While we often joke that there are as many different ways to use WhisperClaims software in an R&D tax relief claim process as we have customers, there are definitely two distinct types of users—those that use the collaboration feature, and those that don’t.
Before we get into the whys and wherefores of inviting collaborators, we should probably establish what we mean by collaborators, and how this feature of the software works.
What are Collaborators?
Put simply, collaborators are anyone who could or should have input into a tax claim. The most obvious examples are the staff of the claimant company—from the technical lead to the financial director, they will have information that you need to pull together a robust R&D claim. Beyond this, subcontractors that worked on the projects might have insights into the technical challenges, or outsourced payroll staff may be able to contribute to the cost gathering.
How are collaborators managed in WhisperClaims?
Collaborators can be added to a claim at any point through the claim interface. You have the option of giving them access to just the questions about the projects, or both the projects and the costs questions, meaning you can keep sensitive financial information private. The collaborators set up their own log in, and can access the claim as often as necessary until you’re happy that you’ve gathered all of the information you need to make the claim.
Ok, but why would I want to invite collaborators to a claim?
Well, as the name suggests, it’s a great way to collaborate with your client on the preparation of their R&D tax claim. This way you both have access to the same information, and any mistakes or misunderstandings can be ironed out before the report is finalised. From experience, we know that the most difficult and time-consuming part of the process is the to-ing and fro-ing about the finer points of the projects and costs, so working collaboratively like this can go a long way towards reducing the time it takes to agree a claim with your client. Finally, it brings your client into the process, giving them a sense of involvement and ownership of the claim.