Product Update: April – October 2023
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Well, what a six months that was! In our last product update blog, we talked about starting work to make sure our app and outputs were compliant with HMRC’s Additional Information Form. We now find ourselves on the other side of delivering all of the necessary updates, and just about ready to start on the next round of updates to comply with the proposed merged scheme changes!
So, what changes did we actually make over the last six months? Well…
Additional Information Form
To ensure we were compatible with the AIF, we had to make some pretty major changes to the app. These included:
- Re-engineering the costs to gather costs on a project-by-project basis, which involved:
- Overhauling all of the background calculations;
- Adding in the ability to add in individual subcontractors and EPWs to work alongside the existing individual staff costs functionality;
- Changing the way we manage grants to enable assigning grants to individual projects, and;
- Changing the way we manage subcontracted work to enable claimants to indicate which projects were subcontracted to them by large companies.
- Adding in functionality to make sure the correct number of project descriptions were included to meet HMRC’s requirements. This involved:
- Enabling users to enter individual project titles;
- Improving the layout of the technical descriptions question;
- Calculating the percentage of costs represented by each project, and indicating to users how many projects they need to describe;
- Extending the requirements of the technical descriptions to ensure that all the data required by HMRC is captured, and;
- Moving the technical descriptions to the end of the questions set – users need to know how much each project cost before deciding which to describe in detail!
- Adding in questions about the amount of the costs that was spent on indirect qualifying activities;
- Giving users the choice of using these new features or continuing to enter the costs as they always have;
- Updating our report to reflect all of these changes;
- Creating a new AIF output, enabling our users to fill out the AIF more easily.
Phew! It was a long and difficult project, but we’re very proud of what we’ve built, and are very pleased with the positive feedback we’ve received from our users!
Merged scheme updates: We’re eagerly awaiting the Autumn Statement and clarification of certain points in the draft legislation to enable us to make the required changes to comply with the proposed merged scheme.
Collaboration features: Since the introduction of the AIF, we’ve seen a marked increase in the use of our collaboration feature as our users work more closely with their clients to produce the required project descriptions. Due to this, we’ll be spending some time improving & expanding the capability of this feature in the coming months to make it even more user friendly.
In just the past 10 weeks or so since the implementation of these new features and the AIF, we have seen around 120 claims go through the app and are pleased to report that we were hit by very few bugs – given the scale and speed of the changes, this is a great performance from our development team who have worked so hard to keep the app and our customers ahead.