What EDGAR Can’t Do For You

Overworked Businessman Resting On Contract PaperBy Marisa Ruffles. The EDGAR database has a search function that allows public access to all company filings including various 10-K, 10-Q and 8-K filings for peers and competitors. Great, right? In theory, yes; in practice, not so much. The missing word is easy.  If you have tried to search documents in EDGAR before, you know that the process is far from easy.  Being able to quickly pinpoint the information you are looking for is difficult to say the least, and even EDGAR confesses there are limitations to the types of searches you can perform.  We summarized them below for you:

  • You can’t search within EDGAR by type of securities offering or for the securities that are offered on a specific securities exchange or other securities market.
  • EDGAR’s Full-Text Search currently is limited to filings only within the past four years.
  • EDGAR does not allow you to compare different years of a specific filing or subsequent amendments to an original filing.
  • Similarly, if a company’s filing is amended, EDGAR does not highlight the specific amendment.
  • You can’t set up automatic notifications to alert you when a specific disclosure is filed by a peer or competitor.
  • EDGAR limits the number of search results on certain searches.
  • You must type EXACTLY the company name as listed on the filing – and punctuation counts. If you search Inc. and the filing says Inc, EDGAR won’t generate the search results you’re looking for.
  • You cannot search for all mergers and acquisitions for a specific period, you will need to find the appropriate registration statements and then individually search each disclosure

In today’s business climate, competitive intelligence is key and it is crucial to be able to gain access to that information quickly and easily.  Luckily, the EDGAR search functionality isn’t the only game in town.

Certent Disclosure Research allows you to search millions of public filings and easily locate sample wording to benchmark your company’s disclosures – IN SECONDS. You can easily pinpoint qualitative, unstructured information to establish best practices and perform peer comparisons with ease.  And the best part, you can start a 30-day free trial today!

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