Small businesses in the U.S. are hurting, and many are hoping a federal stimulus deal will include a new round of Paycheck Protection Program loans.
On Monday, a bipartisan group of senators unveiled a $908 billion coronavirus relief package that includes a second PPP round.
Before the announcement, the American Institute of CPAs urged fast renewed funding of PPP and other relief programs.
“Small businesses, the engine of our economy, continue to struggle,” AICPA President and Chief Executive Barry Melancon said in a statement. “We strongly support Congress’s efforts to deliver more relief funding as soon as possible.”
CPA firms should be gearing up to assist small businesses whose survival depends on a new round of PPP funding, the AICPA and its business and technology arm, CPA.com, recommended, urging small businesses to reach out to their advisors.
“We are encouraging the 44,000 CPA firms affiliated with the AICPA to start identifying clients who will meet the proposed criteria for the next round of PPP,” Erik Asgeirsson, president and chief executive of CPA.com, said in the statement.
They should start gathering key information, such as 2020 revenue, Asgeirsson said, and put in place processes and PPP platform capabilities. “Firms have a great opportunity to be much more proactive and strategic on how they support clients with this stimulus compared to the original PPP round in April.”
Doing It Better
During the initial rollout of PPP, CPA firms were forced to set up manual processes to serve clients and often operated with limited guidance, according to the statement.
The AICPA, CPA.com and Biz2Credit, a fintech platform, want to provide better support this time round. In September, they rolled out the CPA Business Funding Portal (located at CPALoanPortal.com), a financing platform to help practitioners guide small businesses through PPP loan forgiveness, as well as any other small business financing options.
Since then, 37,000 business owners and some 7,000 CPA firms have used versions of the portal’s tools.
Once “PPP2” funding is authorized, the portal will be quickly updated to make loan application processing efficient and aligned with the latest guided assistance, according to Asgeirsson.