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How to make client collaboration on R&D tax claims a walk in the park

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As we’ve written about in the past, the only way to make a robust and compliant claim for R&D tax relief is to involve your client every step of the way—they are the competent professionals and know the projects better than anyone else.

However, as anyone who has ever worked with a client knows, collaborating with them when they have fifteen other high-priority tasks can be difficult. This is especially acute for R&D claim preparation because it requires the client to provide a great deal of information and be available to discuss it with you, and often can’t be completed in a single interaction. 

Here at WhisperClaims, one of our main concerns in designing our software is ensuring that it makes our users’ lives easier. We’ve spent a lot of time thinking about how to make client collaboration straightforward both inside and outside of the software, so here is our guide to taking the pain out of working with your clients!

Plan ahead

First things first—start working on the R&D claim as soon as possible after the end of the financial period! While this isn’t always possible, for example with new clients, for all other clients doing your best to engage them earlier will make the whole process easier for both sides. If your client is amenable, you can even take this one step further and work on the claim during the claim period, assessing projects for eligibility and tracking costs as they go along. 

Make it routine

Alongside planning ahead, it pays to make asking about R&D and assessing projects a routine part of your interactions with your clients. The more you talk about it, the more they will be used to engaging with the process and providing information at the time it’s needed. Making this a part of regular conversations with (almost!) all clients also means you may uncover claims in unexpected places, ensuring that no client misses out. 

Be structured

Keeping your client engaged through the process can be a struggle, but this is even more difficult without a structured process. Making sure you ask all the right questions every time makes the process more efficient and reduces the amount of rework and additional meetings needed. Our WhisperClaims software is designed to give you this—a robust and repeatable process that you can use year on year with all of your R&D clients. 

Use software

Finally, the best way to remove the headaches and stress from your client collaboration is to use software designed for that! Enabling your client to log in and view, edit and comment on their claim in their own time can be transformative for your R&D claims preparation. It’s easier for your clients to engage online, and using software means that their inputs are recorded and visible to anyone you want to be able to view them. WhisperClaims comes with this ability built in, and is used by over 40% of our clients to make client collaboration a walk in the park.

How to write an R&D tax relief technical narrative

With HMRC’s new mandatory requirement for project descriptions on all submissions, we wanted to share our experiences to help others to write their best possible technical narratives.

Available to download here.

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