As CEO of an all-encompassing financial agency, the most important thing to Akil Yisreal is the emotional connection between what his firm does and the patrons they serve. In a relatively short amount of time, the New Orleans native, husband and father has gone from assisting with tax preparation and filing to providing a full-fledged managerial financial consulting firm for the central Florida community.
You see, while I, and many other classmates were helping host fraternity parties while struggling and living the life of collegiate undergraduates, Yisrael was preparing taxes, closing on homes, and carrying on a family business of sorts.
Now a dream which began as a business student at Bethune-Cookman University has grown to include offices located and currently serving East Volusia County (South Daytona), West Volusia County (Deltona), and Orange County (Orlando) in Florida, along with their inaugural Focus 9 office located in Orleans Parish serving New Orleans/Westbank in Louisiana.
After finally finding my way from Ormond Beach in decent time (less than half an hour off I-4), I made my way to the office located on a hill at 601 Deltona Blvd, in Deltona. I couldn’t do the man justice except to begin by describing the occasion of my interview with him for this piece. The office wasn’t the easiest to see but once one experiences the top-notch service of the office on the end of the complex, surely you’ll remember how to get there for future visits.
After being greeted by a gracious administrative assistant Hilda Mendoza, who took my relevant information, I took a seat and listened to some smooth jazz and streaming R&B. Soon Mr. Yisrael emerged into the lobby and personally greeted clients Charles and Yvonne Taylor, after ensuring my comfort in his office as he tended to their immediate needs.
A quick survey of the office yielded chic artwork, a Bethune-Cookman University framed diploma, and a marble top desk. (Nice). Out of the corner of my eye I caught a small distinctive insignia with crossed canes bearing the Greek letters, Kappa Alpha Psi. You see, Mr. Yisreal, is a “Kappa Man” and so am I, (but you knew this already).
All-in-one financial consulting
Yisreal wasted no time defining exactly what it is his firm does, all while emphasizing a sincere love for assisting people.
Focus 9 Enterprises provides assistance in the individual and business areas of taxation, accounting, book-keeping, small business start-up, non-profit start-up, auditing, and payroll services.
Initially developed as a marketing and public relations firm, Focus 9 Incorporated played an active role in various professional fields ranging from community activism, journalism, promotions, and political advertising.
Focus 9 Enterprises has developed into a prominent community-based business, with an increasing stronghold on their business niche.
A quick gander at their website at www.focus9enterprises.com will have your head spinning with regards to financial consultation. I soon realized the question isn’t what Focus 9 does, the question became, what is it that Focus 9 doesn’t do? In addition to all-inclusive financial services, the firm has dedicated itself to educating its individual and business clients, while offering a vast array of innovative and cutting edge services in the fields of taxation, accounting, and financial management. Remember the website I mentioned above? They also have a monthly newsletter. You really should check it out.
Yisrael said, education of the masses was a key element in the inception of Focus 9.
As author of this piece, I can personally attest to the personalized service. When I took over four years of unfiled taxes into their office thinking the IRS was going to get me, Allen Knox of Focus 9 effectively cleaned up the situation and set me on the proper course (I still hate the IRS though).
Ready-made staff endowed with business savvy is key
“I’m blessed! Most of my employees have been with me five years and before working for me they had 10 to 15 years of experience in the business. They trusted in me and bought into the concept. I have a very seasoned, qualified, understanding staff and I happen to be one of the youngest members of my own staff. The best part is that my wife takes care of me and puts me in a spot where I know things are being handled at home. It has been a challenge juggling the business with my life as a new husband and father. Sincerely, I’ve been blessed,” he said.
“With a dozen years under their belts the business aspect is great,” Yisrael said. “I’ve been married 9 months, we conceived on our honeymoon. My wife, Brandi, and 2 month-old daughter Nailah are the catalyst for all my efforts,” he said.
I didn’t hire an employee until the business was five years old. I actually began getting clients in college by preparing taxes. I had 800-900 clients before I hired my first employee. I’m blessed,” he said.
Yisrael recalled that, the most difficult aspect of the business he runs is breaking away from individual “face time” with patrons he’s worked with since the firm opened.
“I had 1,200 to 1,300 clients personally, then I expanded and allowed my staff to assist with my clients 2010; between 2002 to 2010 some clients had been with me. It is very difficult assigning clients to my employees because I enjoy the interaction with them and watching their businesses grow and prosper as a direct result of services my firm provides. I had to learn to gradually allow employees to take over some of the clients with which I first started the firm,” he said.
The deadline for filing taxes is April 15th and is fast approaching. Why not drop in at Focus 9 Enterprises and let them become your go-to firm the way I did? You’ll thank them later. Contact Focus 9 Enterprises at: (386)-259–9900.