AICPA Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resource Center
The AICPA has provided a growing number of coronavirus-related resources on its website (https://www.aicpa.org/), including materials tailored to the many practice areas in which CPAs engage. A good place to start is the main webpage for the Corona-virus (COVID-19) Resource Center (https://www.aicpa.org/news/aicpa-coronavirus-resource-center.html), which includes a table of contents highlighting nine practice areas: personal financial planning, forensic and valuation services, technology, accounting and reporting, audit and assurance, small firms, government, management accounting, and tax (of course) which is covered in more detail below. Some of the specialized section items are available to general AICPA members, and a few are accessible by the public.
AICPA Coronavirus Resource Center
Several one-hour videos are available from a COVID-19 series of webinars: “Business Planning and Impacts,” “Scenario Planning and Strategic Modeling,” and “Professional Judgement in Volatile and Uncertain Times.” Other one-hour or longer specialized presentations include “Financial Planning Guidance for CPAs in the Wake of COVID-19,” “Estate Planning amid COVID-19,” and “Crisis Management: Using Technology to Securely Work from Home.” There are also many short “how-to” or explanatory videos on specific topics, such as “Taking Action: Working with Borrowers and Depository Institutions during COVID-19 Modification Relief” and “Remote Auditing during COVID-19.” Keep scrolling down: the bottom section of the Resource Center highlights AICPA Insights blog posts, news articles, advocacy resources, and state-level resources.
SBA paycheck protection program resources for CPAs.
Some of the AICPA’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) materials are accessible on the main coronavirus resource page, but the SBA PPP Resources for CPAs webpage provides a specific focus on this area (https://www.aicpa.org/interestareas/privatecompaniespracticesection/qualityservicesdelivery/sba-paycheck-protection-program-resources-for-cpas.html). The AICPA has several PPP loan calculators in downloadable Excel file format for self-employed individuals, as well as for other employers; these include a worksheet for calculating payroll costs. An Excel loan forgiveness calculator is also available with separate worksheets for Schedule A, non-payroll costs, payroll accumulator, and full-time equivalent employee documentation.
The AICPA’s PPP webpage includes links to loan forms, such as a sample PPP Borrower Application Form and an SBA PPP Loan Forgiveness Application Form (both listed in the Sidebar). “Forgiveness Calculation Steps” is a four-page PDF that outlines five steps for calculating the amount of eligible forgiveness on PPP loan, along with a similar sheet for self-employed individuals, both with and without employees. CPAs might be particularly interested in the AICPA’s “PPP Loan Forgiveness Services Matrix” to help identify which client services they are providing and the related documentation needed.
The AICPA provides several tax-related resources available to all AICPA members (https://www.aicpa.org/interestareas/tax/covid19.html). Adaptable Word format client letters are downloadable for individual and business clients, as well as a sample engagement letter for loan application assistance services with a preface explaining to the CPA its purpose and function. There are also two handy one-page PDFs targeted to clients—a “Snapshot” that highlights certain provisions and resources, and instructions for nonfilers to apply for stimulus amounts.
The “CARES Act and Families First Coronavirus Response Act Summary” is a two-page PDF that covers stimulus rebates, payroll tax credit refunds, the employee retention credit, and temporary provisions affecting retirement plan distributions, an above-the-line (adjustment) deduction for charitable contributions, and other changes. A summary of “State Tax Filing Guidance,” comprising 400-plus pages, appears to be kept up–to–date; the document includes an overall discussion, as well as state-by-state analyses. An AICPA-prepared “Coronavirus and Tax Impacts FAQs,” and charts of updated federal and state due dates are very practical tools. The bottom half of the “Tax Resources” webpage lays out hyperlinks to specific IRS and other federal agency resources.
NYSSCPA Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information and Updates
The NYSSCPA provides a collection of information, guidance, and tips that can be accessed from highlights on the Society’s homepage (https://www.nysscpa.org/) or directly on the Coronavirus Portal at https://www.nysscpa.org/covid19 The top half of the webpage includes access to the Society’s event calendar, with CPE listings, a login to the “Exchange” discussion forum, and a link to submit a question. Readers in search of CPE can also go directly to the Foundation for Accounting Education (FAE) website at https://cpe.nysscpa.org/; and just enter “covid” or “coronavirus” in the keyword search bar.
A brief (five-minute) video, “NYSSCPA CEO Joanne Barry Reports Advocacy Efforts Amid COVID-19” is worth watching. Some of the highlights include the NYSSCPA’s efforts to join with the AICPA in advocating for the extension of the federal filing deadline to July 15. Locally, the Society promoted the extension of New York State tax deadline to July 15 and the temporary acceptance of electronic signatures. The Society was a pioneer in advocating the inclusion of CPAs on the list of essential services. Some issues are still being addressed, such as estimated tax payment deadlines and New York City-related issues.
The bottom half of the COVID-19 webpage is a portal to NYSSCPA and external resources for 11 topics, including accounting and auditing, small businesses, tax practice management, and education and CPA exams. Available materials include external websites, webpages, articles and other documents, and CPE options. New items are added at the top of each topic, making it easy for readers to find the most up-to-date information.
The tax practice management subject contains the largest collection of materials, with links to specific IRS, NYS and NYS Department of Taxation and Finance (DTF), and NYC resources. One interesting example here is NYS DTF Notice N-20-5 (May 2020), which is a one-page PDF that extends the temporary acceptance of digital signatures until July 15. An excellent find is the Tax Foundation CARES Act webpage, listed in the Side-bar, which summarizes key provisions of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, along with some interesting analysis. Another useful tool, also listed in the Sidebar, is a 45-page document prepared by the Council on State Taxation (COST) that details a state-by-state listing with state and local tax department COVID-19-specific web-pages and tax notices.
NYSSCPA Coronavirus Resources
The small business topic (SBA Loans) is the second-largest listing, with several specific items identified from the Small Business Association (SBA) website. “The Small Business Owner’s Guide to the CARES Act,” prepared by the U.S. Senate, is listed in the Sidebar; it is a useful Q&A format booklet that addresses selected information on PPP loans, the Small Business Debt Relief Program, and other COVID-19 small business-related topics.
Council on State Taxation (COST) COVID-19: State and Local Guidancehttps://www.cost.org/state-tax-resources/bill-tracking/covid-chart/
Paycheck Protection Program Sample Applicationhttps://www.sba.gov/sites/default/files/2020-04/PPP-Borrower-Application-Form-Fillable.pdf
Paycheck Protection Program Loan Forgiveness Applicationhttps://home.treasury.gov/system/files/136/3245-0407-SBA-Form-3508-PPP-Forgiveness-Application.pdf
Tax Foundation CARES Act Webpagehttps://taxfoundation.org/cares-act-senate-coronavirus-bill-economic-relief-plan/
U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneurship Resourceshttps://www.sbc.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/resources
U.S. Senate Small Business Guide to the CARES Acthttps://www.sbc.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/guide-to-the-cares-act