PODCAST: Education important for navigating PPP

Written on May 28, 2020

By Jessica Salerno, OSCPA senior content manager

Education is key to understanding and making the most out of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and its evolving guidance.

“We’re trying to educate our clients to make sure they understand all of the different potential they have for loan forgiveness,” said Ray Lampner, CPA, partner at Sikich, LLP.

Lampner joined the State of Business podcast to discuss the intricacies of the PPP and how CPAs can best use it for their clients and their businesses.

Keeping up with regularly issued guidance from the PPP can be overwhelming to business owners, Lampner said.

“This is what I do and even I sometimes struggle with keeping up with all the new guidance that comes out,” he said.  “And so what we've done at Sikich is we have a group committee that specializes in this to communicate with everyone in the firm. We’re reaching out to clients trying to keep things short, concise, and talk on the phone to talk about how this applies to you.”

Lampner said when the loans first came out the intention for most businesses was to bring their staff back as soon as possible, thinking things would be back to normal after the eight-week period. Now that this living with the coronavirus is our reality at least until the end of 2020, the perspective is different.

“A lot of the conversations changed from bringing everybody back and doing everything you can to maximize the loan forgiveness to more of a cash flow conversation,” Lampner said.

During those conversations, he works with his clients to help them define their goals and what they’re trying to accomplish. How quickly the client knows what they want varies, he said, sometimes depending on the experience level of the entrepreneur.

Those who have been through difficult situations before, such as the 2008 recession, are quicker to know their priorities, Lampner said.

“Other clients we're working with it's more of a conversation and we're talking about different options,” he said. “We're talking about providing cash flow analysis to help make those decisions. Because as everybody knows we just don't know how long this is going to drag out. So, there's really there's no black and white answer, and there's no right or wrong answer.”

Listen to the episode here.

Access the PPP section of our coronavirus resource page here.


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  1. Frank | Jun 01, 2020
    Jane, I agree with you.  I was surprised that the PPP (and delay in the lease standards plus the status of the FASB pronouncements due to the Covid-19 virus) did not receive more coverage during the May Advance program.  In fact as part of my evaluation of the Advance program I suggested that we should have more accounting, auditing and taxes coverage and less of the softer H.R. topics.  How many of the the four hours of CPE were allocated to accounting and auditing?
  2. Laura Hay | May 28, 2020
    Hi Kevin and Jane, See the PPP section of our Coronavirus resource page at https://ohiocpa.com/news-resources/coronavirus-resources-information, or tune into one of our free weekly town halls at http://myohiocpa.com/, where we include the latest updates each week on PPP guidance for OSCPA members. We’ve been covering the topic with up-to-the-minute updates in our weekly town halls since the information is changing so rapidly, and we are offering them as complimentary member CPE during the pandemic.
  3. Kevin | May 28, 2020
    Couldn't agree more Jane! Or how about offering some educational webinars to educate us!
  4. jane | May 28, 2020
    You know what would be great? Instead of a time consuming podcast to listen to telling us to keep on PPP news maybe provide some resources to help us keep up with the PPP news.

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