Te Aka Pouhoko, Pouoha Tōpū O Aotearoa

Accounting Profile

The purpose of this statement is to provide members with NZCETA policy on accounting in secondary schools. It can be used to:

  • Provide input to the development of an individual school’s policy statement;
  • Provide information to be used in curriculum co-ordination exercises;
  • Develop an individual school’s prospectus and curriculum programmes;
  • Provide information for use with students, parents and the wider school community.


Accounting is the process of preparing and communicating financial information to assist decision-makers to make relevant, accurate and timely decisions.


A study of accounting will enable students to understand the processes involved in recording, reporting, analysing and interpreting financial information for individuals, community organisations and businesses.

Links with the New Zealand Curriculum

Accounting programmes will address the New Zealand Curriculum requirements relating to the Principles, Values, and Key Competencies (Thinking, Using language, symbols and texts, Managing self, Relating to others, Participating, and contributing): as well as the individual school’s Mission Statement and Strategic Goals.

Accounting has learning objectives that describe the intended outcomes at Levels 6, 7 and 8 of the New Zealand Curriculum. The teaching of Accounting at Level 5 of the New Zealand Curriculum covers achievement objectives from both Social Sciences and English.

Entry Points

Accounting is usually offered as a course (or part of a course) of study in secondary schools at Years 9, 10, 11, 12 and 13.

Accounting Landscape

The teaching of Accounting follows the Key Competencies, Values and Principles of the New Zealand Curriculum.  The New Zealand Curriculum does not state specific achievement objectives for accounting at levels 6, 7 and 8 so learning objectives have been developed to describe the intended outcomes for this subject. These are available in the Teaching and Learning Guide for Accounting. At Level 5 of the New Zealand Curriculum the teaching of Accounting covers achievement objectives from both Social Sciences and English.

Senior Subject Teaching and Learning Guide for Accounting

This document includes the Learning Objectives; Indicators of content; Context elaborations and links to both the New Zealand Curriculum and the Te Marautanga o Aotearoa.  Refer to:  Senior Subject Teaching and Learning Guide for Accounting

CETA Accounting handbooks

There are booklets for Levels 5, 6, 7 and 8 of the New Zealand Curriculum.  These booklets has been developed to assist schools and teachers when designing and implementing programmes for Accounting appropriate for The New Zealand Curriculum; the Accounting Learning Objectives and assessing using the NCEA Achievement Standards. It further develops the Senior Secondary Teaching and Learning Guidelines for Accounting published by the Ministry of Education.

Programme Planning

When designing a programme for any level of Accounting (Levels 5 – 8 of the New Zealand Curriculum), the documents to refer to are the New Zealand Curriculum, the Senior Subject Teaching and Learning Guidelines and the CETA handbooks.

Accounting Matrix

The matrix outlines the Achievement Standards available for assessment at Levels 1, 2 and 3 (Levels 6, 7 and 8 of the New Zealand Curriculum).  Refer here to find the link to the Matrix document:  Accounting Matrix

Achievement Standards

Level One

28 credits available – 12 external credits and 16 internal credits

Level Two

27 credits available – 13 external credits and 14 internal credits

Level Three

26 credits available – 13 external credits and 13 internal credits

The following documents are all available on the NZQA Accounting web page. 


The Ministry of Education in conjunction with NZQA have published appendices on the external assessment in Accounting.  These detail the specific format for financial reports and other details about external standards.

Assessment Specifications

these are published in March of every year and they detail any specific details about that year’s external examination.  These are available at each level on the NZQA website.

Past Exam Papers 

The past NZQA examination papers are available on the NZQA website, along with assessment schedules (answers).

Examiner’s Reports

Every year the examiner writes a report about the previous year’s examination.  These are available in March/April of the year following the examination.  These are known as assessment reports on the NZQA website.

NZQA Approved Assessment Resources

These are examples of internal assessments that are designed to be used in class after adapting them specifically for your school.  These are available for each level  
Refer to:  Internal Assessment Resources Level 1  Level 2  Level 3

National Moderator’s Newsletter

The national moderator in Accounting writes newsletters from time to time about internal assessment.

Clarification Documents

The national moderator in Accounting periodically writes a document for a specific internal achievement standard clarifying any issues with the assessment of that standard. 

Best Practice Workshops

The national moderator in Accounting runs workshops online covering the internal assessment in Accounting, information can be found on the NZQA website. 


The performance standard for Scholarship, previous examination papers, schedules, examples of student work and the current assessment specification are available on the Scholarship Accounting page on the NZQA website.  Refer to:  Scholarship material