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Business Continuity


Updates on PPP Loan Forgiveness, Including Safe Harbors

July 20, 2020 / by Linan Zhang posted in Business Continuity, Southwest Houston, TX

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Are you applying for loan forgiveness on your Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan? Learn about safe harbor provisions and coverage period restrictions.

Note: Please visit the Small Business Administration's PPP website for the most current details.

As of July 14, American businesses had received more than 4.9 million loans through the PPP. All of those loans — some $518 billion worth — are eligible for forgiveness under certain circumstances. Make sure you understand the requirements.

Payroll and Salary Criteria
Initially, the PPP stipulated that 75% of any loan had to be dedicated to payroll costs. But recent legislation revised that figure to 60%.

That's just one of many adjustments. The government's latest Loan Forgiveness Application revision, which has two application forms and two corresponding instructions, can be confusing. We will try to summarize the changes by focusing on a few key provisions.

Coverage period definitions and restrictions: Businesses that received their PPP loan by June 4 can still choose an eight-week period for their loan. However, just like post-June 4 borrowers, they may also elect to use a 24-week period. Among other things, choosing the 24-week option effectively increases the maximum amount you can pay any individual employee with PPP funds from $15,385 to $46,154 (prorated based on a $100,000 cap on annual salary).

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Reopen for Business: How to Adapt to New Financial Realities

July 16, 2020 / by Elliot Hershik posted in Chicago Far West Suburbs, Business Continuity

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How can your company regain the momentum it lost due to the coronavirus outbreak? Here are bookkeeping strategies for finding your new normal.

If your business is among the many that have just reopened, or plan to shortly, after the COVID-19 shutdown, you might feel like you're starting all over again. And yes, there are some similarities between starting a business and restarting a business. But there are important differences, too. Let's look at how you can prepare for these new realities with bookkeeping best practices.

That No-Revenue Déjà Vu
The most vivid reminder of your startup days is probably the lack of immediate revenue to cover your expenses. There's no question that can be a source of stress, particularly if your business has substantial upfront costs or a significant burn rate.

In addition, depending on the nature of your business and your particular state's reopening guidelines, you might have to budget for additional expenses that you never had to worry about in a pre-pandemic world, such as Plexiglas shields or extra cleaning staff.

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Reminder: $130 Billion in PPP Funding Is Still Available

July 13, 2020 / by Elliot Hershik posted in Chicago Far West Suburbs, Business Continuity

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The federal government has given businesses more time to apply for COVID-19 relief. Are your books up to date?

Money that was allocated but not used during the initial rollout of the Small Business Association's (SBA's) Payroll Protection Program is still available to small businesses. With Congress authorizing the extension of the deadline to August 8, access to funds totaling $130 billion is still an option if you haven't already applied for the PPP.

Small businesses that take advantage of the program will benefit in more ways than one, because the SBA has worked out some of the issues in the loan-forgiveness procedures. Basically, if businesses can prove they meet the newest guidelines, the loan will be forgiven before any interest is due. Get the PPP loan and forgiveness details here.

Don't Miss Out
For many small businesses, especially those in states that are seeing a surge in COVID-19 cases, this opportunity couldn't have come at a better time. But the word of caution that my colleague Craig Feltner offered in April about not waiting too long to apply for a PPP loan still applies today: "There will be a flood of applications, and banks will likely have difficulty managing them all."

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Proven Value: Online Bookkeeping in the Time of COVID-19

July 7, 2020 / by Diane Denholm posted in Northeast Florida, Bookkeeping Services, Business Continuity

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With cloud-based technology and remote-work best practices, online bookkeeping services will help you strengthen your business as you prepare for the future.

For many businesses that had relied on onsite employees and desktop applications, remote work and cloud-based technology have become the new normal during the pandemic. Now that you've seen what's possible with remote work … what's holding you back from outsourcing your bookkeeping?

With outsourced bookkeeping, you can not only help ensure business continuity, but also gain expertise and financial insight you didn't know you were missing.

Stop By Your Bookkeeper's Desk — Online
You may have appreciated the ability to stop by your bookkeeper's desk to ask a question — back when your bookkeeper actually had a desk. But once the pandemic hit, many businesses had to transition instantly to a remote workforce. Any company that still relied on an in-house bookkeeper, and a desktop system that required them to physically be onsite to get access, was caught unprepared.

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Opening a U.S. Subsidiary Is Still Possible During COVID-19

July 2, 2020 / by Loren Sweigart posted in Santa Monica, Bookkeeping Services, Los Angeles, Ventura County, Business Continuity

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Although COVID-19 has created obstacles for overseas companies to set up U.S. subsidiaries, it has also presented possible opportunities to pursue.

The coronavirus pandemic has had a catastrophic impact on the world's economy, with some sources forecasting a decline of up to 8.8% in global GDP this year. In addition, ongoing travel restrictions prevent entry to the United States from many countries, which may have disrupted plans at some international companies to open subsidiaries here. (As a general rule, opening a U.S. subsidiary requires obtaining a U.S. bank account, which must be done in person.)

Even so, there are glimmers of optimism amid the gloom. The pandemic has also revealed new opportunities, especially for companies that specialize in technologies that enable e-commerce, telemedicine and remote learning. For international companies in those fields, the U.S. market could be more receptive than ever. Here's what you'll need to know about starting a U.S. subsidiary.

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The New Normal: Managing a (Sometimes) Remote Workforce

June 9, 2020 / by Elliot Hershik posted in Small Business Advice, Chicago Far West Suburbs, Business Continuity

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As various states begin to relax shelter-in-place directives prompted by the COVID-19 outbreak, employers face critical decisions in how to manage their workforces. Should they allow employees to continue to work from home (WFH) or encourage them to return to their places of business?

The "new normal" might involve a combination of these two approaches. Here are some suggestions for how to effectively manage the situation.

Step One: Determine What's Right for Your Business
To a degree, the nature of your business will make this decision for you. In some cases, such as with hair salons, WFH is simply not an option. If the state told you to shut down, you had to shut down.

Now that many states are allowing salons to reopen, the owner of a salon must first determine whether operating would be safe for employees and customers. This assessment must be done with the input of employees; some may not be ready to return to work due to concerns over their health or that of loved ones. From there, it's just a matter of following your state's guidelines.

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Lessons From COVID-19: Three Reasons Cash Is Still Crucial

June 2, 2020 / by Mark Schanen posted in Milwaukee, Business Continuity

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If you're like me, you're suffering from shutdown fatigue. But as we slowly emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, I think it's worth memorializing lessons learned (or reinforced) over the past few months.

One of the most important lessons? Managing your cash — from making sure you have cash on hand to forecasting cash flow — is crucial to the success of your business. Here are three reasons why that is — along with tips on how to keep the cash flowing in the future.

1. Cash = Flexibility
How many businesses had serious issues waiting for CARES Act funding to be disbursed? Based on our experiences with clients, about a month elapsed from the time the law was enacted on March 27 to when most of the programs were actually funded. It was stressful for everyone, but especially for those living draw to draw or paycheck to paycheck. (And of course, the stress level went up about tenfold for businesses shut out of the funding altogether.)

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Moving Forward With Business Lessons Learned

May 26, 2020 / by Craig Feltner posted in Business Continuity, Greater Cincinnati Ohio

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Many of us are emerging from COVID-19 shutdowns with a greater appreciation of how important business relationships are to a company’s success. Read these tips on strengthening your relationships with your employees, vendors, customers and support networks.

Working Remotely Is No Longer the Future
Because the situation was forced on them with little warning, many businesses struggled to adapt to a remote workforce. It’s understandable if that created a negative first impression. But forward-thinking business leaders have since recognized that the remote-work model offers many advantages that they can retain once they resume normal operations. As Magnus Nicolin, CEO of Ansell, a major supplier of personal protective equipment, told the Wall Street Journal, “The way this company's going to be managed post-COVID is going to be quite different from the way we managed it before. We are probably going to be traveling less, because we've learned we can actually run this company virtually, quite nicely. We're probably going to have smaller offices, and the offices are going to primarily be for meetings and training and technical support and far less for sitting and doing your job. If our customer service teams can work from home with good system support, then why not let them?”

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Good Bookkeeping Is the Foundation for PPP Loan Forgiveness

May 21, 2020 / by Indre Bauza posted in Northern Virginia, Business Continuity

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This article was revised on June 11, 2020 to reflect the latest updates to the Small Business Administration's (SBA's) Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). Please visit the SBA site for the most current details.

As a responsible business owner concerned about retaining your employees during the coronavirus pandemic, you immediately applied for a loan through the PPP. And you were fortunate to be among those who received one.

But your work isn't done. Being a responsible business owner also means following PPP instructions so that your loan will be forgiven. That may yet prove to be difficult.

A Work in Progress
The PPP initially stipulated that as long as 75% or more of PPP funds went toward payroll costs within eight weeks, the loan would be forgiven. When the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act of 2020 (PPPFA) was signed into law on June 5, these two thresholds changed. Now, businesses must put at least 60% of PPP funds toward payroll costs within 24 weeks for loan forgiveness.

The PPPFA also included revisions affecting the calculation of full-time employees and deferring payment of the employer share of the Social Security tax.

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Bookkeeping Is Vital as Businesses Rapidly Adapt to COVID-19

May 5, 2020 / by Leslie Jorgensen posted in Bookkeeping Services, Supporting Strategies, Business Continuity

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The coronavirus pandemic is testing the ingenuity of American businesses as never before. Companies are conducting major overhauls of their business plans, profit models, operating procedures and even human resources policies. These changes would normally call for months of careful research and planning but are now being implemented in a matter of weeks, if not days.

While speed is of the essence, any changes your business makes in response to COVID-19 must still be rooted in solid financial insight and intelligence.

Inspiration Amid the Devastation
It would be easy to give in to despair in response to the daily onslaught of grim news. But each day also brings inspiring stories of business leaders who have made agile adjustments that have not only enabled their companies to remain open, but also preserved employees' jobs and provided the public with much-needed services and products.

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