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Brain drain will claim up to 2000 NZ accountants

Aug 26th, 2011 | By | Category: Front Page Layout, Latest News, News

NEW Zealand’s brain drain looks set to continue – especially in the accounting department.

Some 1284 chartered accountants – 6.5% of the total – are planning on leaving New Zealand’s shores in the next year, according to a recent survey by the New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants.

Further to this, 582 or 18% of provisional members of the institute (a provisional member is an individual currently completing the requirements to become a licensed chartered accountant) also plan on leaving.

The loss will be partially offset by nearly 400 accountants returning to the country over the next six months.

The reasoning for the losses was not explored in depth by the survey, although the opportunity to earn more money may be crucial.

“The main reason I am heading overseas is to set myself up financially for the future,” says Marcus Emery, a tax manager at FNZ.

The relatively small size of the New Zealand market means overseas is the best place for accountants to earn a decent salary.

In New Zealand, a chartered accountant can expect to earn on average $135,000 a year, compared $284,000 in Australia.

Asia is an even more lucrative market, with an average salary $322,000.

The current rate of unemployment for accountants in New Zealand is 1.4% compared to 6.5% across all industries.

The exodus will be partly offset by the anticipated return of one in 10 (394) of those institute members living overseas.

Of those returning, 60% say left for an overseas experience, 56% for the money and just over 50% for career advancement.

The main reasons for returning are the lifestyle (86%) and to start a family (31%).

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is a journalism student at Whitireia who likes nothing more than a good scoop. Except for maybe a double scoop.
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3 comments
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  1. Thanks, very useful article that i think a lot of you will find useful

  2. Hi, where was your statistics sourced from?

  3. Can you clarify when you say Asia, Which countries are you referring here

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