Academic journal article Journal of Accountancy

Commerce Department Operates Online Data Business

Academic journal article Journal of Accountancy

Commerce Department Operates Online Data Business

Article excerpt

Although there is a vast amount of information available on the Internet, not all of it is reliable. However, since 1985 the Department of Commerce has been providing authoritative business, economic and trade information. STAT-USA, at http://www.statusa.gov, provides daily economic news, such as Treasury statements and exchange rates; frequently requested statistic releases, such as the gross domestic product; "State of the Nation," economic news from all federal statistical agencies including the Bureau of Economic Analysis; and "GLOBUS," a vast collection of leads for companies of all sizes wanting to expand internationally. STAT-USA is especially useful to CPAs

* In small firms without access to expensive news services.

* Who need quick, accurate financial information for management consulting engagements.

* Who work in small companies and are relied on to obtain and coordinate the business's financial information needs.

Paul Christy, STAT-USA's deputy director, told the Journal that "anecdotal evidence indicates we have a lot of small business users." STAT-USA has a "Real-life Uses" page describing how various companies--including one with just three employees--used STAT-USA information to build their businesses. The Web site provides these companies with business leads and market information. STAT-USA receives about 150,000 hits each week.

Tax dollars not at work

Although many government agencies have World Wide Web sites, this one is run like a business. …

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