Richard Cumberland | Controller
Tell us about your company and your role.
Zupt, LLC is a service and manufacturing company in the oil and gas industry. We offer inertial navigation products and services for both onshore and offshore survey operations. I am the Controller for Zupt.
What was your experience with the Clarus R+D team?
The people I worked with – initially Essie and then Monika – were great. They helped me every step of the way and clearly explained the process.
Zupt had done R&D studies with another company from 2011 to 2014. I joined in 2017 and quickly started inquiring why studies had not been done since. It seemed like no one wanted to go through the hassle again. The prior company just took way too much employee and management time. And they were very expensive.
Then I found Clarus R+D. And it was an entirely different story. Clear directions. Easy software. Helpful people. Reasonable fees.
I reached out to several companies about doing studies for 2015 to 2017, and was not impressed with any of them. They were more interested in generating fees for themselves than generating a tax credit for us. Then I found Clarus R+D. And it was an entirely different story. Clear directions. Easy software. Helpful people. Reasonable fees.
Monika listened and helped strategize about data gathering. And costs with Clarus vs. other – there’s no comparison. Not just monetary costs, but management and employee time. A lot of data had to be summarized for those three years. But because the end goal was clearly explained up front, it was manageable.
Zupt’s owner said using web-based software is the wave of the future for all professional services. He loved that his involvement was minimal, just review the data before it was finalized. In prior studies, he spent days working with consultants and then many hours reviewing, correcting, and getting frustrated.
How do you plan to use the R&D tax credit?
As our president likes to say, a penny saved is two pennies he does not have to earn including our overhead burden. Seriously, the income tax savings – almost $300k – gave us a tremendous ROI on the fees paid to Clarus.
What tips would you give other innovators?
Ask a lot of questions upfront so you know the end goal. Clarus will help so listen to their advice! Be organized with your setup, define projects first, know what data buckets are needed, and then thank God for Excel. I downloaded all applicable transactions, assigned attributes to each transaction, and then used pivot tables to summarize by category.
Year Founded: 2005
Headquarters: Houston, Texas
Focus: Inertial navigation products and services