Date posted: 29/06/2021

Audit recruitment challenges in New Zealand

CA ANZ survey reveals a critical shortage of external auditors in New Zealand

In Brief

  • The external audit profession in New Zealand faces a significant skills shortage
  • This has been exacerbated by COVID-19 border closures
  • There were 206 audit vacancies in April 2021. This is likely to have increased substantially since then

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A Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CA ANZ) survey of 13 of the largest audit providers in New Zealand has demonstrated a substantial shortage of external auditors. Audit providers in New Zealand have traditionally relied on overseas recruitment to fill the shortage of skilled auditors. 

However, the closure of the New Zealand border in March 2020 ended this practice. Based on our April 2021 survey of New Zealand’s 13 largest audit providers, we identified 206 vacancies for external auditors. The current number of external audit vacancies is likely to have significantly increased to more than 300. 

There were at least 206 vacancies for external auditors as of April 2021. The current number of external audit vacancies is likely to have significantly increased to more than 300.

Summary of results:

  • The average active recruitment time was more than six months.
  • Before the border closure in March 2020, on average 230 auditors were recruited annually from overseas.
  • There were at least 206 vacancies for external auditors as of April 2021. The current number of external audit vacancies is likely to have significantly increased to more than 300.

CA ANZ submitted this evidence to the Financial Markets Authority to support an application for an extension to reporting deadlines for FMC reporting entities. A temporary extension for certain reporting deadlines was granted on 11 June in response to a shortage of auditors in New Zealand.

CA ANZ is actively engaged with the Government on this issue, with a view to a class border exemption being granted for external auditors. 

The media has brought attention to these issues reporting on CA ANZ’s survey and position in the NBR.

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The NBR Article

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