Accounting Technician

Flexible, experience-based training

In brief

  • The AT designation is formal recognition of your practical accounting skills and experience
  • Choose from one of two pathways to become an AT and broaden your career options
  • ATs may be able to work in financial roles including payroll, account management, budget preparation and more

Build the foundations

Accounting Technicians (ATs) prepare and manage financial accounts across different areas of finance and business. Currently the designation is only available in New Zealand.

Their skills are valued by organisations that employ qualified ATs in roles such as account management, payroll, budget preparation or assistant finance manager.

Our flexible, detailed training program has learning options to suit different individuals.

Whether you're just starting out in your accounting career or building on the experience you already have, you can earn the AT designation through practical, academic or on-the-job learning.

Pathways to membership

You can apply for membership and start your journey through one of the following pathways:

  • Academic pathway: a formal academic qualification covering accounting and business management.
  • Experience pathway: An assessment of your practical skills and experience against set competencies, gained through on-the-job training.

If you choose the academic you will also need to complete the 2 year's practical experience. All candidates are required to complete the professional ethics module.

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.

Practical experience

Practical experience complements your educational requirements by providing the opportunity to apply your knowledge.

It can also provide you with the knowledge, professional skills and hands-on learning to excel and stand out.

You must complete two years of relevant accounting employment; at least 17.5 hours per week for a minimum of three months in one role (full time equivalent based on a 35 hour week).

Relevant accounting employment provides experience in at least one of the following areas:

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

This experience will be verified by your supervisor or manager and reviewed by a current Chartered Accountants ANZ member.

Relevant Accounting Employment Form

Download the Verification of Relevant Accounting Employment form

Download now

AT Program 2023 information

A new AT Program module replaces the PETH course from 2023 onwards.

The new future-focused AT Program Module has been designed to set candidates up for success in the real world.

The module has been created to address the future skill needs of ATs, combining three technical and three professional competencies.

Technical competencies

  1. Ethics and Integrity
  2. Accounting Information Technology Systems
  3. Digital Acumen and Data Analysis

Professional Competencies

  1. Effective Communication
  2. Collaboration & Relationship
  3. Customer Focus

Key Features of the new AT Program Module

  • A single course consisting of three content topic areas, an introduction and conclusion section and auto-marked formative assessments at the end of each topic.
  • The accompanying workshop focuses on revision of all topics and exam preparation.
  • A total of 45 hours of online learning over 8 weeks, concluding with summative online exam
  • You will need to be a provisional AT member before you can register for the AT program module

Enrolments for the first offering of the new AT Program* are expected to open in March 2023 with the course commencing in early April 2023.

ATP123 ATP223 ATP333
Enrolment open Wednesday, 1 Mar 2023 Tuesday ,16 May 2023 Tuesday, 8 Aug 2023
Enrolment close Friday, 24 Mar 2023 Friday, 30 Jun 2023 Friday, 22 Sep 2023
Program commencement Monday, 3 Apr 2023 Monday, 10 Jul 2023 Monday, 2 Oct 2023
Workshop Tuesday, 23 May 2023 Tuesday, 15 Aug 2023 Tuesday, 14 Nov 2023
Final Examination Tuesday, 30 May 2023 Tuesday, 5 Sep 2023 Tuesday, 28 Nov 2023
Results (shorter 2+ weeks) Friday, 16 Jun 2023 Friday, 22 Sep 2023 Friday, 15 Dec 2023

Pathways to becoming an AT

  • Academic pathway

    This pathway enables you to become an AT through academic study, through face-to-face or online course delivery.

    You will need to complete the New Zealand Diploma in Business or equivalent university degree level study. You can apply to become a provisional accounting technician while you study towards an approved course.

    Once you have successfully completed this course, you have the option to study towards the CA designation.

    Core component

    You will need to complete a core component covering a range of business subjects. Example topics include: accounting; sales and marketing; HR; risk management; and developing business relationships with stakeholders.

    Strand specific components

    For the accounting strand, there are a range of outcomes associated with accounting technical knowledge and skills, and people skills including:

    • Apply accounting concepts and standards to prepare financial statements and reports
    • Prepare budgets and monitor business performance against budgets
    • Apply tax rules for individuals and small business
    • Analyse and interpret financial information to inform decision making
    • Research and communicate technical financial information for a business entity's performance

    Once you have met the academic requirements, you will need to complete the practical experience requirements and professional ethics online course before applying for full AT membership.

    Apply now

    Get started by completing the Provisional membership application form.

    Apply now
  • Experience pathway

    This pathway is open to anyone with at least five years’ accounting work experience, who does not want to study for a full academic qualification.

    Going down this path enables you to become a full member of the College of Accounting Technicians and use the designation ‘AT’ after your name.

    Assessment of Competence

    You will need to complete an Assessment of Competence with the support of your referee/manager, documenting the skills and knowledge you have gained through work experience or formal training. The assessment is verified by a referee.


    You can prepare your Assessment of Competence by reviewing the detailed assessment criteria within our guidelines.

    Download the guidelines


    You also need to have successfully completed the Assessment of Competence and AT Program module.

    Download the form
  • Applying for Full AT Membership

    To apply having:

    Completed one of the approved Academic or Vocational Qualifications:

      From 1 January 2019, to be admitted as an AT member of Chartered Accountants ANZ (CA ANZ), applicants will need to hold one of the following academic qualifications:

    1. NZ Diploma of Business (Level 5) Accounting Strand (1 year full-time study NZQA2459)
    2. NZ Diploma of Business (Level 6) Accounting Strand (1 year full-time study NZQA2460)
    3. NZ National Diploma in Business Level 6 (2 years full time study NZQA1499) with specified topic coverage
    4. Completed at least the first year of study of a CA ANZ accredited degree and passed subjects in required AT competency areas (refer to AT Approved Academic Course List 2019)
    5. Overseas or other non-accredited qualification equivalent to at least NZQF Level 5 assessed by CA ANZ as covering required AT competency areas
    6. AAT Level 4 Professional Diploma qualification and New Zealand Taxation (completion of NZDipBus Taxation 606 or equivalent) or AAT Level 4 Diploma in Accounting (CA ANZ) AQ2013 including NZ Indirect Tax, NZ Personal Tax and NZ Business Tax.


    • 2 years Relevant Accounting Employment and;
    • Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand’s Professional Ethics online course.


    The Assessment of Competence:

    • with an overall assessment rating of Fully competent
    • 5 year’s employment verified by a Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand full member
    • Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand’s Professional Ethics online course.

    You will need to make sure you have the following documents to apply online:

    Your Professional and Member references must each be completed by two different people

    • Relevant Accounting Employment Form (Academic and Vocational Pathway)
    • A copy of a legal document confirming your change of name, such as a marriage certificate or deed poll (if applicable).

    NZ Residents only

    You must include a Criminal Conviction Information letter supplied by the New Zealand Ministry of Justice. These can be obtained by requesting a Criminal Conviction History from the Ministry’s website.

    If you have lived in a country other than New Zealand or Australia for periods of 12 months or more during the last 10 years, you are required to obtain a police clearance certificate(s) from the country or countries you have lived. The certificate must be a scanned copy of the original that is dated within 6 months of your application. Further information regarding this certificate can be found on the New Zealand Immigration website.

    Each application will be considered on its merits and any details of any convictions will be kept confidential.

    Apply for full membership

    Your journey to full membership.

    Apply now
  • Information for Employers

    Having skilled ATs on your finance team can help ensure your accounting processing and knowledge is accurate, up-to-date and best practice.

    Employees who go through our AT training will be more confident and valuable contributors to your business – regardless of the level of their role.

    Benefits of having ATs on your team:

    • Improved accuracy, productivity and work standards
    • A highly skilled team at all levels

    Our multi-entry program can be made relevant and accessible to a range of your employees, from those who are new to accounting to more experienced employees.

    Get started

    • Work with your employees to determine the most appropriate pathway for their development
    • Verify your employee’s work experience
    • Invest in their development by paying for or contributing towards their membership fees.

    Contact us

    Contact us for more information.

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