Do you have the proper tools in place for documentation of SR&ED work?
Performing work eligible for the Scientific Research & Experimental Development (SR&ED) tax credit is an intensive process. Having the right tools in place to ensure all work is documented systematically is critical to a successful SR&ED claim. In this article, we have listed some useful tools that will ease the load of your next SR&ED project.
One of the most difficult things to determine when submitting your claim is the percentage of time that an employee spends performing SR&ED. Calculating this concurrently with the work being performed will make calculations at the end of the fiscal year much easier as employees rarely dedicate 100% of their time to SR&ED.
Having time tracking processes in place (such as using the sheet pictured below) is a simple way to ensure all time is allocated correctly.
In addition to sheets like the one above, there are many different tools and programs to help in project management and time tracking. As businesses work to become more efficient and adapt to changes in technology, it can be difficult to keep on top of projects and leave an audit trail for your SR&ED claim.
Programs like Basecamp or Zoho Projects, while not specific to SR&ED, allow project managers to monitor the progress of their employees while simultaneously ensuring that systematic SR&ED work is being documented.
Note: Not all tools work for all companies. Perform careful research before deciding which project management tool is best suited to your company.
Software Development-Specific Tools
If you work in software development, filing an SR&ED claim is sometimes more difficult; the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) often flags software projects that don’t clearly identify the SR&ED work performed, the project’s iterations, and the technological uncertainty that occurred through the reporting period.
Programs such as Jira and GitHub allow for simple bug tracking and thorough version control; two things that are vital for a successful software development SR&ED claim. There are many other tools available in addition to these, so put the time in to make sure you’re using the most efficient tools for how your workflow is structured.