The task of making financial reporting simpler and more useful isn’t so simple as one might hope, according to several influential accounting officials who met to discuss the problem.

The Global Accounting Alliance, a group of accountancy bodies from various countries, held a meeting Friday at the New York offices of the American Institute of CPAs to talk about the issue of complexity in financial reporting. While there was widespread agreement about the need to make financial statements less complex and more understandable to investors, participants in the roundtable noted that many investors and analysts also want to have access to all the details, and they don’t like it when any information that they are used to seeing on financial statements is missing.

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