SR&ED – The importance of providing evidence The success of a computer science project is not solely dependent on the method and tools used to implement it. Innovation would be much simpler if it were the case. Having said this, the establishment of good practices as regards a project’s referential document management is imperative. No need to be a scientist; all developers should keep information detailing the evolution of their technological advancements because innovation is also to build a reference framework. What connection could there possibly be with the SR&ED program? Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA) requires that you keep complete and organized records to support the expenditures claimed. You collective memory, where is it and what does it look like? I see it often, and maybe you have already experienced it. The stage of identifying the evidence that supports each of your claimed projects can be complex. But above all, and even worse, is to ask oneself how to create information and how to keep it up to date without devoting too much time to it. Here are some ideas: Did you think to gather the e-mails and internal discussions in link with your project? They often contain relevant information to build your documentation. Just like a scrapbook, you can compile at the same place the important information to produce an easy to consult “collage”. The aim is to have a wide documentation and filter the information from that source. Your documents don’t have to be attractive or very long. That would be useless and nobody would read them. Sufficient means that they are clever and relevant. Clever, just like the new practices that start to spread, like the use of a Wiki: simple and collaborative. Having many specific uses, it quickly expands and thus becomes a reference place for your team. The Wiki allow you to pool and centralize information used to write your technical documents or to prepare your supporting evidence. As a part of the 2.0 Web era, we should use it to produce and keep our data. The CRA authorizes the use of the electronic format, which is often more efficient. Nothing prevents to supply traditional documents afterward if it is required. About that matter, when you read the CRA requirements, what are your reactions, your questioning? Do you have difficulty in establishing your available evidence? If yes, there are two possibilities, either they don’t exist or they are insufficient, which may be the sign of a lack of structure. For lack of presenting satisfying evidence that demonstrates your methodology, you limit yourself to ensure your project’s credibility. Preparing thoroughly your documentation allows you to adequately support your SR&ED claim, prepares you if your claim is selected for review, but it also gives you other advantages. It is a way to know your general situation in order to take good decisions and prevent problems. These references leave traces of your expertise acquisition, of your intellectual property. This solution is gratifying, safe, but also useful for the good functioning of your team work, immediate and future. My colleagues and I know the evidence requirements well, and we can help you organize and prepare your evidence. Visit our SR&ED section and don’t hesitate to communicate with me for all precisions, or to let me know your comments or your team’s practices. Your success stories could inspire others… See you soon!