The Financial Accounting Standards Board has issued the results of its 2013 FASB Stakeholder Survey, a wide-reaching poll meant to reflect the priorities of its members in the coming years.

Members indicated five projects that they would like to see on the organization's agenda in the next three to five years: hedging as a financial instrument, conceptual framework, financial instruments with characteristics of equity, pension accounting, and financial statement presentation.

The greatest number of comments were in the areas of conceptual and disclosure frameworks, as well as financial instruments. Responders said that the need for greater simplification, information and transparency for investors and users of financial reports were the primary reasons for new standards.

Around 38 percent of the respondents were preparers; 22 percent, accounting firms; 12 percent, users; 8 percent, academics; and 6 percent, industry organizations.***

The U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission is calling for public comment on a proposed rule that would require public companies to disclose a ratio showing the compensation of its chief executive officer to the median compensation of its employees. It is among the many rules born from the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.

The rule would not require a specific methodology for calculating the ratio, asking that companies determine the compensation amounts "in a way that best suits its particular circumstances."

Public companies are already required to disclose extensive information concerning the compensation of their high-level executives, yet those companies are not required to release the same information about their compensation practices as a whole.

The SEC announced its call for comment on Sept. 18, and the period will be open for 60 days following publication in the Federal Register.***

The IRS has published its summer 2013 issue of the Statistics of Income Bulletin, reflecting data from tax returns for tax years 2008--2011.

Average individual W-2 earnings rose slightly during that period, from $40,532 in 2008 to $40,892 in 2010. Men earned more on average than women, but average income for men slipped 0.62 percent over the period as it rose 3.36 percent for women.

In 2010, 48 percent of individuals filing form W-2 participated in an employer-sponsored retirement plan. Around 23.4 million individuals reported sole-proprietorship activity for tax year 2011, with profits increasing 5.6 percent from 2010.***

California State Controller John Chiang released his department's report describing California's tax income and expenses for the month of August, noting that revenue missed estimates in the state budget by 0.4 percent.

The state had $6.9 billion in revenue for the month. Personal income taxes were 1.5 percent below estimates. Sales tax receipts dipped 2.3 percent.

Corporate taxes, meanwhile, were 69.2 percent higher than projections, and insurance taxes were up 64.7 percent.

"The state's ability to pay its bills on-time and in-full remains strong, and August revenues, which very narrowly missed the governor's official projection, indicate nothing to the contrary," Mr. Chiang said in the announcement. "Importantly, the state's dependence on external borrowing to meet its cash-flow needs has been reduced by nearly half since last year and is the smallest borrowing since 2009."

California ended the month of August with a general fund cash deficit of $12.4 billion and covered that cost through borrowing from other funds. The deficit was down significantly from the $21.4 billion deficit that the state faced at the same time last year.•••

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