UPDATE2: Got the grant - see full post here.
UPDATE - met with the CEB today and discovered that the C&AG (Comptroller and Auditor General - audits Semi-State spending) instructed the CEB(s?) a couple of years ago to capitalise the cost of their websites.
So this game was over before I got there :-). Will be interested if we now hear of any businesses who meet the criteria underneath having been refused grants from CEB's on the grounds of website costs not being capital?
Question for you? Meeting Kilkenny CEB next week to make the case that the capital grant which they give (normally given for tangible items such as plant and equipment with life spans in excess of one year) should also be capable of being given for the development of the software backend for an online service.
Anyone know of a case where a capital grant was given by a city or county enterprise board for anything like this - the development of an intangible?
UPDATE: Thanks to Anthony Galvin who left a comment referring to an international accounting standard. I did a small bit of searching (in a previous life I was an accountant) and came across a Financial Reporting Council page and document on this.
Extracts from this:
....the remaining costs of Website development ... could give rise to an asset, which should be capitalised if the relationship between the expenditure and the future economic benefits is sufficiently certain.
...In the UITF’s opinion, this would be the case only if the Website was capable of generating revenues directly, for example by enabling orders to be placed.....
...other Website development costs should be capitalised as tangible fixed assets, in accordance with the requirements of FRS 15 ‘Tangible Fixed Assets’.
Capitalised Website development costs should be depreciated over their estimated useful economic life, which should be selected and reviewed each period in accordance with the requirements of FRS 15. Given the rapid rate of technological innovation, the useful economic life of a Website is likely to be short. Further, where the design or content of a Website requires more frequent replacement than the Website as a whole, it may be appropriate to select a depreciation period for the cost of the design or content that is shorter than the depreciation period selected for the remainder of the asset.
My take on the above - your backend costs are explicitly identified as being tangible fixed assets if planning and design/content costs are excluded and if the site to which the backend is applied will generate revenue.
That is a great document to have to hand for my meeting next week - if I come across anything else or examples of precedent I will update this.