Tony's Story: Experience Plus Expertise Add Up for Success

Tony took his family business bookkeeping from paper to computer. He saw for himself the value of having accurate and dependable financial records. With an aptitude for putting things in order, his next step was building a career helping other small business owners gain control over their finances.

Before becoming a full-time bookkeeper, I was in business management in another industry — a business owned by my father. That was where I learned bookkeeping. At first, it was on a paper ledger. It was very basic. Dad said it wasn’t until he brought the books to the CPA at the end of the year that he found out whether he was making money or not.

Clearly, there was not a high level of control over business finances. This was in the 1990s. By this time, personal computers were ubiquitous. But Dad was winding down and not inclined to jump into the new technology. He would leave that to his sons.

Successfully setting up and running an accounting system in QuickBooks requires a solid understanding of accounting fundamentals.
— Tony Solgard, President, Bookkeepers Plus

When it was my turn to make those decisions, I bought a computer running Windows 95 and started using QuickBooks. I hoped to unleash the power of the personal computer on the business finances. I soon found out that it would take more than simply turning on the power and installing an application to fulfill those hopes. Successfully setting up and running an accounting system in QuickBooks requires a solid understanding of accounting fundamentals, something I did not have at that time. It was clear I would need help.

Certified Public Accountants (CPAs), I discovered, are highly-trained professionals specializing in taxes and audits. It was not my experience then, nor has it been in the nearly twenty years since, that they are equipped or inclined to advise small businesses on how to set up and run QuickBooks or the range of subjects falling under the heading of “daily accounting.” Even many accountants who are not CPAs focus on serving the small business market with tax practice, rather than as a consulting accountant, business advisor or QuickBooks expert.

So, I started as a Do-It-Yourselfer on QuickBooks and accounting. I stumbled my way through it and made lots of errors. I learned. Fortunately, I had an aptitude for accounting and for using applications on a personal computer. And, unlike most business owners, I was not directly involved in operations. This gave me more time to focus on accounting in QuickBooks as part of my job.

Eventually, I made accounting my career. In 2007, I received QuickBooks Certification. I complete up-to-date training every year, and in 2014 was certified a QuickBooks Advanced ProAdvisor. With Bookkeepers Plus, I put my experience and expertise to work helping small business owners close the gap between DIY bookkeeping and CPA tax consultants, get more out of their accounting systems, and better manage their business.

Just as technology was key to my start in accounting 20 years ago, it is a critical element of bookkeeping solutions for small businesses today. The internet and advances in Cloud systems now give business owners greater flexibility and options for managing their finances. I continue to focus Bookkeepers Plus services on providing the best practical solutions for daily accounting and the best business counsel and advice to help small businesses succeed.


Tony regularly shares his insights and bookkeeping expertise as a speaker, mentor, and small group trainer for business and nonprofit organizations across Southwest Florida. He has held presentations and trainings for:

  • Bonita Estero Area Realtors (BEAR)
  • Bonita Springs Chamber of Commerce
  • Goodwill SWFL MicroEnterprise
  • Hodges University University Center for Nonprofit Excellence

★★★★★ Reviews

A certified QuickBooks Advanced ProAdvisor, Tony Solgard consistently receives the highest ratings from his clients. Read the reviews and see why they award him 5 stars for Responsiveness, Expertise, and Overall Value.