James H. Thomason Library

ACCOUNTING Subject Guide
Reference Sources

Dictionaries, Encyclopedias, Handbooks
Standards and Intrepretations
Company Financial Information and Ratios
Industry Reports & Classification
Finding Journal Articles
Journal Databases
Key Journals
Journal Finder
Finding Books
eBook Collections
PASCAL Catalog
WorldCat & I.L.L.
Get Help  

denotes recommended resource

Reference Sources    
Dictionaries, Encyclopedias, Handbooks back to top

For background information and definitions refer to the following library reference works and online reference collections:

Accounting Terminology Guide [New York State Society of CPAs]
A comprehensive glossary of accounting and financial terms prepared for journalists who report on and interpret financial information.

Dictionary of Accounting [CREDO Reference], A & C Black, 2004.
A basic vocabulary of terms used in accounting, from personal finance and investments to company accounts. It is ideal for students of accounting and for anyone who needs to check the meaning of an accountancy term.

A Dictionary of Accounting [Oxford Reference Online], Market House Books Ltd., 2005.
This dictionary includes more than 3,500 entries with straightforward definitions of the latest financial jargon along with comprehensive coverage of financial accounting, financial reporting, management accounting, direct and indirect taxation, corporate finance, and auditing. Coverage is international, and includes worked examples of difficult concepts and feature entries on key topics.

A Dictionary of Business and Management [Oxford Reference Online], Market House Books Ltd., 2006.
This dictionary includes more than 6,750 entries covering business strategy, marketing, taxation, accounting, operations management, investment, banking and international finance.

A Dictionary of Finance and Banking [Oxford Reference Online], Market House Books Ltd., 2005.
Iincludes more than 5,000 entries on every aspect of the financial world: insurance, stocks and shares, commodities, takeovers and mergers, international trade, and government finance.  This source reflects new developments in areas such as building societies, the European monetary union, and stock exchange practices. Personal finance matters are also covered in depth, including investments, pensions, and taxation.

The Handbook of International Financial Terms  [Oxford Reference Online], Moles & Terry, 2005.
Includes more than 8,500 entries related to global financial markets. Find meanings of financial terms, such as a Circus, a Firewall, an Amazon Bond, a Clean Float, a Cocktail Swap, a Butterfly, a Streaker, a Straddle, and a Strangle. Numerous examples show how particular calculations and instruments are used; details given of acronyms, currencies, and major markets.

The History of Accounting: An International Encyclopedia, Garland, 1996.
Main Level, Reference:  R 657.09 H629H
This is the first encyclopedia to focus on the history of accounting and accounting thought. Accounting students can use this encyclopedia as a source for short essays and for an historical background in class discussions. Limited bibliographies provide sufficient information for most written assignments.

How to Finder Business Information: A Guide for Business People, Investors, and Researchers. Lucy Heckman. Praeger Publishing, 2011. [EBSCO eBook Academic Collection].



Standards and Interpretations back to top

Standards Setting Process [Goizueta Business Library, Emory University]
A concise review of legislation and organizations that set accounting standards.

House of GAAP [Goizueta Business Library, Emory University]
Clarifies the hierarchy of authority for “generally accepted accounting principles” (GAAP) in terms of the structure of a house.

FASB Statements & Interpretations [Financial Accounting Standards Board]
Pronouncements present the authoritative financial accounting and reporting standards for business and other private sector entities in several sections: Statements of Financial Accounting Standards, Statements of Financial Accounting Concepts, FASB Interpretations, and FASB Technical Bulletins.  EITF Abstracts summarize the deliberations of the Emerging Issues Task Force to identify, discuss, and resolve “narrow implementation, application, or other emerging issues that can be analyzed within existing GAAP.                      

FASAB Handbook of Accounting Standards [Federal Accounting Standards Advisory Board]
The most authoritative source of generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) developed by FASAB for federal entities.  The FASAB Handbook compiles and codifies the accounting standards and other pronouncements developed by FASAB and incorporates amendments within each individual pronouncement. It is designed to meet the needs of users for an authoritative reference to concepts, standards, interpretations, technical bulletins, technical releases, and other issuances. It contains extensive cross-referencing and indexing.

Governmental Accounting Standards [Government Accounting Standards Board]
Summaries and status of pronouncements of the authoritative financial accounting and reporting standards for state and local governments are available in three sections: GASB Statements, GASB Concepts Statements, and GASB Interpretations.

SEC Regulatory Actions [Securities and Exchange Commission]
The SEC establishes authoritative financial accounting and reporting standards for publicly-held companies.  Regulatory Actions presents releases concerning SEC rulemaking activity, including concept releases, proposed rules, final rules, interpretive releases, and policy statements. It also links to announcements concerning SRO rulemaking, PCAOB rulemaking, instructions for Exchange Act Exemptive Applications, other Commission notices, and public petitions for rulemaking submitted to the SEC.

AICPA Accounting Standards [American Institute of Certified Public Accountants]
The AICPA defined accounting standards from 1939 to 1973.  The organization currently issues Statement of Positions (SOPs), Accounting and Auditing Guides, and letters of comment on standards on financial accounting and reporting proposals issued by the standards boards.
Also available Upper Level: 657.3 F469A3 [loose-leaf, updated quarterly, 1982-present]

Company Financial Information and Ratios back to top

Almanac of Business and Industrial Financial Ratios, Prentice Hall, Inc., 2001.
Main Level, Reference: 
R 657.3 T759A  
The almanac features IRS-based financial ratios for almost 200 industries (arranged by NAICS code). It includes items such as rent and advertising expenses, as well as breakdowns by asset size of companies in an industry.

Beginner's Guide to Financial Statements  [U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission]
This brief brochure explains how to read the basic parts of financial statements.

Company Dossier - LexisNexis Academic  
Company Dossier lets you search a company by name, ticker symbol, or D-U-N-S® number. You can also restrict your search by company type, city, state/province or country. From this form, find a wealth of information including headquarters locations, SEC filings, and executive hierarchies. LexisNexis Company Dossier delivers easy-to-read profiles of over 43 million companies worldwide and information on 1,000 industries to your desktop in just seconds. It helps you identify potential new clients, understand a company’s brands and trademarks, access detailed financial and recent litigation information, and more.

Industry Norms and Key Business Ratios, Dun and Bradstreet, 2006.
Main Level, Reference:
R 338.5 D91I  
This work from Dun & Bradstreet provides financial norm and business ratio data developed from actual company income statements and balance sheets. The information is arranged by SIC code, with a short industry title, and an indication of the number of companies in each industry sample. Both typical and common-size financial statements and 14 key ratios provide important information about industry performance with respect to solvency, efficiency and, profitability.

LexisNexis - SEC Filings [LexisNexis Academic Universe]
LexisNexis Academic contains the full-text of EDGAR (the SEC's online database) filings from 1991 as well as annual and quarterly reports and proxy statements of more than 4,000 US companies, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission since 1987.

Click here to search Hoover's

MERGENT Company Reports [MERGENT] 
Information on over 10,000 US companies listed on the NYSE, AMEX, and Nasdaq exchanges, updated daily. Also includes real-time access to SEC filings [EDGAR] back to 1993, Industry Reports, Executive search and Equity Reports.

Reuters - Business
A global information company providing information tailored for professionals in the financial services, media and corporate markets with freedom from bias.

RMA Annual Statement Studies, Risk Management Association, 2004.
Main Level, Reference: R 338.0973 R54R
This core resource for industry ratios & benchmarks is from RMA, a banking organization (Risk Management Association, formerly Robert Morris Associates). It is arranged by NAICS code, with breakdowns by asset size of companies in an industry, and also includes a brief overview of financial ratios.

SEC Filings & Forms (EDGAR)
Access note: Click on Search for Company Filings, then Companies and other Filers to look up forms for a specific company. The Descriptions of SEC Forms link will give short descriptions of the most common corporate filings made with the SEC. Also avail MERGENT
Financial reports of U.S. corporations submitted to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Includes annual reports, quarterly reports, balance sheet, income statement, security activity and analysis.  Filings are posted to this site 24 hours after the date of filing. 

Value Line Investment Survey, Large, Small and Midcap Editions
Main Level, Reference:
Circulation Desk
Reports on approximately 1,800 large, small & mid-cap stocks, ranking them for performance, technical merit, and safety. Each stock report is updated on a regular rotation 4 times a year. Current issue plus previous year.

Yahoo! Finance
Free stock quotes, up to date news, portfolio management resources, international market data, message boards, and mortgage rates.

From Dow Jones & Company providing business news, personal finance information, real-time commentary and investment tools and data.

CNN Money


Industry Reports & Classification back to top

 MERGENT Industry Reports [MERGENT] 
In-depth analyses of key industries in the US and Canada, describing market environment, industry landscape and key market trends for companies and industry sectors.

FDIC [Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation]

An independent agency of the United States government that protects the funds depositors place in FDIC-insured institutions. Site has updates, news, industry analysis, including bank data and stats, info on failed banks, banking trends, and more.

SIC Division Structure [Occupational Safety & Health Administration]
The Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) coding system for industries was last used in 1987. It was replaced by NAICS (see below).

North American Industry Classification System  [U.S. Census Bureau]
The current industry classification system, introduced in 1987, was substantially revised in 1997, 2002, and 2007.  NAICS 2007 codes, along with links to correspondence tables between the 2007 and 2002 codes, may be found here.  NAICS 2002 codes, along with links to correspondence tables between the 2002 and 1997 codes, may be found here.
Also available Main Level, Reference: R 338.02 N811N (Bernan Press, 1997)


Finding Journal Articles  
Journal Databases back to top

The following journal databases are available to PC students, faculty, and staff from on- and off-campus locations.  Search using terms dealing with your topic.

Business Source Premier [EBSCOhost] 
Nearly 200 of the more than 2300 journals and magazines included in full text cover accounting and taxation.  Citations are provided for articles from approximately 50 other periodicals that cover accounting and taxation.  Additional full text, non-journal content includes market research reports, industry reports, country reports, company profiles and SWOT analyses.

Accounting and Tax Index, UMI, 1992-current year.
Main Level, Reference: IND 016.657 Am35A (last row of reference collection)
Provides citations to articles about virtually every aspect of accounting and taxation. Related subjects include financial management, compensation, consulting, and the financial-services industry.More than 1,000 publications are scanned for relevant articles.

Regional Business News 

Full text coverage for regional business publications.

Small Business Reference Center 

Provides up to date information on relevant topics from starting a company, operations management and sales to growing or rescuing a business


Key Journals back to top


Accounting and Business Research 1982 – 2010
Publishes papers covering any area of accounting, broadly defined and including corporate governance, auditing and taxation.

The Accounting Review 1926 – present

Publishes articles reporting the results of accounting research and explaining and illustrating related research methodology.

Accounting Today  1996 - present

CPA Journal 1993 – present
The official journal of the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants publishes a variety of articles on accounting, auditing, personal financial planning, and estate planning.

International Journal of Accounting 12/01/1996 – present
Publishes articles that help explain current international accounting practices, with related theoretical justifications, and identify criticisms of current practice.

Journal of Accountancy 1965 –present
Library print periodical collection, 1942 – current issue
Published by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), with reports on developments and trends affecting the profession, and articles on management advisory services, taxation, and accountancy education.

Journal of Accounting & Economics 1995 – present
Provides a forum for the publication of economic analyses of accounting problems.

Journal of Accounting and Public Policy 1995 – present
Regularly contains articles on the interaction of accounting with a wide range of disciplines, including economics, public administration, political science, social psychology, policy science, and the law.

Journal of Accounting, Auditing & Finance 1986 – present
Contains papers on a wide variety of topics in the field of accounting research.

Journal of Accounting Research 1963 – 1 year ago
Contains peer-reviewed research articles in the fields of empirical, analytic, and experimental accounting.

Journal of Business Finance & Accounting 1974 – present
Advances both the academic understanding and the professional practice of effective financial management, control, and accountability.

The National Public Accountant 1993 – 2009
The official publication of the National Society of Public Accountants, with articles for accounting and tax practitioners.

Strategic Finance 1999 – present
Flagship publication of the Institute of Management Accountants.  Publishes articles about practices and trends in finance, accounting, and information management that will impact members (mostly controllers, CFOs, and their staffs) and their jobs.

Journal Finder back to top

Journal Finder places information regarding access to PC's electronic and print journals, magazines, and newspapers in one convenient location.

Browse Journal Finder by title or subject. When browsing or searching, you can read articles from any journal that is available in the Full-text resources online group of results. Choose a database in this group based on the dates available and the time frame in which you are interested.


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THOMCAT - Use the online catalog to locate books in Thomason Library. You can search by author, title, keyword, or subject.

  • Search for a person, as AUTHOR or SUBJECT, with last name, first name:              

Iacocca, Lee [as AUTHOR]

Walton Sam [as SUBJECT]  
  • SUBJECT searching requires use of Library of Congress subject headings. The terms below are examples of subject headings related to accounting:


Corporation reports

Managerial accounting

  • Materials relevant to the study of accounting may also be found by specifying the era or dates, geographic area, or the material type in which you are interested:

Banks And Banking-United States


Income Tax-United States-Handbooks, Manuals, etc


Auditing, Internal-Periodicals


Money-United States-History-Colonial Period Ca 1600 1775


Subject searching is an effective and precise method of searching the catalog, however, KEYWORD searching has benefits, also.

  • Try a KEYWORD if you are unsure of the exact title or the correct subject heading to use. Search using two or three of the most significant words from the title or subject you are trying to find. Place phrases in "quotation marks."

  • Connect words with AND, OR, NOT to focus your search.
  • Try truncation at the end of a word stem to retrieve singular, plural, and other variations of the word.  Use an asterisk (*) to truncate from 1 to 5 characters. Use a double asterisk (**) to include word endings with an unlimited number of characters.
WORD Searching Tips

· Use AND between words to narrow your search:
estate tax AND South Carolina

· Use OR between words to expand your search and
group words with parentheses:
(IRA OR individual retirement account) AND tax

· Add * to the root of a word to truncate or expand a term:
estimat* = estimate, estimated, estimation

Beware truncating short words tax* = taxi, taxes, taxonomy


PASCAL Catalog back to top

  PASCAL Catalog - If you need materials not available at Thomason Library, try your search here to find books in other academic libraries in SC. Through PASCAL Delivers, you can order books online for delivery within 3-4 working days. This service for current PC students, faculty, and staff is a project of PASCAL- Partnership Among SC Academic Libraries. Borrowers will be notified by e-mail when requested items arrive at Thomason Library. Click here for searching and ordering tips.

eBook Collections    

EBSCO eBook Collections

[Includes combined contents of EBSCO eBook Collection and EBSCO eBook Academic Collection] Over 100,000 full-text ebooks covering a variety of disciplines.


ebrary eBook Collection 
Approximatley 70,000 electronic books covering a vast array of topics and themes.

WorldCat & I.L.L. back to top

WorldCat – A catalog of books and materials at libraries worldwide. Try searching here to find ALL books available on a topic. Materials available at Thomason Library are highlighted and others can be borrowed through ILL or searched in PASCALCAT.


Interlibrary Loan - ILL is available to PC students, faculty and staff in order to share resources between libraries. Check link for instructions.


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