The American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) has petitioned President Donald Trump to enact a faster system of payment for small- to medium-sized businesses as the coronavirus pandemic rolls on in the country, stalling the economy, according to reports.
The AICPA was joined by the International Franchise Association and two payroll companies, Paychex and Intuit, in penning the open letter to Trump. The proposition is for the federal government to set up a new centralized system in which SMB payroll processors could funnel finances to businesses to help them keep paying employees.
AICPA President and CEO Barry Melancon said this would be the most efficient way to get payroll processes running and help money get to those that need it, as well as assisting in getting things running again once the pandemic has eased up at some point.
The coalition emphasized that the plan would especially help out businesses that have been forced to lay off workers or close their doors as the crisis continues to unfold and people have to practice social distancing.
However, the funds for this project would depend on the passage of a financial aid and relief measure in Congress, which had not happened as of Tuesday (March 24). Several attempts at such were blocked by Democrats in Congress who said the measures did not go far enough toward protecting workers and instead focused more on corporate interests.
There are more payroll companies looking to join this coalition and voice support, according to officials. The AICPA is prepared to continue responding to Washington’s actions, hoping that whatever Congress decides to do will align with the coalition’s goals.
Erik Asgeirsson, president and CEO of CPA.com, said one reason this could work well is that the system is mostly already in place, as payroll companies know who needs to get paid and how much. All that’s missing, he said, is the centralized hub that would bring it all under the government’s roof.