Become an Accounting Technician

With flexible pathways to choose from, the AT designation is a great option for accounting and financial professionals at any experience level.

In Brief

  • Whether you’re starting out, want to change career or are already established, the Accounting Technician Designation has choices to suit a range of professionals.
  • Choose the best course of study for your lifestyle.  There are different pathways including full-time and part-time study options.
  • The AT pathways have core components which are compulsory. The pathways involve training towards a recognised qualification or undergoing a competency-based assessment. Ethics training is completed via the Professional Ethics Module, and there is a practical experience component.

Ways to become an Accounting Technician

You choose how you want to become an Accounting Technician from different pathways, each designed for different career stages and needs.

To gain a formal academic qualification, consider our Academic pathway, covering accounting and wider business management.

If you’re already working in accounting and finance consider the Experience pathway.  It assesses your practical experience to see how it measures up against a range of skill based criteria.

The NZICA Rules do not permit Accounting Technicians to offer accounting services to the public.  Members offering accounting services to the public must be a CA Member and hold a Certificate of Public Practice.

The different AT pathways

  • Academic pathway

    Become an Accounting Technician by choosing academic study. The Academic pathway involves tertiary study through the New Zealand Diploma in Business Accounting Strand course or complete approved university degree level study.

    You can apply to become a provisional accounting technician while you study towards an approved course.   There are NZQA approved training providers throughout New Zealand where you can enrol to study in the classroom or online.

    This involves two key elements:

    • The core component
    • Accounting specific component

    The core component covers a broad range of business related subjects. For example:

    • Accounting
    • Sales and marketing
    • Human resources
    • Risk management
    • Developing business relationships with stakeholders

    The accounting specific component covers a mix of technical knowledge and skills and analytical skills including:

    • Applying accounting concepts and standards to prepare financial statements and reports
    • Preparing budgets and monitoring business performance against budgets
    • Applying tax rules for individuals and small business
    • Analysing and interpreting financial information to help make business decisions
    • Researching and communicating technical financial information for a business entity’s performance.
  • The Professional Ethics Module

    Acting and working in an ethical way is a core expectation of the accounting profession. To support this, training in professional ethics is a compulsory part of the course requirements for the Accounting Technician designation.

    The Professional Ethics module takes approximately 25 hours of online learning and an exam. 

  • Practical experience requirements

    Practical experience complements formal study and is an essential part of qualifying as an Accounting Technician. It provides the invaluable opportunity to apply academic knowledge and learn from it. It also builds the knowledge, professional skills and hands-on learning to help you excel and stand out from the crowd.

    Two years relevant accounting employment is required to become an Accounting Technician. This consists of at least 17.5 hours per week for at least three months (full time equivalent based on a 35 hour week) relevant accounting employment in any one role. It must also be signed off by a supervisor or manager and be reviewed by a current member of Chartered Accountants Australia New Zealand.

    The experience must be in at least one of the following areas to count:

    • Financial accounting
    • Auditing
    • General practice
    • Management accounting
    • Taxation
    • Financial management
    • Financial advice
    • Treasury
    • Information systems
    • Academia
    • Comparable sub-divisions of accounting.

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