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Some User Friendly [and Free] Websites
By Christine Alfonso

Credit managers and their subordinates often are given access to the Internet. While there are many websites that are not business related and would be inappropriate to visit at work, there are a growing number of websites that are useful for credit professionals selling products both domestically and internationally, including:

  1. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission [SEC] website at This website allows visitors to review quarterly and annual financial statements and other reports filed with the SEC going back up to five years. Access to this site is free, but it contains information only on publicly traded companies.

  2. System for Electronic Document Analysis and Retrieval [SEDAR] website at This site is similar in function and content to the U.S. SEC website - but it provides information about Canadian public companies.

  3. Country commercial guides from the U.S. government's Department of Commerce. The free reports are available at These guides contain information on business and economic conditions in foreign countries, along with an analysis of the political climate.

  4. The search engine AltaVista allows users to translate up to 150 words from English into any one of eight foreign languages. The site is at This service is free.

  5. If you are wondering what your job is worth, a free site permits users to search for salary data on various positions within a company in most States and in numerous foreign countries. With this information, you will be in a better position to negotiate their salary - or to recognize when they are being adequately compensated.

  6. The National Association of Credit Management's website at contains a wealth of information useful to credit professionals at all levels of experience.

  7. Another useful resource on the Internet for credit professionals is Access to portions of this website are free and this free information is appropriate to credit professionals at all levels of experience.
    One note of caution: When employees are given access to the Internet it is a good idea to establish a written policy for Internet use. Fundamentally, this policy should state that the Internet is to be used for business related purposes only and that any misuse of the Internet will result in disciplinary action up to and including termination.

Christine Alfonso is a credit manager located in Southern California and a regular contributor to this publication.

Reprinted with permission from the © 2001 Covering Credit Newsletter
9/10/02 Edition, All Rights Reserved

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