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How to track Technical and Financial documentation for SR&ED

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The Scientific Research and Experimental Development Program is a government tax incentive program that promotes Canadian businesses to do systematic research in order to achieve technological improvement. The program is administered by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), which provides your firm with a tax credit of up to nearly 70% of the cost of your R&D.

To ensure that you obtain your tax credit as soon as possible, you'll need to provide supporting documentation and records to substantiate the job you did and the expenses you made. However, if this is your company's first time submitting, you may not be completely aware of all of the CRA's documentation requirements. The importance of supporting evidence cannot be overstated. The CRA is looking for signed and dated evidence that details expenses that occurred during, rather than after, your SR&ED project. You must also back up your claim with contemporaneous evidence of your research and development activities, including any problems that arose during the process.

Financial Records Types

Keeping and recording anything related to your SR&ED project is a solid rule of thumb. Across the whole tax year, your SR&ED records should comprise not only an electronic data log, but also all financial reports, records, journals, vouchers, and physical and electronic log files, invoices, evidence of payment timesheets, and payroll records. Proposals, trials, performance reviews, and communication amongst team members are all examples of records. Connecting your day-to-day communications to these costs might make it easier to conduct a financial audit if needed.

Your Financial Documentation's Format

You must preserve copies of all of your bill payments in order to submit a valid SR&ED application. In reality, unless they are replicated, papers that were initially created in one format should be preserved in that format. To put it another way, it's advisable to save the original papers if you've got a physical or electronic receipt.

There are several options for converting paper documents to electronic format. Electronic image formats are permitted provided they are accurate, present the same information as the original, and have the same quality, resolution, and color as the original. It's also important to keep in mind that, in the scenario of an SR&ED claim review, a logbook containing information on how paper documents are recorded in electronic photographs must be retained.



For more information on SR&ED documentation best practices, access our guide below:

Read Our SR&ED Documentation Guide


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Find Out How Much Money You Can Recover From The CRA

Schedule a converstation with one of our SR&ED tax credit experts.

Fill out the form to schedule a conversation, where we can help identify:

  • What projects qualify and which R&D expenditures are eligible
  • An estimate of the total return you can expect
  • How to maximize the size of a claim & and to optimize for the success of that claim
  • Potential eligibility for additional Government funding programs
  • If you are already claiming, we will analyze your past claims to determine if anything was missed



Warren Wilansky
CEO, Plank
  Montréal, Québec
Learn how we helped an award-winning digital design studio utilize the SR&ED cycle to grow their team from 5 to over 24 employees

"For over 17 years we have relied on Flow’s expertise in government funding applications, strategies and best practices. We have always been extremely happy with the results of their diligent work."

17 Years

Of SR&ED claims filed


Growth in employee count


Claims accepted as filed