When is a standard not a standard?

The IASB issued an 86 page document in 2010 called Conceptual Framework for Financial Reporting [1] which describes the objectives and concepts for general purpose financial reporting. In the second paragraph complication begins:

‘The Conceptual Framework is not a Standard. Nothing in the Conceptual Framework overrides any Standard or any requirement in a Standard.’

Or more precisely, Standards systematically overrule the framework. So some IFRS Standards do not adhere to what is written in this conceptual framework, BUT it doesn’t state which Standards differ, where they differ or how they differ. So to understand the framework one needs to read ALL the standards and refer back to the framework. How complicated is that?

Which parts of the framework are obsolete? Are there many differences? Are they so few that it doesn’t matter? Are they important differences or minor ones? The IASB remains silent on these questions.

The opposite is also true. Some Standards refer back to the Conceptual Framework to validate it and they become part of the Standards. This happens in the very first International Accounting Standard, IAS1 [2] where the definition of assets, liabilities, income and expenses in the Conceptual Framework become part of the standard.

But when one reads these definitions in the conceptual framework, one cannot tell if they have been overridden or confirmed by a later standard or not.

Is this an oversight or a deliberate attempt by the International Accounting Standards Board to make consultation of the Conceptual Framework complicated?

[1] Conceptual Framework for Financial Reporting, issued by the International Accounting Standards Board in September 2010 and revised in March 2018.

[2] International Accounting Standard 1, Presentation of Financial Statements, Paragraph 15.

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