Corporations Canada Transactional Survey: July-December 2007 Report

Corporations Canada's (CC) online Transactional Survey is designed to measure client satisfaction towards its online service. The survey is offered on an ongoing basis and gives clients the opportunity to provide feedback on areas requiring improvement. This report discusses findings for the period of July to December 2007.

During the period of July to December 2007, the survey was offered to 54,758 clients and 15,986 replied. This represents a 29.2 percent response rate. This response rate is somewhat lower than what CC registered during the previous period (last period, 31.7 percent of the users filled out the survey). This may be explained by the fact that while the web-based survey is offered to all CC clients filing an online transaction, repeat users now have the option of opting out of the survey.

Yet, from one period to the next, satisfaction with the overall quality of the online service remained essentially the same; high ratings varied from 86.3 percent to 86.5 percent. The two areas of services that received the lowest scores of satisfaction were the costs incurred when doing some transactions and the Help features. The areas that were rated the highest were the ease of use of the forms, and the usability of the forms.

Satisfaction levels are higher within groups making the most transactions: 90.1 percent for those who completed between 2 and 10 transactions and 96.9 percent for those who filed more than 10. Close to 86.2 percent of the users that completed one transaction expressed satisfaction with the overall quality of service.

Transactional survey respondents were asked to indicate their satisfaction with or their agreement to different questions on a scale of one to five — one being the lowest and five the highest level. References to satisfaction or agreement in this report are based on ratings of 4 and 5; in most cases however, average satisfaction levels vary little and hovers between 4 and 5.

Satisfaction by Category of Filer

Satisfaction by Category of Filer

Approximately 57 percent of the respondents were business owners; the remaining categories of respondents split the difference. However, these numbers do not actually reflect the exact breakdown, as repeat users — such as law firms and accountants — can file on behalf of their clients and may opt out of the survey.

Overall, satisfaction levels were high for all categories, especially third parties and employees. They were more satisfied than the owners and the directors. The possible explanation for third-party satisfaction levels may be that this category of respondents is familiar with the online system. Thus, it can be argued that overall satisfaction with Corporation Canada's online service was consistently high among all user groups.

Satisfaction by Category of Filer

Satisfaction by Category of Filer

Satisfaction with Online Transactions

Satisfaction with Online Transactions

As previously noted, 87 percent of the users said they were satisfied with the overall quality of the online services. This is similar to the 86 percent reported in the previous period.

Similarly, respondents said they were satisfied when asked to rate the different steps involved in conducting a transaction online.

Users Satisfied with Online Transactions

Respondents indicated they were somewhat comfortable when using the Internet and when accessing Corporations Canada's online services. Respondents' satisfaction level varied between 89 percent for employees and 84 percent for owners. Third parties closely followed at 88 percent.

Respondents were asked how easy it was to navigate through the site and to find what they were looking for. Satisfaction levels were very similar for all categories. Indeed satisfaction levels ranged from lows of 83 and 84 percent for the "other" category and the owners, to 88 percent for third parties. This difference can be explained by the fact that those in the "other" category and the owners are not familiar with the website, as opposed to third parties who tend to be regular users.

Response and Satisfaction by Jurisdiction

Response and Satisfaction by Jurisdiction

More than 85 percent of respondents had their office registered in either Ontario (48 percent) or in Quebec (37 percent). Eleven percent of respondents had their offices registered in western provinces and territories — mostly in British Columbia (5 percent) and Alberta (4 percent). Offices registered in the Atlantic provinces made up 2 percent of the respondents.

Users Satisfied Overall, by Jurisdiction
Response and Satisfaction by Jurisdiction

Overall satisfaction levels increased in most jurisdictions, ranging from 69 percent in Northwest Territories to 100 percent in Yukon & Nunavut. These results compare with the low of 86 percent and the high of 100 percent during the last reporting period.

User Satisfaction with the Online Forms

User Satisfaction with the Online Forms

Of the total transactions performed during the period, 71 percent were related to Annual Return filings, 14 percent were related to the Article of Incorporation and 4 percent to the Change of Registered Office.

Transaction Distribution, by Form

 

User satisfaction with the extensively used online forms – the Annual Return and the relatively complex Articles of Incorporation — was in the mid-range at 86 percent for both forms. The form that received the highest satisfaction mark from users was the Certificate of Existence (93 percent). However, the form that received the lowest marks from users was the Articles of Continuance (64 percent). These results are comparable to the level of satisfaction of the last reporting period (where users said they were respectively 76 percent and 83 percent satisfied with the forms).*

Overall Satisfaction Per Form Filed Online (Percent of Clients Satisfied)

Understanding and Filling Out the Forms

Understanding and Filling Out the Forms

When asked, users generally agreed that CC's online forms are easy to understand and to fill out.

The satisfaction reported in the current period is similar to that of the previous period for most forms, except for the Certificate of Existence and the Articles of Continuance.*

Percent of Clients Satisfied with the Forms

 

Usefulness of the Help Features

Usefulness of the Help Features

The Help feature associated with the Articles of Continuance received the lowest satisfaction mark.*

Users suggested that the Help menu walk them through the process, and that hyperlinks to relevant sections of the Act be added. Users also complained that they needed to navigate through numerous windows to access the Help function.

Corporations Canada is re-designing the Help feature for its new Internet site and will continue to monitor satisfaction ratings and comments on this topic.

 

Percent of Clients Satisfied With the Help Feature

 

Time Needed to Complete the Transaction

Time Needed to Complete the Transaction

Users showed varying levels of satisfaction with the amount of time it took to complete their transaction. Satisfaction with the Articles of Incorporation, one of the lengthier transactions, was at 80 percent (same as the last reporting period). Users complained about the complexity of the form and about the requirement to enter the same tombstone data several times throughout the process.*

Percent of Clients Satisfied With Time Requirements

 

Cost of Doing Online Transactions

Cost of Doing Online Transactions

Satisfaction levels for the costs associated with some transactions varied considerably. The percentage of users that claimed to be satisfied with the service costs ranged from 53 percent for the Articles of Amendment to 89 percent for the Certificate of Compliance. It should be noted that users were likely satisfied with the process, but dissatisfied with the government fee. For example, Ontario-based companies must pay $20 to table a federal Annual Return; however, they do not pay a cent when they submit a provincial Return. As such, it comes as no surprise that only 71 percent of respondents from Ontario agreed that that the cost for filing their Annual Return is reasonable.

Percent of Clients Satisfied With the Costs

Owners and Directors were the least satisfied with the cost of transactions (when compared to other categories of respondents). The majority of complaints were related to the $20 Annual Returns fee and to the cost for filing Articles of Amendment.

Appearance of the Forms

Appearance of the Forms

Users were asked to score the visual and professional look of the forms. The forms used the most — the Annual Return and the Articles of Incorporation — received relatively high marks.

Users indicated that the printed Articles of Incorporation form was not up to par. Users also indicated they would like to have access to a print preview function.*

Appearance of the Forms

 

* The variances in reported satisfaction for the forms related to Articles of Continuance and the Certificate of Compliance are not necessarily representative of a trend. During the 6 month period, 29 respondents used the Articles of Continuance form and 14 respondents used the Certificate of Compliance form. As usage of these forms is low, a few responses at either ends of the scale easily affect the average satisfaction reported on these forms.