Of course, how many stories have we read here about employees doing the exact same thing? There's little practical difference between being screwed by an employee or being screwed by a consultant.
The big problem for many individuals and SMBs is that they don't have the knowledge or experience to fully understand this. They are completely dependent upon the consultant to take care of these issues. If that were not the case, they probably wouldn't need the consultant in the first place.
You need to be able to trust your IT consultant like you'd trust your lawyer, banker, spouse, etc. Probably more so. He/she literally has your business at their fingertips.
As a consultant, your reputation is your most valuable asset. I get most of my business by referral. I can't remember anyone ever asking about my certifications. It's reliability, efficiency and integrity they are interested in. Conversely, those seeking to hire consultants should be more careful in who they hire, for the above stated reasons.
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