The American Institute of CPAs today issued recommendations aimed at a common understanding of how accountants can serve as agents for purposes of the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program. Specifically, AICPA recommended that the accountant for a small business applying for a PPP loan “contact the lender prior to offering assistance and performing advisory work to the client. This will ensure the lender has agreed to compensate the CPA firm for its service.”
AICPA also recommended that should the lender agree to pay an agency fee to the CPA firm, as allowed for by the CARES Act, that the relationship be documented and disclosed to the applicant. “Documentation could take the form of a letter, sent by the CPA to his/her client, that describes the services to be performed by the CPA firm to assist and advise the client on the appropriate completion of the application,” AICPA said.
The recommendations — which were developed with input from the American Bankers Association and other stakeholders — come as lenders and CPA firms have sought clarity on the CARES Act provisions regarding how agent relationships should be documented and how fees should be paid if agreed to. “These are unprecedented times and the joint efforts of lenders and CPA firms are vital to assisting small businesses,” AICPA said. “Our overall objective is to help drive an effective PPP application process that quickly directs relief funds into the hands of small business owners and their employees.”