IAS 1 says that the statements must present fairly the financial position, financial performance and cash flows of the entity. It specifies that it is presumed that this will be achieved by compliance with IFRS. However, it does allow that ‘in extremely rare circumstances’ an entity may decide that compliance would not result in a fair presentation, and in such circumstances it may depart from individual standards. If it does this, it must explain why and show the effect on the financial statements.
It adds a proviso that this is available to the extent that the relevant regulatory framework, normally national law, allows or does not prohibit such a departure. For example, the EU company law directives specify that if following GAAP does not give ‘a true and fair view’ an entity should in the first instance disclose extra information, and only if that is not thought workable, not follow the standard concerned. (The UK Accounting Standards Board obtained a legal opinion that producing statements that fairly present under IFRS is equivalent to providing a true and fair view.)
the statements must present fairly the financial position, financial performance and cash flows of the entity