BSCAI members, if doing the paperwork to have your Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan forgiven has seemed overly daunting, there's good news. There is a new online tool available courtesy of The American Institute of CPAs (or AICPA) and CPA.com that aims to simplify the process. Best of all, it's free.
Powered by software from Biz2Credit, the new platform is available by clicking here. Any business that took out a PPP loan can use the tool whether they worked with a bank or a non-bank lender. Business owners (or their accountants) can access a suite of loan aids on this platform, including all of the government forms that are required when you go to submit your loan forgiveness application.
According to Forbes columnist Robin Saks Frankel, "you can even submit your application on the platform using an electronic signature." However, you might want to consider holding off on filing the application until the federal government offers additional guidance on calculating PPP loan forgiveness. Nevertheless, for those BSCAI members who have been hesitant to apply for a PPP loan, this new tool will almost certainly make the forgiveness application part of the process just a bit easier.
There's no getting around the fact that the forgiveness applications are extremely detailed. Furthermore, the final rules remain uncertain in some key areas. For instance, some documentation is not mandated for submission with the forgiveness application but IS required to be retained by the borrower. As a result, it is important to keep documentation of any facts that could become an issue related to forgiveness.
The Journal of Accountancy quotes Kari Hipsak, a Senior Manager with the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants, who recently advised, "It's always easier to be prepared going into something than having to look in hindsight and collect all the necessary data."
Hipsak adds that BSCAI members should know that the really important deadline in the PPP forgiveness process does not come until 10 months after the end of the loan's covered period. If forgiveness forms have not been submitted by then, the funds officially become a loan that needs to be repaid. To this end, she says it is best for borrowers to take their time and be sure they have as much information as possible so they can maximize loan forgiveness.
Finally, the Small Business Administration (SBA) announced on July 23 that lenders can begin submitting applications for PPP loan forgiveness on Aug. 10. The SBA, which announced the update in a notice outlining procedures for the loan forgiveness process, has been overseeing the COVID-19 relief program. Thursday's document confirmed the SBA would be opening a portal specific to loan forgiveness, notes the Milwaukee Business Journal.
The agency has been collaborating with Goldschmitt-CRI, a Washington, D.C.-based financial services technology provider to provide the platform that only lenders will be able to access. PPP lenders can not only use the platform to submit data and documentation, they will also be able to monitor the status of their forgiveness requests and consult via the portal with SBA staffers in the event of an inquiry or loan review.
Once again, building service contractors can use the funds from the PPP for the following four purposes: one, payroll; two, mortgage interest, as long as the mortgage was signed prior to Feb. 15, 2020; three, rent, again as long as the lease accord was in effect before Feb. 15, 2020; and, finally, utilities.