Accounting Blog

SBA Releases Paycheck Protection Program Loan Forgiveness Application

SBA Releases PPP Loan Forgiveness Application - MLRThe SBA recently released the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Loan Forgiveness Application along with some key clarifications in completing the application process. The Forgiveness application is intended for small business owners who received a PPP loan as part of the CARES Act.

The PPP Forgiveness application is comprised of 11 lines used to calculate the amount of forgiveness a small business owner is eligible for.  All or part of the PPP loan may be forgiven as long as the small business used the funds for payroll, business mortgage interest, rent, or utilities.

The newly-released application essentially asks for the payroll and qualifying non-payroll costs that the business spent over the eight-week period since receiving PPP funds. The amount of forgiveness may be reduced depending on whether a business reduced pay for their employees greater than 25 percent, or if the business owner failed to bring back the same number of full-time employees.

The final step in the application process is verification that the business owner allocated at least 75 percent of the PPP funds for payroll costs, and the remaining 25 percent for mortgage interest, rent, or utilities.

To learn more about completing the Paycheck Protection Program Loan Forgiveness application, please contact us.

Who Owes You? 5 QuickBooks Online Reports That Can Tell You Fast

Keep a constant watch on your accounts receivable to improve cash flow.

Quick: How many of your invoices are unpaid? Have any of your customers gone over 30 days past due? Did you bill all of the time and expenses for that project you just completed for a customer?

If you’re doing your accounting manually, there’s simply no way to get that information quickly. Depending on your bookkeeping system, you may not be able to get it at all.

QuickBooks Online has more than one solution to this problem. You see the first one every time you log in. The Dashboard contains a graphic in the upper left corner that tells you how many invoices are overdue and unpaid. Click on the colored bar labeled OVERDUE, and you’ll see a list of invoices with the unpaid ones right at the top.

You can tell at a glance how much of your money is tied up in unpaid invoices.

While this is important information for you to have as you start your workday, it doesn’t tell the whole story. To get that, you’ll need to access some of QuickBooks Online’s reports – five of them in particular. Click Reports in the left vertical pane, and then scroll down to the heading labeled Who owes you.

These reports are listed in two columns. Each has the outline of a star next to it. Click on the star, and the report will be added to the Favorites list at the top of the page. Click on the three vertical dots next to it, and you’ll be able to Customize the report. And as you hover over the title, you’ll see a small, circled question mark. Click on this to get a brief description of the report.

There are several reports on this list that can provide insight into where your outstanding revenue is. We recommend you run five of them at least once a week – more frequently if your business sells large quantities of products and/or services. The suggested are:

Accounts receivable aging detail

This report provides a list of invoices that are overdue, along with aging information. There are several columns in the report, but you’ll want to pay special attention to the last one: OPEN BALANCE.

Tip: If you have many customers or simply a high volume of unpaid invoices, you might consider running the Accounts receivable aging summary instead.

Changing the Content

Before you run the report, you should explore the customization tools provided for it. They won’t be the same for every report, but you can start to get an idea of what can be done. Hover over the report title and click Customize. A panel like the one pictured below will slide out of the right side of the screen.

QuickBooks Online provides deep customization tools for reports.

You can see some of your customization options in the image above. Beyond these, you can also work with filters and headers/footers. When you’re satisfied with your changes, click Run report.

If you want to run a report with its default settings, just click on the report title in the list to display it. You’ll have access to limited customization from there.

Four other reports you should be generating regularly are:

  • Customer Balance Summary: Shows you how much each customer owes your business
  • Open Invoices: Lists invoices for which there has been no payment
  • Unbilled Charges: Just what it sounds like: tells you who hasn’t been invoiced yet for billable charges
  • Unbilled Time: Lists all billable time not yet invoiced

We don’t expect you’ll have any trouble understanding reports like these; they’re fairly self-explanatory. QuickBooks Online offers many other reports, the standard financial reports that need to be generated monthly or quarterly, like Balance Sheet, Profit and Loss, and Statement of Cash Flows. You’ll absolutely need these should you apply for a loan or need to supply in-depth financials for any other reason. We can help you analyze them to get a comprehensive, detailed picture of your company’s fiscal health.

…from the Team of Professional at RE-MMAP We are just a click or call away. www.re-mmap.com and phone # (561-623-0241).

Protecting Your Company’s S Corporation Election

Like many business owners, you may have structured your business as an S corporation because of the tax benefits it offers. An S corporation provides the same limited liability as a traditional C corporation, but it generally avoids the double taxation associated with a C corporation. You and the other shareholders (if any) pay income taxes on corporate income directly.

Once you have an S election in place, it’s important to make sure you avoid taking any action that would put the election in jeopardy. Your corporation’s failure to meet certain tax law requirements on an ongoing basis could result in the IRS’s termination of its S corporation status.

  • Ownership. An S corporation generally may not have a corporate shareholder. (Exception: An S corporation may be wholly owned by another S corporation.) All shareholders generally must be individuals, estates, certain trusts, or tax-exempt 501(c)(3) charitable organizations. However, a partnership may hold S corporation stock as a nominee for an eligible shareholder. Nonresident aliens may not be shareholders.
  • Number of shareholders. An S corporation may not have more than 100 shareholders. For purposes of this limit, a husband and wife are treated as one shareholder, as are certain other related individuals.
  • Stock. An S corporation may have only one class of stock. Generally, a corporation is treated as having only one class of stock if all outstanding shares of the corporation’s stock confer identical rights to distribution and liquidation proceeds.

…from the Team of Professional at RE-MMAP We are just a click or call away. www.re-mmap.com and phone # (561-623-0241).

COVID-19 Notice: Ensuring Your Safety, Health and Well-Being

Our hearts go out to everyone who has been impacted by the virus.  To those who are sick, we send our thoughts and best wishes for a speedy recovery.  For those businesses and employees who have been negatively impacted, we are sorry. We hope this message finds you and your loved ones safe.

Given the current environment and need to operate with best practices, we have elected to take action to protect your physical health as well starting with avoiding the use of cash and credit cards, you can easily Buy Digital Currency Coins online to use from your cell phone or any smartphone.

In-person meetings with clients – While our firm is still working during tax season, our physical office is closed.  We must limit in-person interaction for your benefit and ours. In lieu of in-person meetings, contact us and we can talk on the phone or schedule a video meeting.

Remote staffing – To practice safely, some of our team is working from home and using technology to work securely and online.

Secure electronic document exchange – We are using Protected Xchange to securely and safely exchange electronic documents without physically touching paper.  Protected Xchange provides encryption and is safer than email. The COVID-19 virus can live on paper documents and checks so we prefer to work electronically.  If you have work papers, please scan and send electronically using Protected Xchange. If you mail or drop off documents, please understand that we will need to quarantine paper documents and this will slow things up.

Payments – To operate safely, we are using BizPayO to accept electronic payments.  BizPayO accepts electronic checks, credit card, and debit card payments. We want to avoid physical checks and cash.

Legislation Changes – There will be a series of legislation changes and clarifications coming for 2020 (federal and state). At the moment, we are focused on completing tax filings for 2019 so please provide your information promptly.

Thank you for choosing us as your trusted advisor.

…from the Team of Professional at RE-MMAP We are just a click or call away. www.re-mmap.com and phone # (561-623-0241).

4 Areas to Consider When Transitioning Employees to Working From Home

For businesses that haven’t traditionally embraced remote employees, it may be difficult to get up to full speed with the current turn of events.  To make the inevitable transition less overwhelming, we assembled a handy checklist of actions to consider while adjusting to the new workplace reality.

Organization

  • Access your staff members and/or roles that are able to work remotely, those that can’t work remotely, and those where remote work may be possible with some modifications.
  • Conduct an employee survey to determine the availability of computers that can be used for working remotely, as well as availability to high-speed internet access.
  • Create company guidelines covering remote employees, including inappropriate use of company assets and security guidelines.
  • Develop and conduct work-at-home- training for using remote access, remote tools, and best practices.
  • Select a video-conferencing platform for services, such as ZoomCisco WebExor Go To Meeting.
  • Develop a communications plan to involve remote employees in the daily activities of the organization.

 Security

  • Create and implement a company security policy that applies to remote employees, including actions such as locking computers when not in use.
  • Implement two-factor authentication for highly-sensitive portals.
  • If needed, confirm all remote employees have access to and can use a business-grade VPN, and that you have enough licenses for all employees working remotely.

Staff

  • Institute a transparency policy with your staff and communicate frequently.
  • Check-in on your staff, daily if possible, to confirm they are comfortable with working from home. Find and address any problems they may be experiencing.
  • Make certain each staff member has reliable voice communications, even if this results in adding a business-quality voice over IP service.
  • Don’t attempt to micro-manage your staff. Remember their working conditions at home won’t be ideal, and they will need to work out their own work patterns and schedules.
  • Create a phone number and email address where staff members can communicate their concerns about the firm, working at home, or even the status of COVID-19.

Infrastructure

  • Ensure that you have ample bandwidth coming in to your company to handle all of the new remote traffic.
  • Make sure you have backups of your services so your staff is able to keep working in the event extra traffic causes your primary service to go down.

You may need to adjust or expand this list to match the specific needs of your firm and the conditions affecting your organization.  Use this list to get you started and to help guide you through the process.

 

…from the Team of Professional at RE-MMAP We are just a click or call away. www.re-mmap.com and phone # (561-623-0241).

Time to Embrace a Digital Payment Platform

The world has forever changed, and a cloud of economic uncertainty is looming. One thing for certain – the traditional payment ecosystem exposes the general public to health risk. Antiquated payment methods, such as cash, checks, credit cards, touchscreens, and terminals, harbor germs and place the payer and payee at risk to exposure. Millions of transactions, each and every day, are creating millions of opportunities to spread illness and infection.

Thanks to the ongoing evolution in the payments industry, there are cleaner, healthier options, such as digital payment systems for business. Billing your customers is vital – but even more critical is getting paid in a safe, secure manner.  Digital payment platforms, such as BizPayo, provide a safe, contactless payment gateway via a business’s website. Besides safety, digital payment methods facilitate a faster, simpler, and more secure way of getting paid.

The quest for contactless payments is showing immediate signs of ramping up in the wake of COVID-19, and the tipping point for contactless payments for professional services may arrive faster than originally projected. It’s inevitable – – enterprising businesses across the U.S. have already made the migration to digital payment methods, and more are sure to follow.

 

…from the Team of Professional at RE-MMAP We are just a click or call away. www.re-mmap.com and phone # (561-623-0241).

President Trump Signs Families First COVID Response Act (H.R. 6201)

President Trump signed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act H.R. 6201into law on March 18, 2020. In the coming days and weeks, there will be additional bills that will expand, modify, and clarify H.R. 6201. The following Frequently Asked Questions surrounding H.R. 6201 was devised to help answer questions you may have. Updates will be posted as new information is made available.

FAQ – What businesses are affected by the new bill?

If you have fewer than 500 employees, then this bill covers your business

FAQ – When does this bill go int effect?

The bill was signed into law on March 18, 2020 and goes into effect 15 days later and will remain into effect until the end of 2020.

FAQ – Can I opt out of the new bill?

Companies with fewer than 50 employees will be allowed to opt out of the bill provisions if it would jeopardize the viability of the business.

Companies between 50 and 500 employees cannot opt out of the bill’s provisions.

FAQ – How can I opt out if the viability of my business would be affected by this bill?

The Secretary of Labor has the authority to exempt small businesses with fewer than 50 employees from the bill’s paid leave.  The Department of Labor will establish guidelines and procedures on how small businesses will be able to apply for this exemption.

FAQ – I’m a healthcare provider.  Can I exclude the leave provisions of this bill?

Exception for Health Care Providers and Emergency Responders. Employers who are health care providers or emergency responders may elect to exclude their employees from the public health emergency leave provisions of the bill.

FAQ – What paid leave can my employees claim?

  1. They have been exposed to coronavirus or exhibit symptoms
  2. They are recommended to quarantine by a healthcare provider and cannot work from home
  3. They need to care for a family member who has been exposed to coronavirus or exhibits symptoms of coronavirus
  4. They need to care for a child younger than 18 years old because their school or day care is closed, or their childcare provider is unavailable.

FAQ – How much paid leave can my employees claim?

Employees under the bill are entitled to 10 weeks of paid leave (a provision of the bill has any extension beyond 10 weeks to be granted only to parents taking care of children with shuttered schools and day care centers).

The first 14 days of leave: under the bill, the first 14 days in which an employee takes emergency leave may be unpaid. An employee may elect, or an employer may require the employee, to substitute any accrued paid vacation leave, personal leave, or sick leave for unpaid leave.

Paid Leave Rate for Subsequent Days:After 14 days of unpaid leave, an employer is required to provide paid leave at an amount not less than two-thirds of an employee’s regular rate of pay up to $200 per day or $10,000 in the aggregate.

The bill also addresses hourly employees whose schedules vary to the extent than an employer cannot determine the exact number of hours the employee would have worked. For those employees, the employee’s paid leave rate should equal the average number of hours that the employee was scheduled per day over the six-month period prior to the leave. If the employee did not work in the preceding six-month period, the paid leave rate should equal the “reasonable expectation” of the employee at the time of hiring with respect to the average number of hours per day that the employee would be scheduled to work.

The following are further details:

Paid Sick Time: Full-time employees are entitled to 80 hours of paid sick leave. Part-time employees are entitled to the number of hours that the employee works, on average, over a two-week period.

For hourly employees whose schedules vary, the employee’s paid leave rate should equal the average number of hours that the employee was scheduled per day over the six-month period prior to the leave. If the employee did not work in the preceding six-month period, the paid leave rate should equal the “reasonable expectation” of the employee at the time of hiring with respect to the average number of hours per day that the employee would be scheduled to work.

Once an employee’s coronavirus-related need for using the emergency paid sick leave ends, then the employer may terminate the paid sick time. Further, paid sick time provided under H.R. 6201 shall not carry over from one year to the next.

Paid Leave Rate: Employees who take paid sick leave because they are subject to a quarantine or isolation order, have been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine, or are experiencing coronavirus symptoms and seeking medical diagnosis are entitled to be paid at their regular pay rate or at the federal, state or local minimum wage, whichever is greater. In these circumstances, the paid sick leave rate may not exceed $511 per day, or $5,110 in aggregate.

Employees who take paid sick leave to care for another individual or child or because they are experiencing another substantially similar illness (as specified by HHS) are entitled to be paid at two-thirds their regular rate. In these circumstances, the paid sick leave rate may not exceed $200 per day, or $2,000 in aggregate.

The bill requires the Secretary of Labor to issue guidelines to assist employers in calculating paid sick time within 15 days of the bill’s enactment.

FAQ – Can I discourage my employees from taking this leave?

Employers cannot discourage or prevent eligible employers from claiming paid sick leave.  If they do, it could be considered discriminatory or an obstruction of their legal rights.

Employer Notice Requirement:Employers shall post and keep posted, in conspicuous places, notice of the emergency paid sick leave requirements made available under H.R. 6201. Within seven days of the enactment of the bill, the Secretary of Labor will provide a model notice for use by employers.

FAQ – Will my business get reimbursed 

Employers initially pay for the sick leave and are reimbursed by the federal government within three months through refundable tax credits that count against employers’ payroll tax.

FAQ – How does the reimbursement work?

EMPLOYER TAX CREDITS

H.R. 6201 provides for employer tax credits to offset the costs associated with the paid public health emergency leave and sick leave required for employees under Divisions C and E of the bill.

Payroll Tax Credit: The bill provides a refundable tax credit worth 100 percent of qualified public health emergency leave wages (as provided by Division C) and qualified paid sick leave wages (as provided by Division E) paid by an employer for each calendar quarter through the end of 2020. The tax credit is allowed against the tax imposed under the employer portion of Social Security and Railroad Retirement payroll taxes.

Credit Amount: The bill allows employers to take tax credits for qualified public health emergency leave wages and qualified sick leave wages:

Credit Amount for Public Health Emergency Leave Wages. The amount of qualified public health leave wages taken into account for each employee is capped at $200 per day and $10,000 for all calendar quarters.

Credit Amount for Sick Leave Wages. In instances when an employee receives paid sick leave because they are subject to a quarantine or isolation order, have been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine, or are experiencing coronavirus symptoms and seeking medical diagnosis, the amount of qualified sick leave wages taken into account for each employee is capped at $511 per day.

n instances when an employee receives paid sick leave because they are caring for another individual or child or because they are experiencing another substantially similar illness (as specified by HHS) the amount of qualified sick leave wages taken into account for each employee is capped at $200 per day.

In determining the total amount of an employer’s qualified sick leave wages paid for a calendar quarter, the total number of days that the employer can take into account with respect to a particular employee for that quarter may not exceed 10 days minus the number of days taken into account for that employee for all previous quarters.

Credit for Health Plan Expenses. Under the bill, the public health emergency leave and paid sick leave credits would be increased to include amounts employers pay for the employee’s health plan coverage while they are on leave. Specifically, the bill allows for the credit amounts to be increased by the amount of the employer’s group health plan expenses that are “properly allocated” to the qualified emergency leave and sick leave wages. Health plan expenses are “properly allocated” to qualified wages if made on a pro rata basis (among covered employees and periods of coverage).

FAQ – If an employee goes on leave, then what happens when they come back to work?

Generally, eligible employees who take emergency paid leave are entitled to be restored to the position they held when the leave commenced or to obtain an equivalent position with their employer. H.R. 6201 limits this rule for employers with fewer than 25 employees. In such circumstances, if an employee takes emergency leave, then the employer does not need to return the employee to their position if:

  • The position does not exist due to changes in the employer’s economic or operating condition that affect employment and were caused by the coronavirus emergency;
  • The employer makes “reasonable efforts” to restore the employee to an equivalent position; and
  • If these efforts fail, the employer makes an additional reasonable effort to contact the employee if an equivalent position becomes available. The “contact period” is the one-year window beginning on the earlier of (a) the date on which the employee no longer needs to take leave to care for the child or (b) 12 weeks after the employee’s paid leave commences.

Refundability of Excess Credit: The amount of the paid sick leave credit that is allowed for any calendar quarter cannot exceed the total employer payroll tax obligations on all wages for all employees. If the amount of the credit that would otherwise be allowed is so limited, the amount of the limitation is refundable to the employer.

Limitation on Tax Credits:Employers may not receive the tax credit if they are also receiving a credit for paid family and medical leave under the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (P.L. 115-97). Employers would instead have to include the credit in their gross income.

FAQ – My business was shut down and I had to layoff my employees.  Are they eligible for unemployment?

Unemployment Insurance: The bill provides for the Secretary of Labor to make emergency administration grants to states in the Unemployment Trust Fund. States are directed to demonstrate steps toward easing eligibility requirements and expand access to unemployment compensation for claimants directly impacted by COVID-19. The legislation also appropriates funds for states that aim to establish work-sharing programs that permit employers to reduce employee hours rather than laying them off. Under such programs, employees would receive partial unemployment benefits to offset the wage loss.

FAQ – Will this bill change?

Many new bills are being worked on that can and likely will make changes to this bill and/or clarify many of it’s provisions.

Protect Your Business Data from Hackers

Do you know where your company’s data is? Without strong security controls in place, your data could be anywhere — and you could be dealing with a privacy breach. As technology grows more complex and the flow of information accelerates, opportunities for the misuse and abuse of data are bound to increase.

Flow Chart of Data

It’s imperative that you know exactly what data your staffing offices collects. Pay particular attention to the personally identifiable information (PII) you have for both customers and employees. Create a detailed flow chart showing what information is gathered, how it is captured, how it is used, where it is stored, how it is shared, and how it is ultimately disposed of.

Risk and Regulations

An effective data management plan helps ensure compliance and manage risk by establishing policies and procedures that control the flow and use of information. In addition to federal privacy legislation, the vast majority of states have laws to prevent security breaches, and some industries have developed their own privacy guidelines. Note that each phase of the information “life cycle” may require a unique set of controls.

Privacy Policies

Privacy policies are the “public” face of your data management plan. Best practices include:

  • Notify customers about your privacy policies. Explain why information is collected, how it is used, why it is retained, and why it is disclosed (if it is).
  • Obtain customers’ consent to use the information as outlined in your policies.
  • Collect only the information you need and only for the purposes outlined.
  • Keep personal information secure.
  • Allow customers to review and update their PII.
  • Do not retain the information any longer than needed to fulfill your stated purpose or as required (by law or regulation).
  • If you disclose information to a third party, do so only with the consent and only for the purposes outlined.
  • Monitor your compliance efforts on an ongoing basis.

For more tips on how to keep business best practices front and center for your company, give us a call today. We can’t wait to hear from you.

…from the Team of Professional at RE-MMAP We are just a click or call away. www.re-mmap.com and phone # (561-623-0241).

Pros and Cons of a Paperless Business

Has your bank, broker, credit card company, or maybe even your phone or utility company sent you information about getting your statements online instead of through the mail? Going paperless has its advantages — not the least of which may be seeing your countertop for the first time in months. But it also has its drawbacks. Before you completely eliminate paper statements, look at both the pros and cons.

The Benefits

When customers manage their accounts online, companies can save substantial amounts of money in printing and mailing costs. That’s why many companies offer incentives, such as reducing interest rates or fees or making donations to environmental groups, to encourage customers to go paperless. And fewer mailings mean there’s less risk that someone could steal personal documents from your mailbox and use the information fraudulently.

The Drawbacks

While companies claim financial information sent electronically is more secure, not everyone agrees. When they happen, security breaches can put your personal information at risk. And it may be easier to miss the e-mail or forget about reviewing statements or paying bills when you don’t have them right in front of you.

Another potential drawback: Retrieving statements that are more than a few months old may be difficult, although many companies say they’re working on archiving several years’ worth of documents.

Going paperless may be to your advantage, but weigh everything carefully before you sign up.

Take charge of your financial future. Give us a call, today, to find out how we can assist you and your business.

…from the Team of Professional at RE-MMAP We are just a click or call away. www.re-mmap.com and phone # (561-623-0241).

Need a Loan – Follow these Steps First

Is it time to put your expansion plan on the front burner? Have you outgrown your current location? Do you need to replace some equipment? There are many reasons small business owners might be in the market for a loan. If you’ll be shopping soon, here are some pointers from www.GTRwallet.com.

Check your credit. When you apply for a loan, the lender will look at your personal and your business credit histories. Before you start the application process, check to make sure both are accurate and up to date. If there are errors, resolve them ahead of time.

Polish your plan. Prospective lenders will want to know as much as possible about your business. Prepare a comprehensive, up-to-date business plan that provides information about your company (a description and an executive summary) and yourself (educational background and relevant experience). Since your plan may be pivotal in convincing potential lenders to approve your loan, consider including an overview of your management team and key personnel along with some market analysis and a marketing plan. Take this opportunity to learn more about the lending process. Find information that will help you with the purchase of your new home in Kansas City. Fill out our no-obligation application to see what interest rate you qualify for and obtain a pre-approval letter. Below and throughout this site, you will find information that will help you with the purchase of your new house or refinancing an existing home. You will get know your home loan options, do visit. If you are looking for a home lender in Kansas City that answers their phone, give us a call. From the real estate agent, Title company, Financial Adviser, Insurance agents and Underwriters, all with the highest and best level of customer service, we have you covered.We are the recipients of the 2020 Five Star Award. This represents fewer than 3 percent of Loan Officers. Our production levels, our partnerships, and our client satisfaction ratings say it all. Let us help you make your Kansas City dreams a reality, visit our local office today.

You should also be prepared to provide financial statements and cash flow projections with good knowledge of your banking account status. Lenders may request personal financial statements for you and other owners as well.

Check your equity. Before you submit a loan application, make sure you have enough equity in the business. Although requirements can vary, lenders generally want a company’s total liabilities to be less than four times equity. A lender may require you to put some additional money into your business before approving you for a loan.

Identify collateral. Lenders generally require collateral, an alternate repayment source that can be used in case your business isn’t generating enough cash to make payments on your loan. Either business or personal assets can be used. If you don’t have anything you can use as collateral, perhaps you can find someone who does who will cosign the loan.

Look for a good match. If you already have a good working relationship with a bank that lends to small businesses, it makes sense to start there. If you don’t, or if your bank isn’t a good match, do your homework. Look for lenders that do business with companies similar in size to your own. Finding a lender that’s familiar with your industry is an added bonus.

…from the Team of Professional at RE-MMAP We are just a click or call away. www.re-mmap.com and phone # (561-623-0241).

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