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Can you automate an R&D claim?

12 May 2022

There are a number of steps which must be taken when compiling a robust R&D claim. Some of these can be automated to a degree but there is no software currently available that can create a claim from start to finish.  Here are some examples why:

Should the company claim under the SME or RDEC scheme?

This is dependent upon the size of the company (in terms of headcount, balance sheet total and turnover) combined with the same data from any partner or linked enterprises.  Software exists which can answer this question for you but only once you have input all the data from all the relevant companies which is 95% of the process.  Automating the final 5% doesn’t really save much time.

Has the company undertaken any qualifying activities?

Understanding the answer to this question is one of the most time consuming parts of preparing an R&D claim.  There are many grey areas within the relevant guidance which are open to interpretation and no strict rules which can be easily applied to an automated system.  Software which can generate a report based on the data that a user inputs exists but, again, gathering that data and ensuring its accuracy is the bit which takes up the most time and that is something which cannot be automated.

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