Being in Demand During Unprecedented Times
With PPP Forgiveness guidelines still needing clarity and coronavirus continuing to rage on… What can you do now to be the super-hero at the end of the day?
The guidelines are still murky on PPP Forgiveness, clients are nervous about having to pay back the loan while trying to stay in business and the coronavirus is still raging on… and you are being sought out as the professional in this field. What can you do now to be the super-hero at the end of the day?
With more than 4 million small businesses participating in the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), many are waiting to hear what the next step is. Meanwhile, unanswered questions are causing concern such as what are the potential tax problems for the loan I received? or am I meeting the requirements for loan forgiveness? and the list goes on. However, there has never been a higher demand for accountants as these business owners seek someone to help them prepare.
What can you do to help your clients?
- Be educated and keep updated: We are all in uncharted territory so new guidelines will continue to be revealed as we progress through the coronavirus pandemic and economic downturn. Review provided resources like the AICPA tool that was created to help automate the PPP loan forgiveness process and the AICPA state filing tax relief chart. The PPP Forgiveness Tool states it will be updated to reflect additional guidance as its given, however, the tool is not currently updated. Likely it is because a second PPP initiative is currently in discussions to relax the forgiveness requirements for loans up to $100,000 to $150,000. AICPA stated they will update the latest state relief chart for you to download as developments happen. The current as of when this blog is written is dated 7/17/20.
- Prepare in advance: Think ahead and create a strategy. Some CPA experts are recommending to their clients to defer income into next year and increase expenses this year for next year if possible. On a personal note, prepare yourself and get your CPE credits done while you have time, organize your office, and potentially prepare to hire help.
- Communicate and be honest with your clients: Unfortunately, we can’t always give our clients the firm answers they seek but you can let them know that you are staying on top of the updates news from the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), IRS and government. One thing for sure you can tell them is how important it is more than ever to keep receipts and documentation as well as, keep current on bookkeeping now because you know you’ll be busy when final guidance is given and filing is required.
- Mark your calendar when specific release dates are given: Although some timelines get pushed back, a notification will at least serve as a reminder to check in on the updates. For instance, Congress goes into recess on Aug 8th and the SBA will not begin accepting PPP forgiveness submissions from lenders until it goes live on Aug 10th. There currently is not a deadline date to have the application for forgiveness submitted but guidelines state the submission must be completed before 10 months after the end of the covered period. If it is not submitted, the loan needs to be repaid.