The Guide to Researching a Company's Finances Online

Written By Staff

Twenty years ago, finding information about companies that impact our lives was often a very difficult task. Prior to the web, few resources were available for those researching companies for investment or career opportunities. Nowadays, researching everything you need to know about a company can is as easy as typing a few words into a search engine.

Researching Companies Online the Right Way

The New Jersey-based Duns and Bradstreet has provided individuals and businesses with quality commercial information and business insight for over 170 years. Hoovers, an offshoot of the D&B brand, gives direct access to the company’s over 205 million business records. In addition, Hoovers does a great job at converting much of this data into actionable sales leads and industry analysis to help you develop your CRM portfolio and marketing plan.

For those of us who are more interested in gathering information about publicly traded companies on the New York Stock Exchange or NASDAQ, Public Register’s Annual Report Service should have everything you need. This simple site offers a search engine that will find records on the publicly traded company you are interested in finding more about. Should you find what you’re looking for, Public Register will have an annual report about the company sent to you in one business day.

If you are looking to find out more about companies you hope to have a career with, Quintessential Careers offers a world-class breakdown of the best companies to work for across several different categories. This site is also a great alternative to online job boards, as it provides direct access to the job postings and career pages for the companies they showcase. Quintessential Careers also offers a host of great information and tips for job seekers who are looking for a head start in today’s ultra-competitive job market.

For research that needs to focus on both international and domestic companies, CorporateInformation should have all the records you need. Since 1960, the Wright Investors’ Service has worked tirelessly to analyze and create informative records for over 35,000 companies across 65 countries throughout the world. For a monthly or annual subscription fee, Corporate Information can provide you with access to these valuable records to help you get your company research done in no-time flat.

If your company research needs are more general in nature, Fortune Magazine publishes an annual list of the top publicly and privately traded companies in the United States. Known as the Fortune 500, the magazine ranks each business by their gross revenue over the course of the financial year. Even if you don’t subscribe to the magazine, CNN Money does an annual recap of the Fortune 500 companies on their website for all to see.

For information on industries themselves, Industry Portals offers an excellent breakdown of several different industries from Adhesives & Sealants to the Workboat industry. This site is great for researchers who may not have a specific company in mind, but know exactly the type of industry they want to find out more about. Each link on this site will deliver you to some of the best resources available for each specific industry.

In addition to knowing where the best resources are for researching companies and industries online, knowing where to find professional associations can also be of value. The American Society of Association Leadership (ASAE) offers a robust search engine on their site that will help you find information about the professional associations that interest you. The ASAE gateway also showcases informative articles on topics that range from leadership and human resources to marketing and technology.

The resources discussed above are really only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the massive amount of business-related data available to us on the web. As businesses and the economy slowly begin to perk up, staying updated with current and potential professional relationships is crucial for taking advantage of the rising tide. By using the internet to research potential clients, employers or business partners, know that you are already doing the right things to stay ahead of the rest.