Real-time R&D

This pioneering approach allows you to report on R&D expenditure and forecast expected annual R&D benefit in Real-Time.

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Real-Time R&D is Ayming’s pioneering approach to R&D tax claims that allows businesses to report on R&D expenditure and forecast the expected annual R&D benefit in Real-Time.

This innovative process captures R&D activity as it happens, ensuring that information is fresh in the minds of those involved and data is more readily available. Improved data capture delivers a more significant tax benefit, allowing more reinvestment into your innovative projects.

Real-Time also enables companies to accurately account for RDEC in-year. This improves auditing compliance and increases in-year benefit compared to rudimentary or inaccurate accounting provisions based on prior years or averages.

The Real-Time R&D process is more efficient and less time-intensive than traditional methods thanks to our bespoke digital tools designed to work with your finance and project systems, freeing your team to focus on their day-to-day tasks. Ayming’s expert consultants work with your finance, tax, and technical specialists to ensure a thorough deployment of the process, minimise potential knowledge drain, and secure the funding you need to drive your innovation and business forward.

Changing to the Real-Time capture of projects for the 2020 R&D claim has delivered more benefit and reinvestment than in previous years. It facilitates better preparation for the technical discussions with Ayming as the projects are either ongoing or only recently finished. Therefore, technical information is fresh in the minds of the people delivering the project, leading to more efficient conversations and increasing the likelihood of identifying qualifying activities.
Miles Barnard, Chief Financial Officer, WSP

Read the full WSP Case Study here


How does Real-Time R&D work?

Real-Time R&D allows project leaders to record R&D activities and critical metrics as they occur to substantiate current and future R&D tax relief claims. This results in a more comprehensive and accurate claim, allowing businesses to secure the funding they need to drive innovation. Ayming’s team of experts work with client teams at all levels, from finance and tax teams to industry specialists on the ground, to ensure a thorough deployment of the process and consistency of data capture.

Ayming has three delivery models for Real-Time R&D to suit your key objectives, company structure, data and availability. We’ll work with you and your team to identify and implement the most appropriate model.

We designed each Real-Time model to collect data close to an activity’s occurrence, improving the accuracy of information gathering. Also, it minimises potential knowledge loss, such as when a project leader moves to other projects or leaves the business, which can be the case in a traditional retrospective R&D claim review.


The process works in a three-month, Quarterly cycle. We work with your teams to establish a data-collection and review process over a three-month period. We analyse this data following the end of each financial quarter, with three R&D claim forecast reports generated during the course of the year, forecasting the total R&D expenditure and benefit for the accounting period.

Once deployed throughout your business, the Quarterly model is the most accurate approach. It requires a high standard of data quality but allows us to capture almost all R&D activity and allows the most precise forecast of future R&D spend.


The Bi-Annual model allows for two periods of in-year real-time review, and two R&D claim forecast reports to be generated for the end of Q2 and Q4.

Like the quarterly approach, in-year data is identified and assessed, with a report and forecast R&D expenditure generated at the end of each review cycle.

Bi-Annually is less demanding than Quarterly but still allows the capturing of R&D activities across two formal phases during the year. Bi-Annually enables accurate and proactive forecasting of R&D expenditure in the period incurred.


The 9+3 model is suited to companies with less structured data or those that do not track data directly to ‘projects’. It is also suited to companies that prefer reduced contemporaneous reviews during the claim period. This approach analyses data for the first 9 months of the financial year in the fourth quarter period, with a claim forecast report generated to coincide with the end of your accounting period.

Like the other models, 9+3 enables a more reliable R&D tax benefit forecast to be included in your company’s statutory accounts while ensuring data and information is reviewed in the period incurred, maintaining the Real-Time approach.

All three delivery models provide the added benefit of bringing forward the claim completion timeline, meaning you can include R&D qualifying expenditure in your Company Tax Return (CT600) well in advance of your submission date.

A Real-Time R&D capture approach increases the claim value and delivers a smoother and more efficient claims process. It also unlocks additional value from the claim process, such as tracking R&D spending in Real-Time, enabling reliable forecasting, and supporting the pro-active use of the R&D benefit to influence the strategic direction of live projects.
Ben Craig, Associate Director, R&D Tax

Read the full article on why you should track R&D projects in Real-Time.


Who can benefit from the Real-Time R&D process?

Businesses of all sizes and industries can benefit from the Real-Time R&D process. By capturing R&D activity as it happens and accurately forecasting the expected annual R&D benefit, businesses can secure more funding to drive innovation and in competitive situations offer new and improved solutions for the same price as regular solutions with some of the additional cost covered by the tax benefit received. When fully transitioned, the Real-Time R&D process is more efficient and less time-intensive than traditional methods, freeing your teams to focus on their day-to-day tasks.


For CFOs, the Real-Time R&D process provides improved accuracy in forecasting and budgeting, as the process captures R&D activities as they happen, leading to a more accurate reflection of R&D expenses. It also provides a more flexible and efficient funding model, allowing CFOs to allocate resources more effectively and make informed financial decisions.

Heads of Tax

For Heads of Tax, the Real-Time R&D process leads to a higher claim value as Ayming can identify and capture more qualifying R&D activity. Additionally, the Real-Time process minimises the effect of knowledge drain when key people leave the business, reduces the risk of lost knowledge due to time and ensures a consistent data capture process. It also ensures a smoother, less time-intensive, and more efficient claim process, freeing the tax team to focus on other tasks. In addition, it ensures that the R&D qualifying expenditure value is available earlier for the preparation and submission of your CT600 and tax computations.

Heads of Engineering

For Heads of Engineering, the Real-Time R&D process provides improved project management oversight of R&D during the financial year and increased flexibility in funding, allowing for better tracking of project progress and increased innovation. It also ensures better record-keeping and improved data accuracy.