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R&D tax relief training and support

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3 options for R&D CPD training for accountants

17th Oct 2022
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R&D tax relief training and support

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Accountancy bodies say it’s essential to undergo specific CPD for R&D tax relief if you’re preparing R&D claims. Let's talk about your options.

A room full of people at a training course

With high-quality training, you and your team can deepen your expertise of the R&D tax relief scheme and:

  • Prepare bigger and more complex claims, increasing the fees you can charge
  • Identify more opportunities within your portfolio and prevent your clients being poached by other R&D service providers
  • Avoid enquiries from HMRC, so you can spend more time adding value to clients and less worrying about penalties
  • Get more control of client relationships by removing the need for external R&D advisors.

Here are some ways you can get CPD training for R&D.

Reading the guidance and related material / analysis

At its most basic, CPD can be as simple as reading industry updates and other relevant materials. Some publications, including this website, have dedicated sections on R&D, which can help you keep up to date with changes and developments in the scheme. Time spent reading reports of consultations and reviews by HMRC into the R&D scheme could also count.

Mentorship from colleagues

Another source of unverifiable CPD is consulting with more experienced colleagues. Spending time with a senior colleague talking through the nuances of individual claims, understanding the decisions they’ve made and would recommend, can count towards your tally.

Training workshops, courses, and webinars

As well as all the unverifiable learning you’ll do, it’s also important that some of your CPD hours are spent on verifiable activities – such as training courses, workshops, webinars, and conferences. External training is essential if you are the first or only person in your organisation to be working on R&D claims. Without another person to ask for advice or guidance, you risk giving clients inaccurate advice or feeling like you’re fumbling around in the dark.
There are three sources of formal R&D training worth exploring.

1.    Industry body training directories

Most industry bodies like ACCA have a directory of CPD courses for accountants, and usually these include at least one course on R&D, as well as some which may include elements of R&D amongst other tax topics.

These are usually aimed at beginners, or people who only prepare claims occasionally, and give broad instruction on HMRC’s guidance and the claims process. 

2.    Workshops from consultants and software providers

There are also independent companies within the broader R&D industry that provide training for accountants.

Some of the larger specialist consultancy firms offer training to accountants who want to refer R&D work to them. This helps the accountant to identify leads, which are then passed to the consultant. This training isn’t useful if your goal is to get into preparing R&D claims yourself – but still counts towards your CPD hours.

R&D software companies often provide training too, as they want you to learn enough to feel comfortable when preparing R&D claims using their system. However, because the company’s focus is on the software, they don’t invest in creating training on a broad range of nuanced subjects. Once you’ve been preparing R&D claims for a year or so, you’ll need more advanced training and support to help you develop and improve.

3.    Specialist R&D training providers

If your priority is to learn as much as you can about R&D claims and how to prepare them, then a dedicated R&D training provider with a range of courses is the most effective resource. 

The R&D Community is the only company providing this kind of training for R&D providers. We don’t prepare claims ourselves - our sole focus is on developing the best R&D training resources we can and providing the expert support our members need when applying what they’ve learned.

Read our recent article about how our training academy and support provide far more for your team than one-off training courses.

Looking for more information on training and support?

We’ve put together a Guide to Support and Training to help you choose the right option for your firm. 

Download the guide