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Hidden Gems: Meet Marcus Hernandez of Hernandez Accounting Solutions

Today we’d like to introduce you to Marcus Hernandez. 

Alright, so thank you so much for sharing your story and insight with our readers. To kick things off, can you tell us a bit about how you got started?
How many accountants you know can say they are Salsa artists as well? I am told frequently that I don’t fit the mold of a typical accountant. I have to agree. The only thing accounting and music have in common are numbers. However, I bring creativity and high energy to both my passions: accounting and music. You might ask “how did that happen?” 

I was always mathematically inclined, and my school counselor encouraged me to study accounting at Baruch College in New York City. Being originally from Brooklyn, NY, I was surrounded by Salsa music, but it was at the college during one of our student events when I became fascinated with Salsa music and began spending hours each day teaching myself to play piano. While in college, I started playing with local Salsa artists and enjoyed it so much that I started my own Salsa band, and shortly thereafter I was invited to record my first album “Fuego ‘77” with the famous Fania records. I had the privilege to perform with some of Salsa’s greatest artists during the peak of the NYC Salsa scene. 

Once I completed my accounting degree and became certified, I gained experience working with three large accounting firms in New York, before going on my own and opening my first accounting practice in 1985. I was an accountant by day and a musician by night. I became the accountant to many musicians and actors. As the Salsa scene in NYC diminished, my focus shifted to building my accounting practice in New York. 

Many years later, I moved my family to Tampa, Florida, and in 2014 got the “itch” to start performing again after learning that some of my former band musicians also moved to Florida. We got together to perform for my wife’s birthday party, and it was the start of Orchestra Fuego. Fuego means “fire” in Spanish. This to me symbolizes the burning passion I have for Salsa, that even after many years of not playing piano, it came back to me as a volcano ready to erupt. I wanted to do something different than the average band. I wanted to write and arrange my own original music that is very danceable while keeping true to the New York City Salsa beat. 

In addition to performing live shows, we have been busy producing several albums and music videos. In 2015, I recorded my first single titled “Encendido” which received a lot of attention. This encouraged me to continue to record a full album also titled “Encendido”. In 2016 we then recorded our second album “Salsa Brava” which was nominated for a Latin Grammy. In 2018, our third album “Quemando La Pista” won an award for song of the year. In 2019 we recorded our fourth album “Vengan Todos a Bailar” which was nominated for a Grammy. In 2021 we released our fifth album “Baila Mi Salsa” which has gone Gold. 

I am proud of my musical accomplishments but equally thankful for the success of my accounting firm. Most of my clients have been with me since I started in the accounting business, for some 36 years. I attribute this to the personal care I put into my clients and my love for helping people with their finances. My accounting firm was nominated for the Pasco EDC Award in 2018. In 2020, I received an award for Latin Businessman of the Year, by The Latin Times Magazine. 

I recognize that I am a blessed man to be able to work at the two careers that I am very passionate about. I am thankful to my supportive wife but foremost to God and His son Jesus Christ for the success that I have enjoyed so far. 

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way? Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
Starting an accounting practice or band is not easy. Like any business, we have had our challenging time, especially during the recent pandemic. We couldn’t see any new clients and many of our long-time clients lost their jobs, so our sales were down for the first time in over a decade. As far as the music business is concerned, we lost over 25 events and a tour that included many States in the US, Puerto Rico, and Japan. But I have tremendous faith in God that he will see us through any dark valley. 

As you know, we’re big fans of Hernandez Accounting Solutions Inc. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about the brand?
My music business name is Orchestra Fuego Productions LLC. Hernandez Accounting Solutions is a full-service tax and accounting firm. We do everything from taxes, payroll, sales tax, tax planning, bookkeeping, and more. 

I specialize in small business accounting. I like to educate small business owners on how to maximize their profits and save for the future. 

On the music side, we are a show-stopping, visual alluring Salsa group. 

Is there something surprising that you feel even people who know you might not know about?
Well, definitely the music side of me. Many know me as an accountant, but accountant/musician is quite a surprise to many but well appreciated. They can see right off the start, that I’m not your typical accountant. I’m also a relational accountant, which means I really care about my clients and that’s why I have clients that have been with me for over 36 years. This is certainly a blessing. 

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