The Value of Boutique SR&ED Firms

By: BeneFACTMarketing in Uncategorized

August 23rd, 2013

SR&EDWith more information becoming readily available about the SR&ED tax credit program, the more SR&ED professionals we see entering the community. While choice can be a good thing when it comes to deciding on a SR&ED consultant, it is neither an easy decision nor one that should be made lightly.

There are really 3 choices to make when finding someone to assist on a SR&ED claim:

  1. Larger Accounting Firms (known as “The Big Four”)
  2. Small shops with only 1 or 2 consultants
  3. Boutique SR&ED firms

It’s no coincidence that BeneFACT® Consulting Group is the last of the three. We think this is the best environment in which to formulate a SR&ED claim. However, to get the full picture, let’s look at exactly what a boutique firm is, and how it compares to the alternatives.

We like to call it, “The Goldilocks Story of SR&ED Firms”.

The Big Accounting Firms: Too Big 

The big accounting firms definitely have their place, but that place may not necessarily be SR&ED. The pro of using an accounting firm is that all your accounting and SR&ED forms will be completed by the same company. That being said, the accounting firm’s primary focus is NOT the SR&ED program. SR&ED is so involved and there are a number of changes occurring to the program right now. Does the firm know everything about the program, even the recent government changes, so that they can maximize the claim? Or are they just throwing together a claim using the very basics? Are they truly committed to maximizing your SR&ED claim, or are they offering a perfunctory service to keep your accounting business?

Freelance SR&ED Consultant: Too Small

Using a stand-alone consultant to work on the claim can mean a closer relationship than with the big accounting firms, since one person will be handling all aspects of the claim, but they may not have all the necessary expertise and experience to know everything about how SR&ED relates to your particular business. It’s a kind of a “Jack of all trades, master of none” scenario. Sure, they may have a background in biotechnology, but what about metals, food processing and even financials? Also, freelance consultants do not have the resources to handle last minute reviews, coverage for when they are away, etc. due to their smaller size.

Boutique SR&ED Tax Firm: Just Right

A boutique SR&ED Firm usually employs around 25-50 full time and contract staff made up of a variety of teams including technical, financial and review consultants. Some of these firms also assist with a few other funding programs; but SR&ED is their main bread and butter and they treat it as such.

Since there are a variety of consultants in-house, there is more knowledge and experience with different industries under one roof. For example, there is more of a likelihood that someone with food manufacturing experience will be working on a claim that involves a food & beverage company. Perhaps one of the best aspects about a boutique SR&ED firm is that SR&ED is what they do – all day, every day.

They’re experts in SR&ED and it’s their job to know every nuance of the program, every change, which could result in a higher probability of a positive claim for the client.

Applying for SR&ED isn’t as easy as it looks despite what many claim. There are no exact calculations you can input to get the exact result you want. It’s a process that takes time and energy to master efficiently. It’s not just about filing a claim: It’s about maximizing a claim. When it comes to SR&ED, experience is everything.

To find out more about how a boutique firm can maximize your SR&ED claim, contact BeneFACT® Consulting Group and speak with an SR&ED expert today.