A potential client called me yesterday - he found me through the ICAEW website which is a first for me. He works in the Constrution Industry, had a large number of sub-contractors at one time but was declared bankrupt in 2010 (now discharged) and gave an explanation for this which included blaming former dodgy accountants. A company has been set up with his wife as shareholder and he now just works on his own, trading within the company. The record keeping is not great, and they appear to use the company bank account to fund day to day purchases which will have to be retrospectively put right (they claim they do not really understand how this should work). What really alarmed me however was when I saw some sales invoices with VAT and commented about quarterly returns. His reponse was that they had not yet registered for VAT and it was these sorts of issues for which they needed help. Now I am sure some of you are screaming at your computer by now but I do always have a starting point - a client has contacted an accountant, they are looking for help and why should I not at least start to provide assistance even if that trust is subsequently shown to be misplaced. Or is it a case of a leopard and spot changing etc and I should steer well clear.