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2014 2015
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    • 2014 2015

Student Profile

‘The skills I learned in team management will stick with me for the rest of my life...’

David White BCom, BSc in Computer Science, MEM
Finance Graduate, ANZ
(read profile)

Taxation and Accounting




Taxation is much more than interpreting and applying legislation. Societies need taxation in order to redistribute wealth, to provide for expenditure on public goods and services, as well as serve as a tool to influence behaviour.

Specifically, taxation is a core area within the broader fields of accounting and law, drawing together concepts from these disciplines, along with concepts from economics. More recently knowledge and theories in a number of other disciplines, such as psychology and sociology, have been applied to assist with a greater understanding of the impact of taxation on society.

The New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants (NZICA) and Certified Practising Accountants (CPA) Australia recognise the importance of studies in taxation, with courses containing taxation content included in their ‘core’ and ‘accounting and/or business related’ academic requirements. Studying taxation will equip you with the skills and knowledge to become a taxation specialist within the accounting profession, a commercial professional or a chartered accountant. Not only will a BCom majoring in Taxation and Accounting serve as a pathway to membership of NZICA and CPA Australia, but also potentially to other professional accounting bodies internationally.

Recommended background

While some previous study of accounting is useful preparation, it is not essential to have studied accounting at secondary school.

Competence in spoken and written English communication is essential for both taxation and accountancy studies. Taxation and accounting are not only number-oriented but, with the growing importance and use in accountancy of mathematical methods and statistical tools, a background in mathematics and statistics is strongly recommended.

Students with very good Year 13 results in accounting may be offered direct entry to 200-level Accounting courses at the discretion of the Head of Department.

100-level courses

The first-year, 100-level courses required in order to complete a Bachelor of Commerce majoring in Taxation and Accounting are:

  • ACCT 102 Accounting and Financial Information
  • ACCT 103 Introduction to Financial Accounting
  • ACCT 152 Law and Business or LAWS 101 Legal System: Legal Method and Institutions
  • ECON 104 Introduction to Microeconomics or ECON 105 Introduction to Macroeconomics or ECON 199 (a STAR course for secondary school students)
  • INFO 123 Information Systems and Technology
  • MGMT 100 Fundamentals of Management
  • STAT 101 Statistics 1
  • Plus 15 points from 100-level Commerce or any other UC courses. If LAWS 101 is studied instead of ACCT 152 (as above) these 15 points are not required as LAWS 101 is a 30-point course and ACCT 152 is a 15-point course.

If you are planning to major in Taxation and Accounting you should take ACCT 102 and ACCT 103 in your first year. ACCT 152 or LAWS 101 should be taken preferably in your first year of study but may be taken in your second year of study.

For NZICA and/or CPA Australia membership, both ECON 104 and ECON 105 are required, as are ACCT 152 (or LAWS 101), INFO 123 and ACCT 103 at 100-level. For the Association of Chartered Accountants (ACCA) requirements, refer to

For the complete, three-year BCom Taxation and Accounting major degree plan see the School of Business and Economics website.

200-level and beyond

Later courses provide a more detailed treatment of the topics introduced at 100-level. At the conclusion of ACCT 254 Introduction to Taxation you will have a working knowledge of income tax (income and deductions), the Goods and Services Tax and Fringe Benefit Tax. You will also understand the concepts of residence and source, and aspects of tax administration. Tax courses at 300-level build on the foundations laid in earlier study, considering a range of topics including tax planning, avoidance and evasion, international taxation, taxation of e-commerce, taxation of investments, company taxation, ethics, tax policy, taxation of charities, and further aspects of tax administration and compliance.

Further study

Once you complete your BCom with good grades in 300-level Accounting courses, you are eligible to enrol in the Bachelor of Commerce with Honours or Master of Commerce. An honours or master's degree will help you distinguish yourself in the marketplace.

If you have further academic ambitions, the next step is a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD).

Career opportunities

As a specialist in Taxation and Accounting you will be able to enter a variety of organisations. For example, as a taxation specialist or accountant in chartered accounting firms, accountancy practices, government organisations (including Inland Revenue and the Treasury), business and commercial enterprises, non-profit organisations, banking and financial services, management consultancies, education organisations, law firms and obtain interesting, well-paid work around the world.

Many Taxation and Accounting students aspire to become chartered accountants through the NZICA or CPA Australia. For both memberships your BCom degree must include specific courses. For further details contact the Department of Accounting and Information Systems.

For further career information, please go to


Department of Accounting and Information Systems
Telephone: +64 3 364 2613