Intuit® Tax Council Member Profile: Al-Nesha Jones, CPA, MBA

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Al-Nesha JonesWelcome to another in a series of Intuit Tax Council Member profiles. In this article, the focus is on Al-Nesha Jones, CPA, MBA, owner of ASE Group.

Scott Cytron: Tell our readers about your practice.

Al-Nesha Jones: ASE Group is a full-service accounting, tax, and advisory firm focused on empowering small business owners to build strong and sustainable businesses. ASE Group specializes in making the dollars make sense through solid recordkeeping, proactive tax planning, tax preparation, and year-round advisory support for entrepreneurs in the New Jersey/New York/Connecticut/Pennsylvania area. Fun fact: ASE Group is named after my three children: Ava, Savannah, and Eli’sha. 

SC: That’s a great story. Why is the Intuit Tax Council important to the profession?

AJ: The Intuit Tax Council is like a megaphone or an amplifier. It gives us a combined voice, and the opportunity to pool our experiences to create new resources and lead the changes we want to see in the profession. 

SC: What kind of Intuit® software do you use?

AJ: We currently use (and love) QuickBooks® Online and Intuit ProConnect Tax. Cloud-based software is crucial to our firm’s operations.

SC: Tell me several ways COVID-19 impacted your firm and/or your clients?

AJ: COVID-19 had minimal impact to our firm’s physical operations because we operate in a paperless environment and only use cloud-based software, even with a brick-and-mortar location. What we weren’t prepared for was the influx of help our clients would need with the Paycheck Protection Program, Economic Injury Disaster Loan, Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, and other assistance programs that came our way during the pandemic. This was in addition to juggling remote learning with our children, increased family needs, pandemic-related anxiety and … tax season!

We had to temporarily cease taking on new clients so that we could meet the needs of current clients, while attempting to avoid burnout. Many of our clients experienced the importance of pivoting. Some of them were required to temporarily stop operations, while others were considered essential, but struggled with labor shortages, changes in demand, and/or quickly shifting to remote operations. We’ve all learned the importance of contingency planning, maintaining a business reserve fund, and prioritizing self-care.

SC: What was your very first job? 

AJ: I was 16 years old when I started my first job at Checkers, a fast-food restaurant, down the street from my high school. Working a cash register had been my childhood dream job.

SC: How can tax professionals keep up with all the changes in tax laws and regulations?

AJ: Regular CPE credits via live webinars are my favorite way of keeping up. I pace myself with four CPE credits per month to ensure I’m not cramming them in at the end of the year. Relevant CPE from providers that speak in a language that resonates with me is key. The Intuit Tax Pro Center is also a wealth of info, where both articles and webinars can be found for self-study.

SC: We appreciate the shout-out! If you were stranded on a desert island with access to just one kind of technology, what would it be, and why would you want it?

AJ: My iPhone, assuming I have Wi-Fi and battery life. It has my fave pictures, Audible, music apps, and Google. Now that I think about it, a short desert island trip and my iPhone sounds like a dream come true!

SC: Thanks Al-Nesha!

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