• ATO Professionalism Surveys 2012-13

    During 2012-13, we commissioned the final biannual client satisfaction survey (originating in 2001). The survey measures the level of ATO employees’ professionalism from the perspective of clients who have had substantial interaction with the ATO between January and June 2012 and July and December 2012.

    In future, Professionalism will be measured as part of the new service commitments through a single perception survey which will provide deeper, comparable insights across the Australian community. Future measurement of our performance will not be directly comparable to these professionalism surveys as measurement is against a broader community and range of interactions.

    Key insights from the research



    This information may not apply to the current year. Check the content carefully to ensure it is applicable to your circumstances.

    End of attention
    • Overall satisfaction with the professionalism of our employees has remained high with a 2% increase from the previous survey in the November 2012 results and a further 2% increase in May 2013.
    • Concerns were highest around the possibility of ATO staff not sufficiently understanding the client’s initial needs, which flowed on to affect their understanding of the issue raised by the client and the ability to follow through to a conclusion which was satisfactory to the client.
    • The enduring strengths of ATO employees’ are they are respectful and courteous; provide clear explanations and communication; and put clients at ease through a professional and helpful approach.
    • Over the life of the survey (2001-2013) overall results have remained at or above the benchmark of 3.7 out of 5.

    How the research has been used

    Insights from the research support our ongoing efforts to improve the community’s experience when dealing with the ATO. A number of key initiatives have been implemented or are in progress to further develop the capability of our people as well as improve our products and services.

    Some examples include:

    • learning and development strategies to improve the professional capability of staff
    • the development of the ATO’s new commitments to service
    • tailored engagement with taxpayers who have been selected for review
    • simplified explanation of specific information we need when working with taxpayers
    • improvement of the content and navigation of ato.gov.au
    • enhanced phone and specialised services such as our client relationship manager programs in relation to large businesses
    • greater attention to understanding taxpayers’ tax technical issues
    • clarification on rationale for our decisions
    • faster complaint handling
    • improved up-to-date news for tax professionals.

    Find out more

    Detailed findings from the research are provided in the executive reports for November 2012 and May 2013, refer to:

    End of find out more
      Last modified: 06 Mar 2015QC 38989