While specific guidance has not been given by the SBA or Treasury, you will likely have to provide proof of qualifying expenses, so make sure to keep very good payroll and expense records. Some small businesses may want to consider working with a tax professional or a CPA for help with recordkeeping.
The following actions may increase your likelihood of forgiveness after the eight-week period:
- Keep the PPP funds separate: Consider putting the loan into its own designated account to better keep track of the funds.
- Keep disciplined records: Create account codes or sub-codes so there’s a paper trail for qualified expenses.
- Keep supporting documents: Stay organized with your documentation of PPP fund usage - especially for payroll, interest, rent, and utilities payments.
- Payroll: Retain payroll registers and proof of ACH transfers. If you outsource to a professional employer organization (PEO), save your payroll invoice that shows payroll costs and employee benefits.
- Utilities: Keep invoices and statements for electric, phone, internet, gas and heating providers.
- Rent and mortgage interest: Keep proof of payments.
If you have questions regarding the forgiveness process, talk with your lender. Each bank may have its own forgiveness application process.
Please keep in mind, these are just a few of the things your small businesses may want to consider, but they are by no means all the factors you may need to take into account to qualify for PPP loan forgiveness. Finally, as a PPP lender, Bank of the West can’t offer an opinion on whether the loan of any particular borrower qualifies for forgiveness.