Princess Clark, the owner of accounting and tax agency Jasmine Rose Financial, is now among 41 Comcast RISE award recipients in Virginia.
The Comcast RISE program was launched in 2020 and is part of a $100 million initiative to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion. RISE, which stands for Representation, Investment, Strength, and Empowerment, was developed to support, strengthen and empower black, indigenous, and people of color small businesses.
Award recipients receive one or a combination of technology makeovers, consulting, media, or production services from Comcast. Clark was awarded a technology makeover for her business.
Jasmine Rose Financial was established in Woodbridge in 2012, but Clark started working in the financial industry in 2002. Clark began her career in Chicago where she attended the University of Chicago. She said that she set out to help women take control of their finances, which led her to the Virginia region. In 2015, she formally opened up her office and started to expand her services and customer base.
“We help small business owners and now some nonprofits, along with their family and employees. We do tax planning, tax resolution, payroll support, account management, and bookkeeping,” said Clark.
Clark said that her firm works with their clients to manage their cash so that they can reach their financial goals with a plan to get there.
Clark said many of the individuals that she worked with didn’t have an accountant or a formal process to manage their cash flow. She said they were using services like Turbo Tax while driving much of their business using their personal income.
One of the ways Clark invests back into the community is through education.
“I’ve been educating, coaching, and developing people along with providing a valuable, much-needed service,” said Clark, “A lot of people are practicing more in their craft and not their work.”
Clark said her investment in working with her clients to reach their financial goals has helped some of them move from being home-based businesses to open their own offices.
Clark said the pandemic has presented its share of challenges over the last year. One of her most significant adjustments was getting used to virtual appointments.
“My business is very personal. When you talk about someone’s money or even taxes, there’s a bit of insecurity,” said Clark. “Switching over to a virtual environment and still showing that it’s financially sound because we still have to meet the regulations of the IRS and other government agencies, has been a challenge for me.”
Clark said transitioning to a virtual environment where she was doing everything through Zoom was not only difficult for her but also her clients because she had to educate them on this new process.
Clark has been able to help her clients apply for grants and funding throughout the pandemic as their businesses struggled.
“It makes me feel good that just having your books in order prepares you for a pandemic or even what’s next,” she said.
Receiving support from the Comcast RISE program has helped Clark navigate through the pandemic and address business needs that she would not have been able to invest in otherwise.
“What I realized is that we have more documents on servers. We have more people accessing our database, and it was lagging and everything was really suffering. And then I heard about Comcast working with African Americans to help them with technology, and the way people feel about money, finances, and taxes is how I felt about technology. I didn’t know exactly what I needed, but I knew I needed something,” said Clark.
Clark said Comcast updated their internet, educated her on what she needed, put cybersecurity in place, and their technology is now faster and more efficient for them to serve their clients the way they need to.
Clark said the Comcast RISE program has helped bridge the gap in offering support and mentorship to the African American community.
“You’re out there trying to put a puzzle together, and you know what the puzzle should look like, but you don’t know where the piece goes. You don’t even know if you might be missing a piece,” Clark said, “But if you have a mentor or a support network who has pieces of information that you lack, you can put the puzzle together.”