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ACCT 401 (Baker) Course Resources: LexisNexis

This guide will help you find and navigate the resources you need for class assignments (Credit to Jennifer Winchel)

Access LexisNexis

About LexisNexis Academic

LexisNexis provides access to the full text of electronic sources of information.  These sources include newspapers, magazines, government documents, state and federal laws and regulations, wire services, newsletters, company and industry analyst reports, and more.

See the column on the right for information about Basic Searches and Specialized Searches (keep scrolling).

In addition to providing great news coverage and SEC Filings for companies, LexisNexis Academic contains essential accounting resources, including:

Basic Searches

1. For financial reporting, you will primarily use the COMPANIES library (select from the Search by Content Type drop-down) and within it, the SEC Filings sub-library.  (For searching business press, you would select the All News sub-library below the NEWS library. You can search for a source from the Source Directory Find menu at the top-right of the page. To view an alphabetical listing of all sources for a source type, open the Browse menu and select a category. From the Advanced Options drop-down, you may also type a name in the Souce search box and select it from the list. Click the Apply button to search within the source. This approach is the easiest way to find the New York Times. )

2. Identify separate ideas your question may encompass and then list the words an accountant might use to express these ideas.

            Examples:        in-substance defeasance, insubstance defeasance, U.S. government securities, Extraordinary gain

                                   

Use the universal character ! to search for words that may have different endings. 

           Examples:         responsib! = responsible, responsibility

                                        employ!    = employer, employee, employing

 

3. Connect the Search Words and put them in the “Search Terms” box.

Use the OR connector to search for one word or another word.  Use the W/n (WITHIN "n") connector to search for words that are within “n” number of words of each other.  Use the AND connector to search for multiple words that should appear in the same document.

            Examples:        (in-substance OR insubstance) AND defeasance

                                Would search for documents that contain “in-substance” and “defeasance” and documents that contain “insubstance” and “defeasance”

                                       pension W/5 defined

                                        Would search for documents with the word “pension” within five words of the word “defined”

Using search terms and commands to perform a search

COMPANIES—SEC FILINGS

This sub-library is very similar to the SEC's EDGAR database.  Importantly, though, this library has a key advantage over using EDGAR from the SEC’s web site.  Specifically, you can search for company financial statements without knowing the name of the company.  Other advantages of using LexisNexis Academic for SEC Filings include the ability to search for filings by:

-State and date

               Example: 10-K filings in the last 2 years for companies with a filing address in South Carolina

-Filing type and industry and/or date

               Example: Proxy statements in the food and beverage industry in the previous 6 months

-Terms within a section of an SEC filing

               Example: 10-K filings that contain the word inventory in the Accounting Changes section (Item 9)

               Example: 10-K filings that contain the word Ernst in the Accountant Fees section

These types of specialized searches can be performed by selecting the type of filing in the SEC FILINGS sub-library, then selecting “Edit in Advanced Search” in the Tip section under the Source box. In the Advanced Search screen, there will be a box titled “Add Section Search” where you can specify the segment and terms.

There are two symbols which you will find very helpful when there is more than one form of a word that you wish to use as a search term. These are described below.

 Symbol

Description

Example

!

Can be used to search for words that may have several different endings

account!

This will retrieve: accountant

                             accountants

                             accounting

                             accounts  etc. 

*

Can be used as a wild card to replace one character within a word.  Each asterisk substitutes for only one alphabetic character.

advertis***

This will retrieve:  advertising

                               advertisers

You also may wish to use connectors, such as those listed below.  If you need more help (and more commands), LEXIS-NEXIS has additional guidance on the search page.

Command

Description

Example

OR

This command instructs LEXIS-NEXIS to retrieve documents containing either one or the other or both of two different search terms.  In general, this command will expand your search results.

Leases OR debt

This will retrieve all documents containing either leases or debt or both terms.

AND

This command instructs LEXIS-NEXIS to retrieve documents containing both of the search terms.  The terms do not have to be side-by-side in the document, but they both must be present somewhere in the document.  Documents having only one or none of the search terms will not be retrieved.

Leases AND debt

This will retrieve all documents containing both of the terms leases and debt somewhere in the document.

W/n

Where n stands for a number, this command retrieves documents where the two search terms are within n words of each other in any order.  The n can be from 1 to 255.

Leases W/10 debt

This will retrieve all documents containing both of the terms leases and debt, but only if the terms are within 10 words of each other.

The source is the kind of financial report you are seeking.  Click to select the type(s) of report you need.  You will use most frequently the annual reports and SEC 10K reports.

The date would be the date or date range that you need (e.g., previous year).  You can also select particular dates by selecting “Date is/Date is before/Date is after/Date is between…”

Specialized Searches


Please contact us at the Business Library if you need help with your specialized searches.

Steps:

COMPANIES directory --> SEC FILINGS sub-directory --> select "Advanced OPtions” in the drop-down under the Source box.

In Advanced Options screen, there will be a box titled “Build Your Own Segment Search” where you can specify the segment and terms.

Specialized searches include the ability to search for filings by:

  • State and date

              Example: 10-K filings in the last 2 years for companies with a filing address in South Carolina

  • Filing type and industry and/or date

              Example: Proxy statements in the food and beverage industry in the previous 6 months

  • Terms within a section of an SEC filing

              Example: 10-K filings that contain the word inventory in the Accounting Changes section (Item 9)

              Example: 10-K filings that contain the word Ernst in the Accountant Fees section