Take a risk – How WhisperClaims can help you make the most R&D tax relief

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ChadSan Ltd is an independent accountancy and tax advisory practice dedicated to providing “expert advice” with a “technology-driven, people-focused” approach. 

With offices in Guildford, Essex and Bristol, the firm supports growing businesses as they target growth – specialising in cloud accounting and services to the technology, media, entertainment, video game and retail sectors. 

ChadSan offers a full spectrum of accountancy services to businesses and entrepreneurs. Its services include standard bookkeeping, annual accounts, personal tax returns, Corporation Tax and specialist tax reliefs, such as R&D relief. 

However, like many within the industry, they weren’t immune to the recent changes in R&D tax legislation.

Rasther than allowing the changes to dent their enthusiasm to support clients in what has been a rather turbulent R&D tax market over the past 18 months, ChadSan has embraced the support of WhisperClaims to deliver a service that has shrugged off the previous uncertainty surrounding the rules.

Automating the action

The majority of claims submitted by Chadsan are SMEs and startups doing innovative work and seeking to recoup costs wherever possible. 

Jacquetta Jackson, Head of Tax and Compliance, explained what led the firm to make innovations in its R&D relief service, as it looked to bear the “increased scrutiny in the R&D tax space”. 

“HMRC has really started to combat all of the fraudulent claims that were going through.

“We’re a boutique service offering a huge amount of expertise to our clients, and we wanted to stay on top of our game with new compliance requirements. Without endless resources, we needed a way to keep updated on new regulations and checks without spending hours on manual research.

“It was actually my predecessor who came across WhisperClaims, who said, “I’ve found this thing, I think it’s going to be really useful”. And it has been, not only helping us to write the reports and make sure that we’re ticking all the boxes for HMRC but also as a source of expertise on new regulations or a case we’ve never come across before.”

Delivering a bespoke service

Dedicated to ensuring compliance and quality for its thriving client base, ChadSan sought a software partner that went beyond a purely transactional development to provide a first-class level of support. 

Jacquetta continued, detailing how developing her working relationship with WhisperClaims has been “a great help”, comparing it to having a supportive boss. 

“The support is brilliant. They reply to me so quickly, and always with a solid answer that helps me get on with my work. Just having someone on the end of the phone has been really helpful.

“They’re all extremely responsive – I can’t fault them. Even when someone is away, for example at Christmas, they will pre-empt this and let you know in plenty of time so we can work around things together. 

“They’re very on it in terms of keeping their clients up to date.

“WhisperClaims’ software just helps us take our claims from good to really good. Even with increased scrutiny from HMRC on all R&D claims, we are much more confident in our processes.”

The devil in the details

Generating the main R&D report is a challenge for even large teams. As a small team at an independent practice, ChadSan’s R&D service was able to streamline its reporting through the WhisperClaims software. 

HMRC will often review R&D claims at least partially based on keywords within a report to ensure that claimants have addressed key points when submitting for a relief. Essential but potentially time-consuming, delivering an appropriately worded report can be the difference between approval and an investigation. 

Jacquetta details the benefits of WhisperClaims’ reporting features: “WhisperClaims has been a real help to us in terms of reporting and laying out our clients’ claims in a coherent manner. 

“To support this, there is a range of questions for clients to answer to allow us to build and submit their claim accurately. It is far easier from the perspective of our previous system because I can show clients what to do – if they need to be shown at all! – in one meeting slot.

“Previously, trying to keep on top of the clients and getting them to complete the onboarding process was quite challenging, where I might have gone through our own onboarding questionnaire to gather the information that we needed – but obviously they were not half as detailed as the ones we get with WhisperClaims.”

Facing the future with confidence

Able to allocate her resources more effectively, Jacquetta has turned her attention to growing her own team and the tax offering at ChadSan. 

She is targeting an addition to the R&D team and considering the expansion of the R&D services offered through the support system offered by WhisperClaims. 

“WhisperClaims has been brilliant to work with to grow the output of claims we’re able to process.”

Want to learn more about Jacquetta’s own experiences? She was one of several users of WhisperClaims to join us for our recent R&D Tax Summit – a three-day event packed with guidance and advice.

To watch highlights from this event, including Jacquetta’s own thoughts, please click here.

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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