I was surprised to hear that SR&ED consultancies are losing out on invoicing opportunities. Theodor McLeod recently wrote, “We finally finished entering all our old claim data. Imagine our surprise when we found that we hadn’t invoiced on the provincial SR&ED credits for 19 claims. Insight has helped us find missing invoicing opportunities.”
Provinces like Alberta and Quebec have R&D credits which are processed separately from the federal credit. These provincices typically release their credits 2 or 3 months after the federal claim is processed. It’s easy to lose track of these provincial credits which means you don’t invoice on them and are losing out money.
Insight makes it easy to find your invoicing opportunities. To see which claims and credits you should invoice on, you only have to know about Insight’s analytics features. You can simply run a invoice status report and instantly see which claims portions you need to invoice on.
Let’s say you want a list of claims that you should invoice on. For example, you may want to find claims that have outstanding invoices on their provincial credits. You can easily do this by:
- Log in to your Insight account
- Click Analytics
- Open Invoice Status
- Click Generate Report
- Your Invoice Status report is now ready.
Consultancies often have claim information all over the place. Some information sits on their employee’s computer while others are stored on central servers. There is usually some paperwork filed away too. Imagine what happens if one of your employees suddenly leaves and you have a claim due or a claim being reviewed. You have to spend time hunting around file folders and looking through paperwork. There is a better way to manage claim information.
Insight stores all claim information in one secure location and makes it easy to access this information quickly. You just need to be familiar with Insight’s claims view. Insight automatically sets claim status as you progress through the claim. All you have to do is update claim information on the main information tab as you work on the claim. You can also store all meeting related information including meeting minutes right under the ‘Meetings’ tab. All your claim files can go under the ‘Documents’ tab.
If you want to find a claim specific file, all you need to do is search for the claim, open it, and go to the ‘Documents’ tab to download the file. Since Insight backs up your information frequently, you never have to worry about losing any of your data.
The SR&ED program has been under increased scrutiny over the last year. It’s commonly understood that some changes will happen this year. We can make a few educated predictions on the nature of these changes so we can properly react ahead of time. The changes will likely come in two guises - administrative and policy.
Administrative changes are being driven by the Canadian Revenue Agency’s (CRA) SR&ED directorate and have already started happening. These changes attempt to more clearly define what activities qualify as SR&ED. This is being done through updates to policy document guiding SR&ED. Already, we know that most of the existing sector specific guidelines have been made obsolete. In its place is a shorter document which is meant to clearly state what type of work would be eligible for SR&ED.
Since SR&ED eligibility is ultimately a judgement call, CRA is also increasing and clarifying the evidentiary requirements to satisfy eligibility. The idea being that a company really doing SR&ED would have a good system in place to track SR&ED activities. So if a company has excellent documentation and appears to be eligible, they would qualify. On the other hand, a company with poor documentation and questionable eligibility would not qualify. Gone are the days when CRA would accept first time claims irrespective of documentation availability.
Policy changes will come with the 2012 budget. It’s expected that the policy changes will follow the recommendations of the Jenkins panel. What does this mean? It’s possible that the contractor and material expenditures will either be disallowed entirely, or their resulting benefit be made non-refundable. It’s also possible that the proxy amount, currently set at 65% would be reduced as recommended in the Jenkin’s report. This is harder to do though because not enough time has passed for the Ministry of Finance to do a proper study to find a more appropriate proxy rate.
The government could also make more intrusive changes to the program. The Jenkins panel recommends reducing refundable tax credits for persistently unprofitable companies. This idea could mean refundable tax credits would only be available for the first 3 or 5 years from when a company is started. The government could restrict which industries can claim SR&ED which reflects the Jenkin’s recommendation and certain higher probability industries be encouraged.
The SR&ED consultancies are facing significant uncertainty not seen since the early 1990s. It’s important that consultancies become more efficient and knowledgeable about their claims and claim successes. Insight gives you workable business intelligence. You can easily find information on income possibilities from your claims, determine successful partnerships, and better evaluate your employees.
I find consultancies have some really close calls with almost missing claim deadlines. They don’t know when their claims are precisely due because it’s hard to keep track of deadlines and due dates manually. Remembering company fiscal year ends, control changes, and doing the date math in your head is painfully slow and prone to mistakes.
Insight can tell you exactly what claims you can work on and when they are due. With a single click, you can find out all the claims available for you to work on immediately. You can prioritize the claims by fiscal year deadline. You’re also always reminded of claims due in the next three months.
Here's a quick overview of available claims and the snapshot view in the sidebar:
Log in to your Insight account
Click Available under Claims
Browse through the available claims
You can also monitor claim events using the snapshot view