Professor Alan MacGregor had had a variety of jobs including draughtsman, banker, and army officer (Royal Corps of Signals) before qualifying as an accountant in the UK where he worked as both a cost accountant and financial controller in the engineering industry. After undertaking an MBA degree (Cranfield University) he became an academic in Western Australia.
He came to the University of Otago over 30 years ago and taught in the Department of Accounting and Finance, which later became the Department of Accounting and Business Law. He completed his PhD at Otago (World Views of Accounting Theorists): external examiners Professor RR Sterling and Professor A Belkaoui), and he headed the Department for about 15 years. He also served as Deputy Dean and Director of the Advanced Business Programme, and finished his academic career as Pro-Vice-Chancellor of the Commerce Division.
His teaching experience has covered Financial Accounting (all degree levels), Finance (MBA level) and Research Methods (Honours and Postgraduate Levels). He has number of academic and professional publications, and also teaching manuals for the (then) Investment Analysts Society (NZ) and the Share brokers Association (NZ).
He has served on many University committees and also been a University representative for business papers on the NZQA.
After retirement he served as the moderator for the Institute of Chartered Accountants of New Zealand professional examinations (PCEII). In his time, he has been a Fellow of the Certified Accountants in the UK, a Fellow of the CPA's in Australia and a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of New Zealand.
He has served as the Treasurer for the Schizophrenia Fellowship and the Alzheimer's Society in Otago, and chaired the Board of a company Iso-trace Ltd. He has served on the board of Cargill Enterprises (the trading name of Disabled Citizens' Society (Otago) Inc.) and has written funding applications for them and served on their health and safety committee.