Dr Paul Wells

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Senior Research Lecturer in Accounting

Phone: +64 9 921 9999 - ext: 5750

Email: paul.wells@aut.ac.nz


  • Doctor of Philosophy in Accounting, AUT  
  • Master of Management Studies in Accounting, Waikato
  • Bachelor of Commerce, Canterbury
  • Chartered Accountant, NZICA
  • Diploma in Teaching


Paul Wells joined the Faculty of Business at Auckland University of Technology in March 2002.  He teaches Accounting Information Systems courses on the Bachelor of Business, Master of Professional Accounting and the Master of Business Studies.

He commenced his academic career at the Waikato Institute of Technology where he has held the positions of Principal Lecturer in Accounting, Head of Business Studies, Programme Director and Faculty Academic Manager.  During his tenure at WINTEC, Paul researched tertiary education practice in Australia, England, the USA and Canada.

A former examiner for the Institute of Chartered Accountants Professional and Final Qualifying Examinations, Paul has also served on the Waikato/BOP Branch, Continuing Education and CA College Committees of the Institute.

Paul has been actively involved in the not-for-profit sector where he has held positions of director, treasurer, fund raising convenor and president at Club level, treasurer at District level and, director and President National level.

In addition, he has been accountant for Computing and Information Technology Research and Education NZ from 1999-2017, a Trustee and Treasurer for the Mt Eden Methodist Church Charitable Trust from 2010-2013 and is currently a member of the Methodist Church of NZ Board of Administration.

Teaching Areas:

Expertise in Degree and Postgraduate Teaching

  • Accounting Information Systems

Interests in Research Supervision

In response to calls by The Pathways Commission (2012) for a shared understanding of accounting, my research investigates the role of accounting in society and how this is perceived by different sections of society. The significance of a shared understanding of accounting is twofold.  First to ensure that students with the appropriate skills and capabilities are recruited into accounting careers and second that the public understands how they might benefit from services provided by accountants. One focus of this research is on the influence of technology on the changing role of accounting and its impact on accounting education and accounting practice, and how this changing role of accounting is understood and shared by society.

Research Areas:

  • Accounting Education
  • Governance in the Not for Profit Sector
  • Perceptions of Accounting and the Accounting Profession
  • Accounting Information Systems

Current Research Projects:

  • Perceptions of accounting
  • Barriers to the recruitment and retention of Maori and Pasifika students to tertiary study in accounting
  • Why do business students choose to major or not major in accounting?
  • Improving learning outcomes for auditing students
  • How does small business use accounting information?
  • Why do repeating students have lower pass rates than first time students?



  • Chiang, C. & Wells, P.K. (Accepted) How and Why Did Regulatory Governance Fail Finance Company Depositors in New Zealand? Pacific Accounting Review.
  • Wells, P.K. (In press), How Does Contact With Accountants Influence Perceptions of Accounting? Accounting Education.
  • Wells, P.K. (2018) How well do our introductory accounting text books reflect current accounting practice? Journal of Accounting Education, 42, 40-48.
  • Wells, P.K. (2017) A comment on the paper ‘The Accountant: A Character in Literature’ and an agenda for research on the accountant stereotype, Meditari Accountancy Research, 25(1), 28-36.
  • Wells, P.K. (2015) Looking in the Mirror, Pacific Accounting Review, 27(4), 486-507.
  • Wells, P.K. (2015) New Zealand High School Students’ Perception of Accounting: How and Why Those Perceptions Were Formed. Accounting Education: An International Journal, 24(6) 461-479.
  • Basioudis I. G., de Lange P., Suwardy T. & Wells P. (2012) Accounting Students’ Perceptions of a Learning Management System: An International Comparison, Accounting Research Journal, 25(2), 72-86.
  • Wells P, Gerbic P, Kranenburg I & Bygrave J (2009) Professional skills and capabilities of accounting graduates:The New Zealand expectation gap?, Accounting Education: An International Journal, 18(1), 403-420.
  • Wells P., deLange P. & Fieger P. (2008) Integrating a Virtual Learning Environment into a Second Year Accounting Course: Determinants of Overall Student Perception, Accounting and Finance, 48(3), 503-518.
  • Wells P. (2006) The Supply of Accounting Graduates in New Zealand, NZ Journal of Applied Business Research, 5(1), 53-62.
  • Wells P. & Fieger P. (2006) High School Teachers’ Perceptions of Accounting: An International Study, Australian Journal of Accounting Education, 2(1), 29-51.

Books, Edited Volumes, Reports and Research Monographs:

  • Birt, J., Wells, P., Kavanagh, M., Robb, A., & Bir, P. (2017) ICT literature review. New York: International Accounting Education Standards Board. Retrieved from http://www.iaesb.org/system/files/meetings/files/4-2-ICT-Literature-Review.pdf. Paper commissioned by the International Accounting Education Standards Board.
  • Freeman, M & Wells, P. (2015) Reducing the Expectation Gap — Using Successful Early Career Graduates to Identify the Skills and Capabilities that Count.  In Guthrie, J., Evans, E., & Burritt, R. (Eds): Future Proofing the Profession – Preparing Business Leaders and Finance Professionals for 2025.    CAANZ.
  • Wells, P.K., Gerbic, P., Kranenburg, I., & Bygrave, J. (2012) Professional skills and capabilities of accounting graduates: The New Zealand Expectation Gap. In E. Evans, R. Juchau & R. Wilson (Eds.) The Interface of Accounting Education and Professional Training. Routledge.
  • Wells, P.K. (2011) Managing a Project, Becoming Obsessed, and Getting Through. In M. Waring, & K. Kearins (Eds.) Thesis Survivor Stories. AUT Media.
  • Wells P.K., Dixon, B.R. & Ridgeway, E. (1999) Accounting Principles, Third Edition, Addison Wesley Longman.
  • Fonseka, A., Gourdie, J., Lamdin, C., Rees, J., Wells, P. & Wright, K. (1998) Study Guide for NZ Society of Accountants Final Qualifying Examination, FQE Group, Second Edition.
  • Wells, PK. (1995) The Waikato Polytechnic Management Information System, in McQueen, RJ. Cases in Information Technology Policy, University of Waikato.
  • Fonseka, A., Gourdie, J., Lamdin, C., Rees, J., Wells, P. & Wright, K. (1995) Study Guide for NZ Society of Accountants Final Qualifying Examination, FQE Group.
  • Wells, P.K. & Dixon, B.R. (1995) Accounting Principles, Second Edition, Longman Paul.
  • Wells, P.K. & Dixon, B.R. (1993), Accounting Systems, An Introduction, Longman Paul.
  • Wells, P.K. & Dixon, B.R. (1992), Accounting Principles, Longman Paul.
  • Dixon, B.R., Murphy, J.K. & Wells, P.K., (1988) Accounting: A Logical Approach, Pitman, New Edition.


  • AFAANZ Fellow (2017)