Find out who you’re trading with: It’s important to know who you’re dealing with, so ensuring you have the correct registered company details to hand is key. You’ll need to know the correct address for invoices, their location for site visits, and make sure that the company is still actually trading.
Understand a company's financial stability: Once you know who you’re dealing with, you’ll need to know if that company is financially stable which will help you reduce bad debt risk. Here you’ll see details of their filed accounts, how much money they turnover, and what outstanding liabilities they have, which all go to draw a picture of the overall financial health of the business. Accompanying this will be an indicator of their credit risk and payment history, so you know who you can provide credit to and whether they’re likely to pay you on time.
Receive a company's full credit and payment indicator: Sometimes knowing that bit more will help you make key decisions on how to operate your business and improve your cashflow. Do you work with this company or not? Should I offer favourable credit terms to this customer because I want their business, or will that put me at risk of not getting paid when I need to and thus affecting my cashflow adversely? Will knowing that a company is facing legal action for non-payment of an invoice help you decide whether you want to work with them?
See trend and industry benchmarking: Snapshot information is good to make decisions, but viewing trends and benchmarks will help you identify problems before they actually happen. A gradual increase of how long a company pays its invoices over the course of 3 months is an indicator of a cashflow issues, so you yourself might face cashflow issues if you don’t get paid on time. Knowing how you compare with others in your industry will help you make decisions about growth or strategy.
Know company reporting activity: See who are the directors behind the companies that you do business with, and know when they change. Accompanying this are details of when company financials are reported, so you know whose financials are up to date.