Internet Browsing

Surf's Up for Finance Sites
John XenakisAugust 1, 1997

Looking for insight into the latest proposal from the Financial Accounting Standards Board? How about advice on your year 2000 problem? Such varied information is readily available on the Internet–as long as you know where to look. This month we highlight six new Web sites of interest to financial executives. Access is free, unless otherwise indicated. Note that all addresses begin with http://

Rutgers Accounting Web

The mother of all accounting sites is the Rutgers Accounting Web, or RAW. The site, which lays claim to being the “largest accounting site on the Internet,” is the home of the FASB site and the American Accounting Association site. The resource also contains countless accounting journals, research pa- pers, and research tools. A key feature on this extensive site is the search engine that allows users to find things quickly.

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Purchasing Web

Want to get the latest on purchasing over the Internet? Try the National Association of Purchasing Managers­Silicon Valley Inc. Web site. The site for purchasing and supply management professionals has an excellent selection of articles on its “Purchasing Web.” Topics include EDI, tips on cost reduction, and paperless purchasing.

Restricted Securities

Securities and Exchange Commission regulations are confusing anyway, but none are more confusing than those for restricted securities. These securities are not registered with the SEC, but are subject to specific complex legal restrictions on distribution and sale. To use this site, you answer a few questions about the way you acquired your restricted securities, how long you’ve had them, what state you live in, and so forth. The Web site takes your answers and displays a “Personal Executive Summary” listing the transactions available to you, such as whether you can borrow against your stock or whether there’s a holding period for sale. MultiLogic Inc., the Web site’s sponsor, claims that the information provided is based on the latest SEC rulings as of April 29, 1997.

Chicago Mercantile Exchange

This site provides a wealth of market information on a variety of derivatives topics, including interest rate futures, index futures, currency futures, and agricultural commodity futures. Both historical data and real time data updated every 5 or 10 minutes are available, usually in the form of tables that are hard to read but can be easily loaded into a spreadsheet. Other areas of the Web site have documents containing everything from CME’s opinions on new or proposed SEC regulations to tutorials on how to play the foreign currency market.

CPAtech Online

Subscribers to the CPA Technology Advisor newsletter will find selected articles from past issues available at this site, and much more. For example, the site contains reviews of several dozen computer software and hardware products, all from the point of view of the practicing accountant, as well as news briefs on developments of interest to accountants. Access to the site is currently free, but the publisher, Harcourt Brace Professional Publishing, plans at some point to limit access to newsletter subscribers ($214 per year).

Society for Information Management

As the millennium approaches, so do year 2000 anxieties and deadline fears. But the Society for Information Management hopes to keep those fears at bay, with their new best practices Web site. The site includes information on SIM activities, but users will be especially interested in communicating with professionals who are planning for the year 2000. Participants comment on such topics as impact analysis and assessment, planning, detailed scheduling, and budgeting. The site also makes use of benchmarking surveys. The service is free, but first-time users will need to register.

Additional reporting by Joseph McCafferty and DeAnn Christinat.

The Society for Information Management site allows users to benchmark their year 2000 progress. ag .