Accountants Are Helping Clients Navigate PPP Challenges, But March 31 Deadline Looms



One year ago, on March 10, during the early stages of the pandemic, the House Committee on Small Business held its first hearing in Washington on the impact of COVID-19 on small businesses.

One of Congress’s earliest and most effective means of distributing relief was through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), created through the CARES Act to provide fully guaranteed, forgivable loans to meet payroll costs and other business expenses. Today, PPP is still providing urgently needed funding to businesses that might not otherwise survive.

In 2021 alone, the program has accepted applications for first and second draw loans and approved 2.1 million loans totaling $156.2 billion to help small businesses. The high level of demand for PPP loans is a testament to the program’s effectiveness but also to the lingering impact of the pandemic.

However, the program has encountered some issues in this round that have slowed the process. For instance, safeguards put in place by the SBA to prevent fraud have slowed application submissions for some borrowers, often by weeks. Additionally, the application process is somewhat complicated and if a borrower makes an error during some point in the process, it could hold up the progress of the funding for days, if not weeks.

Lisa Simpson, speaking on behalf of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), testified before the House Committee on Small Business on March 10 and praised the legislative leadership that created the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), and the efforts of the SBA and Treasury to provide much needed relief when the pandemic hit.

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Source: Forbes

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