Meet Memphian and Certified Public Accountant Ashley Garrison. A graduate of the University of Memphis, she was a member of Beta Alpha Psi (a national accounting honor society), president of the Black Students Association, and a member of the Epsilon Epsilon chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. She graduated with a Bachelor's and Master's in Accounting and went on to secure a position with Fortune 500 company, International Paper. However, in 2020 she decided to make a career change and start working for herself! She is now the owner and managing partner of a full-service boutique accounting firm, GRF Financials, LLC., headquartered in Memphis, TN. Outside of running her business, she is currently involved with two local nonprofits, 'Youth Behind The Music' - board member and 'STS Enterprise - exec team member. She is a mentor, an amazing mother, and a closet painter! And Oh! My girl is currently a member of the National Society of Black Certified Public Accountants. Apart of an industry where she only accounts for 2%,(according to New York Times and multiple other articles black accountants only make up 2% of the industry)Ashley is thriving growing at a rate of 150% each year since going full-time. She is extremely passionate about accounting and her city! She attributes that passion to why Memphis was the only place that came to mind when she thought about starting her company.
"It was important to me that I start my company in the city that raised me. I wanted the work that I do to reflect the amazing city that I am from."
Specializing in small businesses, she offers a variety of services. She can assist with your individual taxes, business federal tax reporting, state business regulations, and be your virtual CFO. I can personally attest to the level of professionalism and hard work that's offered by GRF. I am currently a client (individual taxes for now) and never worry about anything tax-related. I literally just give Ashely all of my tax documents and wait on an email from the IRS saying documents received. And even when an issue arises she handles it without hesitation. For example, I received a letter in January of 2021 stating that I owed the IRS $800+. I was thoroughly confused and furious. I file my taxes every year and allow the max to be taken out of any income. I informed Ashley, she immediately told me to scan the document to her and that she would contact the IRS on my behalf. It wasn't long before I knew why I owed the IRS. The fee was due to me not having insurance for two years. I was still mad, the reason I didn't have insurance was due to me being unemployed for two years(scressful). However, Ashley assured me that everything would be okay and that she would handle it. She also told me that she could get the amount lowered. She was successful! That's what kind of service you can expect from GRF! You can expect to be handled with care, someone that is knowledgeable, professional, punctual, and thorough.
"I want to use my skills and gift (of all things accounting) to make a difference. To give individuals and business owners a full understanding of their financial position and tax liability."
Now that you have been properly introduced to Ashley and GRF Financials, I highly suggest that you contact them now! If you're a business owner, thinking about starting a business, or want to get your individual tax situation in order, contact GRF ASAP! The last day to file your federal income tax isn't until April 18, 2022, so you have time to make GRF Financials your new firm!
For more information and a list of services, please visit GRF's website! Follow them on Facebook and Instagram!
Aligned with our theme of “Indulging in the Culture" to honor Black History Month, I attended the premiere of Memphis Jookin’: The Show Friday night at the Orpheum Theatre. This original production featured dance artist, Lil Buck, as he paid homage to his hometown, Memphis. Jookin' is a dance technique that originated in Memphis during the 80's.
I love that the tour premiered in such an iconic venue, The Orpheum. It’s important that our culture is showcased in beautiful venues and is valued as art. Because Jookin’ is just as artistic as ballet, tap, and any other dance form. The show was phenomenal and Memphis AF! They took the audience down memory lane paying homage to the legendary DJ Spanish Fly and his contribution to creating gangsta music mixtapes. My favorite part of the evening was the throwback rendition of Crystal Palace skate nights. From the music, to the disco ball, and a few of the performers actually roller skating on stage, it created the ultimate nostalgic setting of Memphis in the 90's. It felt like I was on those hardwood floors at the Palace watching a live Jookin battle! Oh wait. I was watching a live Jookin battle! Out of nowhere the performers came to the front of the stage, asking the audience, "What hood you from?" Screams of NORTH, SOUTH, MOUND came from the crowd. Two sets of dancers battled each other, representing North Memphis and South Memphis. They were gliding across the stage and breaking ankles left to right.
The show also had a few tear jerking moments as the youngest cast member shared her experiences with the dance team and how much it mean to be living out her dreams at 16. Another soloist did a tribute to his late father ,OG Willie, who introduced him to the art of jookin. Lil Buck also performed with a video playing in the background describing his passion for the dance community in Memphis. He jokingly shared how he first saw Jookin at the crystal palace and how OG dancers critiqued his work saying his moves weren’t “gangsta” enough.
But with grind + grit, in true Memphis fashion, Lil Buck has perfected his art and is sharing his love for Jookin across the nation. Be sure to follow his IG and check out the tour’s website so that you won’t miss the opportunity to see this showcase in person!
By Janessa - Blogger, Plug901
February 15, 2021