A note on the supply of accounting technician graduates in New Zealand

Author: Paul Wells

Abstract: Declining enrolments in accounting programmes in the United States of America and Australia have been well documented for over a decade, and it is suggested that accounting as a career choice is becoming less attractive to domestic students. An Australian study supported this conclusion but further noted that the trend is being masked by an increasing level of enrolments by international students on these programmes. The objectives of this study were to identify enrolment trends for the NZ Diploma in Business, a principal academic pathway for qualification as an Accounting Technician, for the period 1997-2002, and to consider the impact of international student enrolments on these trends. The findings suggest that while there have been significant fluctuations in overall enrolments in Accounting Principles since 1997, the most significant growth has been in international students since 2000, with the number of domestic students declining in 2002. These trends are similarly reflected in enrolment levels in Accounting Practices. Major findings reported here have significant implications for the accounting profession, tertiary education institutions, students, and employers.