Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to test the adequacy of SERVQUAL within the context of public online services, more specifically those provided by the Department of Taxation through its web‐based electronic declaration system. Design/methodology/approach – Following a quantitative methodological approach, a survey was applied to a sample of 351 certified accountants to empirically test the conceptual model. A first order confirmatory factor analysis was used to test the validity of different SERVQUAL online dimensions while multiple regression analysis was used to test the proposed hypotheses. Findings – Overall, the study finds that Certified Accountants revealed a low perceived quality with regard to empathy and responsiveness. Instead, tangibility, reliability and security were the SERVQUAL dimensions which were favourably evaluated by Certified Accountants. The study also revealed that empathy, tangibility and convenience were those dimensions that better contributed towards satisfaction. Practical implications – This study offers the opportunity to rethink how the Portuguese Department of taxation website provides online services and how it conforms to rigorous quality standards in order to assist users in complying with fiscal obligations. Originality/value – This study provides an empirical test regarding the adequacy of the SERVQUAL instrument for assessing service quality of online taxation services as perceived by Certified Accountants. It also validates this instrument in the specific context of taxation services of the Portuguese public sector.
EuroMed Journal of Business – Emerald Publishing
Published: Oct 12, 2007
Keywords: Customer service quality; Public sector organizations; Taxation; Online operatiions; SERVQUAL; Portugal