Case Study

Traced - £7,000 in R&D Tax Relief Successfully Claimed for Startup App Developer

For startup technology firms, careful accounting can make the difference between success and failure, particularly in the fast-paced sectors of app and software development.

By managing their finances intelligently and making the best use of the grants and tax relief schemes available to them, these businesses can keep themselves on a pathway to growth even during their pre-revenue phase. In order to accomplish this, it is often necessary to work with an accounting firm with the industry expertise needed to chart the best path forward.

In this case study, we look at how MWA Accounting worked with the mobile security app developer Traced. to optimise its accounting practices, as well as successfully exploring an unexpected opportunity to claim a sizeable research & development tax credit.

The background

Currently, there is a significant opportunity for small startup companies working on innovative projects in science and technology to claim R&D relief from HM Revenue & Customs, in order to offset the initial cost of their research and accelerate the development process.

It can be claimed by companies of various sizes, provided that they are able to explain how their project represents a significant advance in their field, or provides a solution to a problem that others had previously been unable to solve. It can even be claimed on unsuccessful projects, and is designed to help stimulate technological innovation.

This R&D tax credit scheme has given a number of developers the scope and opportunity to produce their app or software at record pace, deploying it to their market quickly and bringing profitability for their business forward by subsidising the upfront costs.

The challenge

Traced is the developer of a new AI-powered mobile threat defence app for businesses. Their co-founder and chief executive officer Benedict Jones came to MWA after a poor experience with the company’s previous accountancy partner, and wanted to challenge all of the firm’s existing accounts processes to find opportunities to streamline them.

At MWA, we review all of our clients’ potential eligibility for R&D tax relief opportunities as a matter of course, particularly if they are involved in app or software development. When we began our initial conversations with Benedict, it therefore quickly became apparent to us that his business had an opportunity to make a claim under the R&D tax credit scheme. 

Benedict was not previously aware of this, and this unexpected opportunity to secure crucial additional funding for Traced’s app development was one of the reasons they ultimately chose to work with us.

How MWA helped

We reviewed all of the company’s existing accounting processes and fund placement and put together a series of new recommendations for how Traced could successfully apply for R&D tax relief, while also enhancing their approach to managing their accounts on an ongoing basis.

Our support included:

  • Integrating their website with a modern bookkeeping app to produce accurate sales data, delivering time-saving benefits
  • Reviewing and revamping their remuneration strategy in order to maximise the company’s R&D tax claim potential. We looked at how salaries and dividends were accounted for, to ensure all of these processes were efficiently designed and fully compliant with the relevant HMRC legislation, even when placed under scrutiny
  • Applied to HMRC for Advance Assurance for SEIS investment in advance of the company receiving outside investment, which was successfully received 
  • Prepared quarterly management accounts to support the company’s requirements under the terms of the investment, creating new practices to make this accounting process easy and efficient
  • Reviewed and amended their year-end accounts following the success of the R&D tax relief claim, to expedite the funding at a time when this was crucial to ongoing development
  • As a result of our work, Traced was able to claim £7,000 in R&D tax relief from HMRC. This is a prime example of a client that was previously unaware of their potential eligibility for an R&D tax relief claim, but was able to successfully apply and reap significant benefits thanks to our guidance.

Testimonial - from Benedict Jones, co-founder and CEO of Traced Ltd

Why did you choose MWA?
We became frustrated and concerned with our previous accountants after identifying some mistakes and inefficiencies in their processes, and receiving poor advice. I decided to reach out to Richard at MWA for a second opinion on our current accountancy pains, and am eternally grateful that I did.

In our initial phone call, Richard’s expertise and professionalism were immediately clear. He took the time to firmly understand our current accountancy situation, and empathised with the frustration it was causing us. He then conveyed clear solutions to remedy the pains with our current accountant, at which point my mind was made up.

Needless to say, we switched over to MWA Accounting immediately, and have never looked back since.

How have you found working with the individuals and team at MWA?
The team at MWA has been brilliant. Even throughout lockdown, their constant communication sustained our ability to easily get through to a specialist in their respective areas. The MWA team’s quality of work, professionalism, support and efficiency remains an invaluable asset.

I have peace of mind that our accounts are in good hands, freeing up my time to focus on our key business objectives.

In what ways have MWA improved your accounting practices?
In every way!

Has MWA implemented any time or money-saving processes for your business?
As a startup, time and money are the most contentious resources and are always in short supply. MWA has recommended and implemented a number of accountancy processes that have saved significant time - for example, the automated invoicing process has dramatically improved our accounting operational efficiency.

Anything else you would like to add?
Just to say a huge thank you to the MWA team for your continued hard work and devoted excellence in supporting our business!

Find out more

To learn more about how MWA can help your business to optimise your accounting processes and take full advantage of available tax allowances, get in touch with us today. Call us on 0161 826 5259, send us an email at, or fill in our online contact form.