Representational analysis is increasing in popularity, not just in the area of evaluation of conceptual modelling grammars, but in any real-world modelling situation where semantics are being communicated through the use of grammatical constructs or symbols. However, critical questions remain as to choosing the appropriate reference ontology as a representational benchmark for a given situation and applying that ontology analytically in the process of representational analysis. This paper demonstrates how meta-models of proposed reference ontologies can be compared and evaluated on the bases of equivalence, structure and scope in order to aid the selection task. Having selected the reference ontology, this paper explains the current practice of representational analysis and clearly delineates the limitations of the procedure at the input, process and output stages. Finally, this paper explains how an improved version of the representational analytical methodology can be used to establish the ‘common’ set of requirements for full enterprise systems interoperability – an application domain well outside that of traditional conceptual modelling.