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March, 2010

This Issue Case Study: Print Industry | Testimonial | Tips & Tricks | Vision & Mission Statements
Employee Spotlight: Max Qasmi | On the Blog | Northbridge Events | In the News | Ask the Experts

Cast Study: Print Industry

Full Service Printing Company Began Claiming for SR&ED Tax Credits with Northbridge in 2005/2006

A printing company, who specializes in screen, digital and offset printing, and who also offers a full array of finishing systems, originally enlisted the help of Northbridge Consultants for their 2005 and 2006 SR&ED claims.

The 2005 and 2006 SR&ED claims were submitted at a combined $1M in expenditures. The CRA administered a financial review which resulted in a 90% acceptance rate. The client received $280K in credits/refunds as a result of their efforts combined with Northbridge’s expertise.

Accurate Tracking Records and Better Understanding of SR&ED Criteria Lead to Higher Claim Values

Northbridge’s involvement with the client and with the claim process helped them to better understand the CRA’s criteria for the SR&ED program. They are now able to quickly identify eligible activities and better identify all relevant costs associated with each activity.

Northbridge Consultants worked in conjunction with the client to build a documentation system that easily integrated into their standard business procedures. The documentation tracking system was specifically designed for the client and helps to track the activities eligible for future SR&ED claims.

The SR&ED claims submitted over the next two years were significantly larger than previous years due to the availability of accurate records as well as a better understanding of the SR&ED program.

Client Continues to Submit High Value Claims – Funding New Initiatives in the Company

The client's 2008 claim was submitted at 30% higher than their first claim in 2005. The 2008 claim was subject to a financial and technical review by the CRA and, due to their improved documentation system, the claim was accepted at the full value. The client received over $300K in refunds from the SR&ED program.

With the refunds earned over the past 4 years, the client was able to purchase new updated equipment and they have expanded their service offerings.


Firetruck“Metal Fab Fire Trucks, Ltd. has been fortunate enough to have Northbridge Consultants, Ltd. as our SR&ED program advisors for over 3 years. Jen Mahon and her team of professional engineers have not only managed our R&D claim submissions but have also provided invaluable ongoing logistical support in terms of time tracking and proper documentation for the CCRA.

The first information session where we were informed of the benefits of the SR&ED program piqued our interest but we remained quite sceptical through the initial phases of the process. Due to the technical nature of the program outline we did not think we qualified for the tax credits. Northbridge instilled confidence and handled every aspect of the claims with diligence and professionalism and we now receive healthy annual ITC’s which assist us in improving our operations.

Northbridge customer service skills are on par with the best in our industry and it is always refreshing to have an exchange of knowledge when they stop in. We are confident in recommending Northbridge to any organization requiring these types of services.”

Metalfab Logo–Gordon GreenPresident, Metalfab Ltd.

Metalfab is a family owned and operated manufacturer of long lasting, high quality custom fire trucks.


Vision Statement

To be the premier consulting partner for Canadian businesses by offering personalized services that support client and corporate goals. Our top priority is to fulfill the client's needs through the delivery of service excellence, professional expertise and reliability, the preservation of the utmost integrity, and the passionate encouragement of teamwork and employee development.

Mission Statement

Northbridge provides results oriented consulting services through the development of adaptable and innovative business solutions for firms operating in Canada.

Employee Spotlight: Max Qasmi

Max Qasmi

Business Account Manager Max Qasmi has been with Northbridge Consultants since June 2009. He completed his Bachelors Degree in Electrical Engineering at McMaster University in 2001, then subsequently earned his Masters degree in Applied Science and Masters in Business Administration while working in the Photonics industry. He later managed development projects in Digital Signal Processing, Embedded applications and Real-Time systems. In 2009, he also earned his Project Management Professional (PMP) designation. Max utilizes his diverse knowledge base gained over the years to aid clients in identifying and claiming even the most difficult projects.

In his free time Max is spotted either practicing martial arts, composing electronic music, or absorbed in deciphering semitic inscriptions, archaeological artifacts and papyri from late antiquity. He is also fond of travel and has visited seventy two cities across North America, Europe and Asia.

Max has been able to learn the various forms of the Aramaic alphabet on his own, which he considers to be one of his accomplishments. Furthermore, he has a Green-Belt in Taekwondo and also draws inspiration from the Chinese fighting styles of XingYi Quan.

On the Blog

We are always endeavering to be the first to inform you about recent news on the SR&ED program, the current Canadian business environment, and some general practices to help improve your day-to-day business on our company blog. Some highlight’s from the Northbridge Consultants’ Canadian Business Blog in February include:

  • 10 Quick Tips for Networking. In our 10 Quick Tips series, this installment focuses on how to best take advantage of networking opportunities.
  • Canada gets D for innovation. The Conference Board of Canada issued a report in February on the state of Canada’s ability to profit off of innovative abilities.
  • Additionial Funding Sources. What other funding sources are available to Canadian businesses? We take a brief look at the IRAP program and the ecoENERGY Retrofit incentives.
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Read about these topics and more on our blog.

Northbridge Events

Lunch and Learn

Couldn’t join us at the last one? Our next Lunch and Learn event will be hosted at the Springfield Golf and Country Club in Guelph, Ontario on March 25th 2010. To reserve your spot, email us or call us at 519.623.2486.

Northbridge at Thornhill Golf & Country Club

Northbridge is pleased to announce that our breakfast seminar held on February 11th, 2010, at the charming Thornhill Golf and Country Club, was a huge success. We had a wide array of industries represented, including metal processing, wood working, CNC machining and IT, just to name a few. Thank you to all who attended.

EMC National Conference

Excellence in Manufacturing Consortium (EMC) is hosting their biggest ever national conference to help manufacturers transform their operations and become more competitive. Northbridge will be exhibiting at this event. It will be held at the Hamilton Convention Centre from May 10-12, 2010.

For more information visit their website at


In the News

Canadian Manufacturers’ ability to compete globally has been greatly impeded during the past decade due primarily to lower labour costs in places like China, Mexico and Central America. Recently, the economic environment in Canada resulted in a decrease in employment and an increase in business closures. To make the situation more difficult, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (passed by the U.S. Congress in February 2009) contained “Buy American” provisions further reducing our ability to compete in the North American market.

However, some good news appears to be in the works. An agreement that limits the damage of the “Buy American” provisions is expected to be announced soon that would allow the White House to use executive power to treat sectors of the Canadian economy as American by claiming that their supply chains are integrated. The deal would grant Canadian exporters access to procurement markets in the 37 states covered under the World Trade Organization agreement on government tenders, and Canadian firms would be freed from “Buy American” restrictions as they relate to funds in seven programs under the current American stimulus legislation.

Northbridge’s Canadian exporting clients will benefit from this new development. Along with the innovations driven by our handling of SR&ED activities on behalf of Canadian businesses, this deal will encourage the U.S. Market to “Buy Canadian” and assist many Canadian manufactures on the return to the competitive advantage we once enjoyed.

Ask the Experts

Dear Northbridge;
We've recently implemented some new software to help us improve process times on the manufacturing end of our business. I'd like to claim this in my next SR&ED claim, but I've heard that IT projects differ from other projects. How do we know whether what we've implemented is eligible?

- A Northbridge Client

Dear Client;
You are absolutely right; IT projects do have some stricter guidelines than other SR&ED activities.

Oftentimes, we are asked whether installing new software that was purchased off-the-shelf, or whether implementing improvements to current software or hardware infrastructure count as SR&ED projects – unfortunately this doesn’t count, as there typically aren't technological obstacles that you are trying to solve through systematic investigation.

In general, when looking to see whether an IT project is eligible, here are some questions to ask yourself:

  • Do I own the intellectual property of this software? Can I sell it as is? Can I modify it and resell it?
  • Has there been a deviation from routine software development due to technological obstacles? (Have I had to do investigation, designing and testing to overcome this obstacle?)
  • Is the person developing the software a qualified computer scientist or software engineer/developer?

All of these areas will be looked at by the CRA reviewers to confirm that what you are claiming does qualify for the SR&ED program. To get more information about whether your IT project qualifies for SR&ED, talk with your account manager.


Although we endeavor to ensure timely and accurate information throughout this newsletter, it is not intended to be a definitive analysis of legislation cited, or a substitute for professional advice. Readers are encouraged to seek professional advice when attempting to relate their specific situations to information disclosed within.

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