THE Ministry of Finance (MOF) has issued another batch of consultation papers on introducing new accounting standards to China, according to a mainland accounting expert. Speaking in Hong Kong yesterday, associate professor of Shanghai University of Finance and Economics, Shin Yuanchen, said seven consultation papers had been released to the consultants appointed by the MOF at the start of this month. The papers include the introduction of new accounting standards for the banking industry, statements of cash flow, fixed assets, long-term contracts, research and development, intangible assets, and owners' equities. The move was part of the accounting reform programme launched by the MOF at the end of 1993. Sponsored by the World Bank, the MOF listed about 31 areas for the reform based on the research papers compiled by accounting firm Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu. The first batch of the seven consultation papers covering areas such as balance sheets, income statements, capitalisation of borrowing costs, investment, receivables and payables were released last year. These papers were distributed to domestic and overseas consultants including the Hong Kong Society of Accountants (HKSA), and the final version of the regulations would be issued by the MOF. Assistant director of the HKSA Tommy Fung said the MOF planned to issue most of the consultation papers by the end of this year and a final draft of the regulations on most of the items was expected to be announced early next year. 'Besides a few areas which might be more complicated, the MOF plans to announce more than 20 of the items at one time early next year. Though the implementation date might be a bit later,' Mr Fung said. The HKSA was expected to file its comments on the latest batch of papers by the end of this month. President of Shanghai University of Finance and Economics Tang Yunwei - speaking yesterday at the Seventh Annual Conference of Accounting Academics - expected the whole reform to be finished by the end of 1997. He said details of the accounting regulations would need to be reviewed from time to time. Deloitte partner Stephen Taylor said the firm finished all the research papers last month and it would assist the MOF on reviewing the comments collected in an advisory capacity. Mr Taylor said the regulations would not be too far off international standards because the MOF was trying to incorporate as many international practices as it could within the framework of China's legislation. 'The MOF might bring in standards on how to deal with barter trade. In other countries, they have non-monetary transactions. But they are not that specific.' Mr Taylor said more attention would be paid to grants, donations and party disclosures because families dominated a lot of firms. Mr Shin said there was some controversy on bringing in international standards, such as those covering earnings per share and financial year statements. The MOF was not willing to introduce disclosure of EPS because the number of shareholding companies was small. Enterprises were only allowed to use calendar year figures because government departments wanted to collect unified figures on all companies, Mr Shin said.