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COVID-19 Resources for CPAs, Enrolled Agents, and Tax Professionals

The Information You Need to Help Your Clients Now

As the world continues to respond to the devastating and wide-ranging impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, governments have scrambled to enact legislation and authorize numerous other changes to help businesses and individuals get through the crisis. This has resulted in an overwhelming amount of new information for CPAs, EAs, and other financial and tax advisers to sort through and understand.

Rest assured that Surgent stands ready to help you navigate these complex, challenging, and quickly changing times. Since the crisis began to emerge, our experts have been analyzing and distilling all of the legislation, executive orders, and other rules to bring you the information you and your clients need as quickly as possible.

The following CPE courses provide the most comprehensive and up-to-date information available about the tax, legal, and other financial impacts of COVID-19. Additional free resources and FAQs are also listed below the courses on this page. Please check back frequently, as we will continue to develop new courses and other content to help you and your clients as the situation continues to evolve.

Course
Formats
Credits
Price
 
Performing an Effective Audit Risk Assessment in the COVID-19 Environment (RAC4)
Live Webinar
4
$169.00
Going Concern Accounting and Reporting Considerations in the COVID-19 Environment (AGC2)
Live Webinar
2
$109.00
Paycheck Protection Program Loans: A Full Rundown of Where We Are Now (PPP7)
Live Webinar
2
$109.00
Financial Reporting Implications of the COVID-19 Pandemic (FRC4)
Live Webinar
4
$169.00
Working Remotely: Best Practices, Challenges, and Opportunities for Accountants (WKR2)
Live Webinar
2
$89.00
Bankruptcy Basics: Understanding the Reorganization and Liquidation Process in These Uncertain Economic Times (BNK2)
Self Study
2
$49.00
See our full list of available COVID-19 courses

 

Course Overview Summaries

 


Performing an Effective Audit Risk Assessment in the COVID-19 Environment (RAC4)
Recent auditing standards and peer review feedback have emphasized the importance of performing an effective risk assessment when identifying and evaluating the risk of material misstatement in a financial statement audit. These risk assessment procedures include both evaluating the design and implementation of internal controls, as well as determining how much reliance an auditor will place on those controls. Further, the risk assessment process provides the rationale for effectively and efficiently designing the nature, timing, and extent of further audit procedures, be they testing the operating effectiveness of internal controls or the performance of substantive audit procedures. While this requirement of an effective audit hasn’t changed, the level of risk brought about due to emerging accounting and disclosure issues brought on by the pandemic coupled with the new ways we will be required to obtain the information to assess risk and internal control stressors on our clients, certainly has. This course will focus on how to utilize a risk-based approach in audit engagements to enhance audit quality, with an emphasis on how to comply with the professional requirements in a virtual environment. As auditors continue to struggle with effective and efficient execution of the Risk Assessment Standards, it’s likely these struggles will increase in the new virtual reality. This course will give you a jump start on determining how you can comply with professional standards as you and your clients adapt to new working conditions.


Going Concern Accounting and Reporting Considerations in the COVID-19 Environment (AGC2)
One of the unfortunate outcomes of the COVID-19 pandemic is the economic stress. Such stress has raised concerns about many entities’ abilities to continue as a going concern, which has significant accounting, disclosure and, reporting implications. This course will review the relevant considerations related to going concern, including when substantial doubt concerning an entity’s ability to continue as a going concern exists, management mitigation efforts, and required disclosures both when management, and the accountant, feel such efforts will be effective in mitigating the risk, as well as when they do not. Lastly, we’ll consider the accountant’s reporting responsibilities under various scopes of services in various scenarios.


Paycheck Protection Program Loans: A Full Rundown of Where We Are Now (PPP7)
Unless Congress extends the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), August 8 was the last day for loans. However, there are tens of billions of dollars in loans currently outstanding that will be forgiven partially or completely or paid back to the SBA. Because the SBA and IRS have continued to issue more specific guidance regarding when and how PPP loans are forgiven, including a number of new FAQs, we now know much more about the loan forgiveness process and have answers to many of the questions that have bedeviled practitioners. This program is designed to update practitioners on all the latest regarding PPP loan forgiveness.


Financial Reporting Implications of the COVID-19 Pandemic (FRC4)
In addition to being a significant business interrupter for many entities, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic will also create significant financial reporting implications for virtually all entities. Many formerly profitable entities will be looking at charges for once unthought-of circumstances, from fixed asset impairment to inventory and receivables write-downs. Further, many entities will need to account for debt and other contractual modifications, including restructuring, forgiveness, and debt covenant modifications. Applying this often complex accounting guidance in these areas may be challenging. In this course, we’ll review in detail the accounting guidance that many entities will need to apply when preparing their next set of financial statements. We’ll also review disclosure guidance for such topics as going concern considerations and subsequent events as well as other relevant financial statement recognition and presentation issues.


Working Remotely: Best Practices, Challenges, and Opportunities for Accountants (WKR2)
Working from home presents both benefits and challenges for accountants. For employees, working from home provides opportunities to be more productive and gain time that would otherwise be spent commuting to and from the office. Employers who utilize remote work enjoy fewer fixed costs, more efficiency, and greater employee satisfaction. Without proper planning, accountants who work remotely may experience increased anxiety and disorganization. They may also jeopardize data privacy. However, when executed properly, working remotely can help organizations become more efficient and profitable, while at the same time improving employee morale. This webinar looks at how accounting firms have successfully implemented work from home programs and discusses mistakes that can be avoided through proper planning.


Bankruptcy Basics: Understanding the Reorganization and Liquidation Process in These Uncertain Economic Times (BNK2)
Consumers and businesses file for bankruptcy to seek protection from creditors and to reorganize or liquidate debts. Bankruptcy filings rise and fall with the economy. Surveys show that loss of income is the leading cause of consumer bankruptcies, followed by medical expenses and foreclosure. Corporate bankruptcies, on the other hand, are often the result of several factors, including excessive debt, decreased demand, increased costs, lawsuits or poor accounting practices. It is no secret bankruptcy filings will see a tremendous uptick in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. As an accountant, CFP, attorney or other professional, you need to be able to discuss the process and different available courses of action with your clients. Both landlords and tenants will be influenced tremendously. Individuals will look to your advice for a discharge and new start. Businesses will do the same and will also need to advise loyal employees. Creditors will receive proofs of claim and look to you for your expertise. Take this webinar and make sure you can speak fluently to both creditors and debtors. As trusted advisors, then, professionals should have a basic understanding of the bankruptcy process. This course provides a thorough review of the consumer and corporate bankruptcy practice. Participants in this webinar will gain an understanding of how consumer and corporate bankruptcy proceedings begin and end, as well as learn about key issues that affect debtor and creditor rights during bankruptcy. This webinar provides information from the perspective of both debtor and creditor. Although bankruptcy concerns the debts of the debtor, the Bankruptcy Code provides substantial protections to creditors. Creditor rights, however, vary widely depending on the status afforded the creditor under the Bankruptcy Code. Do yourself, your clients and your profit margin a favor and sign up for this invaluable webinar.






What You Need to Know About the CARES Act and Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)

 

Question No. 1: What precisely is the Paycheck Protection Program?

The Paycheck Protection Program provides small businesses with loans to pay up to eight weeks of payroll costs including benefits. Funds can also be used to pay interest on mortgages, rent, and utilities. It is implemented by the Small Business Administration with support from the Department of the Treasury.

Question No. 2: Who is eligible??

Small businesses with 500 or fewer employees are eligible. These include nonprofits, veteran organizations, tribal concerns, self-employed individuals, sole proprietorships, and independent contractors. Businesses with more than 500 employees are eligible only in certain industries.

Question No. 3: I understand the loans will not need to be paid back. Is that true?

Yes, so long as the money is used for payroll costs, interest on mortgages, rent, and utilities. 75% of the loan proceeds must be utilized on payroll. The amount forgiven will be reduced if the number of employees is not sustained or if their compensation decreases.As such, these loans represent free money if they are used for their intended purposes. Personal guarantees are not necessary. Collateral is not either. Payments are deferred for six months. There are no application or other fees.

Question No. 4: When do I apply?

Businesses and sole proprietors can apply beginning April 3, 2020. Independent contractors and other self-employed individuals can apply beginning April 10, 2020. Demand will be incredibly high, and the federal amount budgeted to PPP is anticipated to be quickly depleted. Therefore, apply as soon as possible.

Question No. 5: How do I apply?

Apply through any existing SBA lender or through any federally insured depository institution, federally insured credit union, or participating Farm Credit System institution. Check www.sba.gov for a list of participating lenders. You can also find updated terms and the application form there.

Question No. 6: I have heard this legislation does a lot for employers. What exactly does The CARES Act do for businesses?

It provides a lot of breaks to keep employers from laying off employees. Foremost is a refundable payroll tax credit of 50% of an employee’s wages up to $10,000. That’s five grand per employee if operations are suspended because of the Covid-19 crisis or if gross receipts are down more than 50% in the same quarter year over year. In addition, the government is deferring the employer share of the Social Security tax (6.2%) with half due at the end of 2021 and the remainder at the end of 2022.

Question No. 7: What are some other big-ticket relief measures in this legislation?

IRAs and certain defined contribution plans will have no required minimum distributions for 2020. In addition, any 2020 coronavirus-related distribution up to $100,000 from an eligible retirement plan will not incur the §72(t) 10% additional tax and may be included in income over three years.

Question No. 8: Did those pesky loss limitation rules go away?

Yes, the §461(l) $250k/$500k rules are not applicable for calendar years 2018, 2019, or 2020 but return for 2021. Make sure your real estate clients are aware as 1040X filings may be necessary for 2018 and 2019.

Question No. 9: Is the QIP fix in this legislation?

Yes. 27 months after the passage of TCJA, Qualified Improvement Property now has a recovery period of 15 years and is therefore eligible for Bonus Depreciation under §168(k).


Surgent’s Commitment to Supporting Those Impacted by the COVID-19 Pandemic

This is an unprecedented and challenging time for all of us. That’s why the Surgent team is working so hard to bring you the in-depth, accurate, and timely information you need to support both your firm and your clients. In addition to the courses and resources shared above, we want to let you know about some other resources we can offer, as well as let you know what else Surgent is doing to help our employees, our partners, and our communities.

Many of our customers—both those of Surgent and those of our sister company, PharmCon (which provides continuing education to pharmacists and nurses)—are being called upon in new ways during this COVID-19 pandemic. Our Surgent customers are helping many of their personal and business clients work through incredibly trying and complicated financial and legal issues caused by the pandemic, while our PharmCon clients are helping to educate and support the medical care of COVID patients and their families, all while trying to keep themselves safe and healthy.

That’s why, in addition to providing you with the on-the-job educational content you need, Surgent is also doing what we can to support your well-being by offering free resources, including this self-care webinar presented by one of our PharmCon instructors, who is a practicing pharmacist: (note that CPE credits are not available for this webinar). We’ve also provided a number of free COVID-related resources including a free live CPE webinar on the legal and tax implications of the pandemic, which educated more than 9,000 CPAs and tax professionals.

We’re also extremely proud that we’ve been able to make a sizable corporate donation to Americares, a non-profit organization providing protective supplies along with other critical support and resources for frontline health workers and health centers.

For our own Surgent team, we continue to provide as much support as we can for our now fully remote workforce, including a stipend for employees to use in a local business of their choice or for any other personal expense, access to resources to support our team members’ physical and mental health during this crisis, and weekly virtual team happy hours to keep us all connected with live (though obviously virtual) entertainment and games.


 


 

See what some of our customers are saying about our COVID-19 courses



This is the best money I have spent on a CPE since I started paying for my own 3 years ago. I loved it! If they have more on the subject (it sounds like they will), I hope I don't miss them. It was the CPE I needed - just when I needed it.
- Kristen H. -PPP Course Series Attendee

I am quickly becoming a webinar convert. I told the boss that i don't see myself going to any live CPE this year.
-John L. -PPP Course Series Attendee

The presenters were extremely knowledgeable about the subject matter, which is very impressive given the newness of the CARES Act provisions. This is one of the most informative webinars I have ever viewed.
- Katie J. -CARE Attendee

Presenters were excellent in discussing topics that are continuously changing and brand new. Quick on their feet when questions were asked. Really outstanding job guys!
- Andrew O. -CARE Attendee

Excellent course, offers some great insight into the CARES Act.
- Lea Ann P. -CARE Attendee

The timing and multiple offerings were great. This huge stimulus package just passed last week. How the presenters had time to prepare materials and do this so quickly was pretty amazing.
- Kim K., -CARE Attendee

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