We had the great pleasure of being hosted by our friends over at FreeAgent back in March, where we delivered a webinar on the impacts of technology on the R&D tax market.
Delivered from the in-house studio at their Edinburgh HQ, the webinar attracted an audience of almost 100 accountancy firms from across the UK. The session covered off some of the key stats that we see in the market, the overall growth of the R&D tax scheme and our observations about the direction of technology in this particular area of tax and accounting.
Of course, we also got to talk about our WhisperClaims platform and some of its key features, including the fact that it's white-labelled and therefore allows our users to maintain their brand presence with their clients (as opposed to farming work out to expensive consultants!), and our capped pricing which means your service will always be competitive and profitable!
The session wrapped up with some great questions, covering areas including:
- Accountant accreditation to complete R&D claims – is it necessary to register with HMRC or anyone else to be able to complete claims? No, this is an unregulated market
- How does your system ensure quality service delivery? We have a comprehensive and robust approach to the process of building a claim – user feedback suggests this is much more thorough than the existing, consultant led approach
- What's the likely impact of Brexit on the R&D tax scheme? Blimey, we didn't expect this one! – but it's interesting to note, at least anecdotally, that recent M&A activity in the R&D consulting sector has been led by overseas firms buying in to the UK – PR around this suggests that the UK market is attractive to international investors because, post-Brexit, tax incentives will continue to be a necessary part of stimulating the economy
- Does the WhisperClaims system integrate with other accounting platforms? Watch this space!
- Clarification of our pricing model. Does WhisperClaims address very small claims? Yes, we do! We have a low capped fee on our reports, so no matter how big your claim, our pricing stays low. For very small claims, we charge a % of eligible expenditure so no matter how small the claim, it will always be worth downloading
- How much training and scheme awareness is needed to create a claim for a client for the first time? We have a comprehensive on-boarding process. More importantly, post on-boarding, users have access to help within the system, tailored to every question, that offers a short help video, some key pointers and direct links to the relevant HMRC guidance. Additionally, we're always at the end of the phone to provide help and guidance. So, there's no need for you to be an “expert” – we're here to help!
- Does the system provide guidance on whether a project is eligible, or is that left up to the user to decide? Absolutely it does! Fundamentally, our system has been designed based on many years of experience as consultants in this market – Richard, one of our Founders, was a founder Director in one of the UK's largest consultancies – and has been designed precisely to address the needs and expectations of HMRC in justifying eligibility
Our FreeAgent host for the morning, Kevin Lord, did a great job of compering the session and making sure we answered all of the questions – we can't wait to be back for another FreeAgent webinar!