About - Accounting and Information Systems - University of Canterbury

About Accounting and Information Systems

Accountability, tax, audit, knowledge management, commercial law, sustainability, bookkeeping, financial reporting, information systems, strategy implementation, accounting and so on -- this list of terms and the subjects, ideas, concepts, theories and practices associated with them has changed out of all recognition from when bookkeeping was first taught at the forerunner of the University of Canterbury in the 1870s and when the Bachelor of Commerce and Accounting Professional Examinations were introduced in circa 1905. Much of that change has been as a result of research and innovation conducted among accounting practitioners and by university academics. Such research at Canterbury dates back almost as long as there has been a Bachelor of Commerce and other undergraduate and postgraduate programmes, and in the past 25 years has accelerated through the efforts of past and present staff and students, some of whom are now academics in their own right in various parts of the world.

Department of Accounting and Information Systems

The College of Business and Law is ranked within the world top 100 for Accounting
(2012/13 QS World University Rankings).

The way that research and teaching of accounting, information systems et al. have been organised at Canterbury has also changed significantly over the years. From 2009, another significant structural change has been implemented with the creation of the Department of Accounting and Information Systems and the adoption of the "acronym" ACIS.

The Department comprises about 30 highly motivated, enthusiastic, hardworking and knowledgeable staff.
Their offices are located on the 4th and 5th floors of the Business and Law Building, but most of the time they are to be seen elsewhere, conducting research, which they build into their teaching, presenting lectures, facilitating tutorials, chairing seminars, and so on, and speaking at international conferences, workshops, seminars and symposia.

Learning Programmes

The main result of these staff pursuits is a large band of students participating in a very wide range of high quality courses. These courses comprise challenging learning programmes leading to undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate qualifications. The courses are clustered according to several functional areas of interest: Financial Accounting and Reporting; Auditing; Management Accounting and Control; Information Systems and Technology; Business Law; and Taxation. Although diverse, all of these areas are in some way concerned with facilitating order among the assorted activities of people in public and private companies, public and social enterprises, partnerships, NGOs, sole traders and governmental organisations, transnational, federal, national, state, local and community. While undergraduate and graduate courses facilitate some research-like inquiry on the part of students, at the postgraduate level, courses are not only research-informed, they are research-oriented, and often lead to students producing original ideas, which are then incorporated into undergraduate courses. Postgraduate students sometimes also act as tutors on undergraduate courses, as do alumni and alumnae, whose normal day jobs are in industry, commerce and government. Many of these are chartered (NZICA) or certified accountants (CPA Australia), which is a vocation to which many of the students aspire.


A further significant result of the staff pursuits are publications based on the practical knowledge that research studies have uncovered and the theories induced and deduced from this knowledge. These publications are available to citizens of Canterbury, including UC students, and to the rest of humanity, through such means as the University's libraries, and similar repositories most everywhere, and the World Wide Web. They lead to applications and innovations in industry, commerce, governments and people's lives generally, and to further research among researchers everywhere.

Further Information

The various matters referred to above are elaborated on pages, linked directly and indirectly to this one, about qualifications, courses, research and publications, the College of Business and Law, and the University of Canterbury, and pages for students, alumni, and the community and publics. Should you need assistance, please contact ACIS through acis@canterbury.ac.nz