By Bridget Hawkins
At the age of 50, when she could have been coasting along in her career and enjoying long lunches with her friends, Donna Vincent decided she was going to develop an app. In less than a year, she found herself as the founder of a start up, had plunged herself fully into the development project and was working with some clever app developers.
The launch of Solo Accounts (originally branded as Hard Hat Bookkeeper) was not a big fanfare but Donna knew that as an online bookkeeping platform, her tailored, simple system for sole traders filled a massive gap in the market. It was online “in the cloud” even before many of the big accounting software solutions and forging a place in a sector of business that was largely ignored by the big end of town.
Donna describes that year as her biggest challenge.
“I must admit, there were quite a few days when I had to look myself in the mirror and say, “you can do this”. But through sheer determination and a supportive team, I succeeded.”
Solo Accounts is now an award-winning app and one of only a few of its kind. As a leader in its field and early entrant to the cloud computing space for accounting solutions, Solo Accounts has made bookkeeping very simple for business owners. It is a great alternative and huge leap forward from the common ‘filing system’ of sole traders, being a shoe box full of receipts!
“Solo Accounts enables anyone do their own bookkeeping. I know that so many small business owners really struggle with the books and avoid the financial side of things, and this is something that needs to change, and can change with Solo Accounts”
Donna finds her inspiration in the fact that Solo Accounts is helping real people and businesses who appreciate being looked after. It was designed especially for users who may not have any experience with bookkeeping and who appreciate that if they have a question they can call Solo Accounts and speak to an experienced BAS agent who can help them with their record keeping.
Ask Donna if she would do it all over again and she laughs.
“I love the fine things in life; travel, fine wine, food, shared of course, with family and friends. Starting any new business, let alone a fintech start-up, consumes a lot of time, energy and money. I know the value of the product that I have produced, but the world of business can be tough and brutal. There were times I wanted to pull the pin and just walk away, but sometimes all it takes is a close community around you to reinforce the value of what you’re doing.”
Donna believes in integrity, honesty and community, and relying on those pillars when times are tough.
“I have been described as a stayer… and I think that helps when you have to grow a business through its various cycles.”
Donna is one of those inspirational entrepreneurs who has much to share and has taken on a role with Business Women Australia, managing the accounts and finance function of the enterprise.
Donna will also be hosting the online capital raising seminar, Show Me The Money with Natasha Lie, LG Accounting Solutions on Tuesday, the 5th of May.