Welcome to episode #141 of Explode Your Expert Biz Show, brought to you by http://gtex.org.uk/,
I am your host, Simone Vincenzi, The Experts Strategist, and this is the podcast for experts who want to become the ultimate authority in their niche while making an impact in the world.
Today I have the pleasure to Interview our GTeX Member Hannah Xu
Hannah is the Founder and Director of Xceptional Consultancy Ltd
She is an experienced accountant and tax adviser, also have a background in health, fitness, and arts. Her working ethic is completing every single task in an excellent fashion. She is proactive and values the working relationship with clients.
In this episode, we talk about
– How to save money with taxes.
– How to keep more money in your business.
– What systems to use to keep track of your finances
Connect with Hannah Xu
LINKEDIN : HANNAH X U
YOUTUBE : TAX DEDUCTIBLE LIFESTYLE
FACEBOOK: TAX DEDUCTIBLELIFESTYLE
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– Welcome to our first interview of our show here in the group. Welcome welcome. If you’re watching the replay thank you for watching. Today we are going to be joined by Hanna Xu on how to save money with your taxes in particular how to keep more money in your business. You will absolutely love it. If you’re watching let me know. Come in and tell me was well. what would you like to get out? I’ll bring Hannah right now on camera. So then we can definitely, together here in the group. Let’s see.
– Hey Hannah, how you doing?
– Yeah, I’m good how are you?
– I am incredibly well thank you very much. It has been a while actually since we’ve talked last time.
– Yeah absolutely.
– Yeah, I missed you. I missed you.
– Oh yeah, me too.
– We used to talk a lot and then what happened? I don’t know, I don’t know. But thank you for joining today. Hey Laura, thank you for watching.
– Hi Laura.
– Today we are going to be talking about how to keep money in your business. That’s the topic of the day. So we’re going to look at different ways to save money through taxes and so on. Cause that’s your genius, that’s what you do. But you are not only an awesome accountant, you are much more than that. Before we go and dig into some strategies why don’t you introduce yourself a bit more. So people can get to know you.
– Okay, yeah sure. So hi everyone. I’ve probably been kind of active for a while in the group. My name is Hannah. Yes, I run my own tax consultancy business in London. And of course I help people reduce tax burden with numbers. But more importantly it’s really helping people with build better financial resilience. So they are more in peace with their money. And they can really enjoy their money and enjoy their lifestyle So, that is what I do and I recently published a book, it’s called Discover Wealth Through Tax.
– Wohoo. When did you publish the book?
– The official publish date, well I can’t even remember the date, two weeks ago.
– It’s been for a couple of days. So it’s relatively new.
– That’s brilliant. So we’re going to put a link as well for people that want to get the book, which I highly recommend. Been following Hannah’s live streams. And all the work that you do for many years. So Hannah let’s talk about money. Let’s talk cash. Let’s talk cash.
– Yeah, yeah, sure.
– First of all, what mistakes do you see made and other entrepreneurs make, that experts make when they set up their companies that cost them money? Let’s go to some mistakes first.
– Well in term of mistakes, there are lots. But if we focus on experts or especially people who are really good at what they’re doing, but might not necessarily really looking, pay attention to the finances are the ones. Cause I work quite a lot with people in health. But what happened with them is that they’re busy, taking care of everyone else. They’re busy looking after others wounds, they’re looking after others health, but then they neglect their own, especially in finances. So it’s like everyone is. I call these people healers. So they’re busy healing others but then they need to think about their own.
– Yeah I think that’s a. I don’t know, I feel it’s a common thread on the many businesses. You know you take care of you clients. You help your clients. You do the best you can for them. But then sometimes we forget that we need to keep our finances in order, or our health in order and we just can’t do everything we can for our clients. So that’s a big mistake. So focusing too much on the clients and neglecting yourself.
– Then what other mistakes do you see people making?
– So, all the mistakes are people making, I think quite commonly of course in terms of the tactics, or the details about like tax or rules. It’s like smaller ones. But the other big one is, when they have accountants, when they work with professionals. They think these professionals will take care of the money for them when they have the right professional they’ll be financially free. But it’s not.
– Yeah it’s like. Oh now I’m working with this person. And I’m going to be sorted for the rest of all my life. They’re going to do all the work for me. I don’t even have to look at a spread sheet. I don’t even have to look at anything. Hannah I’m going to hire Hannah and then she’s going to fill out my life. Is that how it works?
– Well that’s one of the biggest mistake. Yes, actually when you are relying on your professionals to take care of this area for you you’re actually giving power away. Because eventually it is your business. And it is your money. So of course we bring the expertise. We know the rules. Take care of the details. Take away the time for you, so you can really focus on the clients and without neglecting the other area. But then in the end you are the decision maker and you still have the financial power for yourself.
– This is a big thing in entrepreneurs that as entrepreneurs we just don’t want to look at that money. I mean we do what we do with it, for our clients. We do it for our lifestyle. We do it because we want to have lot of money. But when he’s coming to check in our money regularly, I remember it took me a long time before I got into the habit of knowing how much money I have on a daily basis. Know how much money I’m going to make in the next three months. Or in the next six months, and having that financial awareness and I still have people behind my back saying Simone check it out. And you know, it was an eye opening moment when I hired an accountant and I was there thinking that this accountant was going to sort out all my problems. And apparently he didn’t do great job. When we had to change to another accountant because we realised that literally our tax bill was suppose to be like £12,000 more, than what we should have paid. Just because of how the first accountant set up the company. And I remember when the other accountant came on board and said, oh my God why have you set up the company that way. And it was our mistake. We didn’t took responsibility. We didn’t took responsibility of the money. We didn’t double check or get other advice. We just said no, you’re an accountant you do everything. Okay give me me another mistake that other people make.
– Other mistakes, well one I think for entrepreneurs or the startups, there are two types of people. One is like very cautious. So some people are very cautious. And then very careful, they’re checking everything. But there are some people, just like whatever. So, other mistake is. They don’t check it themselves. So they don’t really look at the guidance. They probably have a thought about something, but then they’ve been carrying on. I think that’s again, it’s probably not all their fault. But they are not properly informed. So, for some people they’ve been carrying as a sole trader for ages. But suddenly realised, hold on a sec why am I am paying so much tax? I’m better off just restructure the business. Yeah so they don’t know what they don’t know.
– One is that, also lack of information. And lack of the right things to do. I don’t know what’s available. I don’t know what’s the right thing. Okay, so let’s now transition to what can we do to keep this money. Because I don’t like, I mean we work so hard, we work really hard. We work long hours. Me and you we do the same. Everyone els in this group is working hard to make things happen. And the thing that you don’t want to do is just do throw away the money like you don’t care. And you work so hard. Just for peanuts. So Hannah what can we do to keep that money tell me.
– Well I would say keeping the money is both an art and a science. So for me, the sort of my concept is we need both the mindset as well as knowing the basics to keep the money. Of course, the mindset, there are loads of money coaches, loads of financial resiliency or money mindset coaches out there. There are loads of information on these, I think we are very, very abundant in this kind of information. But on the other side. The numbers sides. People do shy away from knowing the numbers. So and also I think, what I realised when I working in this profession, is there is a gap in between so there is a gap between business owners who absolutely know nothing as was the professionals they’ve been trained they’ve been trained probably in the way that they know a lot of technique. They know the rules from inside out. But they wasn’t able to communicate in the way that people understand.
– So, that is why I believe, I started doing all these live videos and all these books. Just want to be in the way that this information is available, and it’s important for you to know, and it’s not boring.
– Don’t talk to me about freak expressions. Okay? And also it’s great to see you. Okay so one thing is to talk to someone, but give me some tips, give me some advice here. So for example, let’s talk about, one of the things that you would with your clients to help them keep more money. What is some of the advice that you find yourself giving a lot to a lot of different people. Give me something juicy here Hannah.
– Okay, something juicy.
– Give me something juicy.
– Of course, okay. Something juicy. So, of course for a lot of entrepreneurs, when we are, especially when we are earning a lot of money, they might be case that, yeah. Yeah so. Something juicy for entrepreneurs. Of course there will be, lot’s of ways and it’s different to individuals. But one thing I always advice which is a very simple one, which is people always miss out. It’s a tax deductions. And of course there are loads of ways, like the obvious ones. Like something related to business. But other things like something maybe you as a director you are benefit from. But they don’t know it’s a deduction. So, things like. Do they know that they can actually, one example, which is one of my signature tax advice,
– Yeah go for it.
– Your travel. So your trips to somewhere. Your trip to your favourite destination. If that’s a holiday then that is not tax deductible, but what if you go there with intention, that you want to grow your business. You want to do some market research there. And then in that case your flights, because we do pay a lot on flight accommodation, on the foods over there. So what if your intention is going there is to expand your network for your business. To seek for the possibility to add value to the people over there. Then that eventually it is a tax deduction.
– Oh I like that, I like that yeah yeah yeah.
– Do you have to prove in some way, because on the other hand, just playing the devils advocate here, I can go every holiday and I put it there. Right? I put it on my business. And they say oh well, I was there for business. But do you need to have something to prove or pictures or maybe a receipt or something? Do intuitions even look for that? What is your experience with that?
– Okay that is a very good question. So, of course we do need to document everything, When it comes to business. So again here when it comes to playing these types of things it’s again, it’s not always black and white. So first of all, I would say, don’t try to do anything for the pure purpose of reducing tax. Putting it another way that’s, don’t let the tax tale wag it’s dog. So if that’s just a holiday, you want to relax. Then just let it go. But if that’s something that can be justifiable as a business. For instance if you go there and you want to do some networking. I think it sometime become very natural for entrepreneurs who want to do some networking.
– Yeah, it’s normal.
– Yeah, yeah, it’s normal. So yes of course you need to prove that you did some homework upfront to look out for the networking events. And then when you gather receipts, which is related to business, make a note what is that about. Yes make a note. What is that about. And say, for instance if you’re having a meeting with a potential partner, talking about business. And you have the receipts, and just make a note that who you are talking with. And what that’s regarding to.
– I like that. I like this.
– Yes, everything in black and white.
– So even if sometimes, I would go on holiday and we shoot some videos that I would do, for example, I went on a cruise. Oh dammit. I didn’t put the cruise as an expense. But I did all the videos.
– That’s part of branding right?
– Oh my God I didn’t think about that. Such an idiot. I do it all the time. Oh that’s good. I need to put all the expenses on the cruise. Man that was a lot of money the freaking cruise. So I like that. I like that.
– That is a lot of money yeah. If that’s part of your business branding, of course somewhere it doesn’t have to be the formal documents, it can either be your business plan or some informal document saying, having a picture done on the cruise is part of your branding.
– Oh yeah, yeah, yeah.
– What’s your brand about? You wan to appeal to the high end clients. So, have things in black and white as much as possible.
– Whooo. I like that. Okay, one is the, wherever there is some business opportunity created even claim it travels, holidays that you do, as long as you can make a link, a strong link between the holiday and the business purposes. Okay. Give me one more tax advice. Then I’m going to ask you some other questions. Give me one more tax advice.
– Okay the other one which is another signature one. So, for people having cars.
– I have a car yeah.
– Yeah? So normally if you buy the car, a lot of business owners, what they do is buy the car. They use both for personal as well as for business. So of course car tax planning is another serie. For some people they might consider putting the car in the company because a very, very low image in car so they got more tax deductions on the company. That’s one trick, but that’s more standard, that’s not part of my signature. That’s more standard.
– Give me another signature one. Give me something juicy. You know we like the juicier.
– Yeah that was I’m going to talking about now. So what if you have a car and you paint your business logo on your car. You paint your business logo, the telephone number, the website and when you are driving around that becomes a marketing vehicle. So people yes, telling people about what you do on your car. When people need it, they contact you so that’s a marketing vehicle.
– I need to have the Jetix mobile. We need to add the Jetix mobile
– Yeah, it’s very similar to, for some businesses they have a van. And they have all the logo, the telephone number. It’s obviously it’s a van what they do. And then there might be people straight away contacting them for the business. So, that’s another.
– Do you know for example Edward J.C. Smith, Ed Smith? Do you know him?
– Ed Smith, oh yeah.
– He’s a speaker in the U.K. Champion’s Academy. Have you ever seen his car? I don’t know if he still has the same one at all. He used to have a mini. His logo is with a Phoenix or an eagle. I don’t remember. But he had this mini, was an old completely branded Champions Academy logo everywhere. I don’t know if he still has it. I need to ask him. But it makes a perfect point. Cause I remember we went to BNI networking meeting one morning. And he came in front of my place and he picked me up. And then we went together. And when I saw the car I was like, man you’re branding everywhere. So okay. I need a Jutixmobile. I need a Jutixmobile right now.
– Now let’s talk about, I want to ask you a bit more then we interrupt the interview. I want to ask a bit more to get to know you better for the people that are watching. If you’re watching live guys say hi.
– If you’re watching the replay use the hashtag replay. And put all the questions that you have below. Even on the replay. Because we can answer your questions. So a question for you is. I know you have also other things that you’re doing live here, not just run account at the firm. Bu also you do taekwondo?
– Yes, I do, yes.
– And you are a very dangerous person. I’m scared of you. I don’t know. I’m scared.
– Are you scared of me?
– I am because I don’t wanna say anything to upset you or piss you off because then you might do some moves on me. But why did you decide to go into taekwondo? What was the passion? Where it came from?
– Okay, so. This is actually very interesting story. Cause I wanted to do martial arts when I was very young. When I was a kid. Cause I was really inspired by the movies, like a lot of martial arts movies. Bruce Lee or other kind of Chinese movies. But then because asian parents they have these concept that girls should be girls. And they should never do anything that physical. But I’m a rebel. So, that’s part of the reason why I started a business because they never thought that girls should start a business.
– So I didn’t get to start until I was 18. But when I did it felt so right for me. I think martial arts is not something, make you more aggressive. But it’s actually make you stronger from inside. And then to the point that you don’t have to pretend to be strong from outside. Because you are just that secure person. You are just a well grounded person. But that’s what I like about practising martial arts. And also it’s a healing as well in terms of energy. So, yes that’s why I absolutely love it.
– That’s fantastic so. For how long have you been in the UK now?
– Nine years.
– Nine years? So did you start you business in the U.K. or did you start your first business in China?
– I only started in U.K. from 2014.
– And then how was it, so you said that you started your business because also you were a rebel. And you learned martial arts because you were a rebel. How was it with your family? I’m just curious right now. How did your family take it? You’re suppose to be a woman. So women don’t have businesses. And don’t do martial arts in China so. How did your parents take it?
– Well, I think because I’m so head strong, they got to the point that they can’t do anything about it, but the fact that now I published a book, now I got my second black belt. And I even started to teach the juniors taekwondo. So they see all this as success, all these things that come in being so good, and then they actually started to accept it. Not just accept it, they started to be proud of it.
– Ah, I’m so happy. I’m so happy about that. Cause you know sometimes you make decisions that in one way shape or form, as human beings we want always to make our parents proud of us.
– And unfortunately sometimes, parents don’t approve of the choices that we make, because they have their plans that we want to follow. And there is always the kind of feeling of well, I’m doing this but I’m not completely happy because also my parents are not completely happy. But I’m really happy in your situation. Actually you were able to turn it around from what is she doing to wow I’m really proud of you. And now I see, all the things that come up. So I’m really happy about that. I think we can end this interview in this happy family note. How can people buy the book? Tell us a bit more about the book or even someone who wants to contact you and say I need the best accountant in the world. And I want to work with Hannah. How can people reach out to you?
– Okay, so. First of all about the book, of course I will put the link in the comments. It’s very simple. Now it’s on Kindle. And then it’s on Amazon. So, you know how Amazon work. And then that’s how you get the book.
– What’s the name of the book again?
– Discover Wealth Through Tax.
– Discover Wealth Through Tax. I like the title. That’s a very catchy title.
– Thank you. So, I put in the way that is more based on story or case study rather than just the serie. So, it’s really what people has done to reduce the tax burden. What’s out there so give you the comprehensive view. So you get to the point that, I mention people like you don’t know what you don’t know, either carry on as a sole trader or start a limited company. But I did have a case study on this to the point, how individual running a business and sole trader in which points that was the right time for him to start a limited company. So I do have a case study on that. So that’s really.
– Oh fantastic. It’s a question lot of people are struggling with in particular when, because a lot of people start as a sole trader, but then they don’t understand, when is the right moment to switch into a limited company? I did the opposite way. I started as a limited company, even when I wasn’t making any money, cause I didn’t know. I just wanted to start a company. It turned out to be the right choice. It turned out to be the right solution. But, I just made. But I didn’t even know that it as an option actually I think I started a limited company because I didn’t even know that sole trader was an option. Don’t judge me don’t judge me please.
– Sometimes these things also, the other part is really trust you intuition, especially when it comes to choosing the right accountant working with you. Working for your business. Really trust your gut. Is that person the right one for you? Sometimes maybe, your brain says yes, and your heart says no. So, that’s what I always think, trust your intuition when it comes to seeking for the right advice, and a professional work for your business.
– That’s brilliant Hannah, and I’m sure that everyone who is watching, either if you’re watching live or you’re watching the replay, we’re also going to put this interview in our podcast. So if you are listening to the podcast as well, then if you feel this connection with Hannah, and you say my heart says I need to reach out to Hannah, make sure you reach out to her. Because also remember if you don’t reach out to her she’s going to find you and then she’s black belt in ttaekwondo. Geez. I wanna work with you. I wanna work with you. Just because I’m scared. At least I keep you happy. Alright Hannah thank you very much for joining in this interview on our group, explore your expert biz group. It’s the first one that we’re doing interviewing the members.
– Oh wow.
– Yeah, you opened it. You are the first one. You started a new trend. So guys if you are listening to the show on our podcast make sure you jump on Facebook and join the Facebook group. Explore your expert biz. Same name of the podcast. If you are already in the group or you want to be featured juts give a comment below and we’ll reach out to you to do our weekly interview. Hannah thank you very much for joining us today it’s been an absolute pleasure.
– A pleasure to be here. Thank you.
– Have a great day.
– Yeah, have a great day.