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PODCAST: Lampner sheds light on PPP

Written on Jan 28, 2021

By Jessica Salerno, OSCPA senior content manager 

The second round of Paycheck Protection Program funding is open, and while many details have been clarified since last year, there are still areas that need consideration. 

“I think people do feel more prepared this time,” said Ray Lampner, CPA, partner at Sikich. 

Lampner joined The State of Business podcast this week to discuss how this round is different, mistakes to avoid that might have been made last year and advice he has for those applying. 

Man smiling for camera.

Although getting your application in a timely manner is key for PPP2, there isn’t quite the same mad dash to the finish line that businesses experienced when applying last year. 

“At the beginning, everybody was trying to get their applications in,” he said. “Whether you own a business or you're helping your clients or whatever it might be, there was a rush to go in and get money before it ran out.” 

The eight-week period was also a concern, Lampner said; that meant some businesses tried to spend the money in the first eight weeks to maximize forgiveness. Now that the limit is 24-weeks, there is no longer a rush to spend money on things that potentially aren’t useful to the business. 

While there is a better understanding on applying now that is the second round, some areas need further clarification. 

“One of the things we're still struggling with is the whole idea of economic uncertainty,” Lampner said. “When the first loans came out there was a box there that you had to check and say, ‘yes there is uncertainty in the economy, and that’s why we need this loan.’ And basically, the SBA came to the conclusion that everybody was deemed to have an economic uncertainty. 

For this round, he said there has not been guidance on what economic uncertainty really means and how to determine if someone has economic uncertainty. 

Another section Lampner suggested treading carefully is employee retention credits. He noted that businesses can’t use the same wages for the PPP forgiveness and the employee retention credit. 

“There might be some strategies you want to implement when filing forgiveness, mainly trying to limit the amount of wages you're using so you can maximize the credit,” he said. “What we're telling people to do is if you haven't applied for forgiveness yet, hold off on doing it while we figure this out.” 

Listen to the complete episode online here or wherever you get your podcasts. 

For additional learning on PPP2, visit MyOSCPA.

Explore how to deliver valuable PPP business relief services to your clients, visit cpaloanportal.com