As Congress weighs renewed economic stimulus, CPA firms should be gearing up to assist small businesses whose survival depends on a new round of funding under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) and its business and technology arm, CPA.com, recommend. Small businesses should be reaching out to their trusted advisors, as well.
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“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,” said Erik Asgeirsson, president and CEO of CPA.com. “As part of that, they should begin the process of gathering key information, such as 2020 revenue. It’s also important for firms to 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 .”
The AICPA is urging swift, renewed funding of the PPP and other business relief programs.
“Small businesses, the engine of our economy, continue to struggle,” said AICPA President and CEO Barry Melancon, CPA, CGMA. “We strongly support Congress’s efforts to deliver more relief funding as soon as possible.”
During the initial rollout of PPP, CPA firms were forced to set up manual processes to serve clients and often operated with limited guidance. To provide better support, the AICPA, CPA.com and fintech leader Biz2Credit in September launched a financing platform for CPA firms, the CPA Business Funding Portal (located at CPALoanPortal.com), to help practitioners guide small businesses through PPP loan forgiveness, as well as any other small business financing options. Versions of the portal’s tools, developed by CPA.com and Biz2Credit, have been used by more than 37,000 business owners and almost 7,000 CPA firms since this summer.
Once so-called “PPP2” funding is authorized, the portal will be quickly updated to make loan application processing efficient and aligned with the latest guided assistance, Asgeirsson said.
Among other features, the CPA Business Lending Portal offers:
- A free basic service for small businesses or CPAs advising only a few clients
- A more robust set of tools in a single platform to help CPA firms manage multiple clients in a standardized way
- Upfront integration with leading payroll providers (with more providers being added regularly) to intake data automatically from official payroll reports
- Access to the power of AICPA technical input and calculators
- Payment of agent fees for firms registered for one of the paid plans available through the platform (assuming this is permissible in PPP2, as it was in the original PPP)
“We’ve learned a lot of lessons about simplifying the application process for small businesses since PPP was first introduced,” said Biz2Credit CEO Rohit Arora. “The CPA Business Funding Portal is built on our Biz2X Platform, which is tailor-made to the specifications of the SBA and the Treasury Department and is adaptable as regulations change. It has become a trusted platform for lenders, small business borrowers and their trusted CPA advisors.”
Arora added: “We will be ready for accounting professionals on Day 1 following the enactment of PPP2.”
For more information, please visit cpa.com/business-funding. The site has FAQs, pricing details and other information about signing up for the service.
CPA.com brings innovative solutions to the accounting profession, either in partnership with leading providers or directly through its own development. The company has established itself as a thought leader on emerging technologies and as the trusted business advisor to practitioners in the United States, with a growing global focus.
Our company’s core mission is to drive the transformation of practice areas, advance the technology ecosystem for the profession, and lead technology research and innovation efforts for practitioners.
A subsidiary of the American Institute of CPAs, the company is also part of the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants, the world’s most influential organization representing the profession. For more information, visit CPA.com.
About the American Institute of CPAs
The American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) is the world’s largest member association representing the CPA profession, with more than 431,000 members in the United States and worldwide, and a history of serving the public interest since 1887. AICPA members represent many areas of practice, including business and industry, public practice, government, education and consulting. The AICPA sets ethical standards for its members and U.S. auditing standards for private companies, nonprofit organizations, and federal, state and local governments. It develops and grades the Uniform CPA Examination, offers specialized credentials, builds the pipeline of future talent and drives professional competency development to advance the vitality, relevance and quality of the profession.
Founded in 2007, Biz2Credit has arranged more than $3 billion in small business financing. Biz2Credit is focused on funding what’s next for small business. The company leverages data, cash flow insights, and the latest technology to give business owners an automated small business funding platform to fit their financial needs. With over 350 employees globally, the Biz2Credit team – made up of top-notch engineers, marketers, and data scientists – is building the next generation in business lending solutions.
Biz2Credit has been named to the Inc. 5000 and Inc. Magazine’s Private Titans list for 2020, is a three-time winner of the Deloitte Technology Fast 500 and was named a Great Place to Work in 2020 and 2019. Headquartered in New York City, the company recently raised a $52M Series B round of investment in 2019.Visit www.biz2credit.com or Twitter @Biz2Credit, Facebook, and LinkedIn.