BST & Co. CPAs, LLP, one of the Capital Region’s leading accounting and management consulting firms, will participate in a pair of presentations for area high school students at Siena College on Tuesday, July 9. The program is sponsored by the New York State Society of CPAs (NYSSCPA).

The initiative is designed to address the current trend of fewer students graduating with accounting degrees combined with a record number of seasoned professionals who are on the verge of retirement. According to the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, this dynamic is producing a nationwide shortage of accountants.

Three accounting professionals from BST, including Beth van Bladel, Director at BST’s CFO for Hire division and President of the Northeast Chapter of NYSSCPA, will present to students at the Career Opportunities in the Accounting Profession program. Offered at college campuses across the state, it is designed to introduce high school students – many from underrepresented groups – to careers in accounting and finance.

Currently, 33 students representing 18 area high schools are planning to attend.

Experts from BST will lead two half-hour sessions. Tax Senior Manager Jeremy Cole will discuss Tax Accounting on Tuesday, July 9 from 1:45 p.m. to 2:15 p.m., while van Bladel will join CFO for Hire’s Senior Accounting Specialist Laura Grippin for a presentation on Outsourced Accounting Services from 2:15 p.m. to 2:45 p.m.

“We are excited to spend time with these local students who are considering a career in accounting,” said van Bladel. “Our profession is so much more than just tax work. It is the basis for launching careers that include those of chief financial officer, forensics investigator, data analyst, cybersecurity consultant and many more. These classroom sessions allow us to underscore the importance and myriad roles that the accounting industry plays in our everyday life.”

The NYSSCPA Career Opportunities in the Accounting Profession program provides students with real insight into how CPAs influence the business world. It is an important component of NYSSCPA’s efforts to recruit the future generation of accountants.

Students will spend time on the campus of Siena College immersed in accounting programs that have ranked in the top 10% of those offered across the U.S. Despite a decrease in students graduating from accounting programs nationwide, Siena’s accounting program has experienced a recent uptick in enrollment, a reverse in the national trend.

Several members of Siena’s accounting faculty are involved with the coordination of the event, including Department Chair and Assistant Professor Elena Isaacson; Assistant Professor Marie Rice; Teaching Instructor Heidi Durkee; and Teaching Instructor Kayla Waters.

“Siena College’s accounting program has long been recognized as the gold standard in the Capital Region,” said Rashmi Assudani, Ph.D., Dean of Siena’s School of Business. “We are pleased to partner with BST & Co. in helping local students explore the many educational and professional options that can be pursued by studying accounting.”

For more information on BST & Co., visit

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