How Aggressive of a Stance Are Accountants Taking with PPP Forgiveness?

By Sandi Leyva

How aggressive should you be when advising clients on Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) forgiveness? While any risk stance should always be the decision of the clients, we asked this question in a recent joint Accountant’s Accelerator / CPA Trendlines PPP Survey: On average, across all of your clients, how aggressive of a stance are you taking with PPP forgiveness?

We asked 600+ survey respondents to choose a number between zero and 100 where zero is conservative or extremely risk-avoidant and 100 is aggressive or extremely risk tolerant. The mean was 42, or slightly more conservative than aggressive.

After plotting a histogram of the results, you can see that the mode is very much in the middle of the road.  In this chart, the x-axis displays the respondent’s risk value from zero to 100 in buckets of 15. The y-axis shows the number of participants with values falling into those buckets.

There are far more extremely risk-averse scores than there are extremely aggressive scores. This is likely due to the severe penalties, including jail time, outlined by the PPP legislation and the SBA.

It could also be since there is so much PPP fraud that accountants are advising their clients to be a little more careful with their applications.

Are you consulting with clients on PPP forgiveness?  If so, we would love to read your comments about your PPP forgiveness experiences below.