With the benefit of the internet there is now a surprisingly large amount of information available on UK companies online and for free.
What can you find?
There are many traffic and website analysis platforms around, neilpatel.com for example offers a popular free tool which lets you see the likely sort of phrases that a website gets traffic from and in particular how many visitors it typically gets each month.
If a company has an ecommerce store, then this data is very valuable in assessing what their likely sales are.
To Google is now part of the English Language and if you do a search for a company by its full name then you will likely find their website and links to tools which share information about their financial position.
Business Information Tools
There are many of these around now, popular ones such as Reporting Accounts offer both free and paid for information so for example you can find out things like a companies registered address and it’s accounting due dates for free, but you need to pay if you then want to dig a little deeper in to discover more detailed and granular reports about their trading history.
This is the name of the UK Government department which stores company public records, you can retrieve for free a lot of data from here, for example a company’s latest annual report and accounts, these comprise: –
Profit and Loss Account
Cash flow statement (for larger companies)
Notes to the accounts.
All of these provide really interesting data about how a company has traded, how much cash or debt they have, how many employers they have, how long they have been in business and much more.
Putting all this together it means you can do a lot of research on your competitors, suppliers and potential employers all without needing to move from your computer desk or phone!
How reliable is the data you find?
Well any data on the internet can potentially be out of date or incomplete, but company records as filed at Companies House have to meet certain standards and the larger the company concerned the more robust those standards are.
Large companies have to have audits for example conducted by independent accountants, and the accounts themselves have to be prepared in accordance with Financial Reporting Standards (FRS’s) and again for large companies by International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS’s) so you can take some comfort in the data that is obtained directly or indirectly from Companies house.
The UK is fortunate in that so much data is available for the public to access and with the internet all this can be more or less instantly found and studied. If you find this article interesting then why not dig around yourself and find out what you can about the company you work for its owners or even your competitors in the market sector you work within.