Just how credible is a credit report?

Small businesses have been given a powerful weapon in their decision-making arsenal: a collection of deep-dive data, previously available only to the corporate sector and lending institutions. It’s now accessible – packaged up as a credit report.
Published: 29 February 2016

Credit reports can serve as valuable tools to help inform and protect small businesses . To make data-driven decisions with confidence, you need to know that the information you’re basing your decisions on is trustworthy and reliable. It’s critical that the source data comes from a range of credible and up-to-date sources to form a freshly rounded picture of the business you’re dealing with.

Who produces a credit report?

Credit reports are compiled by credit bureaus like Equifax, which operate by aggregating a wide range of data from multiple sources before asking experts to analyse and package it up, making it accessible to others. This enables other businesses to make decisions with greater awareness of any potential risks.
Traditionally, for example, credit reports are used by big banks to form the basis of credit/lending decisions. But now the information is in your hands too. So where did it come from? 

Who sets the Incorporation Number details?

This section of a credit report uses data gathered directly from the New Zealand Companies Office, the government agency responsible for the administration of corporate body registers, including the companies register and the register of personal property securities. It’s there to help you confirm a business’ current trading status and most up-to-date information, such as registered address trading name, and details of the directors and shareholders.

Who sets the invoice payment history?

Equifax collates ‘positive data’ as well as ‘negative data’ – meaning we track the instances when people pay suppliers, as well as the times they pay late or default. This information is collected from a diverse network of suppliers from different industries – including business-critical services such as telecommunications, utility, transport and food services. We know businesses tend to prioritise these payments in order to operate, so patterns of late payment can indicate financial strain.
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