WBS Connect is a special lunch initiative where we will invite 3 members each time to personally find out more about their business needs and wants. This gives a deeper insight into each of our member’s businesses and enables us to connect them better with what they’re looking for, within WBS or outside of WBS.
Name: Cheah Kiu Hong
Company name: Cheah Kiu Hong (PC0006790-U)
Type of business: Offering accountancy, taxation, company secretarial services in addition to financial planning and unit trust
How did you get started in the business?
I worked for KPMG for 15 years, starting when I was 19 years old and just after completing my Form Six. While at KPMG, I took my professional degree. Years later I got into this business when friends and relatives asked me for my advise on filing their tax returns. These were mainly individuals who needed help with their taxation but KPMG was out of their reach. I took on these clients and they started referring more clients to me.
Even then, I didn’t think it was a business yet, just extra pocket money. When I moved from KPMG to Plexus (where I stayed on for another 8 years), I was also doing a similar scope of work. I handled a lot of the taxation and company secretary work in Plexus and I loved my job.
I quit mainly because I wanted to take care of my mother. During my lunch hours, I would drive home to Green Lane from Plexus in Bayan Lepas just to ensure my mother had her lunch properly. In the end, I decided that it was better for me to quit entirely so that I could have the time to care for her. That’s how I started. When I quit my job, I saw a 100% increase in clients thanks to the support of my friends and existing clients who referred me these clients.
What do you love about your business?
I love meeting people and this business gives me good opportunities to do so. I see opportunities everywhere to serve and help others. I love serving my clients personally. My business is different from other accountancy providers in that I tell people that I am mobile. While most people usually go to their company secretary, I would be the one going to see my clients at their convenience. My car is like my mobile office! I offer my services after office hours to suit my clients. Best of all, I can do what I do anytime and have the freedom to go wherever I like.
What are your key products?
I like to help small business owners and individuals get their accounts in order. This means I serve individuals who own businesses as well as those who are working for others. I also help business owners save money with proper tax planning. I once saved a client around RM27,000 with proper tax calculation and planning. She was originally supposed to pay around RM30,000 in tax but with proper deductions (which she didn’t even know she could deduct legally) she only paid around RM3,000 which was agreed by the IRB through the issuance of Form J. I offer a full range of business solutions from accountancy to tax planning to company secretary services. Plus I also am with Public Mutual Berhad so I can advise on financial planning as well as sell unit trusts.
What are your Unique Selling Points (USP)?
I am a personal advisor and I love helping people. I won’t sell my local or foreign clients services if they have no need for them. For instance, if someone comes to me and says he needs to set up a Sdn Bhd company, I often probe more. If he doesn’t need to set up a Sdn Bhd, I would always tell him to save his money. He could start with a Limited Liability Partnership (LLP), a far more cost-effective method to get his business registered. It costs far less than a Sdn Bhd and he doesn’t have to pay company secretary fees (which is usually a monthly retainer) or audit fees. However, you do need me as a compliance officer to setup an LLP. I mostly work with people who have been referred to me.
How can WBS help you?
WBS has opened up collaborations for me. For example, I am partnering with Lilian Lim (who offers Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) services). Many foreigners who’d like to stay in Malaysia cannot start a Sdn Bhd business without a local person as one of the directors.
However, Limited Liability Partnership (a hybrid of a conventional partnership and Sdn Bhd)ideally offers foreigners a way to start a business with a visa under MM2H. Other foreigners may also start a business even though they are not here physically most of the time (though they cannot run it directly, they need to hire locals to run the business). But this type of business gives foreigners a chance to be entrepreneurs.
How can you contribute to WBS to improve/grow?
I would love to help more WBS members understand tax planning and how to save money. Tax planning is not tax evasion; it’s about tax avoidance in a proper way especially for entrepreneurs who’ve just started their businesses. This means less headache in the future if you know how what you need to do for your accounts and business. I am happy to share more about these via talks. WBS members are really unique and this group is like family to me and I would love to see them excel.
(Note: Kiu Hong is our Exclusive Merchant Programme Director where she helps to link up cafes with WomenBizSENSE.)
Any ethical issues faced in business?
None. I help people to claim reliefs and deductions appropriately to save tax and avoid tax, not evade tax.
Any advice for aspiring entrepreneurs?
See me first before you decide to start a Sdn Bhd. I can help you plan your business better. Also, if you’re now an employee and you have a side business (registered with SSM), did you know you can utilise your sole proprietorship and conventional partnership business losses in positive ways?
Contact details: 017-4730318 or firstname.lastname@example.org