Monday, 16 November 2009

Rogue Traders' Accounts

'The Office of Fair Trading says it has received a record number of complaints about rogue traders - builders who overcharge or do shoddy work.' - BBC News

There are many ways of avoiding being ripped off by rogue traders. Probably the best is to ask your friends and neighbours about the quality and value for money of work that they have had done and find the best contractors that way.

If, however, as a budding accountant you are thinking of employing a builder who hasn't done work for anyone you know, there is another way of checking. Ask for the limited company details of the builder in question. Of course they might not be trading as a limited company but, if they are, you can then visit the 'WebCheck' service at Companies House to see if they have kept their records up to date. If they haven't then it's likely that they are sloppy and untidy about other aspects of their business as well. As a further check you can download their accounts for a nominal fee. This should give you a good idea of the scale of the business and whether it's running profitably.

You might want to make this your standard practice for all the businesses that you trade with.

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