[Where Y'at Magazine Staff Provided Photo]

Meet Chris and Mia, Your Tax Superheroes

00:00 January 21, 2017
By: Emil Flemmon

Making financial literacy tangible for everyone at all income brackets.” ~ Southeast Financial & Company

With tax season in session, Southeast Financial & Company wants to introduce comfort to people of various tax brackets with ease. Owners Christopher Sandifer and Mia Harrison-Fagan are serving not only the New Orleans area, but Fla., MS., and slated dates for this year in the Atlanta and Houston area.

What was great about listening to both of them, during a sit-down on Jan. 19, was that they communicated openly about financial education and not just some premptive notion from a tax franchise, but they expressed the reality of customer care. 

Check out their company objective:

Southeast Financial & Co. is a Financial Service based business specializing in tax preparation, payroll services and credit restoration. Our hybrid business model allows us to fulfill the needs of both individuals and businesses across the United States.

Our company uses industry-leading technology to bring services to any home or business equipped with an Internet accessible computer or smartphone.

While technology is at the forefront of our business, we understand some people find technology intimidating or find themselves too busy to upload documents. We offer those individuals local document pick up in the areas surrounding our walk-in offices in Tampa, FL; New Orleans, LA; and Magee, MS.

Now on to the meat and potatoes, Where Y'at spoke with owners Hagan and Sandifer regarding how their services originated and why they aren’t the archetype of other “fast tax” based companies:

On the motivation to start a business based on taxes:

She and I had financial troubles, at some point in life, and we wanted to escape the college mentality like getting the refund checks and now being on your own as an adult. Through that, I learned how to repair credit and prepare taxes and I wanted to understand the ins-and-outs of money and Mia had a similar path which led us both to learn how to deal with money management.

On what areas the company focuses on:

We provide credit restoration, tax prep, booking and payroll for small business which are the main services we provide.

On how they differ from other fast tax based companies:

We have a number of convenience tools. We try to be very tech savy in this business. We have systems in place to help decrease the wait time for individuals coming into the office, we have drop off systems and pick up systems to help those who can’t make it to the office. We wanted to make things virtual, and create a systematic approach to getting taxes expedited. Overall, we deal with efficiency. We want to have staff members who don’t treat this like some ‘9-5’ and have a caring attitude. We want to be a corporate giant within a small business realm.

On tax offices appealing to a certain income bracket regarding people of color:

What franchises do is target a certain income demographic which tends to bring in a certain type of crowd with an education level to match. The tax preparer should want to educate the customer more by offering clear cut picture of what’s going on with the return. You’re not getting more money because I’m magical [laughs]. We want to maximize your tax return.

Hagan added that a self-preparation service, such as Turbo Tax, isn’t as attractive as one may think. Sure, its demonstration is grand with an “I can do it myself” motto, but she explains when you’re cutting the tax preparer out of the equation, customers minimize their knowledge of current tax laws. That in turn doesn’t help you gain the most of your refund which is the opposite of what customers want. 

We do learn that financial literacy is a gain as is with all knowledge and how one chooses to apply it. The duo has been able to capitalize off the success of their business by partnering up with local colleges such as Tulane, Xavier and financial classes to better equip the community during outreach. To express their continued devotion in helping the community, Southeast Financial & Company will host a 'Family Day' on Jan. 28 in which the quest for power through knowledge will be given. 

The five star rated tax preparation company can be found here for more information to enslist their services. 


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