Grace Quartey’s son never had to sign up for driver’s ed in high school; he was automatically enrolled. She wishes it was the same with business or financial management classes.
“You come out of high school not even knowing anything about taxes,” she says.
Today, Grace works with people from all walks of life to help them understand their finances and make educated decisions about their future. It’s why she started Grace & Associates almost 20 years ago.
“Although people worry about finances all the time, it can be overwhelming,” she says. “Most people choose to put their head in the sand rather than tackling it.”
Along with filing taxes for her clients, Grace helps them understand why they get certain credits or refunds and helps them create a budget to prioritize what’s important.
“Helping people navigate their finances and empowering them — it’s very fulfilling,” she says. “Knowledge is power. When you have knowledge, you build confidence, and you know how to navigate this world.”
Hustling to the top
When Grace and her husband moved to York in 1999, she couldn’t find a job as a CPA.
After two years of learning the ropes at an investment bank as a financial consultant, she struck out on her own.
“Naturally, I’m a hustler,” she says. “If I can’t find it, I create it.”
She built her clientele by word of mouth, speaking at places like YWCA York and area churches, teaching people how to understand and take control of their finances.
“I could make a go at what I was doing and be able to empower women in a wholistic way,” she says. “It’s not just financial investment or just taxes but helping people look at the total picture.”
Easing off the gas
A Black woman from Ghana, Grace has faced plenty of difficulties building a business. Now, though, she’s facing a new challenge: taking her foot off the gas.
“I am at a point where I am able partner with others and organizations to
focus on work that broadens opportunities and teach others to fish rather than giving them fish,” Grace says.
She’s built a loyal client base and can focus on her volunteer and nonprofit work while pursuing new opportunities.
“It’s not always about money. You have to learn to save and set yourself up so you’re not aways hustling,” Grace says. “That’s what I teach: Work hard and know when to taper off.”