The Hong Kong Society of Accountants (HKSA) is to issue an exposure draft which will prohibit listed companies treating dividends declared after the year-end as a liability. 'This is because the enterprise concerned is not yet obliged to pay the proposed dividends at the year-end date,' said Kam Pok-man, president of HKSA, the industry body for all local accountants. The proposal, if adopted, will effectively reduce a company's liabilities and at the same time increase shareholders' funds at the year-end, he said. Mr Kam said the proposed draft aimed to bring local standards in line with international practices. The international accounting standards (IAS) last year implemented these rules which the United States and many European countries had already adopted, Mr Kam said. 'Hong Kong should follow suit if we want to maintain our position as an international financial centre,' Mr Kam added yesterday. The new standard is proposed in the exposure draft 'Events after the Balance Sheet Date' which will be issued next month for market consultation. Mr Kam said since 1993, the HKSA started a programme to change all local accounting standards to follow the IAS, instead of using the British model. He said only four of these standards differed from the IAS and hoped this would change by next year. The International Organisation of Securities Commissions - the global body for securities regulators - recently endorsed 30 IAS accounting standards to be used in case of cross-border listings when companies were listed on different stock markets at the same time, Mr Kam said. Meanwhile, he said a mutual recognition agreement had been signed with Certified Public Accountants in Australia and Britain's Association of Chartered Certified Accountants.