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Sean Linton

A tale of two logs for a SOC specialist

February 19, 2024

Sean Linton Sean Linton spent a lot of time overseas during his eight years in the Navy. Now, an audit partner specializing in SOC (System and Organization Controls) at EisnerAmper LLP, his occasional visits abroad involve walking through data centers scrutinizing security postures and controls.

But that’s not the only difference.

“The lodging is better now,” he quipped.

Linton certainly didn’t see accounting in his future back then.

Retiring from the Navy was the plan, but when he wanted to finish his college degree, he had two choices: Balance it over several years while performing his military service, or temporarily get out, work through the degree, and rejoin. Linton and his wife, Julie, decided it was best for him to focus on the degree.

Linton pursued accounting for two reasons: 1. It’s a good life skill to be fiscally responsible. 2. His father-in-law was an accountant and that had impressed the young Linton.

“His way of managing money was always admirable,” Linton said.

After earning his degree at Regis University, it was time for Linton to rejoin the Navy. But he didn’t.

Life had evolved, and Linton no longer held the early, early mornings in the same regard as his earlier time as a sailor. He had also bought a home with Julie and they had welcomed a newborn daughter, Lucy, into the world (Lucy now has two little brothers and a little sister). So, instead, Linton secured his first role in financial audit in Colorado, and his initial exposure to the SOC world.

It turned out to be a fortuitous choice. Linton relishes the challenge and effort of understanding each company’s information systems, their respective industries and the risks they face.

"I like that there's a lot of gray areas in SOC," he said. "Unlike financial statement audits where quantitative materiality is hugely important, I like the qualitative materiality of a SOC engagement. It requires the auditor to understand 360 degrees of risk within a client's operations to assess the impact of control deviations."
And while it’s easy to think that Linton’s eight years in the Navy would have made an indelible mark on him still to this day — and they did with respect to punctuality, team dynamics and approaching adversity — after more than 13 years in accounting, Linton can easier list off the mentors and experiences from this world that influence him today as he grows as a leader and CPA.

The power of knowledge

Each year, and for several years leading up to its merger with EisnerAmper, Linton’s firm — then Lurie— sent a cohort of partners through a Harvard Business School multiweek program focused on elevating accounting leaders.

Linton said he enjoyed his earlier higher ed experiences, but after 10 minutes into this first course, “You realize why Harvard is special.”

He said the experience has paid dividends. 

"There was a shift in the way I look at an accounting firm," he said. "It's easy to think about what today holds for me and my team, but what I took away from this program was how to envision what next year looks like and how to prepare for it."
But Linton doesn’t only spend his time as a student. He volunteers on committees both with the MNCPA and AICPA, leading discussions and examinations, and has taught in the SOC space for more than five years.
"I truly love this profession," he said. "I want to see the integrity that exists in the profession continue. I want the public to continue looking at our profession as competent, capable and objective."

Topics: Member Profiles

Corey Butler

Corey Butler is the MNCPA communications manager, working to enhance the professional reputations of members through content, media relations and public affairs. He's been with the MNCPA since 2013. Corey keeps busy outside of the MNCPA spending time with his wife and children, serving on his local school board, volunteering in his community and catching up on long-lost hobbies. Corey enjoys the works of John Steinbeck and Rankin/Bass Productions, and Paul Bunyan, Robin Hood and Santa Claus lore. You may reach him at 952-885-5530 or

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