An emerging trend is recognised in hormone and veterinary drug residue analysis from liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC/MS/MS) based screening and confirmation towards accurate mass alternatives such as LC coupled with time-of-flight (TOF), Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance (FTICR) or Fourier transform orbitrap (FT Orbitrap) MS. In this study, mass resolution and accuracy are discussed for LC/MS screening and confirmation of targeted analytes and for the identification of unknowns using the anabolic steroid stanozolol and the designer β-agonist "Clenbuterol-R" as model substances. It is shown theoretically and experimentally that mass accuracy criteria without proper mass resolution criteria yield false compliant (false negative) results, both in MS screening and MS/MS confirmation of stanozolol. On the other hand, previous medium resolution accurate mass TOFMS/MS data of the designer β-agonist were fully confirmed by high resolution FT Orbitrap MSn experiments. A discussion is initiated through a proposal for additional criteria for the use of accurate mass LC/MS technologies, to be implemented in Commission Decision 2002/657/EC. © 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.