Credit Website Tools
There are a growing number of websites that are useful for credit professionals selling products both domestically and internationally including:
- The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission [SEC] website at www.sec.gov. This website allows visitors to review quarterly and annual financial statements and other reports filed with the SEC going back up to five years. Access to this site is free. This website contains information only on publicly traded companies.
- System for Electronic Document Analysis and Retrieval [SEDAR] website at www.sedar.com. This site is similar in function and content to the U.S. SEC website - but it provides information about Canadian public companies.
- Country commercial guides from the U.S. government's Department of Commerce. The free reports are available at www.export.gov/comm_svc/redirect.html. These guides contain information on business and economic conditions in foreign countries, along with an analysis of the political climate.
- The search engine AltaVista which allows users to translate up to 150 words from English into any one of eight foreign languages. The site is at http://world.altavista.com. This service is free.
- The Salary.com website at www.salaryexpert.com permits users to search for salary data on various positions within a company in most States and in numerous foreign countries.
- The National Association of Credit Management's website at www.nacm.org contains a wealth of information useful to credit professionals at all levels of experience.
- Another useful resource on the Internet for credit professionals is www.creditworthy.com. Access to portions of this website is free. This data is appropriate to credit professionals at all levels of experience.
- Patton Consulting http://www.pcmoney.com This web site contains five years of financial statements, along with analysis of fifteen key financial ratios for the last five years and for the last five quarters for every company in the Standard and Poors 500, and the Dow Jones sector stocks.
- Asia Inc. Online http://www.asia-inc.com This web site connects users to Asia Inc. Online, an interactive business magazine containing business and financial news about Asia countries and companies. The site contains a searchable database of articles.
- Exchange Rate Converter http://www.olsen.ch This site offers currency conversions on 164 foreign currencies.
- Press Release Newswire http://www.prnewswire.com This site contains news stories, as well as recent and archived press releases from participating companies.
- Carlson On Line Services http://www.fin-info.com This site provides information about Canadian public companies for companies listed on the Alberta, Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver stock exchanges. It also contains recent press releases, as well as links to the home pages of numerous Canadian public companies.
- Bloomberg Personal http://www.bloomberg.com One of the most useful features of this site is access through the company directory search to information about over 10,000 U.S. companies (as well as some Canadian companies) including a summary of what each company does, stock quotes, SEC documents, and financial information.
One final note: It is a good idea to establish a written policy for Internet use stating that the Internet is to be accessed primarily for business related purposes, and that any misuse of the Internet may result in disciplinary action up to and including termination.
© 2009 by Michael C. Dennis. All Rights Reserved. Excerpted from: "Credit and Collection Forms and Procedures Manual" by Michael C. Dennis