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WBSO desk audit by RFO | No more company visits, but digital supporting documents

Hezelburcht regularly receives letters from the Rijksdienst voor Ondernemend Nederland (RVO) for WBSO ((Wet Bevordering Speur- en Ontwikkelingswerk) desk checks to verify whether the company has complied with the obligations of keeping the research and development work (S&O) records. These checks by RFO always take place after the end of a WBSO calendar year and are determined by random sampling. Are you making use of the WBSO? Then you can also be selected for a desk audit. In this article, we briefly explain what this process looks like.

Company visit to the customer

Normally the checks are done through a farm visit at the customer's premises, but due to the COVID-19 measures in place, RFO is currently conducting the checks online. Suppose you are selected for a desk audit. You must then demonstrate the reconciliation of the hour and project records by sending supporting documents digitally. An important point of attention is that you cannot provide further explanation of the project administration, which is possible during a company visit. This means that the documents supplied with regard to the hour and project administration must match one another and that there is no room for interpretation. The RFO checks this strictly.

What is being checked for?

RVO checks whether your R&D administration meets the legal requirements. Think of questions such as:

  • Were the R&D projects listed actually implemented?
  • Is the work performed substantiated in the project records?
  • Can the work performed be traced to time records, per employee, per project and per day?
  • And in case the application mentions "actual costs and expenses," are the costs and expenses accounted for in the R&D records?

In short, your R&D records must therefore show that the work carried out relates to the awarded projects. A check will also be done on the submitted realization notification and BSN notification.

Optimal support with your WBSO desk audit

Hezelburcht always advises the client to have audits run through it so that it can guide the client in delivering the documents to RVO. Many of the clients have entered into a compliance contract whereby Hezelburcht periodically checks their R&D administration, so that in the event of an audit the documents can be delivered immediately. This service is experienced as pleasant because it provides assurance that the administration is in order and the audits are completed without problems.

This is also evidenced by the WBSO track record. Over the past ten years, Hezelburcht has secured a total of 12,292 WBSO awards and €211 million in benefits for its relations. This is a success rate of 87%!