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What R&D records should we keep?

In the current climate of increasing audits, you want to make sure your records are up to scratch.

In the current climate of increasing audits, you want to make sure your records are up to scratch.

AusIndustry use this wonderful phrase called contemporaneous record keeping(!), ie real time.

  • For financial records, make sure you're able to provide any underlying payroll details or copies of extrenal contractor services you've used for R&D.  As an example, as part of Standard Ledger ongoing bookkeeping services we include the Receipt Bank App/email to “Snap n Send” your source invoices you’re also ready with full documentation should you be faced with an audit.
  • For evidence of R&D activities, you're going to need to show how you identified and tracked the eligible R&D activities and the basis under which those records have been used to determine the associated R&D spend.

We think that a check-in or two along the way during the year makes a lot of sense - call it insurance if you like, which is why we also suggest an (optional, additional) documentation review service if you're doing R&D.



The following documents are regularly used for substantiating R&D claims:

  • Staff time sheets (although it recognised that many small companies do not do this normally, we recommend you do when claiming R&D)
  • Notes from team meetings relating to the R&D project
  • Business plans, information memorandums, investor pitch decks
  • Collection of material from background research and scoping
  • Technical documents, including the results of testing on the product, idea or service
  • Notes and updated records which track the progress of your R&D project

More information