The Issue – May 2013

PORTALS OF INFORMATION

Essential Websites for Financial Professionals

by Chris Chillingworth Partner, CFOs2Go Partners

We are often asked where to get information frequently used by finance professionals in carrying out their daily responsibilities. Typical uses of web based financial information include:

  • Valuations
  • Stock Compensation Expense
  • Foreign currency denominated transactions
  • Financial Statement Consolidations of foreign entities
  • Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) for competitive analysis
  • Recruiting
  • Networking
  • Capital Raising
  • Investment Analysis
  • Goodwill and Intangible Impairment Assessments
  • Public Company comparables

Although much of the information can be found through the use of the well-known search engines and their associated web browsers, the level of inquiry we receive suggests that a single one-pager, if you will, of websites containing the commonly available information we financial professionals use every day, would be useful. So this edition of The Issue is devoted to that purpose.

Please note that there are thousands of websites, many of which provide some of the same information as contained in the attached Exhibit. We restricted our Exhibit to the websites we use most often and which, historically, have provided the most reliable data.

For the most part, we tried to include websites that provided their basic information for free. There are a few exceptions to this principle, such as The Wall Street Journal, which has earned the reputation as being the definitive resource of its kind.

Most of the non-governmental sites also have premium options with advanced features, which we’ve noted in the attached Exhibit. While we generally encourage frequent users of a site to upgrade to premium status if they find the information useful, there is no implied or explicit endorsement of any site on our part. Users are advised to exercise their own judgment as to whether a value proposition exists in consideration of the quality of information being provided and the purpose to which it is being used. In addition, a particular tool or resource available on a particular site does not necessarily legitimize other tools or resources on the same site.

We also stayed away from commercial solutions such as Enterprise Reporting and Planning (ERP) systems, stock compensation administration and expense systems, and other competitive solutions which are generally complex, costly, and require implementation. We frequently consult with our clients on implementing such solutions, should that be of interest.

WEBSITECONTENTSIGN-UP REQ'D?BASIC COSTPREMIUM ACCOUNTS
www.cfos2gopartners.com
Our home website, where users can find the thought leadership of our practice through Newsletters and BlogsNoFreeNo
Organization & Legal
www.sos.ca.gov/
Official site of the California Secretary of State. Site provides an important resource for doing business in California as well as a Registry of Businesses qualified to do business in
California, their status, and agent for service of process.
NoFreeN/A
www.nolo.comPublisher of self-help legal documents and publications.NoFreeYes
Community & Research
www.proformative.com
Online community serving corporate finance, accounting and treasury professionals. Newsletter, website, continuing education, events, jobs, blogs and white papers.YesFreeNo
www.linkedin.comSocial networking site and community for business professionals.YesFreeYes
www.linksv.comWebsite providing hard-to-find information on people, capital, and private companies in the Silicon ValleyYesFreeYes
Accounting & Regulatory
www.fasb.org
Authoritative literature on accounting principles generally
accepted in the United States of America (US GAAP) as promulgated through the
Accounting Standards
Codification of the Financial
Accounting Standards Board
YesFreeYes
www.sec.govOfficial site of the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Regulation, Enforcement, Education and complete Edgar filings from Public Companies
NoFreeN/A
Taxation
www.irs.gov
Official site of the Internal Revenue Service. Filing and payment instructions. Forms and publications. Payroll and income taxes.NoFreeN/A
www.ftb.ca.govOfficial site of the California Franchise Tax Board. Filing and payment instructions. Forms and publications. Individual income, corporate income and franchise taxes, payroll withholding.NoFreeN/A
www.boe.ca.govOfficial site of the California Board of Equalization. Filing and payment instructions. Forms and publications. Permit verification.
Sales and use tax.
NoFreeN/A
www.edd.ca.govOfficial site of the California
Economic Development
Department. Payroll taxes. Unemployment and disability insurance.
NoFreeN/A
Statistical
www.bls.gov
Official site of the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Information on consumer prices, consumer spending, wages and unemployment by regionNoFreeN/A
http://www.federalreserve.g ov/releases/h15/Current and historical interest rates for selected instruments governed by the Federal Reserve Board, as well as the Prime Rate of Interest.NoFreeN/A
http://25yearsofprogramming.com/blog/20070412avolatility.htm
Open source tool for calculating volatility of a given stock over a given period of timeNoFreeN/A
Industry Stats
www.bizstats.com
Online resource for free business
statistics and financial ratios [owned by Bizminer]
NoFreeN/A
www.bizminer.comOnline resource for granular industry statistical reportsYesSubscriptionYes
Startup Capital
www.gust.com
Angel Funding network for startup funding for both investors and entrepreneurs.YesFreeYes
Stock Market Activity
www.nasdaq.com
Official site of Nasdaq. Quotes and research, market activity, news and information, and company profiles of companies listed on the NasdaqNoFreeYes
http://finance.yahoo.comQuotes and research. Investing tools. Market Activity. Business and investment news.NoFreeN/A
Foreign Currency
www.oanda.com
Current and historic foreign currency exchange. Virtually all foreign currencies.NoFreeYes
Publications
http://online.wsj.com
Online version of the Wall Street JournalNoLimited FreeSubscription
www.bizjournals.comExcellent source of local business headlines and limited text articles (free) with full coverage available for subscription. Source of the Book of Lists, an excellent local source of the top businesses by industryNoLimited FreeSubscription

Summary

Our list of websites cannot possibly be all encompassing. We sought to provide a useful resource to our friends and clients for their use in everyday financial analysis.

If you have a particular website you find compelling that we have omitted in the Exhibit above, please let us know about it at cchillingworth@cfos2gopartners.com


ChriChris Chillin LRs Chillingworth is a partner with CFOs2Go Partners specializing in the high tech manufacturing, software, and service industries. He has over 30 years experience in financial leadership including multiple roles as a CFO in both the public and private sector. He leads our financial systems, stock compensation accounting, equity crowdfunding, and corporate governance practice groups.

Partner: Chris Chillingworth Practice Group: Financial Systems and Reporting, Small Business, Technical Accounting and Stock Compensation