The AICPA Ethics Division released a new podcast addressing the independence considerations for assisting attest clients with PPP (Payroll Protection Program) applications. Based on internal meetings and consultation with the AICPA's Professional Ethics Executive Committee (PEEC), the podcast addresses several key questions, including:
- What can I do to help my attest client in the application process and later in determining whether my client has met the loan forgiveness qualifications?
- What activities impair my independence?
- Why should I not prepare the PPP application on behalf of my client?
- Can I accept the "agents fee" from my client's lender?
- Can my firm apply for a PPP loan through a lender that is an attest client?
- Am I permitted to lend my staff to my financial institution attest client to assist with processing PPP applications?
- How else can I ensure that I maintain my independence throughout this process?
Click here to listen to the podcast.
In addition, the AICPA Center for Plain English Accounting (CPEA) released a report entitled, Small Business Loans Under the Payroll Protection Program Issues Related to CPA Involvement. The report addresses several issues including:
- helping clients determine which government program(s) are best given the client's circumstances
- acting as an agent
- agent fees
- performing services for attest clients
- legal liability concerns
- representations in the PPP application
- signing the PPP application
- performing services for nonattest clients
- CPA firm application for PPP
- Loan forgiveness considerations
- Performing services as nonattest vs agreed-upon procedures (attest) engagement