For Grant Jones of Perkins & Co, the realization that security issues extended far beyond securing their physical premises took hold early, when an occasional email would be sent to the wrong recipient due to autofill or firm hardware would be incapacitated due to what was thought to be a harmless download. “It didn’t take a genius to see where the momentum would eventually lead us,” Jones says.
Although security awareness has been on their radar for quite a while, firm leadership recognized that security training was not a one-time event. Recently, Jones started working with Mark Barstow, Director of Information Technology at Perkins & Co, to evaluate whether the firm had the capacity to develop an effective training and monitoring initiative on their own. Barstow identified and evaluated an outside resource that could shortcut their timeframe to success at a reasonable cost, while at the same time allowing the firm to stay an active part of the process.
Although change initiatives sometimes face resistance, Jones and Barstow had no problem generating support. “Leadership at Perkins & Co has always been diligent about our responsibility to keep our systems and, correspondingly, our clients’ information accessible only to those with a legitimate need to use it,” Jones says. Knowing many companies had already dealt with breaches, all of the firm management teams recognized they didn’t want it to happen to them.
The firm is close to wrapping up their assessment phase and will soon begin setting performance goals and planning appropriate training and follow up with the intention of having the system in place before busy season.
Get to know Grant
Jones has lived in Portland, Oregon all of his life, except for the four years he attended the University of Oregon, where he earned his accounting degree. He was first exposed to the CPA profession during a high school math class when a CPA was brought in as a guest speaker.
Jones sees the key to a firm’s success in giving their people the tools to demonstrate that the firm’s objective is to enhance the economic condition of the client in ways large and small. “The young people coming to work for us today want to know that there is purpose in what we do beyond accurately executing compliance services. They want to be a part of why we’re here. It’s up to us to help them see that.”
Outside of work, Jones enjoys cycling and has participated in three Cycle Oregon events. He and his wife Elaine visit Kauai every January where he practices his photography hobby. Jones is the proud parent of two grown children. His daughter is a Communication and Public Affairs Manager for Google, and his son works for Senator Ron Wyden (D-Oregon), focusing on education, transportation and technology issues.
Jones received the Bridging the Gap in Firm Management Award in recognition of his commitment to and passion for firm management and technology at the Boomer Technology Circles 2016 Summit. He has actively participated in the Circles since Perkins & Co joined in 2002.
The Boomer Technology Circles are technology-focused communities that bring together firm and IT leadership from peer accounting firms to share knowledge, experience and insights. For more information on The Boomer Technology Circles, visit us here.