CPA Firms Mobilizing to Support $900 Billion COVID Relief Bill Signed into Law

Firms to Play Critical Role in Navigating More Complex Eligibility Criteria for ‘PPP2’ Loans

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) is a strong advocate of additional relief for small businesses and worked in recent months to prepare CPA firms for the next round of Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funding through the development of essential tools and training. Firms are now ready to hit the ground running to aid their small business clients come January.

With last night’s enactment of the emergency Coronavirus Relief Package that includes renewed PPP funds and related assistance, new regulations will be in place early in the new year, according to the AICPA and its business and technology arm, CPA.com.

“CPA firms played a critical part in supporting small businesses over the past nine months, and will continue to fill a crucial role in helping small businesses understand new PPP eligibility criteria such as the 25% decline in gross receipts so they can apply for this much-needed relief,” said Erik Asgeirsson, president and CEO of CPA.com. “With the relief legislation now signed into law, lenders and the Small Business Administration will begin processing a new round of loan applications quickly. We’re in a much better place than we were when the original PPP was implemented. Firms have better experience, capabilities and new tools to deploy.”

The AICPA and CPA.com have been advising firms to reach out proactively to hard-pressed businesses and begin collecting key documents such as 2020 revenue, monthly payroll amounts, and the like. There are several new provisions in the $310 billion small business relief package that CPAs should take into account, such as:

  • Expenses associated with forgiven PPP loans are now tax deductible, and the definition of eligible expenses is broadened to include facility modifications and personal protection equipment, among other things
  • PPP loan recipients are eligible for a second draw of funding if they have 300 employees or less and can show a 25 percent decline in revenue in any 2020 quarter, compared to the corresponding 2019 quarter
  • There will be a simplified loan forgiveness process (although not automatic forgiveness) for businesses that received loans of $150,000 or less
  • There are some categories of newly eligible borrowers such as 501(c)(6)s and news organizations, under certain conditions
  • Advances from an SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) will not impact PPP loan forgiveness
  • Additional money has been authorized for PPP oversight, so even small loans could be subject to random review
  • Provisions of the Employee Retention Credit (ERC) have been modified to make this much-needed business relief option more widely available and more effective for small businesses

The AICPA, CPA.com and fintech leader Biz2Credit in September launched a financing platform for CPA firms, the CPA Business Funding Portal to help practitioners as they assist small businesses through PPP loan forgiveness, as well as any other small business financing options. The portal has been updated to pre-process the so-called PPP2 applications and will also incorporate the latest guidance.

“We’ll be ready to go almost immediately after the SBA issues its new forms and guidance,” said Biz2Credit CEO Rohit Arora, one of the nation’s leading experts on small business finance. “We already have a way for CPA firms to start preparing PPP applications for their clients, and we will be ready to receive submissions as soon as the final rules are issued. The CPA portal offers an efficient, centralized platform for CPAs to manage relief funding for their small business clients, and we’ll continue to update and evolve it.”

Among other features, the CPA Business Lending Portal offers:

  • A free basic service for small businesses or CPAs to use for PPP forgiveness and PPP2 applications
  • A more robust set of tools in a single platform to help CPA firms manage multiple clients in a standardized way
  • Payment of applicable agent fees for firms registered for one of the commercial plans available through the platform – this helps resolve a top issue for many CPAs in the first phase of PPP
  • Direct integration into the SBA E-Tran system to accelerate loan decisioning times and increase decision transparency for CPA firms’ small business clients
  • Access to the power of AICPA technical input and calculators

“We’re encouraging firms to leverage platforms for PPP2 versus working on the many intricacies of the legislation for their own internal calculators,” Asgeirsson said. “Building these internal tools is not the best use of their time when there is so much for them to focus on in advising their clients.”

CPA.com, the AICPA’s practice management section and Biz2Credit will hold a free webinar at 3 p.m. ET this Wednesday on the opportunity around business relief advisory services, and how utilizing a tool can help CPA firms and their clients. CPAs can also join the AICPA and CPA.com leadership for the latest on the PPP and related developments in the AICPA Town Hall series. A special recorded version of the series will be available Wednesday.

For more information, please visit cpa.com/business-funding.

About CPA.com

CPA.com brings innovative solutions to the accounting profession, either in partnership with leading providers or directly through its own development. The company has established itself as a thought leader on emerging technologies and as the trusted business advisor to practitioners in the United States, with a growing global focus.

Our company’s core mission is to drive the transformation of practice areas, advance the technology ecosystem for the profession, and lead technology research and innovation efforts for practitioners.

A subsidiary of the American Institute of CPAs, the company is also part of the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants, the world’s most influential organization representing the profession. For more information, visit CPA.com.

About the American Institute of CPAs

The American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) is the world’s largest member association representing the CPA profession, with more than 431,000 members in the United States and worldwide, and a history of serving the public interest since 1887. AICPA members represent many areas of practice, including business and industry, public practice, government, education and consulting. The AICPA sets ethical standards for its members and U.S. auditing standards for private companies, nonprofit organizations, and federal, state and local governments. It develops and grades the Uniform CPA Examination, offers specialized credentials, builds the pipeline of future talent and drives professional competency development to advance the vitality, relevance and quality of the profession.

About Biz2Credit

Founded in 2007, Biz2Credit has arranged more than $3 billion in small business financing. Biz2Credit is focused on funding what’s next for small business. The company leverages data, cash flow insights, and the latest technology to give business owners an automated small business funding platform to fit their financial needs. With over 350 employees globally, the Biz2Credit team – made up of top-notch engineers, marketers, and data scientists – is building the next generation in business lending solutions.

Biz2Credit has been named to the Inc. 5000 and Inc. Magazine’s Private Titans list for 2020, is a three-time winner of the Deloitte Technology Fast 500 and was named a Great Place to Work in 2020 and 2019. Headquartered in New York City, the company recently raised a $52M Series B round of investment in 2019.Visit www.biz2credit.com or Twitter @Biz2Credit, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

Contacts

Jeff May

212.596.6122

jeffrey.may@aicpa-cima.com

John Mooney

Biz2Credit

(908) 720-6057

john@overthemoonpr.com

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