Al-Nesha Jones-Holiday, CPA, MBA – 2021 40 Under 40 Honoree
Founder + CPA
I started my career at the prestigious Big 4 Accounting Firm, EY, as an audit professional. During my time at EY, I worked on the audits of Fortune 100 companies and was granted the opportunity to participate in several diversity & inclusion efforts. After 4 years, I accepted a position at Prudential where I had the opportunity to write financial reports like the ones I previously audited. The highlights of my career at Prudential were developing and training team members, leading CPE courses as part of the Company’s professional training efforts, and before I resigned, I played a crucial role in a huge restructuring transaction. In 2016, I started ASE Group, where I’ve had the opportunity to be a solution for entrepreneurs in my community while also creating meaningful, flexible careers for other women like myself – those that needed flexibility to meet personal demands but still desired a rewarding career.
What are you doing to make a difference in the profession, your community, the world?
I’m passionate about (1) increasing the number of sustainable small businesses in marginalized communities through education, support, mentorship, and advisory; (2) increasing the number of African-American CPAs and improving the overall diversity in the accounting profession, and (3) eliminating the stigma that accountants must be burned out and overworked to be successful. In addition to supporting small business owners, the accounting profession, and my community, I also strongly support my team by encouraging employees to work remotely full-time using a reduced workweek model to truly balance work and home, and give equitable time to the ‘nouns’ that matter most.
Favorite books/websites/podcasts/speakers/bloggers that you find influential:
My current favorite books are: Feeding the Soul by Tabitha Brown, We Should All Be Millionaires by Rachel Rodgers, Who by Geoff Smart and Randy Street, and Atomic Habits by James Clear.
What do you like best about the accounting profession?
It’s the variety for me. I’ve only ever been an accountant from the day I graduated college. I remember one of my favorite college professors, who played a major role in my decision to start my career at a Big 4 firm, telling me that opportunities were endless for accountants. She was right. Not only have I always had several opportunities to choose from, but as my interests shifted, I was able to explore different paths within the same field. Audit, tax, financial reporting, bookkeeping, small business taxation, consulting, advisory, management… I’ve been able to try it all without switching professions.