February 16, 2021

PPP 1 and 2 Loans: What Expenses are Considered Covered Costs?

A second round of Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans brings many questions around funding eligibility and how the money can be spent to qualify for forgiveness. Once you have either a PPP1 or PPP2 loan, it’s important to understand what costs are covered so you can maximize forgiveness.

Similar to the first round, 60% of PPP2 funds will need to be used for payroll and 40% can be used for non-payroll expenses. Below is a list of nonpayroll costs that qualify and the related eligibility and documentation requirements.

Timing of Eligible Nonpayroll Costs

Eligible nonpayroll costs are those that are either:

  • Paid during the covered period
  • Incurred on or before the end of the covered period but paid by the due date after the covered period

Example: If rent for the month of October is due by November 1st and your covered period ended October 21, you would get to include a portion of that November payment to account for 21 of the 31 days.

Types of Nonpayroll Costs

Below is a list of eligible nonpayroll costs, assuming they meet the timing criteria above.

  • Interest payments on (most) business loan obligations that were in existence before February 15, 2020
  • Rent/lease payments on real or personal property under an agreement in place before February 15, 2020
  • Business utility payments for services in place before February 15, 2020, including electricity, gas, transportation, water, telephone and internet
  • Covered operations expenditures, including:
    • Payment for any business software or cloud computing service that facilitates business operations
    • Product or service delivery
    • The processing, payment or tracking of payroll expenses
    • Human resources
    • Sales and billing functions
    • Accounting or tracking of supplies, inventory, records and expenses
  • Covered property damage costs
    • Cost related to property damage and vandalism or looting due to the public disturbances that occurred in 2020, but cannot have been reimbursed by insurance
  • Covered supplier costs, including payments made to a supplier of goods for supply that meets the following criteria:
    • Is essential to operations of the business AND
    • Payment made pursuant to a contract, order, or purchase order that was either:
      • In effect any time before the covered period, OR
      • For perishable goods only, in effect any time prior to the end of the covered period
  • Covered worker protection expenses
    • Operating or capital expenditures to facilitate the change of business activities related to COVID. This may include purchases, maintenance or renovation of assets that create or expand:
      • Drive-through window facility
      • Indoor, outdoor, or combined air or air pressure ventilation or filtration system
      • Physical barriers such as a sneeze guard
      • Expansion of additional indoor, outdoor, or combined business space
      • Onsite or offsite health screen capabilities

Required Documentation

It’s important to keep proper documentation of expenses paid with loan proceeds to make the forgiveness process simpler when the time comes to apply. Make sure to keep track of the following documentation for each expense:

  • Copies of invoices, purchase orders, receipts or cancelled checks
  • Copies of account statements and lease agreements

Our advisors are closely following COVID-19 relief efforts and will continue to publish insights to keep you informed on our COVID-19 Resource Center. To discuss your situation and recovery options, contact an Anders advisor below. Tune in to our video series PPP with Paul and Dan to learn more about the Paycheck Protection Program.

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January 5, 2021

PPP2 Loan FAQ: Applying for the Second Round of Funding

The $2.3 trillion Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 was signed into law on December 27, 2020 bringing much-needed relief to the country, including a $900 billion COVID-Related Tax Relief Act of 2020 (COVIDTRA). Among the many relief provisions in COVIDTRA, the legislation set aside $284 billion for another round of PPP Loans (PPP2). Under COVIDTRA, PPP2 loans will be available to both first-time qualified borrowers and to businesses that previously received a PPP Loan. Below, we address commonly asked questions about the second round of PPP funding.

When can I apply for a loan?

The Small Business Administration (SBA) has seventeen days after the enactment to issue guidance. Business owners may be able to apply for new PPP loans as early as mid-January.

How much money can I borrow?

A borrower may receive a loan up to 2.5 times the monthly average payroll costs in the 12-month period prior to the loan or in the prior calendar year. For PPP2, businesses in the hospitality industry, which includes accommodation and food services operations with NAICS codes starting with 72, can receive up to 3.5 times their average monthly payroll costs. As with PPP loans, seasonal employers can use alternative calculations to determine their maximum loan amount. The maximum amount of a PPP2 loan cannot exceed $2,000,000.

Who is eligible as a first-time borrower for a PPP2 loan?

If a business did not already apply for and receive the first round of PPP funding, the following first-time borrowers are eligible to receive a PPP2 loan:

  • Businesses with 500 or fewer employees
  • Sole proprietors, independent contractors and eligible self-employed individuals
  • Accommodation and food services operations with NAICS codes starting with 72, such as restaurants and ­­­­hotels, with fewer than 300 employees per location
  • Not-for-profit organizations
  • Must have been in business by February 15th, 2020. This is a new eligibility requirement

If my company previously received a PPP Loan, can I apply for a PPP2 loan?

Businesses that previously received PPP loans can apply for PPP2 loans if they meet the requirements below:

  • 300 or fewer employees
  • Used or will use the full amount of their first PPP loan
  • Can show 25% gross receipts decline in any 2020 quarter compared with the same quarter of 2019

What are the terms of PPP2 loans?

Most of the PPP2 loan terms are similar to the terms of the first round of PPP funding:

  • Loan Amount: Similar to the original PPP Loans, a borrower may receive a loan up to 2.5 times the monthly average payroll costs in the 12-month period prior to the loan or in the prior calendar year. For PPP2 loans, accommodation and food services operations with NAICS codes starting with 72 can receive up to 3.5 times their average monthly payroll costs.
  • Maximum Loan Amount: The maximum amount of a PPP2 loan cannot exceed $2,000,000. This is down from the $10,000,000 maximum amount of PPP loans.
  • Loan Forgiveness: PPP2 loans are also eligible for loan forgiveness. For any loan up to $150,000, the loan will be forgiven if the borrower submits a one-page online or paper form listing the loan amount, number of employees, and the amount spent on payroll. 

How can PPP2 loan funds be used?

Under the original PPP, funds could be used for payroll, benefits, rent, utilities, mortgage interest and transportation costs.

The new bill is expanded and allows for additional expenses, including:

  • Covered operations expenditures – business software, payroll expenses, HR, sales and billing or accounting
  • Covered property damage costs – costs related to property damage due to public disturbances that occurred during 2020 that were not covered by insurance
  • Covered supplier costs – expenses for goods that are essential to the operation and were purchased before the covered period or are perishable goods
  • Covered worker protection expenditures – expenditures related to adapting the business to comply with federal, state, or local government guidelines related to COVID-19 standards of sanitation, social distancing, or any other worker or customer safety
  • Insurance payments – PPP2 clarifies that in addition to group health insurance group life, disability, and vision or dental insurance are included in the payroll definition.

The additional eligible expenses also apply to original PPP loans still outstanding. Similar to the first round, 60% of PPP2 funds will need to be used for payroll and 40% can be used for non-payroll expenses.

How long do I have to spend the PPP2 funds?

Borrowers can choose either an 8 or 24-week period as the covered period of expenses from the loan origination date, similar to the first round of PPP loans. The covered period for both PPP and PPP2 loans begins on the date the loan proceeds are received by the borrower and ends on a date selected by the borrower that falls between 8 weeks after the funds were received and 24 weeks after the date the funds were received. It is not necessarily 8 weeks or 24 weeks for the covered period anymore. We’re awaiting further SBA guidance on how this affects current PPP borrowers who have not yet applied for forgiveness.

Are expenses paid using PPP2 loans tax deductible?

COVIDTRA states that business expenses that would otherwise be tax-deductible, which are paid with forgiven PPP or PPP2 loan proceeds, remain tax-deductible.

Our advisors are closely following COVID-19 relief efforts and will continue to publish more questions and insights to keep you informed. Visit our COVID-19 Resource Center for more resources. To discuss your situation and recovery options, contact an Anders advisor below. Tune in to our video series PPP with Paul and Dan to learn more about the Paycheck Protection Program.

Nicholas E. Dall was a contributor to this post.

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December 28, 2020

New $900 Billion Pandemic Relief Package Includes Additional Stimulus Payments, PPP Loans and More

A new pandemic relief bill was recently passed by the House and Senate and signed into law by the President on December 27, 2020. The $900 billion COVID-19 relief package was part of a $2.4 trillion Consolidated Appropriations Act bill signed by President Trump.

As a follow up to the CARES Act, which was the largest federal stimulus package, the new bill will help fund several expiring CARES Act aid programs to help individuals, businesses and schools. While the bill does not allocate aid for state and local governments or provide for business liability protections, Congress expressed that this is a starting point and future bills will be introduced. Below we discuss the major provisions included in the relief package.

$600 individual stimulus payments

The criteria for the stimulus payments is similar to the first round, with full payments given to those making up to $75,000 for individuals and $150,000 for married filing jointly. Phaseouts equaling $5 for every $100 of Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) beginning at $75,000 for individuals and $150,000 for married filers. Individuals making $87,000 or more and $174,000 for those married filing jointly would not receive a payout. An additional $600 will be provided for each dependent child under the age of 17. This appears to still make college students ineligible for the stimulus payments if they are claimed as dependents.

The House has indicated they will be introducing a bill to potentially increase stimulus payments to as much as $2,000. Stay tuned on if and when the bill moves to the next level.

$284 billion for another round of PPP loans and small business funding

The package extends the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), expanding eligibility for local newspapers, broadcasters and not-for-profit organizations. The extension allocates another $20 billion to small business grants and $15 billion to live event and cultural venues.

Highlights of the next round of PPP loans:

  • A second round of PPP loans are available for businesses that experienced 25% or more reduction of gross receipts in any 2020 calendar quarter compared to the same quarter of 2019. Companies with 300 or less employees will qualify.
  • Expanded eligible non-payroll costs to include:
    • Worker protection equipment
    • Supplier costs
    • Property damage
    • Operating expenses
  • Similar to the first round, the loan amount will equal 2.5x average monthly payroll costs, except for the restaurant and hospitality industries, which can apply for 3.5x average monthly payroll costs
  • Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) advances/grants are no longer subtracted from loan forgiveness amount and are no longer treated as taxable income
  • PPP loans up to $150,000 will be forgiven with a new one-page form including the loan amount, number of employees retained and payroll percentage.

Deductible expenses for payment of covered costs

The Act allows business owners to deduct expenses paid with forgiven PPP loan funding. This would give small business a much-needed tax break, overriding an IRS decision so businesses can claim 100% of deductions on rent, wages and more. The deduction applies to all PPP loans, regardless of if the loan has already been forgiven.

Extension of credits for paid sick leave

Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) paid sick leave and family leave tax credits are extended through March 31.

$30 billion for vaccine distribution 

With the vaccine ready for distribution, the aid package directs $30 billion for procurement and distribution throughout the country.

$300 weekly federal unemployment assistance 

An expansion of federal unemployment assistance was included, providing an additional $300 per week for those on unemployment. This amount is down from the $600 passed by the CARES Act and would span for 11 weeks, from the end of December through mid-March. This relief is not retroactive.

Extension of rental assistance and eviction moratoriums

The bill allocates $25 billion in emergency rental assistance for those who lost their source of income due to COVID-19. It also extends the eviction protection another month to January 31.

Additional school funding

$82 billion is laid out for K-12 schools and colleges for heating and cooling system upgrades to fight against virus transmission. An additional $10 billion is allocated for childcare assistance.

These funding categories are just a few of the provisions included in the stimulus bill. There are many smaller provisions, including a new “three martini” tax deduction for business meal expenses, a U.S. Postal Service grant and more.

Our advisors are closely following COVID-19 relief efforts and will continue to publish insights to keep you informed. Visit our COVID-19 Resource Center for more resources. To discuss your situation and recovery options, contact an Anders advisor below.

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November 10, 2020

Flexible, Secure and Cost-Effective Strategies to Build into Your IT Budget

Budgeting looks a lot different this year in the midst of a global pandemic. Business objectives have undoubtedly changed over the past year and innovation is more important than ever to address these changes and recover from the effects of COVID-19. Making the case for flexible, secure and cost-effective technology platforms will be vital going into the next quarter and beyond.

Flexibility

Remote work was forced upon many companies this year, and if virtual work options were not already part of the company’s technology strategy, it caused a lot of time, money and frustration to implement quickly. Being flexible became the name of the game, and the need to be agile is here to stay. In the coming year, businesses will want to build their technology strategy with a focus on flexibility, so as business goals or environmental factors evolve, they can easily adjust using technology. Going forward, three flexible strategies to consider are:

Along with having a flexible IT strategy, keeping it secure should also be top-of-mind.

Security

Continuing to maintain and build a robust cybersecurity strategy is another vital focus moving forward. Cybercriminals are getting more and more sophisticated, and breaches are getting larger and more costly. Now is the time to review your cybersecurity architecture and develop a road map going into the new year that includes:

  • Governance, Risk and Compliance Measures
  • Vulnerability Management
  • Information Protection and Privacy
  • Cybersecurity Training and Testing

Even with the best cybersecurity safeguards in place including backups, firewalls and software patches, it takes one click by an unknowing employee to cost your business a lot of time, money and important data. Employee cybersecurity training can equip everyone in the company with the tools and knowledge needed to do their part in avoiding a data breach.

Flexibility and security are important pieces of every technology strategy for 2021 but coming out of a pandemic, companies also need to be mindful of budgets.

Cost-Effectiveness

With cost-cutting being a reality amidst a global pandemic, business owners and CIOs need to decide which parts of their IT strategy need to be done in-house, and where they can find cost efficiencies by outsourcing.

Anders Technology specializes in bridging the gap in technology needs, from co-managing alongside internal IT staff to supplement expertise, to being the entire IT team, we can step in as much or as little as needed. Below is an example of ways we partner with our clients.

Bridging the Gap in Your Technology Needs | Anders Technology

Anders Technology can help be flexible by taking on more when needed and pivoting the strategy with supplemental resources. With a team of advisors with in-depth knowledge in several areas, we can help you develop a technology strategy that helps you meet business goals while staying secure and cost-conscious. Learn more about Anders Technology or contact an Anders advisor below to get started.

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September 16, 2020

PPP Loan FAQ: Forgiveness Timing and Year-End Tax Planning

With the end of the year looming closer, many businesses are focused on ensuring they receive forgiveness for their Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan. Business owners are wondering if and when they should apply for loan forgiveness, and what changes are coming from Congress, the SBA and banks. Below we answer common questions around PPP loan forgiveness timing, year-end tax planning and talks of another stimulus package.

PPP Loan Forgiveness Timing

Q: Should I submit my application now? Why or why not?

A: Anders is advising clients to wait until further guidance is released by the SBA and IRS. We do not see any benefits to applying early, and we see more changes as Congress gets closer to passing another stimulus package.

Q: Can I submit my application now?

A: The short answer is yes you can submit. But not all banks are accepting applications.

Q: Can I get PPP loan forgiveness in 2020?

A: Forgiveness timing is still up in the air, but it will most likely be in 2021 based on the bank’s and SBA’s timelines. Certain banks are taking forgiveness applications now, but unless your company has already applied it’s unlikely that forgiveness will happen in 2020. When we have more information Anders will advise clients on best timing to apply, but for now, patience is key as businesses have 10 months to apply after their covered period.

Q: Is there automatic forgiveness for PPP loans under $150,000?

A: No, but there has been language in each bill surrounding automatic forgiveness for smaller loans. Unfortunately, nothing has been passed at this time.


Year-end Planning Related to PPP Funds

Q: Are expenses paid with PPP funds deductible?

A: The IRS’s current position is that expenses paid with PPP funds are not deductible if your loan is forgiven. What is unclear is if the expenses paid with PPP funds are nondeductible for 2020 tax returns or not until 2021 when the loan is forgiven.

Q: Is there anything I should be doing for year-end tax planning regarding my PPP loan?

A: At this time, with so much uncertainty, year-end tax planning related to PPP funds will remain fluid.


Rumors of Another Stimulus Package

Q: Will there be a CARES Act 2.0?

A: It appears likely. The timing and dollar amount are the two largest unknowns. What seems to be important aspects of any bill could include:

  • Second round of stimulus checks for individuals
  • Reallocation of funds between different CARES Act 1.0 programs
  • Adjustments to the Paycheck Protection Program, including a potential second round of funding and clarification of ambiguous guidance
  • IRS corrections and guidance regarding deductibility of expenses paid for with forgiven PPP funds
  • State and local government funding
  • Liability protections
  • Unemployment assistance

Q: When could the next stimulus package be coming?

A: Timing is unclear and ever-changing. Stay tuned for more updates.

Legislation is continuing to evolve and it’s important to keep up with the latest rules and regulations to make sure you’re making decisions based on accurate data. Our advisors are closely following COVID-19 relief efforts and will continue to publish insights to keep you informed about potential impacts and benefits. Visit our COVID-19 Resource Center for more resources. To discuss your situation and recovery options, contact an Anders advisor below.

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August 27, 2020

How COVID-19 Has Impacted Rental Income for Landlords and Strategies to Recover

The U.S. unemployment rate spiked to 14.7% in April; the highest it has been since the Great Depression. High unemployment has caused landlords to be creative on how to solve issues arising from tenants that are unable to meet their rental agreement obligations. Landlords are using different techniques to keep vacancy rates down and rental income coming in. Some solutions landlords are considering include rental forgiveness, postponement or seeking outside short-term financing. 

Protection from Evictions Under the CARES Act

Previous to COVID-19, if tenants failed to meet rental obligations landlords had the option to terminate the tenancy by filing an eviction lawsuit to have the tenant physically removed. Health and safety concerns related to COVID-19 have halted evictions in some areas which has led landlords to think of other ways to cope with the lack of rental income. One of the ways landlords are managing their tenants’ inability to pay rent is by allowing postponement of their payments with an agreement that it will be repaid at a later date, either in a lump sum or spread out. Some have done this by agreeing to allow tenants to repay their missed payments when they receive government stimulus funds or by extending lease agreements and allowing payments to be made at the end of the lease. 

Every landlord strives to generate profits after covering any debt servicing with their rental property. However, with the affects of COVID-19, cutting losses has been the best option for some landlords. Temporarily lowering rent rates for tenants has allowed landlords with mortgages to retain tenants along with having the ability to meet their short-term financial obligations and not default on their loan.

How Landlords Can Recover

Having a financial safety cushion is important for landlords in times like these. Seeking a line of credit or having the assurance of being able to obtain a loan from a private lender is important as part of a disaster recovery plan. Many landlords have taken these measures to protect themselves and be better prepared in case of emergency.

Our advisors are closely following COVID-19 relief efforts and will continue to publish insights to keep you informed about potential impacts and benefits. Visit our COVID-19 Resource Center for more resources. To discuss your situation and recovery options, contact an Anders advisor below. Learn how Anders works with the real estate and construction industries.

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August 13, 2020

My Employee Tested Positive for Coronavirus, What Should I Do?

As the pandemic continues, employers are asking a lot of questions around what they need to do when an employee tests positive or is unable to work due to COVID-19. Is the employer required to pay the employee? Is there assistance available to businesses paying for sick leave when an employee tests positive? While some of the nuances should be advised by a lawyer or HR representative, below we dive into what types of relief are available for employers from an accounting perspective.

Are employers required to pay sick leave for COVID-19?

The answer is yes. The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) requires certain employers to provide employees with paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19. Learn more about employee paid leave rights.

Is there assistance available for employers?

Yes. To help employers pay employees who are unable to work due to COVID-19, the FFCRA tax credit and disaster relief payments are available.

Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA)

When an employee is unable to work (including telework) due to COVID-19, the FFCRA provides a 100% credit against the company’s payroll tax liability. Companies and not-for-profits with less than 500 employees are eligible for FFCRA.

The credit is limited to the maximum amount that needs to be paid based on the sick leave cap of $511 per day for up to 10 days, or $5,110 per employee.

How does FFCRA work?

Employers pay the employee up front and take a dollar-for-dollar tax credit by reporting their total qualified leave wages and the related credits for each quarter on their federal employment tax returns.

The payroll taxes that are available for retention include withheld federal income taxes, the employee share of Social Security and Medicare taxes, and the employer share of Social Security and Medicare taxes with respect to all employees.

FFCRA Example

An eligible employer paid $5,000 in sick leave for a quarantined employee and is otherwise required to deposit $8,000 in payroll taxes. The employer would only be required to deposit $3,000 on its next regular deposit date.

For more information about the FFCRA, refer to the U.S. Department of Labor or IRS.

Disaster Relief Payments

With COVID-19 being declared a national emergency by President Trump, employers can now take advantage of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act. The Act, also known as Section 139 of the Internal Revenue Code, allows employers to provide tax-free payments or reimbursements to affected employees as “qualified disaster payments”.

How do the disaster relief payments work?

Disaster relief payments must be to pay or reimburse an employee for reasonable and necessary personal, family, living or funeral expenses. This does NOT include payments that would be covered by insurance or other reimbursements and income replacement payments. Since this assistance Act has never been used during a global pandemic, it’s still open to interpretation on what expenses are qualified, but Section 139 “reasonably suggests” these expenses would qualify:

  • Over-the-counter medications, co-pays, deductibles and other medical expenses not covered by insurance
  • Funeral costs of an employee or family member of employee
  • Costs associated with enabling employees to work-from-home
  • Cost of employee’s childcare or tutoring for family members
  • Commuting expenses
  • Caregiver and domestic services
  • Legal and accounting expenses

Payments are tax-free to employees, but fully deductible to the employer. Employers may provide assistance directly to the employee or through a non-exempt fund established to receive contributions from the employer as well as employees.

What should employers document?

Documentation for payment is not required as long as it’s considered “reasonable and necessary”, but Section 139 recommends employers document:

  • Their intention for making the payments
  • The amounts paid and to whom
  • Start and end date of any Section 139 assistance
  • Listing of expenses paid or reimbursed
  • Any maximum amount per-employee or total combined amount employer will pay

Learn more about Section 139.

Our advisors are closely following COVID-19 relief efforts and will continue to publish insights to keep you informed about potential impacts and benefits. Visit our COVID-19 Resource Center for more resources. To discuss your situation and recovery options, contact an Anders advisor below.

Agnes M. Rybak, Associate + Outsourced Accounting and Ryan T. Knudsen, Senior Accountant + Outsourced Accounting were contributors to this post.

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August 10, 2020

How President Trump’s Executive Order Affects Payroll Taxes for Employees

On August 8, 2020, President Trump signed an executive order to defer certain payroll tax obligations to provide additional COVID-19 relief. The order directs the Secretary of the Treasury to “use his authority to defer certain payroll tax obligations with respect to the American workers most in need”.

Details of the Payroll Tax Deferral

This payroll tax deferral applies to employee wages paid between September 1, 2020 and December 31, 2020, to those generally making less than $4,000 biweekly. The deferral applies to the withholding, deposit and payment the 6.2% employee Social Security tax, not the Medicare tax. The CARES Act did have a payroll tax deferral, but it was for the employer, NOT the employee.

What You Should Do

It’s important to note that the President is calling for a payroll tax deferral, not forgiveness, at least at this time. The Treasury is exploring avenues to eliminate the obligation to pay the taxes deferred.

We advise taxpayers to wait for more guidance and/or CARES Act 2.0 to come out before making any plans related to the effective date.

Our advisors are closely following COVID-19 relief efforts and will continue to publish insights to keep you informed about potential impacts and benefits. Visit our COVID-19 Resource Center for more resources. To discuss your situation and recovery options, contact an Anders advisor below.

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June 25, 2020

Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Loan Forgiveness Calculators and Tools

Tracking expenses is an important part of maximizing PPP loan forgiveness. Once you identify which expenses are eligible for PPP forgiveness, it’s time to start keeping track of these expenses and calculate your potential forgiveness amount. The Anders CARES Act Research and Response Team put together tracking tools you can use to make it easier when it comes time to start the loan forgiveness process.

Please note: these calculators provide an estimate based on our interpretation of the current guidelines, and actual loan forgiveness may differ when the SBA and banks release the loan forgiveness reporting forms.

Download the PPP Loan Forgiveness Calculator.

Download the 8-Week Full Time Equivalent (FTE) Calculator.

Download the 24-Week Full Time Equivalent (FTE) Calculator.

Download the Information Checklist to Apply for PPP Loan Forgiveness.

Updated 6/25/2020

Visit our COVID-19 Resource Center for other insights and tools surrounding the CARES Act.

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June 22, 2020

Anders to Merge in Cummings, Ristau & Associates

Effective June 30, 2020, Cummings, Ristau & Associates, a public accounting firm based in St. Louis County, Missouri, will combine its practice with Anders CPAs + Advisors. Partners David J. Ristau, CPA and Mark H. Cummings, CPA, along with 19 staff members will join Anders, bringing the firm’s total partners and staff to 230 with revenues of approximately $41.5 million.

Formed in 1996, Cummings Ristau carved out a unique and strong expertise in serving the banking industry in Missouri and Illinois. The partnership will provide the opportunity for Anders to add a new niche and expand the firm’s financial institution footprint. Cummings Ristau partners and staff will move to the Anders downtown office this summer.

“Adding a strategic partner with an established niche unique to our industry offerings, is important to our vision for growth, and we found a great match with Cummings Ristau,” said Robert J. Minkler, Jr., CPA/CGMA, Anders managing partner. “Given the current environment and the increasing relationship between clients, accountants and their bankers as a result of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and other parts of the CARES Act, the timing of this merger will add value and expertise for clients from both firms. The role community banks and financial institutions will play in the recovery and growth of our economy has never been greater and we welcome the opportunity to provide them with the services and information they will require.”

Cummings Ristau provides audit, tax, regulatory compliance and loan review services to banks and credit unions. In addition, the firm also provides agreed upon procedures, IT audits, bank directors’ examinations, employee benefit plan audits and internal control reviews. “We are excited to join Anders and become a part of this diverse and expanding firm,” said Ristau, who has more than 30 years of Big 4 and banking experience including his time at Cummings Ristau.  Anders resources will provide a new line of advisory services as well as enhanced tax and audit capabilities to our clients, along with great administrative, human resources and marketing support for our team.”

While Anders has served the broker/dealer and financial services industries since the firm’s inception, Minkler says the depth of experience Cummings Ristau brings to Anders “will provide us the ability to serve these clients at a deeper level and bring our expertise in technology, systems, best practices and other services to these banking clients.”

Cummings, who has served as a Big 4 partner and bank executive vice president, CFO and director concluded, “we have been searching for the right partner for some time and have found one in Anders.  Our values of providing clients with personal attention, making a difference to their bottom line and being committed to developing long-term relationships is exactly in step with Anders mission, vision and core values.  We look forward to be a part of the firm’s growth and strategic plan for the future.”

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