BST & Co. CPAs, LLP – one of the Capital Region’s leading accounting and management consulting firms and a pioneer in outsourcing solutions – is shattering stereotypes and giving the next generation of financial leaders an early introduction into how state of the art technology is shaping the future of accounting and auditing.
“Accounting is starting to feel a lot more like Fortnite than elementary spreadsheets,” said Jeremy Cole who is a Senior Manager with BST in the firm’s Tax Department. “Creativity and ingenuity are just as important as making sure the numbers line up in modern accounting. Programs like these help us introduce careers in accounting to students who may not have considered one previously.”
Cole and BST Tax Partner Kim Wright delivered that message during a presentation to Terry Miller’s Financial Algebra class at Averill Park High School on Wednesday, December 13. Beth van Bladel, a Director of BST’s CFO for Hire Division, and Laura Grippin, a CFO for Hire Associate, followed up with another session with students on Thursday, Dec. 14.
Miller’s class focuses on financial literacy and was the perfect launching pad for the new presentation series coordinated by the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants (NYSSCPA) Northeast Chapter and featuring experts from BST & Co. in two of the five sessions. The goal is to share with high school students how the accounting field is changing and where new associates will fit in.
“I want to, first, thank all of the people who came into my classes to discuss what accounting is and how to become a CPA. The wealth of knowledge that was shared was so valuable for my students. They now know what types of opportunities they could have in this field. Over 120 students now have a better understanding of the field. I am hoping that this becomes an annual event for my classes,” Miller said.
“New technologies are upending rudimentary number-crunching and firms need reliable and qualified people to understand and harness the changes currently rippling through the industry,” said van Bladel. “Starting salaries are rising into the $55,000-plus range. Now add these factors to traditional career stability and security, and the future of accounting looks like an exciting prospect for students to consider.”
Van Bladel is the current Northeast Chapter President of the NYSSCPA, chairs the Northeast Chapter CFO Committee, and co-chairs the Annual NYSSCPA Business and Industry Conference.
Beyond the technical breakthroughs and financial incentives, van Bladel noted that there are emerging opportunities for women and first-generation college graduates in the field. Both populations are ideal candidates in an industry that is facing growing pains after peaking in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis.
According to Revelio Labs Inc., a provider of workplace data, 2021 saw a 15.9% drop in incoming accountants and auditors primarily due to the misperception that the field is tedious and that starting wages are stagnating, despite the high-tech reality of growing compensation.
“If there is a company or organization that you love – Disney, NASA, Major League Baseball, Doctors Without Borders, or, yes, even Epic Game [the company that develops Fortnite] – it needs qualified accountants and auditors to keep everything moving in the right direction,” van Bladel said.
If a high school or college would like to schedule a presentation, contact Beth van Bladel at [email protected].