A number of studies in the USA, UK, Australia and Canada have addressed the evaluation of the usefulness of accounting information and sought to identify criteria for assessing the quality and utility of financial reports (e.g. Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (1975), Financial Accounting Standards Board (1980), Institute of Chartered Accountants in Scotland (1988), Accounting Standards Board (1991)). The qualitative characteristics viewed as desirable for the fulfilment of the fundamental objective of communicating decision‐useful measurement recognize that all of these characteristics are not simultaneously achievable and that some trade‐off is necessary. Examines the nature of this conflict of objectives and attempts to quantify the extent of the conflict for different user groups.
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