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24 August 2023

From airlines and farms to movie studios and zoos, accountants are critical employees in a diverse range of organisations. Find out about studying accounting at UC.


Accountants are critical employees in a diverse range of organisations, from airlines and farms to movie studios and zoos. Our graduates have found work here in New Zealand and overseas – there are even accounting jobs at Scott Base in Antarctica!


What does an accountant do? 

Accountants assess and report on the performance of organisations. They are involved in decisions about pricing, costs, systems and processes, investments, organisational strategy, and management. Accountants also check if relevant rules and laws have been followed and ensure that the information is reliable and up-to-date.


How to become an accountant

The most common way to enter the accounting field is to complete an undergraduate degree with a major in the subject.

Te Kura Umanga | UC Business School offers the Bachelor of Commerce (BCom) undergraduate degree with majors in Accounting, and Taxation and Accounting.

Throughout your degree, you will learn about accounting, auditing, tax rules and practices, and the role accountants play in many contexts including public, private, environmental, political, and more. You will have opportunities to apply your knowledge practically as part of your courses and apply your skills in clubs such as the Accounting Society.  

You can also choose to study Accounting as a minor in other degrees such as a Bachelor of Arts.

In order to be eligible for professional membership with accounting bodies after you graduate, you will need to have completed specific required courses. See the BCom Accounting degree plan for professional bodies.


What will you learn?

While completing the Bachelor of Commerce, you will learn about important issues such as business ethics and corporate responsibility, data analytics, cryptocurrencies, and the increasing challenges of globalisation.

You will also take introductory courses in cashflow and profit reporting; accounting for managers; and taxation, followed by advanced study in business, government performance, cost management, and accounting theory and practice.

After graduating from your undergraduate degree, you can choose to continue your study with a Master of Commerce (MCom) in Accounting. This qualification will give you the opportunity to specialise by delving deeper into your subject.

If you intend on following the CA ANZ programme, study in the Master of Commerce counts as one year of professional experience.

For advanced postgraduate study, UC Business School offers a Doctor in Philosophy (PhD) in Accounting. Read more about the PhD.

See our full list of postgraduate Accounting courses.

UC works closely with accounting institutes to ensure you are well prepared and qualified for your career. Our Accounting qualifications are accredited by professional bodies Chartered Accountants of Australia and New Zealand (CA ANZ), CPA Australia, and the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA).

Upon the completion of required Accounting courses, students qualify for provisional membership with professional bodies. This means you can become a certified, chartered accountant.

While the BCom has specific majors in Accounting and Accounting and Taxation, the accreditation pathway may not require a specific Accounting degree. Accounting institutions instead prescribe papers that need to be studied, whether within an Accounting or Accounting and Taxation major, or in any other study.


What will you gain from professional membership?

  • Higher employability - accountants who have a professional body membership can stand out in the job market. Many job opportunities will also require professional body membership.
  • Continuing education - professional body membership will help an accountant to keep up to date with changes in accounting regulations and laws as well as changes taking place in business so that they can give advice to their clients.
  • Work around the world - professional bodies have joint agreements which enable members to work in many different countries. 
  • Networking - professional body membership adds value to members at every stage of their careers by connecting them with other members and job opportunities.



Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CA ANZ) is the membership body of choice for over 110,000 accounting and business professionals, working around New Zealand and across the globe.



CPA is one of the world's largest accounting bodies and believes the work of professional accountants is fundamental to the stability, efficiency and sustainability of individual companies, financial markets and the economies of entire countries. A CPA is a highly qualified finance, accounting and business professional.

The CPA Program is a postgraduate accounting program that combines professional education with three years’ relevant practical experience, ensuring you gain both the technical and commercial skills required to stand out.

  • Use CPA's course search to see which programmes are prerequisites for entry into the programme.



The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) is the global body for professional accountants.

To become an ACCA member you will need to complete an ACCA Qualification. This involves completing 14 exams (nine of which you may be exempt from depending on previous qualifications), obtaining three years relevant supervised practical experience (PER) and completing a Professional Ethics module.

CPA Australia
Useful links

For more information on studying Accounting

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