Quantitative and qualitative information regarding a public listed company is important to its investors, as it is material enough to influence their decision-making. They could obtain both this information in various ways such as the company's annual financial report, half-yearly reports, proxy circular, prospectus, information circulars, news release, internet resources and other similar public disclosure reports. Sometimes qualitative information may be disseminated orally from insiders of a company but this type of information usually unreliable. Reasons for this information to be available are also due to factors such as law ruling by the government, requirements from security commission such as ASIC (Australian Securities and Investments Commission) where observation on the activities of listed companies are undertaken. Both act as a "protector" to investors to prevent any misconduct by companies. Also, companies have to comply with the needs of its investors by providing GPFR (general-purpose financial reports) as part of the standard accounting requirements. Moreover, due to implication of SAC (standard accounting concepts) such as SAC1 where it defines the reporting entity, it is discussions state that if exist dependent users on a company's GPFR, that company is a reporting entity and is responsible to disclose information to its users. .
For various types of financial and non-financial information mentioned above, it possesses qualitative characteristics such as relevance (information which assists in decision-making), materiality (assessing whether an item of relevant and reliable information could affect decision making about allocation of resources), timeliness (constrain in accounting) and reliability (information free from bias or undue error and is faithfully represented) and each has its strength and weaknesses.
Example, a company's annual report may be reliable as it is quite complete in providing users with sufficient information to make decisions due to observance to the strict reporting guidelines set by the authority.