Focus on Accounting

Assistant Professor of Business Heidi Durkee sees a bright future for SUNY Adirondack Accounting majors.

Assistant Professor of Business Heidi Durkee sees a bright future for SUNY Adirondack Accounting majors.

Program adjusts to industry demands

SUNY Adirondack’s Business division recently modified the college’s Accounting degree to an associate of science to better meet the needs of its students and the business community.

“This program is designed to improve the preparation of our students who are transferring to bachelor’s programs in accounting, while also providing them with certain ‘micro-credentials,’ such as a knowledge of QuickBooks, which will help them find employment before completing their B.S. in Accounting,” said Heidi Durkee, assistant professor of Business.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of accountants and auditors is projected to grow 10 percent through 2026, faster than the average for all occupations.

"The College's Accounting degree is important to the region in that it gives our area students a solid baseline of foundational knowledge in generally accepted accounting practices and principles that can be utilized by them in starting their own businesses or assisting existing businesses as employees," said John Arpey, associate professor of Business. "It also provides our region with a base of students who may also pursue more advanced degrees in accounting and related fields. Many of them will stay in our area or return to our area upon completion of their education and provide a level of expertise in this important field of business management and planning."

Whitney Richardson, a 2019 graduate of SUNY Plattsburgh’s bachelor’s degree program, felt SUNY Adirondack prepared her well for the next step in her education.

“I graduated with a double major in Business Administration and Accounting as well as minors in Finance and Supply Chain Management. I will also have 150 credits in anticipation that I will be completing the CPA exam,” Richardson said. “After graduation, I started a job in Clifton Park with LeverPoint Management firm as staff accountant, and I will be sponsored by them to take the CPA exam.”

Durkee enjoys hearing about her former students’ accomplishments.

“The most rewarding part of teaching our Accounting students is to work with them here at SUNY Adirondack and then see them pursue their bachelor's or master's degree and become employed by a local business or a larger accounting firm. It is rewarding to know that you played a role in their journey,” Durkee said.

Did you know?
SUNY Adirondack graduates can transfer seamlessly to top accredited business schools, including Siena College, SUNY Albany and SUNY Plattsburgh.


Kevin Hayes was recently appointed dot the SUNY Adirondack Board of Trustees.

Kevin Hayes was recently appointed to the SUNY Adirondack Board of Trustees.

Accounting degree leads to leadership role

Kevin Hayes has applied the lessons he learned at SUNY Adirondack to a lifetime of public service.

A native of Argyle, Hayes came to the college in the 1970s and soon found career inspiration from the faculty.

“I went to school to be a bookkeeper, but Professor Nick Buttino suggested that I might really want to be an accountant. He raised my level of knowledge quite a bit,” Hayes said.

After graduation, he transferred to Siena College, where he earned a bachelor’s in Business Administration.

Hayes worked as a senior accountant for Jenkins and Powers CPA before becoming the first administrator of Washington County, a position he held for 31 years until his retirement in 2015.

“I’m really committed to SUNY Adirondack,” said Hayes, who was recently appointed to the college’s Board of Trustees by Washington County. “I wouldn’t have had the career I had without it. The school literally put me in the right direction. I really believe in the importance of a community college education.”