This report outlines the findings of case study research into flexible work practices in the New Zealand accounting sector undertaken by the Ministry of Women’s Affairs between January and May 2010.

The research inquired into the nature and prevalence of flexible workplaces and flexible work practices within the sector and, in particular, to what degree flexibility was utilised as a response to significant challenges facing the sector, including:

  • skills shortages, particularly among senior chartered accountants
  • demographic challenges with the peak age for accountants between 35 to 39 years; but notably more women in the workforce aged under 45 than men
  • an increasing number of women entering the profession, with female accounting graduates outnumbering male graduates in the past ten years
  • the need to retain younger people, the majority of whom are and will be women, in the profession to assist in combating these challenges.