Jaquilla Ross

Ayana Bryant | March 22nd, 2021
Jaquilla Ross

Jaquilla Ross

Far too often, so many people suffer the devastating consequences of bad spending habits. This issue seems to be a direct result of those same individuals being uninformed on the concept of financial literacy. Milwaukee native, Jaquilla Ross of Ross Financial has made it her mission to educate and uplift her community to achieve financial freedom and regain control of their lives.

After graduating from Marquette University in 2011 with a bachelor’s in Accounting, Ross then immediately went on to receive her master’s in Professional Accountancy from The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, graduating in 2013. After experiencing financial hardship of her own, Ross decided that it was her calling to educate others on how to avoid making the same mistakes she did.

Launching Ross Financial, LLC in July of 2016 would help her do just that, and after almost five years in business there is no denying the impact that Ross has made in her community. The relationships she creates with her clients is something she sees as financial therapy. She states, “I’m not a therapist but my coaching sessions are something that really motivates my clients to change their habits.”

Ross Financial prepares personal and business income tax returns, handles bookkeeping and accounting services for small to medium businesses. They also offer financial coaching services. Ross has been able to help her local community save nearly 30,000 dollars in taxes, successfully serving nearly 100 clients every tax season. Throughout the remainder of the year, Ross Financial facilitates financial literacy workshops with organizations such as the African American Chamber of Commerce in Milwaukee, and the North West Side Community Development.

Ross still holds a strong understanding of how it felt to experience her own financial struggles and how a lack of knowledge got her to that place. That period in her life is what really keeps her motivated to continue moving forward and helping others.

Ross adamantly states that it is critical people understand the importance of managing their finances. When asked what major advice she could offer to someone just starting out Ross pushes three solid points. The first one is budgeting, creating a monthly budget will help to show you how much money you have and exactly where it is going. Secondly, be sure to save! A person should always pay themselves first by saving at least 5-10% of their income. Finally, plan for retirement no matter how young you are, “The younger you are the better! Starting off early just allows for more money you will have in the long run” says Ross.

Last year in 2020, Ross Financial helped to secure over 50,000 dollars in grants and payroll protection program funds for clients amid the COVID-19 pandemic. They’ve also had great success in restructuring many of its client’s tax structures. As a result, her clients were able to maximize their refund and nearly double what they originally assumed they would get back.

Along with the success of her business also comes its challenges. One that Ross has faced as a black female business owner has been fighting to be paid her worth. As a woman in this profession Ross notices that it is usually men who are more likely to challenge her prices, and it’s something that she has found to be quite disappointing. Nevertheless, Ross remains determined and says this isn’t something that has discouraged her in her work.

The future looks bright for Ross Financial. As the business continues to take on more and more clients, Ross plans to expand her tax business by one day acquiring an office space with a full staff of tax preparers. However, her current focus is to continue facilitating workshops and securing speaking engagements to educate anyone who would like to learn.

Ross’s ultimate goal is to help her clients make money, keep money, and save money! Her hope is to one day become a global brand and teach others how to build economic wealth.

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