Ducketts Trusted Advisors

About The Company

Based in Hereford and established over 17 years, Ducketts is a firm of chartered accountants that specialise in business development –  they look to assist companies in understanding how business works and gain control.  The company is then able to add structure to the business and help it focus on those aspects that are needed to produce growth.

The firm’s prime focus is supporting the growth and development of their clients’ businesses, of which developing new products and solving problems is a big part. This ethos is closely related to R&D Tax Relief which is designed to enhance and support innovation. Having worked with specialist claim advisors before, Chris Duckett was looking for a different solution when he first met MSC Associates five years ago and the two companies have worked together ever since.

About our mutual work
To explore the value that this mutual work brings to Ducketts we spoke to Chris Duckett to get a better understanding of his point of view:

Trusted Partner

Business advisors to SME’s and trusted partners of MSC Associates

About the claim

What are the main challenges facing accountants who promote R&D Tax Relief to their clients, particularly SMEs?

From the client’s perspective, the challenge is largely based on a reluctance to put forward tax claims to HMRC. Most clients do not actually believe their case will qualify in the first place. Even if they do, they are nervous that such a claim will expose them to an inquiry.

From an accountant perspective, the worry comes from this type of claim not being a part of the core business. Accountants are paid to protect the client from HMRC and ensure that they are compliant.  In addition, there is a concern that a change of government will bring with it a claw back on claims. This can sometimes stop accountancy firms from pursuing such benefits on behalf of their clients.

What are the advantages to referring R&D Tax Relief claims to specialists?

Accountants tend to approach these claims from a narrow perspective which is largely based on cost. This means that they often miss the main essence of the claim and thus do not maximise the return. There are two main advantages of working with MSC Associates from this perspective:

  • They bring with them specialist knowledge as well as experience of other disciplines outside of accountancy. This helps them to structure the claim in such a way that brings a bigger return as well as higher success rate.
  • Another important advantage, is that the team at MSC Associates are specialists in their field. This also includes their knowledge and familiarity with the R&D Tax Relief department at HMRC. It means that they know how and when to put things forward which saves a lot of time and frustration.

What are the main advantages to Ducketts in referring claims to MSC Associates?

For us it’s all about enhancing our relationships with our clients and ensuring we constantly bring additional value to their businesses. Due to their process and style of working, MSC Associates keep us informed of progress at all time thus keeping us involved and proving our value with our own clients. When we worked with other claim specialists in the past we did not find this to be the case as we were very much detached from the process.

What is the main reason for the success of your relationship with MSC Associates?

I find the team at MSC very amiable and easy to work with. They offer a good mix of strong technical knowledge and great customer service. This leads to high success rate and satisfied clients which in return enhances our reputation. In addition, I find their support with tax adjustments and advice on the best way to take up the benefits awarded very beneficial.