Member Spotlight: Ms. Jane Accounting
An Accountant and Ally Focused on Helping BIPOC Build Generational Wealth Through Cannabis
Her business may be all about money, but her true mission lies in helping BIPOC build generational wealth through cannabis.
Angela L’Esperance is the founder of Ms. Jane Accounting, an accounting collaborative that is connected across the USA with cannabis accountants, tax preparers, and other professionals. The accounting firm works solely for cannabis, holding an advance grasp on compliance requirements when it comes to the money of the growing, and often complicated industry.
Ms. Jane Accounting holds social justice and diversity, equity, and inclusion as central to their mission, dedicated to uplifting their fellow women, BIPOC, and LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs in cannabis.
An Ally in Cannabis & All Things Tax Accounting
For Angela, being an ally within the cannabis industry means “providing support where the support isn’t already being provided,” which is what is unique about the services she offers.
The firm provides services like completing monthly financials, providing financial education, ensuring state-specific financial and 280E compliance, and you can even “outsource” Ms. Jane Accounting’s team to act as CFOs (Chief Financial Officers) within small businesses.
Part of Ms. Jane Accounting’s business model is ensuring that accounting services are financially accessible for social equity applicants, recognizing that finances overall are a large barrier for any startup cannabis company.
A Long Career Moves to a Specific Mission
With an inherent entrepreneurial mindset, Angela started her first business at the age of 21 while in college. Over 17 years, she specialized in tax and accounting, taking all opportunities to diversify her experience so that she could serve small businesses as a trusted tax and accounting advisor. After a while, she found herself managing up to 70 small businesses, and working 80 hours a week.
At this point, it was time for Angela to reconsider her focus and turned to the growing cannabis industry as a way to specialize the experience she had gained as a CFO (Chief Financial Officer) for small businesses.
Angela entered into the cannabis space with a specific determination to offer her tax and accounting services to social equity applicants, eager to do her part to help make reparations for the damages brought against black and brown people as a result of the War on Drugs.
“Not all communities have the same access to capital, education, or resources,” says Angela, “Being criminalized for cannabis has proved to be more than just a set back. For many, it has caused a lifetime of limitations and discrimination. Meanwhile, some are making millions off the same plant. We’re here to help bridge that gap. To help serve those who have been wronged by the system.”
“Accounting is an essential service for running a business, and it’s one of the first things that gets put on the backburner,” adds Angela, “It takes money to make money, despite the disproportionate access to funds and capital, we are here to provide the resources, the essential services and to give a leg up.”
According to Ms. Jane Accounting, over 80% of cannabis businesses don’t have accurate books and taxes due to lack of cannabis accounting and tax expertise. This could lead to substantial penalties and fines.
Angela’s Advice for Emerging BIPOC Cannabis Entrepreneurs
“Getting an accountant can be a touchy subject when you’re in cannabis. It’s not like any other industry,” says Angela. “Because cannabis is so highly regulated and audited, emerging cannabis businesses will want someone who works in cannabis 24/7 to look after your books and keep your records.”
Angela explains that too often cannabis businesses rely on do-it-yourself accounting software that neglects the intricacies of the financials of cannabis. Because of this, she has worked with clients to clean up financial messes, which has now become her strength. Some clean-up projects could be costly for clients, which is why she suggests having a cannabis specialized accountant.
Ms. Jane Accounting also provides advisory services to their social equity applicants that help them make sound decisions about their investors. Angela points out that predatory investors can prey on BIPOC cannabis entrepreneurs, offering them funding for their companies in exchange for majority ownership. She advises that anyone making a deal with investors should have their accountant and lawyer look over all the details before signing.
Accounting & Tax Services for Generational Wealth
Angela L’Esperance is keen on using her tax and accounting expertise and services to help BIPOC cannabis entrepreneurs build generational wealth. “This is the time we need to give back to these communities and give them full ownership, let them thrive, and be sustainable,” says Angela.
Ms. Jane Accounting can be accessed by visiting www.msjaneaccounting.com
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