After 30 years in the payroll industry – 29 of them working for a payroll service provider (PSP) – I thought I had heard it all. I thought that three decades had given me the opportunity to wear every hat possible: customer service advocate, tax deposit accountant, penalty abatement petitioner, employee handbook author, benefits consultant, unemployment claims arbitrator, ACA seminar and webinar presenter . . . you get the idea.
Well, I thought I had worn every hat possible.
Enter COVID-19 and the SBA’s Paycheck Protection Program – and a new hat for me and the entire Viventium team: loan application and forgiveness payroll data extractors.
We all know that the amount of your PPP loan as well as how much of it will “be forgiven” – meaning turned into a grant – hinges on your payroll details. Questions like the following determine how much money you receive – and get to keep:
That last question in particular underscores the centrality of current and historical payroll data to this whole PPP thing.
Which leads to other questions that I’ve heard often: What if I’m considering switching my PSP – my outsourced payroll service provider? Is that allowed once I’ve taken a loan? Will I still be able to access data for all of these lookback comparisons? Shouldn’t I wait till after I get my PPP forgiveness to switch PSPs?
If you are identifying with any of these, I’m going to don my PPP hat and go on record with three important insights:
Historical payroll data can be crucial in determining both your loan amount and your forgiveness amount. When you talk to your new PSP, make sure you discuss what data you will need to provide to be able to accurately calculate your loan forgiveness amount.
Since the forgiveness process involves lookback periods and annualization calculations that reach back to 2019 and weeks of 2020 when you were still with your old provider, ask your potential new PSP if it will take responsibility for providing ALL the PPP payroll data that you’ll need to complete your forgiveness application. And listen for a clear, unequivocal yes.
As a recognized leader in COVID-19 payroll compliance and an active member in the American Payroll Associations’ Government Affairs Task Force, Viventium has offered 12 COVID-19 webinars to date, 7 infographics and countless email updates about COVID-19 relief, and a regularly updated VCUC (that stands for Viventium Coronavirus Update Center) to make sure our clients understand how to access the funds they need to stay afloat during these uncertain times.
Yet we don’t lose the personal touch. Our SMEs – myself included – are readily available via direct email to provide clients with insight into the impact of COVID-19 relief provisions on their business.
PPP is not a reason to avoid switching to a PSP that is a better match for your business. In fact, PPP may just be the most important reason to make that switch as quickly as possible.
I’ll take off my hat to that.
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