By Nicole Fracasso, OSCPA communications intern
The profession has been at an inflection point for almost a year, and CPAs play a pivotable part in the solution to economic recovery, OSCPA CEO and president Scott Wiley, CAE, said last week at the Society’s Town Hall session. Wiley was joined by Lisa Simpson, CPA, CGMA, vice president firm services at the AICPA and Erik Asgeirsson, CEO of CPA.com to discuss the Paycheck Protection Program, the CPA business funding portal, provide a legislative update and answer questions from the audience.
First, Simpson joined Wiley to discuss the next round of PPP funding.
“The information has been coming fast and furious for the past several days. It started with a couple of really key and final rules that I'll call IFRs,” she said. “They’re actually a really good development for people trying to navigate PPP.”
Simpson also answered questions regarding expanded definitions of cost and the simplified forgiveness process.
“The good news is a lot of the changes that have been made in legislation that apply to PPP loans will apply to all PPP loans, so first draw or second draw, as long as the first draw borrower hasn’t already applied for forgiveness,” Simpson said.
Therefore, if someone is a first draw borrower, coming back for a second draw or someone who has not participated in the program before has more cost categories that are eligible for forgiveness. These consist of worker protection expenditures, safeguards for employees or customers, supplier costs that are critical to the operation of the borrower and operation expenditures.
“So, they’re capturing ongoing operational cost in addition to rent and utilities,” she said. “Now they’re giving you a category for software costs and cloud computing costs to expand that category.” In addition, Asgeirsson said the intent of the program is to keep these businesses intact, to help them maintain employees and to support them in this difficult environment.
He also discussed the CPA business funding portal and the strategies businesses and firms are exploring in 2021.
“With what’s occurred with the pandemic, it’s accelerated the adoption of technology as we all know,” he said. “We’re entering a golden age for the use of technology. You felt that prior to the pandemic but now with this acceleration, it’s changed so much.”
Asgeirsson said one of CPA.com’s broadest goals is to get everybody on a common page with the tools they provide.
“What this tool does is offer firms a way to have a centralized approach to support draw one and draw two applications as well as forgiveness,” he said. “It’s a free tool, it’s been in development over the past seven months, thousands of hours of development have gone into this and it has a lot of capabilities.”
In addition, the portal gives CPAs the option to take their completed files and submit them directly to the SBA, he said.