Amber Cunningham

'We are constantly meeting new people, including CFOs and senior managers of large companies...'

  • Amber cunningham

Bachelor of Commerce with endorsements in Accounting and Economics

Analyst (Audit and Assurance), Deloitte, Christchurch

‘Studying Accounting and Economics is an awesome option that will open up so many opportunities,’ says Amber, who has graduated in the two subjects and is now establishing a career with global accountancy firm Deloitte.

Her role, as an analyst in the Audit and Assurance team, is to work in a small team of up to five colleagues to complete audits of companies around New Zealand. Working with a wide range of clients means there is plenty of variety.

‘We all have our own sections of work to do to complete an audit. It involves liaising with the client and other team members to obtain the information and documentation you require. Part of working as a team also involves coaching new grads and working together to get the project done in a timely manner.

‘We are constantly meeting new people, including CFOs and senior managers of large companies,’ she says. ‘Our clients are from a range of industries so the knowledge you gain as an auditor is very broad. The travel aspect is also an awesome part of the job – over the few years I have travelled all around New Zealand, to Melbourne and even the UK!’

Amber’s 12 week reciprocal exchange to Deloitte UK based in Scotland was definitely a highlight of her career.

‘As I was based in Aberdeen I was working on clients in the oil and gas industry which was different and interesting,’ she says. ‘It was busy with some long hours but it was definitely worth it and I am so stoked to have been given the opportunity. I met a lot of people and made some life-long friends. This experience has backed up my conclusion that it is the people that make Deloitte the best place to work. I also was able to travel all around the UK and Europe during the weekends too which was awesome!’

For Amber, another attraction of working for a global firm like Deloitte is the opportunity to plan a varied career with one company.

‘Deloitte offers endless opportunities, whether you want to advance in New Zealand or transfer overseas, which is definitely an awesome part of the job,’ she says.

‘Since my secondment, I am now contemplating going back to the UK after I obtain my qualifications. It has given me a taste of what else is out there to experience.’

Initially, Amber chose to do a Bachelor of Commerce in Economics at UC because that was her favourite subject at school. However, after taking some Accounting papers in her first year, she decided that she really enjoyed that subject too, and opted to specialise in both.

She says her studies have prepared her well for her work. ‘Although there is a lot of learning done on the job, having that understanding and basic knowledge of accounting concepts has been invaluable.’

‘To other Commerce students I particularly recommend completing the NZICA requirements so you then have the opportunity to complete your chartered accounting qualification, which is recognised globally. Also look into applying for an internship in your second to last year of uni – the internship programmes that firms offer provide a taste of life in an accounting firm and you can decide if it is the right choice for you.’

Having opted to study at UC because of the reputation of its School of Business and Economics and because she wanted to remain in Christchurch, Amber thoroughly enjoyed her time here.

‘I loved the campus grounds at UC – lying under the trees in summer or chilling in a café in winter time. The UCom [Commerce club] social events were also an awesome part of uni life and meant I got to meet some awesome people who are now my really good friends. In my last year of uni, I also got the opportunity to tutor first-year Accounting, which was a great experience and something I would definitely recommend to others.’

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