- The analysis and discussions of the company’s management of the financial statements of the firm. Obtained from the investors relations page within the firm’s website (Balamuralikrishna & Dugger, 1995).
- Federal regulatory actions that take place in the industry within which the company is found. It can be accessed at https://www.federalregister.gov/ (Balamuralikrishna & Dugger, 1995).
- State regulatory actions implemented in the industry within which the company is found. Can be accessed at http://www.legislature.ca.gov/ (Balamuralikrishna & Dugger, 1995).
- Independent or Self-sufficient Stash or Stock Market Analyst company performance evaluations or assessments. This can be found in Investopedia at http://www.investopedia.com/markets/stockanalysis/#axzz21x64HrK3 (Balamuralikrishna & Dugger, 1995).
- Economic news released within the boundary of the country in which the company competes and operates. For instance Wall Street Journal given by the link http://online.wsj.com/home-page. Similar sources for economic news include USA Today and Financial Times Global Economy accessible at http://www.usatoday.com/ and http://www.ft.com/global-economy respectively (Balamuralikrishna & Dugger, 1995).
The general information of a company such as its name, clients, location and distribution areas, headquarters, present CEO, total revenue, total profits, total number of employees and the main competitors may be available online (Balamuralikrishna & Dugger, 1995). This is because they do not give details about the company’s strategies and advantages over others (Curtis & Cobham, 2008).
It may be impossible to find the financial details or information for companies that are not public, or rather detailed information that revolve around the public firm’s proprietary processes or technologies (Curtis & Cobham, 2008). In a similar manner, it may prove difficult to access information about the Mergers and Acquisitions activities (M&A), and this is dependent on where exactly it is located within the cycle of the transaction (Curtis & Cobham, 2008).
The sources are rated in the order within which they occur in the lists aforementioned, that is, from 1 (the best source) to 5 (the worst source) respectively (Curtis & Cobham, 2008). The information obtained from these sources can be validated in various ways. Financial statements that are published are often audited by independent audit companies, or a company (Curtis & Cobham, 2008). State and Federal regulatory actions are many times unrestricted from accessing information or general knowledge (open to the public). For the economic and analyst news, it would be imperative that I look for and make use of corroborating data or information (Balamuralikrishna & Dugger, 1995).
In this case, if the research that I have conducted is thorough, complete and obtained from up-to-date, accurate, matching, and independent resources or sources, then I would be certain that the information in them is possibly reliable (Curtis & Cobham, 2008).
Other sources that I can use to complete the SWOT analysis include the website of the company, press releases in addition to other relevant news that is associated with the company (Curtis & Cobham, 2008). Cross-checking some of this information could be done by looking at the press releases or websites of the firm’s competitors, which will also give additional proof or more opportunities and threats of the company (Curtis & Cobham, 2008).
The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 was passed by the United States’ congress in the indicated year. It was meant to protect business investors from the likelihood of fraudulent or falsified accounting or book-keeping activities by companies (Zhang, 2007). As such, the financial statements given by companies to the public concerning their account records are not deceitful, thus reliable.
I am confident that the information used in my SWOT analysis is accurate because it is based on acts of parliament, based on research, includes both opposing and supporting ideas of the company, and is well-researched (Curtis & Cobham, 2008).
Balamuralikrishna, R., & Dugger, J. C. (1995). SWOT analysis: A management tool for initiating new programs in vocational schools. Retrieved 16 March, 2014 from http://scholar.lib.vt.edu/ejournals/JVTE/v12n1/Balamuralikrishna
Curtis, G., & Cobham, D. (2008). Business information systems: Analysis, design and practice. Pearson Education.
Zhang, I. X. (2007). Economic consequences of the Sarbanes–Oxley Act of 2002. Journal of Accounting and Economics, 44(1), 74-115.