IAS 1 Presentation of Financial Statements sets out the overall requirements for financial statements, including how they should be structured, the minimum requirements for their content and overriding concepts such as going concern, the accrual basis of accounting and the current/non-current distinction. The standard requires a complete set of financial statements to comprise a statement of financial position, a statement of profit or loss and other comprehensive income, a statement of changes in equity and a statement of cash flows.
Objective Of Financial Statements
The objective of general-purpose financial statements is to provide information about the financial position, financial performance, and cash flows of an entity that is useful to a wide range of users in making economic decisions. To meet that objective, financial statements provide information about an entity’s:
- Income and expenses, including gains and losses
- Contributions by and distributions to owners (in their capacity as owners) cash flows.
Components Of Financial Statements
A complete set of financial statements includes:
- a statement of financial position (balance sheet) at the end of the period
- a statement of profit or loss and other comprehensive income for the period (presented as a single statement, or by presenting the profit or loss section in a separate statement of profit or loss, immediately followed by a statement presenting comprehensive income beginning with profit or loss)
- a statement of changes in equity for the period
- a statement of cash flows for the period
- notes, comprising a summary of significant accounting policies and other explanatory notes
comparative information prescribed by the standard
Accrual Basis of Accounting
IAS 1 requires that an entity prepare its financial statements, except for cash flow information, using the accrual basis of accounting.
Consistency Of Presentation
The presentation and classification of items in the financial statements shall be retained from one period to the next unless a change is justified either by a change in circumstances or a requirement of a new IFRS.
Materiality And Aggregation
Information is material if omitting, misstating or obscuring it could reasonably be expected to influence decisions that the primary users of general-purpose financial statements make on the basis of those financial statements, which provide financial information about a specific reporting entity.
Each material class of similar items must be presented separately in the financial statements. Dissimilar items may be aggregated only if they are individually immaterial.
Assets and liabilities, and income and expenses, may not be offset unless required or permitted by an IFRS.
IAS 1 requires that comparative information to be disclosed in respect of the previous period for all amounts reported in the financial statements, both on the face of the financial statements and in the notes, unless another Standard requires otherwise. Comparative information is provided for narrative and descriptive where it is relevant to understanding the financial statements of the current period.
There is a presumption that financial statements will be prepared at least annually. If the annual reporting period changes and financial statements are prepared for a different period, the entity must disclose the reason for the change and state that amounts are not entirely comparable.
Judgements And Key Assumptions
An entity must disclose, in the summary of significant accounting policies or other notes, the judgements, apart from those involving estimations, that management has made in the process of applying the entity’s accounting policies that have the most significant effect on the amounts recognized in the financial statements.