Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

ACCT 512: Auditing: Company / Industry Research

Company / Industry Research

Get started with your research by exploring the following library databases. Visit the library homepage at http://www.metrostate.edu/library and click on the icon “Databases A-Z.” Choose one of the following from the list.

These resources are primarily for publicly traded companies.

Company histories

  1. Business Insights: Essentials: Type in your company’s name and then click “Company Histories” and "Company Profiles" on the left.
  2. Business Source Premier: Click on “Company Profiles” at the top and then type in your company’s name. Each report has a 1-2 page history.

SWOT (Strengths – Weaknesses – Opportunities – Threats) analyses

  1. Business Insights: Essentials: Type in your company’s name and then click “SWOT Reports” on the left.
  2. Business Source Premier: Click on “Company Profiles” at the top and then type in your company’s name.

Industry information

  1. Standard & Poor’s NetAdvantage: Lengthy reports about the state of various industries. From the list available in the “Industry Surveys” dropdown menu, what are some possible matching industries for the company you are researching? If you don’t know, how might you find out? In each report, be sure to click these links at the top: CURRENT ENVIRONMENT, INDUSTRY PROFILE, Industry Trends, How the Industry Operates, and How to Analyze a… Company.
  2. Business Insights: Essentials: Type in the name of a company doing business in the industry you are researching. Click on the matching company in the list of search results. On the next page, click on one of the industries listed at the right that you consider most relevant. Finally, choose one of the “Industry Essays” on the next page.
  3. Value Line: Less helpful than Standard & Poor’s and Business Insights: Essentials, although you may still find information in this database helpful. Click on “Lookup Industry.”

Small or Private Companies and Not-for-Profit Organizations

Due to various federal disclosure requirements, the amount and kinds of information may be limited for some companies and organizations. As a result, less information is available in the library’s databases about small or private companies and not-for-profit organizations.

Research strategy #1

Synthesize information you find researching the industry (see the above box) with information you can gather from visiting the company or organization’s website. Also glean what you can from the information available about your company’s competitors or organization’s partners.

Research strategy #2

Search for news articles about the company or organization.

For Minnesota companies and organizations, search for articles written in the local newspapers Star Tribune and Pioneer Press, which are archived in the library database ProQuest Newsstand. Watch this brief video or follow these directions:

  1. Go to the library’s homepage: http://www.metrostate.edu/library
  2. Click on Databases A-Z.
  3. Click on the “P” tab.
  4. Click on ProQuest Newsstand.
  5. Click on the “Advanced search” link.
  6. Type your company name, like “Andersen Windows,” in the first search box.
  7. Type “Pioneer Press” in the first search box on the second row.
  8. Type “Star Tribune” in the second search box on the second row.
  9. Choose “Publication title—PUB” from the dropdown menu on the second row.
  10. Click the Search button.

Also check out the Minneapolis/Saint Paul Business Journal. Follow the same steps above, but choose the “M” tab and click on Minneapolis/Saint Paul Business Journal. Once inside, click on the link “Full Site Access.” Search the name of your company.

Research strategy #3

For not-for-profit organizations, search GuideStar databaseFollow the same steps above, but choose the “G” tab and click on GuideStar. Once inside, search the name of your organization in the search box. This database contains nonprofit organization financial information (including the IRS Form 990), mission statements, lists of board members and senior management, and more. The information available for an organization will vary.

Research strategy #4

Identify (through a Google search, for example) relevant national, regional, or statewide associations. Browse their websites and look for research reports, statistics, or periodicals that may be useful. 

Handout

This information is also available in a handout formatted for printing. See the Handouts page.

Ask Us

Reference Desk: (651) 793-1614
General information: (651) 793-1616
Email: library.services@metrostate.edu