About Us

KimWasherAbout Our Firm

Established in 2005, Ascend Financial Management, Inc. started with the mission to keep new businesses from failing. Many people start in business doing the task or trade they love only to be working for someone else in a year or so. These failure are generally not due to poor product or services, but rather a lack of business education. Just as many individuals fail to prepare a personal budget or actually manage the finances from something other than the balance in their online bank account, businesses must learn how to prepare, measure, examine, adjust, and measure again the financial position through the preparation of the business budget and financial statements. But, unless you’ve taking a few business classes in college, most new business owners have not been exposed to these tools they so desperately need.

At AFMI, we’ve had the schooling and numbers are our thing! We are the area’s leading provider of financial statement preparation for small to mid-sized businesses encompassing a variety of industries and entity types. We have tailored our services into a systematic and efficient approach which minimizes as much needless client intervention as possible…so you can focus on what you do best, while we focus on what we do best.

Our Mission

Our mission is to provide accurate and timely accounting services through which owners and managers are better equipped to make business decisions, to provide payroll services with exceptional benefits and options to both employers and employees, and to provide the best options and services for tax representation to reach the best possible resolution.

Staff Profiles

Kimberley E. Pollard, EA

Founder and CEO, Kimberley E Pollard, EA has worked in the accounting field for nearly 30 years. During her various tenures as CFO, Controller, and Assistant Controller in a variety of industries, Kimberley exposed herself to education opportunities most accounting students would find laborious and what most accounting professionals would find invaluable. With an exposure to copious industries, Kimberley’s initial informal education became the plinth by which her formal education would be solidified.

Kimberley completed her BA in Accounting from the prestigious Western Governor’s University and is a graduate of the National Tax Practitioner’s Institute. She holds a continued status as an Enrolled Agent – the highest credential the IRS awards – and represents clients before the IRS on matters concerning collections, audits, and other issues requiring advanced representation.

Continued education is an utmost concern for Kimberley and a value she places highly with all of her staff. Education is a lifelong endeavor – it is supposed to take that long. Attending upwards of three to four times the required continued education per year, and with ever changing tax and accounting laws/rules, being current and continuing to expand is a necessity that is taken in high regard.

Outside of the firm, Kimberley is a dedicated mother to two wonderful children, a devoted spouse to her husband Bill Pollard Jr. CPA, and an insatiable lover of wine and chocolate. She is the past VP of Finance for San Joaquin Human Resource Association, a California Notary, QuickBooks Pro Advisor and is a member of several organizations including NAEA, CSEA, National Notary Association, National Society of Accountants, Greater Stockton Chamber of Commerce and the Arkansas Chamber of Commerce.

Linsey Gjerstad
Senior Payroll Specialist

Linsey oversees the issuance of all payroll processing averaging approximately 15,000 payrolls each year. She is a member of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and San Joaquin Human Resource Association. Linsey has a drive for continued education and takes every advantage to learn something new that will benefit our clients and/or their employees. She brings a level of expertise and an energy to educate others to the forefront.

Outside of the office, Linsey is a member of Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and San Joaquin Human Resource Association (SJHRA). She is currently working toward a degree in Accounting with a focus in Human Resources, and attends continuing education courses in an effort to achieve the national certification in Human Resources, SHRM-CP, while taking advantage of two amazing mentors, Kimberley E Pollard CAA EA, President of Ascend Financial Management Inc., and Mike Letizia, SHRM-SCP, President of Letizia HR Solutions and CalSHRM State Director.

Norren McBurney
Administrative Assistant, Office Manager

Norren holds an AA degree in Liberal Studies and a Certificate in Business Administration from San Joaquin Delta College. She has 12 years of experience as an administrator and office manager and is a fresh voice on the phone greeting each client as if family. She is a life-long Stockton resident with a deep passion to serve within her community. This same passion drives her to provide excellent service and care to our team and our clients.

Ashreen Chand
Sr. Bookkeeper

Ashreen holds a BA in Accounting from California State University – Sacramento and has been a member of CSUS Accounting Society since 2008.  Currently she is working on obtaining her Enrolled Agent certification.  Future educational goals include the pursuit of a master’s degree in business.  In the accounting realm for more than 6 years, Ashreen is the Senior Bookkeeper at the firm preparing more than 110 sets of financial statements each period.  She has a vast array of industry experience which lends to client flexibility and business understanding.

Ashreen is a Stockton native with a strong sense of family values.  Outside of the office, she enjoys spending time with her friends and family, attending a variety of sporting events (basketball, baseball and football), loves concerts and enjoys traveling.  This well-rounded, calm-natured character lends to consistency in her work performance.

Twanna Hammons
File Clerk

The newest member to the AFMI team, Twanna has stepped in and stepped up as our file clerk.  She handles the huge amounts of scanned images derived from all sectors of our business – bookkeeping, payroll, sales tax, income tax, and representation in all of its levels.  She is exceptional at organization, is steadfast in her performance, and never seems to lose a single thing.  She has more than 15 years of office support experience and enjoys keeping things in an orderly fashion.  She attended Heald Business College and holds a certificate in Business Office Administration.

Amber M. Washer
Director of Marketing

Amber holds her AA degree from Delta College in Interdisciplinary Studies Teachers Education Preparation Degree and a Medical Office Assistant certificate. She manages all social media and print advertising. Her jovial nature keeps staff and clients forward-thinking and is instrumental in conjuring exceptional solutions to problems that funnel down to our valuable clientele.

What is an Enrolled Agent?

An enrolled agent is a person who has earned the privilege of representing taxpayers before the Internal Revenue Service by either passing a three-part comprehensive IRS test covering individual and business tax returns, or through experience as a former IRS employee. Enrolled agent status is the highest credential the IRS awards. Individuals who obtain this elite status must adhere to ethical standards and complete 72 hours of continuing education courses every three years.

Enrolled agents, like attorneys and certified public accountants (CPAs), have unlimited practice rights. This means they are unrestricted as to which taxpayers they can represent, what types of tax matters they can handle, and which IRS offices they can represent clients before. Learn more about enrolled agents in Treasury Department Circular 230 (http://www.irs.gov/file_source/pub/irs-pdf/pcir230.pdf) (PDF).

Only enrolled agents are required to demonstrate to the IRS their competence in all areas of taxation, representation and ethics before they are given unlimited representation rights before IRS. Unlike attorneys and CPAs, who are state licensed and who may or may not choose to specialize in taxes, all enrolled agents specialize in taxation. Registered tax return preparers have passed a minimal competence test on tax forms for individuals, and have only limited representation rights.