Article

Implications of Web assurance services on e-commerce

Schlief Department of Accounting, Stephen F. Austin State University, 75962-3004, Nacogdoches, TX, USA
Accounting Forum 03/2008; 32(1):46-61. DOI: 10.1016/j.accfor.2007.10.002

ABSTRACT The ongoing rapid growth in the popularity of the Internet is having a revolutionary impact on the way companies do business. Doing business online has become a necessity, not an option. However, some consumers are not completely comfortable using the Internet for transacting business because of concerns regarding security of their transactions. For these situations, consumer trust and confidence can be enhanced by a Web assurance service such as AICPA Trust Services. Building on prior studies, the study provides comprehensive information on current reporting requirements, differences among Web assurance services, and results of a recent consumer survey to obtain perceptions of Web assurance services. The theoretical foundation of the current study is based on the Assurance Gaps Model [Burke, K. G., Kovar, S. E., & Prenshaw, P. J. (2004). Unraveling the Expectations Gap: An Assurance Gaps Model and illustrative application. Advances in Accounting Behavioral Research, 7, 169–193]. E-business consumers (users of Web assurance services) can be dichotomized into older consumers and younger consumers, who have different expectations based on information asymmetries. Findings indicate that consumers value Web Assurance services, but younger consumers place greater value on these services than older consumers.

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    • "Security and privacy issues are widely addressed in numerous studies and surveys [4], [7], [8], [19]. Regarding user perception of security, some consumers are not completely comfortable with eCommerce because of concerns about the security of their transaction [17]. Customers are often uncertain about the full consequences when transacting online [19] and think that they take greater risks in the online market because the desired product usually cannot be physically examined before the payment has been received [20]. "
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    • "These risks can be minimized by establishing effective controls. In addition, Web assurance services can be used to provide various levels of assurances that controls are in place (Runyan et al. 2008). Cybercrime is distinct from other threats facing business today, as described by Speer (October 2000), and contains unique characteristics. "
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