In Founder Focus we introduce entrepreneurs and change-makers working on innovative startups, social enterprises and SME’s around Aotearoa New Zealand.

At a glance

Founder: Brent Wilson

Business: Solo

Founded: 2018

HQ: Wellington

Can you tell us a bit about your business?

Solo is an accounting app that makes it easy for self-employed New Zealanders to confidently manage their entire tax journey – saving them time, money and sanity.

Self-employed people in New Zealand are required to manage their taxes, fill out tax returns and make payments to IRD based on guesswork. They never get an accurate picture of how much they owe and are penalised harshly if their obligations are not accurately met. This situation creates a huge amount of uncertainty and stress, while also making it very difficult to budget and plan for the future.

With Solo, self-employed kiwis can finally see exactly how much income tax, GST and ACC they owe at any moment. They can easily create invoices, track income and expenses and file automatically prepared tax returns with confidence. Solo is made with beginners in mind and is refreshingly easy to use.

By connecting directly to New Zealand banks and the IRD, Solo enables users to easily maximise their tax deductions and track a uniquely wide range of income sources – such as self-employed income, salary, wages, schedular payments, bank interest and rental property income.

Solo is simple, clear and even a little bit magical – it’s like having a tiny accountant in your pocket.

What’s the backstory for your business idea?

Having spent years dealing with tax as a self-employed web designer, I was overly familiar with the uncertainty, stress and occasional resentment that comes from dealing with the tax system.

The catalyst for Solo was a road trip with my brother and hearing the story of two Wellington house painters who did a ‘cashie’ on the side that went wrong (the full story is available on our website).

As Solo developed further, I heard countless more stories from across New Zealand of stress and frustration; savings destroyed by unexpected tax bills, the cost and complexity of accounting software, the lack of definitive practical information and the horror of filing tax returns.

Solo is now growing faster than ever. We have in place an outstanding team, located across New Zealand and overseas, and we continue to make Solo even easier to use while providing more value to self-employed kiwis.

What programmes, learning or mentoring, or resources have been of assistance so far?

  • Without a doubt our customers (and potential customers) have been our greatest resource. I talk with customers daily and their insights and feedback are essential in shaping and guiding Solo.
  • Regarding suggestions for books or programmes etc, in my experience there is no substitute for learning by doing. I recommend utilising an experiment, measure and learn mentality to quickly test and iterate on ideas.
  • I try to limit the scope of my learning to only the current problem that I’m facing. This helps to prevent analysis paralysis or being overloaded by all the things that I “should” be doing.


Supporter Spotlight: Offers and services from NZ Entrepreneur supporters!


Sales Strategy for the new financial year - Three key things every business owner must do


Manawatū - The future of food

You might also like...