope of accounting.
ACCTN302Financial Accounting19B (Hamilton), 19B (Tauranga), 19S (Hamilton) & 19S (Tauranga)
This paper examines various issues of accounting practice particularly the application of New Zealand Equivalents to International Financial Reporting Standards.
ACCTN303Management Accounting19A (Hamilton) & 19A (Tauranga)
The foundations of this subject lie in accounting, decision theory, control theory, economics, and in organisational behaviour theory. The paper provides an overview of developments in management accounting literature.
ACCTN305Auditing19A (Hamilton) & 19A (Tauranga)
This audit practice and theory paper examines the role and profession of the NZ auditor and the process according to which a statutory audit of the financial statements are performed.
ACCTN306Taxation19B (Hamilton) & 19B (Tauranga)
This paper educates students about the main tax statutes and policy in accounting. It also addresses the importance of taxation in business decisions and the calculation of income tax obligations.
ACCTN308Performance Reporting19B (Hamilton) & 19B (Tauranga)
Performance reporting looks at the critical elements needed to conduct effective financial statement analysis. This reporting includes analysis of the quality of accounting information, risk assessment and forecasting.
ACCTN309Law of Business Enterprise19B (Hamilton) & 19B (Tauranga)
This paper concentrates firstly on legal framework comprising company law, the main legal business form used in New Zealand, and then on areas of law which impact companies.
MNMGT301Business Law and the Legal Environment19A (Hamilton), 19A (Tauranga), 19B (Hamilton) & 19B (Tauranga)
This paper overviews the sources of New Zealand business law and obligations that arise under this law, and critically examines the importance of key aspects of: the Legal System and Treaty of Waitangi; Jurisdiction; Business forms; Directors duties; Agency; Contracts and On- line Contracts; Consumer Law - Fair Trading Act 1996 and...
MNMGT395Industry Experience19C (Online)
The industry experience course is a NET delivered course, which runs over the summer from early November to early February. Students search for and find their own host organisation, anywhere in the world, that agrees to take them on for 4 to 13 weeks during the summer period.
MNMGT396Management Internship19C (Hamilton)
The Management Internship provides students with the opportunity to apply their management discipline-based knowledge to an authentic project within an organisation.
MNMGT399Report of an Investigation19C (Hamilton)
The Report of an Investigation offers students the opportunity to complete a secondary data based research report on an area related to their management discipline of study. Students also complete 100 hours of voluntary work co-ordinated through the University of Waikato Employability Plus Program.

400 Level

Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
MNMGT495Industry Experience19C (Online)
The industry experience course is a NET delivered course, which runs over the summer from early November to early February. Students search for and find their own host organisation, anywhere in the world, that agrees to take them on for 4 to 13 weeks during the summer period.
MNMGT496Management Internship19C (Hamilton)
The Management Internship provides students with the opportunity to apply their management discipline-based knowledge to an authentic project within an organisation.
MNMGT499Report of an Investigation19C (Hamilton)
The Report of an Investigation offers students the opportunity to complete a secondary data based research report on an area related to their management discipline of study. Students also complete 100 hours of voluntary work co-ordinated through the University of Waikato Employability Plus Program.

500 Level

Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
ACCTN502Advanced Financial Reporting19B (Hamilton)
This paper equips students with sufficient practical knowledge to appreciate some of the problems involved in preparing advanced financial statements. It will also enhance an understanding of the different issues facing accountants and preparation of general purpose financial reports, as well as enabling students to critically inte...
ACCTN506International Accounting19A (Hamilton)
This paper explores and analyses accounting in a global and transnational context. Similarities and differences between accounting and its regulation in different national contexts, and attempts to harmonise the accounting practices of different countries are discussed. The paper also addresses issues relevant for an appreciation o...
ACCTN531Advanced Management Accounting19B (Hamilton)
This paper aims to develop skills and critical ability in management accounting. It will broaden the knowledge of participants by examining the diverse perspectives and approaches evident in the subject of management accounting.
ACCTN541Forensic Accounting19A (Hamilton)
A focus on fraud and forensic auditing. Topics are examined in-depth and selected on the basis of their controversial nature or their knowledge building potential. Analysis is facilitated by a case-based approach to learning. There is a computer element to this paper.
ACCTN570Fundamental Accounting for Decision Making19S (Hamilton)
This paper emphasises learning the preparation of financial records and also provides an understanding of the techniques and issues related to management accounting.
ACCTN571Financial Accounting19A (Hamilton)
This paper covers the preparation of general purpose financial reports for partnership, companies and other business combinations. The paper addresses the use and the interpretation of New Zealand International Reporting Standards in the preparation of financial reports.
ACCTN572Advanced Auditing19A (Hamilton)
This paper examines the role of financial audit, the profession and market mechanisms. Included in this paper are discussions on audit practice, the audit process report internal controls and systems as they relate to professional standards and guidelines.
ACCTN573Advanced Management Accounting19A (Hamilton)
This paper will provide an overview of some of the developments in the management accounting field. Emphasis throughout the paper will be placed on the importance of information to decision makers. Techniques of planning and control will be examined. The importance of feedback will be stressed and the distinction between feedback a...
ACCTN574Advanced Financial Accounting19B (Hamilton)
The paper is designed to facilitate students' understanding of the issues involved in the principles, practices and regulations of accounting within the New Zealand environment.
ACCTN575Advanced Taxation19B (Hamilton)
The paper provides an overview of the New Zealand Income Tax Act, Tax Administration Act, Goods and Service Tax Act, and Fringe Benefit Tax, and how they are relevant to individual and corporate taxpayers. Topics include the nature of income, taxation of common types of income, the deduction and prohibition of various types of expe...
ACCTN576Commercial and Corporate Law19A (Hamilton)
This paper introduces students to the New Zealand legal system and laws regulation specified business activities. The initial focus is given to the laws applying to business contracts. The paper also cover principles applying to companies.
ACCTN577Performance Reporting19B (Hamilton)
The paper will cover the three key areas of financial management decisions relating to investment, financing and asset management.
ACCTN578Accounting Information Systems19B (Hamilton)
This paper addresses the design, acquisition, operation, and control of computerised information systems specific to the accounting field. the theories and learning in this paper are applied and reinforced through practical exercises using spreadsheets, relational databases, and accounting packages.
ACCTN581Professional Development Capstone19S (Online) & 19T (Online)
The objective of this paper is to help students develop critical thinking and sound analytical skills about the past, present and future of accounting theory and practice. This paper covers key theoretical positions underlying the practice of accounting as well as key factors effecting the development of the profession. The princip...
ACCTN582Research Project19S (Online) & 19T (Online)
Students undertake a research project from an accounting workplace environment.
ACCTN583Professional Internship19S (Online) & 19T (Online)
Students undertake a professional internship within an accounting workplace environment.
ACCTN590Directed Study19C (Hamilton)
Students have the opportunity to pursue a topic of their own interest under the guidance of academic staff. This paper is available only to Waikato Management School students with the approval of the Chairperson.
ACCTN591Accounting Dissertation19C (Hamilton)
A report on the findings of a theoretical or empirical investigation.
ACCTN592Accounting Dissertation19C (Hamilton)
A report on the findings of a theoretical or empirical investigation.
ACCTN593Accounting Thesis19C (Hamilton)
An externally examined piece of written work that reports on the findings of supervised research.
ACCTN594Accounting Thesis19C (Hamilton)
An externally examined piece of written work that reports on the findings of supervised research.

800 Level

Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
ACCTN800Accounting MPhil Thesis19C (Hamilton)
No description available.

900 Level

Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
ACCTN900Accounting PhD Thesis19C (Hamilton)
No description available.

Sam Gibb Sam Gibb isn't one to rest on his laurels. In-between working as an analyst at Symphony Financial Partners in Singapore and travelling frequently, he's also finding time to train for a marathon.

Sam Gibb Bachelor of Management Studies with Honours

Read stories from other students


Scholarships and prizes

New to Waikato? The International Excellence Scholarship is worth up to $10,000.

Visit our Scholarship Finder for information about possible scholarships

Find your scholarship


At Waikato, you'll get hands-on experience with specialised accounting software such as MYOB and Xero.

You'll analyse real-life case studies of accounting situations, and learn about the business environment and how managerial decisions are made.

You'll also learn about contracts and trusts, evaluate the impact of taxes, and gain skills in auditing, investment, financing and asset management. You could also undertake an industry internship in an accounting workplace.

If you're new to Hamilton, there'll be plenty of opportunities for you to make new friends with similar interests. You could get involved with Beta Alpha Psi, a student accounting club that runs regular workshops and employer visits.


Accounting as a single major for the BBus, BBA or BMS(Hons)

If you wish to take Accounting as a single major for the Bachelor of Business (BBus), you'll need to pass 135 points (9 papers) in this subject area, including at least 105 points above 100-level and 60 points above 200-level.

As all papers are 15 points, you will need to complete 2 x 100-level, 3 x 200-level and 4 x 300-level papers for your major. No more than three 200-level papers may be included in this major.

The specific requirements for a single major in Accounting are that you must take the following 9 papers:

  • ACCTN101 Accounting for Management
  • ACCTN102 Introductory Financial Accounting
  • ACCTN202 Intermediate Financial Accounting
  • ACCTN203 Management Accounting: Accounting for Organisational Control
  • ACCTN204/304 Accounting Information Systems
  • ACCTN301 Capstone in Accounting
  • ACCTN308 Performance Reporting
  • Choose ONE of the following:
    • ACCTN302 Financial Accounting
    • ACCTN303 Management Accounting
    • ACCTN305 Auditing
    • ACCTN306 Taxation
    • ACCTN309 Law of Business Enterprise
    • MNMGT201/301 Business Law and the Legal Environment
  • MNMGT495/496/499 Business Experience paper

For the BMS(Hons), in fourth year you are required to complete a further 60 points at 500-level in papers relevant to your Accounting major.

Accounting as a 2nd Major for any bachelor's degree

If you are enrolled in a bachelor's degree that doesn't list Accounting, you can normally still take it as a 2nd Major subject. You'll need to pass 120 points (8 papers) in this subject area, including at least 90 points above 100-level, and 45 points above 200-level.

As all papers are 15 points, you will need to complete 2 x 100-level, 3 x 200-level and 3 x 300-level papers in Accounting.

The specific requirements for a 2nd Major in Accounting are that you must take the following 8 papers:

  • ACCTN101 Accounting for Management
  • ACCTN102 Introductory Financial Accounting
  • ACCTN202 Intermediate Financial Accounting
  • ACCTN203 Management Accounting: Accounting for Organisational Control
  • ACCTN204/304 Accounting Information Systems
  • ACCTN301 Capstone in Accounting
  • ACCTN308 Performance Reporting
  • Choose ONE of the following:
    • ACCTN302 Financial Accounting
    • ACCTN303 Management Accounting
    • ACCTN305 Auditing
    • ACCTN306 Taxation
    • ACCTN309 Law of Business Enterprise
    • MNMGT201/301 Business Law and the Legal Environment

Accounting as a Minor for any bachelor's degree

If you wish to take Accounting as a Minor as part of any bachelor's degree at the University of Waikato, you'll need to pass 4 papers (60 points) in this subject, which includes at least 2 papers (30 points) above 100-level.

The specific requirements for a Minor in Accounting are that you must include:

  • ACCTN101 Accounting for Management

Choose your other three papers from the following:

  • ACCTN102 Introductory Financial Accounting
  • ACCTN202 Intermediate Financial Accounting
  • ACCTN203 Management Accounting: Accounting for Organisational Control
  • ACCTN204/304 Accounting Information Systems
  • ACCTN301 Capstone in Accounting
  • ACCTN308 Performance Reporting
  • ACCTN302 Advanced Financial Accounting
  • ACCTN303 Advanced Management Accounting
  • ACCTN305 Auditing
  • ACCTN306 Taxation
  • ACCTN309 Law of Business Enterprise
  • MNMGT201/301 Business Law and the Legal Environment

Graduate Certificate (GradCert)

To complete the requirements for a Graduate Certificate in Accounting, you must pass 4 papers (60 points) at 100-level or above, which includes at least 3 papers (45 points) at 300-level or above. At least 45 points must be from the subject area of Accounting.

Paper offerings can change; for full details of available papers visit papers.waikato.ac.nz/subjects/ACCTN

Graduate Diploma (GradDip)

To complete the requirements for a Graduate Diploma in Accounting, you must pass 8 papers (120 points) at 100-level or above, which includes at least 5 papers (75 points) at 300-level or above. At least 90 points must be from the subject area of Accounting.

You can choose to take up to 30 points from other subjects with the permission of the Graduate Convenor of Accounting.

The specific requirements for the Graduate Diploma in Accounting are that you must include:

  • ACCT209 Accounting and Managerial Decision Making

Paper offerings can change; for full details of available papers visit papers.waikato.ac.nz/subjects/ACCTN

Postgraduate Certificate (PGCert)

To complete the requirements for a Postgraduate Certificate in Accounting, you must pass 60 points at 500-level from the subject of Accounting.

You must also meet with the Graduate Convenor of Accounting to discuss an appropriate programme of study.

Paper offerings can change; for full details of available papers visit papers.waikato.ac.nz/subjects/ACCTN

Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip)

To complete the requirements for a Postgraduate Diploma, you must pass 120 points at 500-level, which includes at least 90 points from the subject of Accounting, and submit a Portfolio of Achievement.

You can choose to take up to 30 points from other subjects with the permission of the Graduate Convenor of Accounting.

You must also meet with the Graduate Convenor of Accounting to discuss an appropriate personal programme of study.

Paper offerings can change; for full details of available papers visit papers.waikato.ac.nz/subjects/ACCTN

Master of Management Studies in Accounting (MMS)

The completion requirements for the Master of Management Studies in Accounting vary according to your admission criteria; please see the MMS qualification page for further details. However you'll need to:

  • Meet with the Graduate Convenor in Accounting to discuss an appropriate programme of study and to ensure any specific subject requirements are met.
  • Take MNGT501 Research Methods in Management Studies (unless passed previously)
  • Take a dissertation (591/592) or thesis (593/594) in Accounting
  • Submit a Portfolio of Achievement
  • Meet the specific subject requirements prescribed for Accounting

Paper offerings can change; for full details of available papers visit papers.waikato.ac.nz/subjects/ACCTN

Master of Professional Accounting (MPAcct)

To complete the requirements for the Master of Professional Accounting, you must pass 220 points at 500-level and submit a Portfolio of Achievement.

You'll need to include:

Stage One: Core Knowledge and Skills

  • ACCT570 Fundamental Accounting for Decision Making
  • ACCT571 Financial Accounting
  • ACCT576 Commercial and Corporate Law
  • ACCT577 Financial Management
  • ACCT578 Accounting Information Systems
  • ECON506 Economics for Business
  • ECON507 Quantitative Skills for Finance and Economics
  • MNGT504 Organisational Behaviour

Stage Two: Advanced Professional Knowledge

  • ACCT572 Advanced Auditing
  • ACCT573 Advanced Management Accounting
  • ACCT574 Advanced Financial Accounting
  • ACCT575 Advanced Taxation

Stage Three: Professional Development Capstone

  • ACCT581 Professional Development Capstone and
  • ACCT582 Research Project or ACCT583 Professional Internship

Master of Philosophy (MPhil) and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Please contact the department's Graduate Convenor.


To meet the academic requirements to join either Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CA ANZ), CPA Australia or ACCA once you graduate from your bachelor's degree, you will need to choose Accounting as a single major and follow a specific programme of papers.

This means it's not possible to take a 2nd Major (8 papers) in another subject without completing 4-5 extra papers, depending on your degree.

However, you may still have the option of taking a Minor (4 papers) in another subject, if you wish.

You will need to pass the following 16 papers, in addition to any other papers required to complete your degree:

  • ACCTN101/201 Accounting for Management
  • ACCTN102/222 Introductory Financial Accounting
  • ECONS101 Business Economics and the New Zealand Economy
  • FINAN101 Introduction to Finance
  • ACCTN202 Intermediate Financial Accounting
  • ACCTN203 Management Accounting: Accounting for Organisational Control
  • ACCTN204/304 Accounting Information Systems
  • ECONS205 Data Analytics with Business Applications
  • MNMGT201/301 Business Law and the Legal Environment
  • ACCTN302 Advanced Financial Accounting
  • ACCTN301 Capstone in Accounting
  • ACCTN308 Performance Reporting
  • ACCTN303 Advanced Management Accounting
  • ACCTN305 Auditing
  • ACCTN306 Taxation
  • ACCT309 Law of Business Enterprise

Contacts

Management Student Centre (MSC)

Location: MSB.1.50, Waikato Management School, Hillcrest Road, University of Waikato, Hamilton
Phone: +64 838 4303
Email: msc@waikato.ac.nz
Website: www.management.ac.nz/msc
Opening hours: 8.45am - 4.45pm Monday to Friday

One of the best times to pop into MSC is Open Advice Day, held every Wednesday from 10am to 2pm.

Undergraduate/Postgraduate Convenors in Accounting

Dr Mary Low
Email:mary.low@waikato.ac.nz

Associate Professor Martin Kelly
Email: martin.kelly@waikato.ac.nz

Dr Vida Botes - Master of Professional Accounting
Email: vida.botes@waikato.ac.nz