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2002-2003 membership satisfaction survey. (Membership Satisfaction Survey).

Summary of Results

In November and December of 2002, Tax Executives Institute conducted a survey of its members. Working with an independent research company, TEI developed a survey designed not only to measure members' satisfaction with TEI current programs and priorities, but also to assess their needs in respect of education, networking, and advocacy. The results will assist the Institute's leadership in refreshing TEI's strategic plan, setting priorities for the coming years, and recommending changes to TEI's structure, governance, and decision-making processes.

The survey was conducted electronically, with follow-up by regular mail. Hence, the Institute sent an e-mail message to all members with a link to an online survey instrument inviting their response. Follow-up messages were sent to members who had not responded within a few days, and later still, a printed version of the survey was mailed to members for whom TEI had no valid e-mail address or for whom previous e-mail messages had been undeliverable. Finally, a follow-up survey package was mailed at the end of December to all who had not yet responded. In adopting this methodology, TEI's goal was to maximize the number of responses while minimizing the pestering of members who had already responded.

The response to the survey was gratifying. The survey was sent to 5,225 active members of the Institute (as of November 2002). The data-gathering phase of the project was closed on January 21, 2003, with a total of 2,031 usable responses--a 39-percent response rate. Percentages based on the responses are subject to a margin of error of [+ or -] 1.7 percent at the 95-percent confidence level. The responses were tabulated and the following report was prepared in accordance with accepted research standards and practices. Note: Percentages will not always total 100 percent because of rounding, and results for "no answer" are omitted.
Your TEI Membership

1. About how long have you been a TEI member?

38% Less than 5 years
23% 5 - 9 years
17% 10 - 14 years
11% 15 - 19 years
11% 20 years or more

Comment: Nearly two-thirds of those responding had been members
less than 10 years.

2. In the last 2 years, how many times have you personally done
each of these things?

None 1 Time 2-3 Times 4+ Times

12% 8% 18% 61% Attended a chapter meeting
70% 14% 9% 2% Attended a regional conference
58% 19% 15% 5% Attended the Annual or Midyear
61% 17% 14% 3% Attended a 2- or 3-day seminar

63% 19% 11% 2% Participated in a telephone
86% 6% 2% -- Attended a week-long course
17% 9% 24% 48% Logged on to TEI Online or TEI's
 public website
43% 13% 22% 18% Obtained information about a TEI
 educational program online
56% 10% 14% 15% Used the online membership
59% 21% 13% 4% Registered for a program or paid
 dues online
77% 5% 7% 6% Posted an item on TEI Online
 6% 5% 22% 66% Read a feature article in The
 Tax Executive
27% 10% 19% 40% Read a technical submission in
 The Tax Executive or online
17% 11% 24% 46% Used the Membership Roster
71% 11% 9% 4% Taken advantage of discounts
 provided on RIA/Carswell
81% 4% 4% 7% Participated in an Institute
 committee meeting
85% 5% 3% 2% Participated in the development
 of a TEI submission

Comment: Generally, the trend seems to be that the longer someone had
been a member of the Institute, the more activities he or she had
participated in or more services he or she had taken advantage of.

3a. How do you rate TEI's performance of the following functions at
the Chapter Level?

Poor Excellent No Opinion

0 1 2 3 4
1% 3% 11% 32% 45% 8% Networking
1% 2% 10% 38% 43% 7% Education of members
3% 9% 21% 27% 21% 20% Advocacy (such as
 improving tax
 administration and
 policy through
 submissions and
 liaison meetings)

3b. How do you rate TEI's performance of the following functions
at the Institute Level?

Poor Excellent No Opinion

0 1 2 3 4
1% 5% 15% 27% 29% 23% Networking opportunities
-- 1% 7% 29% 50% 13% Education of members
-- 1% 6% 27% 51% 14% Advocacy (such as improving
 tax administration and
 policy through submissions
 and liaison meetings)

Comment: Generally speaking, members use their chapters for networking
and educational purposes, and the Institute at large for education and
advocacy. Moreover, the longer someone had been a member, the higher
rating he or she gave Institute-level networking, education, and
advocacy activities.

4. What recommendations do you have for improving TEI's networking
opportunities, educational activities, and advocacy efforts at both
the Institute and Chapter levels?

Comment: The responses are still being analyzed, but preliminary
findings are set forth in the box on the previous page.

Your Membership Benefits & Activities

5. How important to you is each of these TEI membership benefits
and activities?

Not at All Extremely
Important Important No Opinion
0 1 2 3 4
1% 3% 9% 36% 58% 2% Chapter level
4% 9% 22% 33% 25% 6% National level
7% 9% 22% 27% 18% 15% LMSB Industry Group

 Education of Members
1% 2% 7% 26% 61% 3% Chapter meetings
7% 9% 18% 28% 26% 11% Regional conferences
6% 8% 18% 24% 32% 11% Midyear Conference
6% 8% 17% 25% 31% 11% Annual Conference
8% 13% 19% 22% 24% 12% Week-long courses
4% 7% 15% 28% 35% 10% 2- or 3-day seminars
7% 11% 19% 26% 21% 14% Telephone seminars

2% 3% 7% 27% 50% 10% Technical submissions
3% 5% 13% 29% 33% 16% National liaison
4% 7% 15% 31% 25% 16% Regional liaison
3% 5% 14% 30% 30% 15% Chapter liaison

Not at All Extremely
Important Important No Opinion
0 1 2 3 4
 Other Benefits/
3% 6% 15% 31% 42% 2% Membership Roster
3% 7% 20% 33% 29% 6% Membership Directory
17% 26% 31% 15% 3% 7% TEI Annual Report
-- 2% 10% 36% 48% 1% The Tax Executive
2% 5% 17% 35% 37% 4% TEI website
9% 10% 19% 22% 14% 25% Chapter website
4% 9% 20% 25% 24% 16% TEI Online (forums)
4% 9% 16% 29% 31% 10% TEI Job Bank
4% 7% 14% 28% 34% 12% Chapter job bank or
 employment committee
20% 17% 20% 17% 10% 14% Discounts on RIA/
 Carswell products

Comment: Chapter meetings, the Membership Roster (and Online
Directory), and The Tax Executive magazine were rated most important;
the Annual Report did not fare as well.

6. How important is it to you that TEI conduct or provide each of
the following in the future?

Not at All Extremely
Important Important No Opinion
0 1 2 3 4
6% 8% 18% 28% 33% 7% Annual Conference
6% 10% 20% 23% 33% 8% Midyear Conference
7% 12% 22% 25% 24% 8% Week-long courses
3% 7% 15% 32% 36% 6% 2- or 3-day seminars
6% 11% 20% 28% 25% 9% Telephone seminars
5% 9% 20% 30% 25% 9% Webcast seminars using
 the Internet
2% 5% 17% 33% 38% 3% Survey of corporate
 tax departments (size,
1% 4% 13% 34% 44% 3% Salary survey
5% 9% 23% 28% 24% 9% Private, online
 discussion forums
4% 6% 16% 32% 35% 5% Job bank online

Comment: Members expressed a strong desire for benchmarking data on
salaries and the structure and management of corporate tax departments.
Other areas ranking quite high on the "wish list" are two- and
three-day educational seminars and an online job bank.

7. To what extent does TEI membership enhance you professionally
in the following tax areas?

Not A Great Does
at All Extent Not Apply
0 1 2 3 4
1% 1% 9% 36% 47% 5% Federal
11% 10% 17% 16% 9% 33% Canadian
4% 5% 16% 30% 24% 18% International
3% 5% 16% 37% 27% 10% State and local
2% 6% 23% 39% 23% 6% Compliance
2% 4% 15% 41% 30% 6% Controversy
2% 3% 17% 45% 30% 3% Planning and research
3% 7% 23% 39% 22% 4% Management

Comment: Most members expressed the view that involvement in TEI
enhances them professionally, and the results were generally consistent
between senior tax executives and other TEI members. Senior tax
executives, however, rated the Institute's ability to enhance their
professionalism in the state and local area much higher than other TEI

8. How do you rate the value received for your TEI membership dues?

Poor Excellent No Opinion
0 1 2 3 4
-- 1% 9% 37% 52% --

Comment: With respect to a fundamental question for all membership
organizations, 89 percent of responding TEI members rated the value
received as "good" or "excellent," and not one respondent said the
value of his or her membership was poor.

Interacting With TEI

9. How do you rate the amount of information you receive from
TEI in each of these areas?

Too Too
Little Much No Opinion
-2 -1 0 +1 +2
1% 7% 65% 21% 1% 4% TEI educational programs
1% 12% 62% 16% 1% 7% TEI advocacy
1% 8% 61% 18% 2% 8% TEI organizational goals
 and activities
3% 17% 57% 17% 2% 3% Tax developments
1% 5% 71% 16% 1% 3% In general

Comments: Members generally seem pleased with the level of information
they receive from TEI.

10. How much do you like receiving information from TEI in each
of these ways?

Dislike Like
a Lot a Lot No Opinion
-2 -1 0 +1 +2
3% 9% 29% 33% 22% 2% Regular mailings
1% 3% 18% 35% 40% 2% Email messages
2% 9% 34% 29% 20% 6% TEI website
1% 3% 19% 32% 43% 1% The Tax Executive

Comment: Members expressed a preference for receiving information
either via email or The Tax Executive.

11. Does your company permit the payment of TEI dues or registration
fees via the Internet?

48% Yes
48% No

Comment: This even split confirms that TEI should continue to provide
its members with options on how interact with the organization.

12. In the last 2 years, have you had any dealings with TEI's staff?

38% Yes
61% No

If yes, how would you rate your most recent dealings with TEI's staff?

Poor Excellent Not Apply
0 1 2 3 4
-- -- 2% 12% 41% 40% In person
1% 2% 6% 22% 53% 14% On the telephone
1% 3% 4% 20% 46% 23% Through email or
-- -- -- 1% 2% 46% Other

Comment: The longer someone had been a TEI member, the more likely
it is that he or she had dealings with the Institute staff. Very few
members had unsatisfactory dealings with staff members (but even a
single dissatisfied member is one too many).

About You

13. Are you the senior tax executive for your company?

49% Yes

50% No

Comment: Not only were half the respondents their company's senior tax
executives, but there was also a nearly 50-50 split between respondents
who had been members more than or less than 10 years.

14. What do you think is the biggest challenge facing the corporate tax
professional? What can TEI do to assist its members in facing that

Comment: These narrative responses are still being analyzed, but
generally keeping up to date with tax law developments was identified
as the number one challenge facing tax executives. Among the other
challenges identified are: Complexity & Compliance Burden/Dealing with
Tax Authorities; Resource Issues/Doing More with Less; Communicating
Dept. Value and Function within Company; Coping with the Fallout from
Corporate Financial Scandals/Sarbanes-Oxley Act; and
Outsourcing/Downsizing/Finding & Retaining Talent.

15. Are you actively involved with other tax-related organizations?

38% Yes
61% No

If yes, how does TEI compare with these other organizations, and what
are they doing that TEI should be doing?

Comment: For most respondents, TEI was their only tax organization, but
this was less the case the longer they had been a member or if they
were a senior tax executive. Based on narrative comments, TEI compared
very favorably with other organizations for 45 percent of those who
belong to more than one organization, but 9 percent of the respondents
viewed TEI less favorably than the other organizations to which they

Recommendations for Improvement

What recommendations do you have for Improving TEI's networking opportunities, educational activities, and advocacy efforts and both the Institute and Chapter levels?

Approximately 7 percent of respondents (365) offered comments or suggestions for improving TEI. Of the respondents, 14 percent suggested that no changes were needed, with one member stating: "I think TEI is a great organization at each level. The educational activities are second to none." Among the areas identified for improvement, with a sampling of specific comments are the following:


Educational--Set standards for handouts presented at meetings both in terms of size of print AND narrative (e.g., some handouts present questions but no answers, and some are vague as to whether a question is an issue or has an answer)."

"Offer more seminars for all levels. One- or two-day seminars work best. Good affordable tax education is difficult to find."

"Accept Diners Club for online payment of dues and seminars as many companies use this as their corporate card."

"Over the last few years TEI has made several small but significant changes in its annual and midyear conferences. I believe TEI is listening to the voice of its customers and should continue these improvements."

"Continue the change in availability/emphasis on telephone and online educational opportunities to save members' cost and travel time.


"If there are committees, position papers being written or other avenues to interact at the Chapter level or Regionally, I am unaware of them. That seems a shame."

"I personally feel that TEI harms its own credibility with respect to its advocacy initiatives because one can guess with fair certainty the position that TEI will support before ever reading any of its arguments. Once in a while you should support a tax increase, if it also will improve tax administration and practice"

Communications and Use of Technology

"Although I have not taken advantage of much of the one line services, I do believe this is critical to the success of TEI. This is particularly true as travel has become more time consuming."

"I receive The Tax Executive in the month following the two month period of the magazine (rec'd Sept-Oct on Nov 19!). So most of the information is of no use because it's old. More timely delivery would be nice!"

"Would like improvement to the TEI national website. Maybe emails of new postings to the website. Easier access."

"Great organization, need to devote more resources to internet capabilities. Could be a valuable tool for TEI members to exchange info and should be 'advertised' to members as such."


"Need a way to make new members feel part of the group. Existing members tend to stick to their cliquish groups."

Cost for Value Received

"At the Institute level the cost of education activities has to be reduced so that members working for companies with tight budgets can still obtain education. Also, creative ways to allow members to participate in Institute level education in a time of restricted travel budgets need to be found."

Unmet Needs

"More focus on specific industry issues and some focus on problems and challenges facing companies of a given size (small, medium, large and mega) so that people can get into smaller focus groups where there could be more free exchange of practices in both administration of the tax function, particular business challenges and industry issues."

"I am a tax department of one in an S corp and my opinions may be affected by the lower profile tax plays in my organization."

"A more effective process to help members who have been laid off find new positions."

"This is a bad economy ... many of our fellow members are losing their jobs.... I am one of them. I don't think we are doing enough at chapter or national level to help them.... Our job bank is a joke."

"I would like to get more information on the TEI on-line job bank.... I think our next step would be giving our members capability of posting their positions on line."

Comparing TEI with Other Organizations

Approximately nine percent of members (447 respondents) responded to the question how does TEI compare with these organizations you are involved with, and what are they doing that TEI should be doing. Here is a sampling of the responses:

TEI Compares Favorably

"TEI compares very well and is unique in the value that it provides. Don't see a need to do things any differently."

"TEI is the strongest and most active tax organization I belong to. The local chapters in my mind lead the strength of the organization because they conduct business in a format that is easily accessible to Stoups of people who are familiar with each other."

"Within my expectations, TEI compares very favorably to other organizations.... Other organizations provide broader member benefits, but I look to TEI primarily for high-end CE, networking, and liaison activities. TEI does a good job in these areas."

"TEI brings a unique, multi-industry, worldwide focus to tax issues that other groups do not always have."

"TEI is far and away the best and most consistent delivery' of services focused on the tax professional."

"I find that TEI is the only organization that the tax professional can go to for answers reflecting the 'real world' tax environment. No matter your issue, there is always someone in TEI that has already been there, end is ready and willing to share their experience."

"Overall, TEI is an excellent professional organization and I am proud to be a member."

"TEI is, and has always been, an invaluable asset for the tax professional. Keep up the good work."


"I participate with retail industry tax groups where we all have similar tax issues. TEI's scope, representing the tax industry, is much broader I don't think TEI should or could try to be industry specific."

"Overall, my experience with TEI is about the same as with MAPI. I prefer the intimacy of the MAPI meetings vs. the national TEI meetings Perhaps if I had greater experience with a local chapter I would perceive the intimacy in that setting while getting the depth/scope provided at a national affair."

"The other organizations are more industry specific and those focus on issues of peculiar importance to my industry. Given its general tax approach, TEI is an excellent complement to these organizations."

TEI Compares Unfavorably; Need Improvement

"I feel that there is a disconnect between TEI national and the local chapters. It feels as if two separate organizations exist. I feel that TEI national needs to communicate more effectively with the local chapters."

"Relate to all sizes of companies.... not only large publicly-held, multinational organizations."

"The organization should focus on recruiting younger tax professionals to maintain its membership base and goals."

"TEI advocacy efforts are controlled by the National office and members have little opportunity to comment. In other organizations to which I belong there is a mechanism so that all members can have input in the advocacy process."

"The other organizations seem to communicate advocacy issues and legislative developments much more rapidly. The other organizations have better networking and sharing of information about dealing with audit experiences."

"They do more advocacy, and are more broadly focused. TEI at times is too obsessed with the inner workings of the IRS and loses a broader view."
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Publication:Tax Executive
Date:Mar 1, 2003
Previous Article:San Francisco Chapter hosts IRS Night. (Chapter News).
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