Aberdeen-headquartered accountant AAB snaps up R&D tax credit specialist

Aberdeen-headquartered accounting and business services group AAB has unveiled its latest acquisition – an English firm specialising in research and development (R&D) tax credit services that it says will help it manage increasing demand in this area.

The Scottish firm has swooped on May Figures, a St Albans-based professional advisory firm and specialist provider of R&D Tax Credit advice, which under the deal – terms of which were not disclosed – will continue to trade under its current name but become an AAB Group company with immediate effect.

The latter said the acquired business was established in 2013 by Julia May and Dr Mark Graves, is regulated by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, and has delivered more than 3,500 successful R&D tax credit claims. It added that the service includes assessing eligibility, preparing financial and technical reports, maximising tax savings and cash rebates through tax-planning initiatives and advising on optimum client supplier and customer contracts, managing the entire process, from inception to filing with HMRC.

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Furthermore, May Figures’ team is described as comprising Oxbridge PhD computer scientists, engineers, chartered accountants and chartered tax advisors, who support clients from tech start-ups to Aim-quoted groups and multinationals. This year alone it has filed R&D claims worth more than £12 million on behalf of clients, AAB added.

From left: Derek Gemmell of AAB, Dr Mark Graves and Julia May, founders of May Figures, and Neil Dinnes of AAB. Picture: Mark Wheelwright.From left: Derek Gemmell of AAB, Dr Mark Graves and Julia May, founders of May Figures, and Neil Dinnes of AAB. Picture: Mark Wheelwright.
From left: Derek Gemmell of AAB, Dr Mark Graves and Julia May, founders of May Figures, and Neil Dinnes of AAB. Picture: Mark Wheelwright.

The business that earlier this year rebranded from Anderson Anderson & Brown said that following investment from private equity firm August Equity a year ago, it has been building strong regional hubs across the UK and Ireland with like-minded businesses. The acquisition of May Figures “is another significant step forward in building AAB’s reputation as a diversified business critical services group dedicated to helping clients achieve their goals”, it stated.

Derek Gemmell, partner and head of innovations tax at AAB, commented: “The group has grown rapidly this year, and with that growth we have seen an increasing number of our clients seeking support and specialist advice in R&D tax credits. I know our team will look forward to getting to know everyone at May Figures and welcome them as part of our expanded R&D team here at AAB.”

His colleague Neil Dinnes, partner and head of corporate and international tax, said: “We are delighted to welcome the fantastic May Figures team to the AAB Group. This acquisition will strengthen our overall tax proposition by bringing specialist advice and advisory services to our clients across the UK, Ireland and internationally.”

Julia May, founder of May Figures, added: “Joining AAB Group is a perfect fit for us as we have shared values in a number of key areas including client prioritisation, excellent service delivery, work ethos and team support, training and progression. I am delighted that May Figures will continue to lead the R&D tax credit technology start-up industry as an AAB Group company.”

The latest deal comes after AAB in August said it had purchased Sussex-based customs consultancy firm Charlton House, and in November last year said it had sealed a deal billed as a merger with Leeds-based peer Sagars to expand its UK regional presence. The group says it now has more than 650 staff in ten locations across both the UK (including Edinburgh and Glasgow) and Ireland, having in May highlighted a “milestone” push into the latter.

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