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Research Roadblocks

The process of gathering information differs depending on whether you are internal or external to your target organization. External to an organization, you may have to deal with the fact that you may not have access to all the financial information you’d like. For corporations, you may be interested in only one segment of their business. Companies usually disclose little or nothing about individual subsidiaries or divisions with the only exception being that corporations are required to disclose results by “industry segment.” If the portion of the corporation that you are interested in is large enough, you may be able to find more details about it.

Alternatively, you may be interested in a privately held organization. Privately held organizations are not required to publish their financial information. If you are interested in a corporation based in another country, and that corporation trades stock on the U.S. stock exchanges, that corporation must disclose information in the United States according to the rules of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). If the corporation is not traded on U.S. stock exchanges, you will find that other countries have different laws about what must be disclosed. The information you want may be provided in unfamiliar formats or not publicly disclosed at all. If you are interested in a government organization, still other rules apply for what must be published in each province, state, city, or country.


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