About Our Team of Tax Consultants & Compliance Experts

Our highest purpose is to be a haven for public accounting professionals who will not sacrifice their personal happiness for their professional ambition or vice-versa. We focus on fostering an inclusive, inspiring, and supportive culture not often found in traditional public accounting firms, which is part of what makes our team so successful. 

Our client relationships are born out of genuine care for the well-being of our team and partners. We aim to approach even the most challenging situations with understanding and compassion.

 

Meet Our Team of Tax Consultants

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DANA BORYS, CPA, MST

CEO, Founder

Aura Advisors CEO and founder Dana Borys has nearly 20 years of public accounting experience with a specialization in corporate tax services for cannabis, technology, life sciences, and consumer business companies. 

Over the years, Dana has built a broad foundation by advising companies with entity structuring, tax provisions, ASC 740-10 analysis, state and local income and sales tax nexus, federal and state tax incentives, and inventory costing methodologies. She consults with individual clients on their long-term goals and maximizing their equity-based compensation.

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JOYCE (EXMUNDO) KANDT

Tax Credits & Incentives Principal

Joyce Kandt has nearly 20 years of public accounting experience with a specialization in tax credits and incentives. Her main expertise is with R&D Tax Credits for several industries, including high technology, software, food & beverage, construction, biopharmaceuticals, medical devices, manufacturing, and more.

Prior to serving as a technical advisor to the firm, Joyce spent several years at Big Four Firms and started the R&D Tax practice during her time at BPM, LLP. Joyce values her clients and prioritizes their needs to ensure they take full advantage of tax incentives for which they qualify.

Cory Carroll

CORY CARROLL, CPA, MSBA

Principal 

As a licensed CPA in California for nearly 25 years, Cory Carroll has extensive public accounting experience working closely with companies to identify their accounting, tax, and financial needs to execute a plan of action. 

Cory’s technical expertise includes corporate and individual tax compliance, tax minimization strategies, entity selection, R&D credit consulting, exit strategy planning, and consulting on M&As.

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SARA RABY, CPA

Director

Sara Raby is a licensed Certified Public Accountant in the State of California with nearly 20 years of public accounting experience. She specializes in working with individuals and their closely held businesses.

Throughout her career, Sara has worked with many individuals on their federal and multi-state tax filings, IRC Section 1031 exchange calculations, and identifying tax planning opportunities for self-employed individuals.

Alana Syrian Aura Advisors

ALANA SYRIAN, CPA, MST

Tax Manager

Alana Syrian is a tax advisor with over 10 years of accounting experience. She has experience supporting both public and private companies, having spent her first three years in public accounting, where she focused on corporate tax services for tech and biotechnology companies before focusing on private industries.

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JESSICA ESQUIVEL, CPA

Tax Director

Jessica Esquivel has over a decade of corporate federal and state income tax compliance experience. She specializes in handling tax consulting projects for start-ups, high technology and software, and emerging businesses. Before joining Aura Advisors, Jessica held a senior role at a tax services firm in the Bay Area, where she advised clients on their options for managing complex matters.

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HAIDER RAJA, EA

R&D Tax Credit Consultant

Haider Raja brings over a decade of public accounting experience, primarily specializing in tax credits and incentives to the firm. His main expertise is calculating and documenting R&D Tax Credits in industries such as Biotechnology, Engineering, Software, Manufacturing, and Food Sciences.

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CHRISTINE ABELLERA-PHAM, CPA, MST

Supervisor

Christine Abellera-Pham is a tax advisor from the Bay Area with over a decade of public accounting experience. She spent her first two years as an auditor of both private and publicly traded companies for a Big Four Firm. Christine then spent eleven years as a tax advisor for a large national firm where she focused on complicated high-net-worth individuals, trusts, and foreign tax filings, as well as quarterly and year-end tax planning. 

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NAZ NASSERI

Executive Assistant and Tax Associate

Naz Nasseri joined Aura Advisors in the Spring of 2021 as an Executive Assistant. She previously spent seven years at a local CPA firm, managing the office and creating firm processes to streamline client workflow and increase engagement. Naz plays a key role in helping Aura Advisors adopt and embrace technology to run the business more efficiently.

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CHERYL SAROUKHANOFF, CPA

Senior Tax Associate

Cheryl Saroukhanoff has over a decade of business experience in financial management & tax accounting. She is now a tax advisor with over two years of experience in federal and state income tax. Cheryl is a licensed CPA with the State of California and holds a bachelor’s degree from The University of California, Los Angeles.

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JULIENNE PADOJINO

tax associate

Julienne Padojino is the Executive Assistant at Aura Advisors and joined the team in April 2024. She spent ten years at a large accounting firm in administration. Her experience there included working as a tax processor, resource coordinator for the entire audit team and administrative assistant.  

“Dana and team have been instrumental in getting my creative mind back on the importance of financial organization to grow a successful business: recommending financial meetings, delegating tasks and implementing quarterly reviews with insight. I can’t wait to see where AYI & Associates will be a year from now with this added knowledge and guidance.”

– Ashley Yeates, President of Ashley Yeates