Research focus

The Department undertakes research on fundamental issues of accounting affecting the business community and regulatory authorities. In particular our research focus embraces:

Accounting Education

Accounting education research at the Department of Accounting is focused on students’ issues. The research investigates students’ motivations, skills, characteristics, approaches to learning and career interests to provide a better understanding of their academic performance and choice of accountancy as a major and career. Factors studied include learning style preferences, learners’ characteristics and assessment methods, and study choices of business students.

Accounting Information Systems

Information technology plays an important role in today's organisations. Accounting information systems are widely used to process business transactions and for financial reporting. The Department research in this area focuses on the intersection of accounting, information systems and computer science in order to develop novel data analysis techniques and to apply existing ones to accounting and auditing.


The main area of research and expertise is assurance. This research examines the role of auditing in corporate governance and auditing in the private sector, the public sector and the not-for profit sector. Research done in these areas contributes to the development of professional standards, guidance and policies for practising auditors in New Zealand.

Corporate Accounting and Reporting

The areas covered by corporate accounting and reporting researchers within the Department of Accounting at AUT include main-stream financial accounting topics such as fair value accounting and revaluations, deferred tax liability accounting, accounting for goodwill, and comprehensive income accounting;  new disclosure issues such as reporting for sustainability, voluntary disclosure and non-GAAP reporting, accounting quality, corporate governance, and international accounting and IFRS adoption and implementation; emerging issues such as integrated reporting, and accounting and reporting for carbon and other externalities; and sector-based topics such as public sector reporting, reporting by not-for-profit organisations, and reporting by Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). Department staff use a wide range of theoretical and methodological approaches, including archival, case-based, survey-based, and theoretical analysis.

Managerial Accounting and Reporting

Management accounting and reporting research in the Department is concerned with both financial and non-financial information used by managers at various levels in private, not for profit, and public sector organisations. The Department’s researchers deal with a broad range of topics such as costing and revenue management systems, behavioural aspects of management control systems, and performance measurement systems. They use a variety of research methods and theoretical perspectives.

Sustainability Accounting and Accountability

This research considers the motivations, including the theoretical frameworks, for corporate social and environmental reporting for a wide range of organisations, including for profit companies, not-for-profits, NGOs and public sector organisations. The implications of this kind of reporting (often referred to as corporate social responsibility (CSR) or sustainability reporting) for a range of stakeholders is investigated. Social and environmental aspects of corporate behaviour and reporting includes a range of media and reports, including integrated reporting (IR), extent and quality of reporting, determinants of reporting as well as governance and behavioural aspects of both organisations and stakeholders. Aspects of reliability including independent assurance and external/shadow accounting are also considered. Qualitative and quantitative approaches are used. A range of contemporary CSR issues such as climate change, and biodiversity within organisations and their supply chains, including conflict minerals, social business models and organisations operating in both developed and emerging countries are considered in this research.


The Department of Accounting taxation staff is actively involved not only in legal research on core tax areas covering various tax base issues, tax payers’ rights and revenue’s powers, international tax issues but also on tax evasion and ethical issues, tax practitioner and client relationship issues and various tax compliance issues for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). An interdisciplinary approach is adopted in many of the studies drawing on various economics and social perspectives.

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