Ethical implications to consider for COVID-19 PPP loan applications

As of May 1, 2020

As of April 13, 2020

As of April 3, 2020

  • Assisting an attest client with a COVID-19 PPP loan application is a nonattest service. If CPAs comply with the interpretations of the Nonattest Services subtopic, independence will not be impaired.
  • The majority of the certifications and authorizations  contained in the “Representations, Authorizations and Certifications” section of the PPP loan application are management responsibilities; the signature required on page 2 of the application should be made by the company applying for the loan or its authorized representative. 

    Accordingly, signing as a client’s authorized representative will impair independence because you have accepted the ability to exercise authority on behalf of a client. This is a management responsibility.

    Note: Before signing a PPP loan application for your attest client, you may want to consult with your professional liability carrier or legal counsel to understand any legal implications signing the PPP loan application.

  • The agent fee arrangement outlined in Treasury’s “Paycheck Protection Information Sheet for Lenders” is not considered a contingent fee because the fee will be determined by Treasury.
  • If you obtain a PPP loan from a lender that is an existing attest client, independence will be impaired.

Because the PPP is a new program, we may add updates and additional guidance to this page as we learn further details.
 

As of April 1, 2020

  • Assisting an attest client with a COVID-19 PPP loan application is a nonattest service. If CPAs comply with the interpretations of the Nonattest Services subtopic, independence will not be impaired.
  • The majority of the representations contained in the “Representations and Authorization” section of the PPP loan application are management responsibilities; the two signatures required on page 2 of the application should be made by the company applying for the loan. 
  • The agent fee arrangement outlined in Treasury’s “Paycheck Protection Information Sheet for Lenders” is not considered a contingent fee because the fee will be determined by Treasury and SBA.
  • If a member obtains a PPP loan from an existing client, independence will be impaired.

Because the PPP is a new program, we may add updates and additional guidance to this page as we learn further details.


For more news and information on the coronavirus and how CPAs can handle challenges related to the pandemic, visit the AICPA coronavirus resource center.