Don Jones has known since high school what he wanted to do.
At his recent 20-year high school reunion, he was reminded from his yearbook that he knew he wanted to be a “successful accountant in the business world.”
Now the owner of Jones & Associates, Inc., public accounting firm is celebrating the success of being voted best accountant in the Craig Daily Press’ Best of Moffat County contest.
“It’s an honor,” Jones said of the accomplishment. “It shows me that my clients respect what I’m doing.”
Jones was born and raised in Craig, earned his bachelor’s degree in business from Fort Lewis College in Durango and returned to Craig to begin his accounting career under CPA Greg Hamilton.
Jones later worked with Denise Arola of Arola & Associates, buying the company in 2009 and re-naming it Jones & Associates.
Jones has been married to his wife, Misty, for nearly 16 years, and the couple has two daughters, Ellina, 8, and Alexis, who turns 6 this week. He enjoys fishing, camping and golf in his spare time.
But many times, time is not something Jones has an abundance of. With about 450 business and personal returns to process each year in his office, Jones said weeks during tax season can reach 90 hours.
And other parts of the year he and his staff — two full-time employees and one seasonal worker — are busy completing extensions and businesses’ bookkeeping.
“It’s year-round,” Jones said. “It’s not four months a year like everybody thinks.”
No matter the long hours, Jones said accounting continues to hold his interest.
“I have to do the same job for every person. I have to get to a bottom line,” Jones said. “But how I get to that bottom line is different for everyone.
“I love a good challenge.”
When it comes to customer service, Jones said his long family history in the community — his great-grandmother homesteaded east of Craig in 1918 — helps him understand the cultural and economic factors that affect residents.
“That helps me — knowing the community,” Jones said. “I think that helps our business so I can communicate with our clients.”
As Moffat County’s best accountant looks toward his future, he doesn’t see anything changing the good thing he’s got going.
“I can’t see myself doing anything else,” Jones said.
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