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David Leary: [00:00:20] Have you done any of these "Use Zoom to do a social thing ..."? I'm getting invited to a lot of them. Blake Oliver: [00:00:25] Yeah. David Leary: [00:00:25] I think it's kinda fun to do, but I also ... I'm now in a Zoom, eight hours a day. I don't wanna do another Zoom in the evening. Blake Oliver: [00:00:35] . David Leary: [00:00:35] Actually, in a way, it makes you miss going out and having a drink. Blake Oliver: [00:00:39] Yeah, yeah. David Leary: [00:00:39] It hit me yesterday. I was like, I don't know when I'm gonna see these people again.
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Blake Oliver: [00:02:20] Welcome to The Cloud Accounting Podcast. I'm Blake Oliver. David Leary: [00:02:23] And I'm David Leary. Blake, we're back at it. Blake Oliver: [00:02:26] We're back at it. I'm still in Phoenix at my parents' place. They haven't kicked us out yet, so that's a good sign. We've survived as a family - five-year-old, wife, grandparents - all together. David Leary: [00:02:38] Now that you have some help ... One of the motivations for you vacating L.A., besides it being L.A.- Blake Oliver: [00:02:43] Yeah. David Leary: [00:02:43] -and going to Phoenix with your parents was you need some assistance for working at home because it's hard to do work at home with your kid there. Blake Oliver: [00:02:51] Yeah. David Leary: [00:02:51] Is that better now? Blake Oliver: [00:02:53] Oh, yeah. I mean, it would've been impossible. I said I would have had to quit my job, or my wife would've had to quit her job. We can't raise an active five-year-old boy, and both try to work; or she would have had to take advantage of some of that medical leave, or family care leave that is now available to folks. So, yeah, it's a good thing. I'm really grateful that we're in this situation, and we both can work remotely, which is fantastic. David Leary: [00:03:17] Yeah, I had to lock down my calendar a lot tighter this week, but it was smoother. But I had to be really diligent about, like, "Sorry, I'm actually gonna go, and have lunch, and do a run," and, "Sorry, I'm not doing meetings during this time because I actually have to maybe do heads down and do some work," right? Because the previous week before was just too chaotic. Then, on top of that, having kids at home, just ... I think it was like that for everybody. Two weeks ago, it was complete chaos, and this week has felt a little bit more execution-wise. You finished the week up with a big, huge webinar, or something? 1,200 people? 1,800 people? What was it? Blake Oliver: [00:03:50] Yeah, so we, last week, decided to spin up a COVID-19 template in Jirav; something we could roll out for partners who wanna do quick forecasting for their clients. Under 30-minute set-up template - you've got a three-way financial statement forecast for the next 12 months. So, we planned a series of webinars, and we did one on Friday. It was called Forecasting the Economic Impact of COVID-19. We did it on CPAacademy, and 1,758 people attended this webinar. I've never had that happen, at that scale, on CPAacademy. They had to spin up another GoToWebinar instance and have it simulcast into that one, I think, because we broke the limits. David Leary: [00:04:35] Wow. So, it's not 1,700 people said they'd think about coming and then only 30 percent actually show; It was, straight up, 1,700 people were trying to get into the room to- Blake Oliver: [00:04:44] Yeah, and over 2,000 registered, so ... It's a popular topic. In that webinar - I will put that link in the show notes - I show the model that I created for the growth of COVID-19 in the United States and the impact of that, in terms of cases, and hospitalizations, and deaths. It's a very simple model; not anything nearly as sophisticated as what these epidemiologists are creating that you may have seen online. But the cool thing about the model I made is that you can actually see the formulas. It uses the exponential growth formula of a virus, and you can modify the assumptions, and you can see what happens. It has limitations, but I think it's really a helpful tool, at least it was for me, in understanding what happens and how quickly a virus can grow in the population, depending on how you change some of these assumptions. [00:05:41] It's kind of a sobering webinar because, well, the chance that we're going to open up the country in April is nonexistent, if you ask me. I mean, unless we wanna do that, while thousands of people a day are dying, which I just don't see it. I don't see politicians doing that. So, we're in this for the long haul. My conclusion, after doing this webinar and a bunch of research around it, is we're gonna peak in May, probably. Then, it's gonna come down, June/July ... I don't see things getting back to normal until August, or September, which, that's a lot longer than most people think. I saw some polls ... We actually did a poll on the webinar - When do you think the economy will reopen; in other words, it will be mostly back to business as usual? Five percent on the webinar said April; 24 percent said May; 34 percent said June; 16 percent said July; then, 21 percent said August, or later. These were folks that already saw the webinar. I'd already talked about the model, at that point, so maybe I influenced them a bit. But I think most Americans are a little more optimistic than that, so they're [crosstalk] David Leary: [00:06:55] I suspect everybody's a little bit more optimistic than the reality that's happening. But there are some signs, though, at a generic level. There's a website- there's a company called Kinsa, and they basically have Wi-Fi thermometers. They have four or five years of data of when people are getting sick, and they can track it state by state. You could really see where the states - as social distancing was implemented - how the ... Obviously, everything's gonna be influenced; not just COVID-19; the generic flu; everything's gonna be ... People aren't gonna spread disease and get other people sick, if they're social distancing, et cetera. You can really see that on this map. Finally, these states are starting ... You're starting to see these declines and even decreases in the amount of illness that's happening, with temperatures. So, I think it's maybe- there is some hope in things like this. I saw another article with a- and we talked about this cell phone data. They're starting to show data where you could see effects of social distancing and which states are doing better than others. But you're right, it's not two weeks out; that's for sure. We are not even close to that as of yet. Blake Oliver: [00:08:05] You know I like to be a Debbie Downer on this show, so I might as well just get it out of the way; get it out of my system here. So, FiveThirtyEight - this is the famous statistics polling site where they aggregate all the polls; started by- I think it's Nate Silver - and- David Leary: [00:08:24] He's the one that told us Hillary was gonna win, right? Blake Oliver: [00:08:26] Well, yeah, there was a 90-percent chance that she was gonna win on his site. But, you know, there's always that 10-percent chance. I mean, they accounted for it. What they did is they polled a bunch of experts, like a dozen or more experts, and they asked them for their estimates around the number of COVID-19 deaths, ultimately; and then also when the peak is gonna be. The idea is that if you poll a bunch of experts, even if their estimates range widely, which they do, on the low estimate, people are saying, "Oh, this could just be like the seasonal flu." On the high end, this could be millions of people dying. So, how do you actually get a number that is sort of an average? Well, you take all those ranges and then you average those out. So, it's looking like the best estimate of the crowdsourced kind of numbers is 250,000 deaths, which I think is a lot more than most people are thinking it's gonna be, at least in the general public. That's with the trajectory we're on, where we- David Leary: [00:09:29] Is that a survey of experts, or the survey of the general public? Blake Oliver: [00:09:32] That's a survey of experts, yeah. David Leary: [00:09:33] Okay because my understanding is when you do those types of averaging like that, you have to do the entire general population. It's like, how many beans are in this jar, or how much does that cow weigh? Blake Oliver: [00:09:44] Yeah. David Leary: [00:09:46] Because if you only have people who are experts in cows, it totally gets screwed up, and they're off. You have to have the whole entire population set. So, it's interesting; if these are just experts in this, it could still be overinflated a little bit, if they're not taking in everything. Blake Oliver: [00:10:01] Yeah. I mean, you can read the article and tell me what you think ... People have to have some sort of ability to judge this. I don't think the general public can accurately make an estimate. You couldn't even make an estimate. So, you have to poll people who at least can have an opinion. David Leary: [00:10:18] Yeah. Blake Oliver: [00:10:18] That's the consensus view is 246,000 deaths, and the experts, on average, think that hospitalizations will peak in May, not in April. So, if hospitalizations peak in May, we can kind of just look at this like a bell curve and think, okay, this started in March, really; so, March, April, May; that's three months. So, two months coming down from this would be June, and July; and then August, September, we start to get back to normal. David Leary: [00:10:47] So, I mean, it's good, though, if the peak could be pushed out. We're not close to the peak yet. It gives more time for manufacturing and things to catch up, right? [crosstalk] face masks, and other stuff, and the ventilator machines. Who knows what we could have three weeks from now? So, it's actually maybe good that it's out there. But, yeah, this expectation that this is all gonna be done two-and-a-half weeks from now is completely off base. We could talk about- related to this is what billionaires think about this. Blake Oliver: [00:11:15] Yeah, sure. What do they think? David Leary: [00:11:16] What caught my eye about this is because the billionaire that was quoted in the article ... This is an article that was on Bloomberg. It's an interview. The title of the article is: "Billionaires Want People Back to Work. Employees Aren't so Sure." This quote is from the founder and chairman of the payroll processor, Paychex. Blake Oliver: [00:11:37] Oh, what does he have to say? David Leary: [00:11:38] This is what caught my eye. They frame this up, and they kind of paint a picture of him saying this ... The billionaire Tom Golisano was smoking a Padron Cigar on his patio in Florida on Tuesday afternoon, and he was worried. "The damages of keeping the economy closed as it is could be worse than losing a few more people," said Golisano, the founder and chairman of the payroll processor Paychex, Inc. "I have a very large concern that if businesses keep going along the way they're going, then many of them will have to fold," because this is the new argument that's been popped up this week, right? Blake Oliver: [00:12:11] Right. David Leary: [00:12:11] Should people die and put businesses back to work? There's definitely a ... Not all billionaires think like this. Mark Cuban, who owns the Dallas Mavericks, he became a billionaire; he sold his startup to Yahoo! way back in the day ... I think it was Broadcast.com, I think he actually owned, or something, and then now he's on the Shark Tank. Most people know Mark Cuban from that. He just said the people should ignore anything somebody like him says, as in him, himself, being a billionaire, and that lives are at stake. So, not every billionaire thinks this, but that's a whole 'nother level of ... I was really shocked that somebody from Paychex is saying this [crosstalk] Blake Oliver: [00:12:46] Well, their businesses is being hurt a lot, right now, because all these small businesses are letting people go. I think these payroll processors, most of them charge by the employee. So, if I let go of all my staff, then I'm not paying as much to Paychex. David Leary: [00:13:01] Which could ... Did you see the- follow the logic on this? If they're making money per employee, obviously, they don't want people to lay off employees, or get rid of employees. Blake Oliver: [00:13:11] Right. David Leary: [00:13:11] Which probably leads to ... Did you see the announcement by the AICPA with Intuit and Paychex? Blake Oliver: [00:13:17] Yeah. So, it's funny, I thought maybe we'd already talked about this last week, but it was only this week that this happened. The AICPA came up with, actually, a really good plan that then Congress, of course, seems to have completely ignored, which is instead of having the IRS mail checks to people, use the payroll processors, like Paychex, and ADP, and I don't know- David Leary: [00:13:43] Well, first, it was just only Intuit, and Paychex, and the AICPA- Blake Oliver: [00:13:45] Oh, yeah. David Leary: [00:13:45] They had a coalition. When I saw that, I was like, where's all the other players? Blake Oliver: [00:13:52] Yeah. David Leary: [00:13:52] But now they've involved- now, I think it's like 20 payroll ... It's almost like they got the announcement faster than they got people on board. But I just thought a coalition would be more than two people: two apps. I was kinda surprised by that. Blake Oliver: [00:14:06] It's a great idea, actually. So, it's basically create a central payroll account that the payroll processors can tap into on behalf of their small business clients. That way, small businesses can run payroll, and it doesn't come out of their bank account; it comes out of this central payroll account that the federal government would fund. Maybe it's loan-based, or grant-based, or whatever, and maybe it's a percentage of the payroll [crosstalk] David Leary: [00:14:34] -I process my payroll as normal. I send it to ADP to do the direct deposits, and when they shoot out those direct deposits, they're adding in that extra 1,200 bucks, or whatever the proper amount is that's from the government [crosstalk] the accounts. They're using existing rails instead of passing out checks; physically mailing checks. Blake Oliver: [00:14:51] Yeah, and this makes so much sense because it's fast. It's already set up. Like you said, it's existing rails, and it would allow businesses to keep employees on their payrolls rather than laying them off, and then the employees having to go through unemployment insurance, which ... I don't know if you saw the number. I think everybody in the world saw that chart of 3-point-something-million unemployment claims last week. That just blows out of all possible [crosstalk] David Leary: [00:15:19] Well, there's reports of state websites for unemployment crashing; completely crashing, yeah. Blake Oliver: [00:15:23] Right. They're not set up to deal with this. The CDC wasn't set up to make enough tests. Now, unemployment insurance ... They've all just been sitting around twiddling their thumbs, not getting ready for the wave of people that are now going to be filing for unemployment. I know, in California, it can take a while to actually get your first unemployment payment. With all these people applying all at once, it's gonna take even longer. So, people have rent due in April. How are they gonna pay their rent? David Leary: [00:15:51] Yeah, and you're right, using the payroll processors, this money could be almost fully distributed in two weeks- Blake Oliver: [00:15:56] Exactly. David Leary: [00:15:57] -instead of waiting, and printing checks- Blake Oliver: [00:15:59] It could be almost immediate. It really just depends. Here's the problem with these stimulus checks. So, Congress, this week, got through that giant $2 trillion stimulus bill, which contains individual cash payments in there - $1,200 for individuals, and $2,400 for couples with $500 added for every child. Then, it phases out for individuals starting at around $75,000; if you make $99,000 or more, annually, you don't get anything; but a big chunk of the population is gonna get these checks. [00:16:32] Well, the problem is Mnuchin, Steven Mnuchin, who is probably being optimistic here, is saying the checks are gonna come in three weeks. Okay, so that's a little too late to help me with my April bills. I'm not getting one, but any of the people who are gonna get one, they're not gonna get one in time for their April bills, so people living paycheck to paycheck are gonna have problems. But I think that's optimistic [crosstalk] David Leary: [00:16:54] I agree with you because I feel like, after 9/11, didn't they mail out ... Didn't Bush mail out checks after 9/11? I remember it took five, six weeks for these checks to roll off these printers. Blake Oliver: [00:17:01] Yes, exactly. Accounting today had an article called; "Virus Payments from IRS May Take Months, Not Weeks to Hit Bank Accounts." They talk exactly about that. The last time the IRS sent stimulus checks, in 2008 and 2009, it took more than two months to get the money in the mail. Mnuchin is saying three weeks. Historically, the IRS, it's taken them two months. Oh, by the way, the three-week number, that's only for people who already have direct deposit setup through their tax filing. So, if they filed 2019 tax returns, and they have direct deposit turned on, Steven Mnuchin is saying you're gonna get your money in three weeks. Everybody else- David Leary: [00:17:41] Assuming you still have that bank account, et cetera [crosstalk] Blake Oliver: [00:17:42] -if it hasn't changed, right? So, anybody else, it's gonna take months. Remember, this is being handled through the IRS. I mean, I feel so sorry for the IRS because- David Leary: [00:17:52] I saw an article that they're half shut down [crosstalk] starting to shut down- Blake Oliver: [00:17:55] Right! How are they gonna get the checks out? The problem is that the IRS doesn't have a central database on all this stuff. They have to take what Congress appropriated and then figure out how to put those households together and how to figure out how to get the money to them. They don't necessarily know what your family looks like. Maybe you had a kid; maybe you got married. They don't know this. David Leary: [00:18:18] Again, there's probably no funding for the IRS in this bill to actually take on this additional work. Blake Oliver: [00:18:22] Yeah, I don't know. I mean, there's so much in the bill. Just to go over the scope of it, NPR has a really good visual breakdown. If you scroll in our show notes, David, down to relief packages, you'll see this image of how the $2 trillion breaks down. Now, obviously, our listeners can't see this, but you can kind of imagine it. So, the biggest bubble on this bubble chart is individuals, for $560 billion dollars. Payments to individuals, $560 billion. Then, there's a slightly smaller bubble for big corporations. They get $500 billion. Small businesses, $377 billion. State and local governments, $340 billion. Then, this kind of surprised me ... Public health - this is what we should be funding, right now - is one of the smaller bubbles, only $154 billion. Then, there's education, $44 billion, and some safety net stuff. I'm not sure what's in there. That's $26 billion. That's how the $2 trillion breaks down. David Leary: [00:19:23] There's tons in this. Some of these questions are- with the vacation stuff. That's not really in the bill, but that was a different bill, right? Blake Oliver: [00:19:29] Vacation stuff? David Leary: [00:19:31] The vacation- the paid time off; the sick- Blake Oliver: [00:19:34] Oh, that was the first bill [crosstalk] David Leary: [00:19:35] That was the first bill. Family ... What was it called? The Families First Coronavirus Response Act. That was March 18, yeah. David Leary: [00:19:43] So, you have that bill. Accountants and bookkeepers are getting tons of questions about that. Blake Oliver: [00:19:47] Well, and that's causing a lot of stress for small business owners, because that bill requires small businesses to offer paid sick leave and expanded family medical leave. Those small businesses have to pay that money out, upfront, out of their own pocket and then, get reimbursed by the government. So, how long is it gonna take for them to get reimbursed? I guess it's through payroll tax credits. So, you're gonna send less payroll tax money to the government ... A lot of the payroll services have to very, very quickly figure out how to make this work in their software. David Leary: [00:20:20] Yeah. Now, our accountants and bookkeepers have to be experts in that. Then, now, the stimulus package went through and now, there's all kinds of tax-related complications with that. But then, on top of all this, for the individuals that are getting refunds back- as if accountants and bookkeepers are not busy enough, right now, all the non- You don't get the money if you're a non-filer, right? Blake Oliver: [00:20:39] Right. David Leary: [00:20:42] So, all of a sudden, now non-filers for the last two or three years are showing up to accountants everywhere, "I need to file my taxes ..." Because accountants and bookkeepers are not busy enough, now they have to start doing previous tax year stuff, as well. Blake Oliver: [00:20:56] By the way, we should mention this, since we're not experts, and there's way too much to talk about on this podcast, if you want a good place to get COVID-19 resources for accountants, I spotted two places, David. Let me know if you have any other recommendations. The first one is the AICPA Coronavirus Resource Center; link is in the show notes. It's AICPA.org/news/ ... It's too long. They made it too long. I'll just put it in the show notes. Gusto's URL is a little bit easier. Gusto has been doing an amazing job on putting out resources for accountants. covidresources.gusto.com
. Go to that. It's a small business resource hub with updates about the practical, how to do this tax stuff, to how to emotionally manage your team during emergencies. They've got breakdowns of the latest legislation, how to get COVID-19 loan relief for small businesses, legal requirements, how to protect against the spread, what you have to do on a state by state basis. This is really cool. David Leary: [00:22:04] I complained last week about there were too many emails about COVID-19 [crosstalk] the tire shop, "We're washing the counters ..." This week, I feel like everybody and their brother is creating a portal; a website with COVID-19 resources. Apps are doing it; accounting firms are doing it ... Everybody's doing a lot of unnecessary work. Part of me is thinking, why isn't there just a wiki somewhere, and everybody contribute to the same wiki once, because it's essentially like everybody building their own version of a Wikipedia. Blake Oliver: [00:22:34] Yeah. David Leary: [00:22:34] There's a reason ... You only need one Wikipedia. You don't need hundreds of them. It's just there's a lot- a lot of people are doing a lot of work that maybe doesn't need to be done, if it was a little bit more collaborative. The AICPA should lead that effort of, "Hey, here's an open-sourced wiki where everybody can contribute to." Blake Oliver: [00:22:50] That's be a great idea. I'd like that. While we're speaking about the AICPA, did I mention that Engage 2020 is canceled? David Leary: [00:22:57] No, you have not mentioned it, I don't think, on this show [crosstalk] Blake Oliver: [00:22:59] Okay, well, it is. I got an email- David Leary: [00:22:59] If we did, somebody will rewind, and they'll be like, "Yes, they did!" and they'll let us know [crosstalk] Blake Oliver: [00:23:06] I'm losing track. I got an email from Teresa, at the AICPA, who manages this event, yesterday. She said, "Engage 2020 is being reimagined as a yearlong digital experience, the cornerstone of which will be an online conference with a virtual exhibit component. That means there will not be an onsite Engage 2020." Yeah, so that's the news. They weren't able to reschedule. David Leary: [00:23:35] We pivoted Accounting Salon, which is the small conference that I put on with Amanda Aguilar - do you remember - of Accounting Salon, which we usually do in May. We had to cancel that, obviously, for everybody- we don't have to go into the reasons why, but, yes, we had to cancel that. We pivoted it into a virtual conference, and we've opened it up to everybody. So, instead of it being an invite-only, teeny-teeny little conference, it's now open to the world. There's free CPE credit, and anybody can join that. The link will be in the show notes for the Accounting Salon Virtual Conference, as well. We're calling it Salon V. Blake Oliver: [00:24:05] Salon V. I like that. David Leary: [00:24:07] Really, that's the only ... [inaudible] the conferences, so many things are canceled. If people want CPE credit, there's not a lot of options. I mean, this is more of an event, but then you have CPAacademy, but there's not ... A lot of these conferences do CPE credit, but they're not set up to do CPE credit online, and that's a big challenge. I don't even know ... Have you been following that? Are CPE credit requirements going to be delayed now? Are people going to get forgiveness for not getting them done? Have you seen anything on those [crosstalk]? Blake Oliver: [00:24:37] No, I haven't seen anything since we talked about it last week. I don't imagine they will be, because people have been getting it online for a long time, so you can go do that. The state societies do it; at least the big ones; the AICPA does it. You've got free sites, like CPAacademy. So, yeah, go get your CPE. Subscribe to the Jirav blog, and next time I do a CPE webinar, you'll get one of those sent- you'll get a notification sent out to you. I've got some follow-up. David Leary: [00:25:07] Yeah. Good. Good.
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Blake Oliver: [00:26:07] We talked last week, when we were talking with Kelly Phillips Erb, it was ... At that time, when Stephen mention, the Treasury secretary, had announced via Twitter the tax deadline was being extended, but the IRS, itself, had not actually announced it on their website. Shortly thereafter - I think it was the next day - the IRS confirmed that, yes, in fact, the tax season is delayed, at least for some filings; the individual deadline, for sure, until July 15. David Leary: [00:26:39] That's right ... It was not actually confirmed with the IRS when we [crosstalk] the episode last week. Blake Oliver: [00:26:45] It was policy announced via tweet, as is common these days in the administration. The thing is that a lot of other filings - non-individual filings - are still on track. They're not delayed. So, the AICPA has recommended that relief should extend to all deadlines for filings; estimated taxes, relief for all filers, such as payroll, excise tax, estate, gift, and generation-skipping transfer tax, et cetera. The AICPA also said the relief should apply to tax-exempt organizations and fiscal-year corporations for tax returns, information returns, elections, claims for refund, and other correspondence. [00:27:25] Basically, just extending the individual deadline does not really help out accountants all that much, if there are all the other deadlines that are still happening. It all needs to get pushed past July 15. The fact that these deadlines haven't been extended is one of the reasons why, in most states, CPA firms are designated as critical businesses and are still open. You can still go into the office. In California, the governor has said that accountants are essential. So, I think most accountants are working from home, but you'll find some still in the office because they aren't set up any other way than to work at their office. David Leary: [00:28:04] Well, not just that. There's a tweet from Meghan Valero, and she said that somebody, a Boston-area CPA, does not want to let his clients email tax documents, even if they're password-protected. He is doing home visits to each client. Blake Oliver: [00:28:17] Oh, great ... Potentially spreading the virus from house to house. David Leary: [00:28:21] Yes. We don't want that, as an industry. We don't wanna be the ones that are spreading this around. Blake Oliver: [00:28:26] Also complicating tax season is the fact that the IRS, like you said, is closing a lot of services, or they're running low on staff. They announced on Friday that they're shutting down their Practitioner Priority Service line. The E-Services Help Desk, as well as the E-Services Fire and Air System Help Desks until further notice. So, if you're a tax practitioner, now you can't get that priority service. You're having even a harder time getting your tax questions answered. This is after they've already closed their in-person Taxpayer Assistance Centers. So, now you can't get face-to-face service during the pandemic, and you can't even get them on the phone. David Leary: [00:29:07] Well, did you see the PCAOB is going to give a 45-day relief? If you're getting audited, like, "Hey, we're gonna stop right now and not do anything." They could take the staff from the PCAOB and move them over to the IRS temporarily to help out with volume and work that needs to be done. Blake Oliver: [00:29:23] Were they really doing a lot of work to begin with, I think, is the question there. David Leary: [00:29:26] That's a whole episode ... Yes, we can revisit those types of things. Blake Oliver: [00:29:28] Hey, real quick, follow-up on Wells Fargo; something non-coronavirus-related. Wells Fargo disclosed, in a regulatory filing, that it has clawed back the February 2019 award of $15 million in stock to their ex-CEO, saying that that stock was conditional on Sloan's role and responsibility for the company's progress in resolving outstanding regulatory matters. So, this is the ex-CEO who basically was in charge when Wells Fargo failed to actually do what it promised to do, when it came to fixing the problems at the bank relating to that fake account scandal. David Leary: [00:30:13] Now, those numbers don't look like anything compared to the stimulus package. It's kind of crazy in the grand- how perspective is completely changed now, when you start talking about from a dollar figure. Blake Oliver: [00:30:25] Well, and Sloan, by the way, he still gets to keep his $1.5 million in base salary that he earned in 2019, despite the fact he didn't get a severance, so I think he's gonna be just fine. David Leary: [00:30:35] He's getting a check, just like everybody else. He's gonna get a check- Blake Oliver: [00:30:39] No, no, he won't because it phases out. If you make more than $100,000- David Leary: [00:30:42] Oh, that's right. Blake Oliver: [00:30:42] -as an individual, you're not getting anything. I think it's $200,000 for couples. David Leary: [00:30:48] But did he get- did he make income in 2020, though, enough? Did he break the- Blake Oliver: [00:30:52] Well, no. So, the way this individual payment- David Leary: [00:30:55] I thought you just said 2019. Blake Oliver: [00:30:57] Yeah, the way this individual [crosstalk] based on your tax return from 2019, and if you didn't file for 2019, it's based on 2018. David Leary: [00:31:04] My brain was thinking 2019 was two years ago. So, that shows how this week's gone [crosstalk] Blake Oliver: [00:31:08] You're living on exponential time, so you're already in next year. Yeah. David Leary: [00:31:16] I have an article that's COVID-19-related. It's a long-form read from Alison Ball. She's Global Influencer Strategy at Intuit. She wrote this on her LinkedIn page. It's how accountants and bookkeepers can help their small business clients navigate through COVID-19. It has the typical stuff - model cash flow, blah-blah-blah-blah - but what I really liked about her article is she actually has good ideas for each industry. If you have clients that are in a salon, if you have clients that are plumbers, if you have clients that are fitness centers, gyms, yoga studios, here's different strategies you can do with that client to get through this hump that we're currently in, if you wanna call it a hump. It breaks down for industries ... It's not just the generic same blog post that everybody else has been putting out. She has real specific advice for people to do. Blake Oliver: [00:32:05] I have a good example from my own experience. My son usually goes to art school for an hour on Saturdays. Of course, that had to close, so now the school is doing virtual art lessons; encouraging families to continue to pay every month, and we still get something for it. So, I'm happy to contribute to that. David Leary: [00:32:28] Yeah, and we're starting our online school stuff all next week. That's gonna spin up here in the Tucson area. I've noticed I've done a little bit more ... I installed that app, Seamless, so I've been doing restaurant ordering to go, which I've never really did before. I'm just trying to go out of my way to support smaller businesses and push through. Blake Oliver: [00:32:49] To round out our coverage of coronavirus COVID-19, I actually have some good news. So, let's finish on some good news. How about that? David Leary: [00:32:56] That works. That works. Blake Oliver: [00:32:57] Two stories. The first story is a headline in Yahoo! Finance: "Ignore these horrific-sounding economic numbers." This is by Rick Newman. He's a senior columnist with Yahoo! Finance. He says, "The terror began with Goldman Sachs predicting a 24-percent decline in second-quarter GDP on an annualized basis. Then Morgan Stanley raised it to a 30-percent decline. Now, Capital Economics is forecasting a 40-percent decline in second-quarter GDP annualized. This sounds horrific. During the worst year of the Great Depression, 1932, GDP shrank by only 14 percent. Is the coronavirus recession really two or three times as bad as that?" He continues on and says basically, "The answer is no." The problem right now is that everybody is annualizing this data and coronavirus is unique because we are basically stopping the economy. Then, as soon as it's over, we're gonna start it up again. So, if you annualize, you're assuming that this is gonna continue as it is for 12 months, and it's not. David Leary: [00:34:02] Which even you, in your most pessimistic projections, didn't have it go out that far. Blake Oliver: [00:34:06] In my most pessimistic prediction, it actually is better for the economy because everybody gets sick really quick; several million people die; then we go back to business in July. This is the debate about the economy versus people, or medical advice, or health is if we just let everybody get infected, a lot of people would die, and we'd go back to normal. So, we're just stretching this out on purpose to give the healthcare system more time to cope. David Leary: [00:34:32] Well, specifically, the healthcare employees. Blake Oliver: [00:34:35] Right. David Leary: [00:34:35] That's the ultimate problem. If we lose 200,000 doctors and nurses in this country, that's probably not gonna help the economy at all. Blake Oliver: [00:34:44] No, and that will actually end up being worse for the economy. Think about it. Millions of people dying would be really bad for the economy. So, anyway, even worst-case scenario, I think we're probably back to business in the fall. Maybe it's not full steam, but we are back, and we are testing people, and we are quarantining the people who need to be quarantined. We get everything going the way South Korea has been doing it, and they're able to keep functioning. We get to that point, then the economy restarts, so this annualized GDP number for the second quarter doesn't make sense anymore. [00:35:16] If you actually anticipate growth in, say, the fourth quarter, or third quarter, the actual GDP drop is only gonna be 1.9 percent for the entire year compared with 2019. It's not gonna be a 40-percent decline in GDP. It's gonna be a few percentage points, and that is good news because, yes, we're gonna be in a recession, but it doesn't necessarily have to be that bad or that long. It's not gonna be the Great Depression again. Of course, there's a lot of assumptions in there, which is that we don't have everybody in the country defaulting on their mortgages and not paying their rent. So, we're gonna have to figure that out as a country. But if we can avoid a housing crisis because people aren't paying their mortgages or whatever, we should be okay. [00:36:01] That's backed up by a PwC survey. This is that second item of good news. They surveyed 50 CFOs at big companies and asked, "If COVID-19 were to end today, how long would you estimate it would take for your company to get back to business as usual?" They said- 66 percent, two-thirds, said less than a month; 24 percent said one to three months; only eight percent said three to six months; two percent, six to 12 months; nobody thinks it would take more than 12 months to get back to business as usual. So, this is good news. Two-thirds of CFO say less than a month, once COVID-19 ends. David Leary: [00:36:37] I think that only stands true, though, if they keep their employees. Blake Oliver: [00:36:42] Right. David Leary: [00:36:42] If you let go of your employees, and you have to rehire staff, that could add a lot of extra problems. Blake Oliver: [00:36:49] Well, and this is why I don't think there have been a ton of layoffs at big companies. Most big companies are using their cash reserves to continue to pay people, weather the storm because they know when this thing ends, they're gonna need those people. It's the small businesses that don't have the cash reserves - that are going payroll to payroll - that had to lay everybody off. That's where we should be focusing the relief is keeping those people employed. The problem is our system isn't set up to do that, and it's all through unemployment. So, everybody had to get laid off and now file for unemployment, and it's a question as to how long it's gonna take them to get the money they need to pay their rent and to pay their mortgages? That's the big question [crosstalk] but David, we're supposed be staying positive! This is positive! David Leary: [00:37:32] Positive. Positive. Blake Oliver: [00:37:34] Sorry, what were you gonna say? David Leary: [00:37:35] I was gonna say, in a way, this is almost a play on Andrew Yang's universal basic income. Blake Oliver: [00:37:43] Oh, yeah. David Leary: [00:37:44] Because I think they're gonna ... Even if you still have jobs, there's- at a certain level, they're going to supplement income still. It's gonna be interesting [inaudible] social experiment ... Will people just say, "Ah, forget my job. I'll just take this free money," or will people still work? Because that's the big fear of doing universal basic income arguments. People will just quit working entirely. Blake Oliver: [00:38:03] That was one of the holdups of the bill in the Congress was some Republicans were saying that the unemployment benefit increase was too generous, so some people would actually be making more money unemployed for this four month period, and they didn't want to incentivize that, which kinda makes sense, but ... It'll be an interesting case study to see what happens. I think people wanna work. I don't think they wanna stay unemployed. David Leary: [00:38:27] Yeah, because not working is making everybody crazy, right now [crosstalk] Blake Oliver: [00:38:31] -what these Congress people don't understand is everybody just wants to get out of the house and go to work because they don't wanna be with their families. We're spending too much time with our families. We're going nuts. David Leary: [00:38:40] So, I have two articles that are not super-COVID-19-related, but I think it's helpful for the way accountants and bookkeepers could help their clients, assuming you actually have time to do some advising outside of the finances. Blake Oliver: [00:38:52] Sure. David Leary: [00:38:52] You probably have heard about distilleries are now making hand sanitizer. I even think that's in the bill, to be honest. I think I heard something about that. There's an incentive for distilleries to make hand sanitizer actually called out in the bill [crosstalk] Blake Oliver: [00:39:06] Now, I disagree with this, David. I think this is bad policy. I think the distilleries should be making as much alcohol as possible and sending it, for free, to all of us ... But that's just me. David Leary: [00:39:18] I saw another article, where a lot of restaurants now are selling their truffle butter directly to consumers, and restaurant wholesalers. Now, you're seeing farmers - organic farms - because restaurants aren't buying all those little organic hens anymore that they would sell. So, restaurant farmers are figuring out how sell things either online ... Where I'm going with this is, I think, if you are an accountant, or bookkeeper, look at these articles and see ... Look at your clients, as well. Is there other ways you can help them pivot a little to go either straight to the consumer or change what they're doing to make money? Blake Oliver: [00:39:54] The businesses that survive are gonna be the ones that can adapt to a new model, a new business model. Some, your fixed costs are just too high. There's just no way you can survive. That's why a lot of restaurants are going out of business or just not paying their rent. But there are some that can do it. Personal trainers, right? Offering virtual training sessions ... If you're not trying that, then you're just dooming yourself to not having any revenue for months. David Leary: [00:40:19] Well, everybody's worried about the cruise ships. It's like, well, convert two or three of the cruise ships into hospitals. Blake Oliver: [00:40:26] Yeah. David Leary: [00:40:26] There's probably ... If you start thinking about this, even at this gigantic scale, there's lots of alternatives for whatever resources we have, and the way we're using them, to them to be utilized in a much better way temporarily. Blake Oliver: [00:40:38] Well, I'll tell you this. I'm never going on a cruise. There's just no ... At this point ... Floating pandemic jails is the way I view them, at this point. David Leary: [00:40:48] But they're gonna be so cheap. The prices ... It's gonna be- the deals, Blake, are gonna be ... You'd get the unlimited amount of spirits to drink for a very good price! Blake Oliver: [00:40:56] I guess if I could afford one of the suites on the cruise ship, where if I were locked in that thing for a month, I wouldn't mind; Then, yes, I'll do that. David Leary: [00:41:05] Should we jump into the app news yet? What do you think? Blake Oliver: [00:41:12] Yeah, let's talk about some app news. There was some big news with Revolut. That's how you say that, right? David Leary: [00:41:18] Yes. Blake Oliver: [00:41:18] The bank; the neo-bank. What's going on with them? David Leary: [00:41:22] So, Revolut is ... I think we mentioned they planned on launching in the U.S.; they launched last week. Amidst all this chaos, they still moved forward and launched their bank in the U.S. As of right now, you could get the app in the U.S. app stores and sign up for an online bank, if you'd like; especially if you're trying to get your tax refunds, or you need to file some taxes and get a direct deposit account. Blake Oliver: [00:41:43] So, this is one of those apps where- it's spelled R-E-V-O-L-U-T. I download the app, and I can sign up for a bank account without having to go into a bank branch? David Leary: [00:41:53] There's no physical branch whatsoever. Blake Oliver: [00:41:56] Wow. FDIC-insured up to $250,000. Are there any other cool features of this that I should know about? I don't know anything about this. David Leary: [00:42:05] It's not business-focused; it's consumer focused. Blake Oliver: [00:42:10] Okay. David Leary: [00:42:10] Obviously, I've not tried it. I don't know anybody else who's tried it, but the vibe I was getting from reading about it in Europe is people who use it, love it. You don't hear a lot of people talk about loving their bank very much. They really love it as a service. I think it's interesting because it's gonna gray those waters of a product, like Venmo- Blake Oliver: [00:42:34] Oh, yeah ... David Leary: [00:42:34] Or Venmo and these guys could have to head this way to become a bank because you have your debit card; you're doing your banking in here; it's all one app; you also just ... Because everything's starting to get categorized automatically. Then, do you even need an app like Mint at that point? Blake Oliver: [00:42:49] Right! So, I'm looking at the screenshot in this TechCrunch story, and the screenshot shows my balance and a trended balance. I have a line of my- here's what I have in my bank; here's what I'm spending; and then it's broken down by category. So, it looks like I can categorize, and I can see how much I'm spending on each category. That's really neat. David Leary: [00:43:08] I think what's different about this versus some of these other apps is this is really running- it's real bank. It's not an app running on top of data it has to get from your bank. It puts them at a very competitive advantage. Blake Oliver: [00:43:23] Here's something cool from the article. It says that one of their key features is that you can convert from one currency to another based on the interbank rate, with a low fee, sometimes without any markup for popular currencies and small transactions. You can hold foreign currencies in your Revolut account or send money to another Revolut user or bank account in another country. That's pretty neat. Then, they also offer, in the U.S., the ability to receive your salary two days in advance if you share your Revolut banking details with your employer. Is this the one that also allows you to do cryptocurrency? David Leary: [00:43:55] That I don't know, if they do that or not, the crypto. Blake Oliver: [00:43:58] Yeah, it looks like you can actually hold Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency in your Revolut account, just like a foreign currency. They work with Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, and XRP, in the app. David Leary: [00:44:14] I helped my daughter open an online bank account with Capital One, and we did it all online through a website. You can actually open bank accounts now without going to a branch. It's possible. But to be completely a challenger bank ... This is one of these new banks. They don't- they really haven't existed before. They're brand new. They don't have 80 years of institutionalized decision-making, and plans that they're stuck in, and the old ways. It's gonna be disruptor. This is not gonna be the first. We've been taking about this for months, right? Apps are becoming banks; they wanna become banks. Did you see Square has filed to become a bank officially, and they got their charter [crosstalk]? Blake Oliver: [00:44:53] Yeah! Does that mean that they are now a bank, or is there some additional process that has to take place? David Leary: [00:44:59] So, their application to become a bank was conditionally approved by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp - FDIC - and they got also approved by the Utah Department of Financial Institutions. So, they officially are launching a bank. It's gonna be called Square Financial Services in 2021. Blake Oliver: [00:45:16] Got it. So, no impact in 2020, but we should look forward to that in 2021. That's gonna be a big deal because now people buying a point-of-sale to start up a new business, once all this COVID-19 stuff is over, they're just gonna sign up for a Square bank account along with their credit card processing. David Leary: [00:45:33] Well, is this gonna be what tips it? Square got it. I think Kabbage was applying ... I think I saw I think in an article before, Kabbage and some other players. Are we gonna see the Intuit bank? Is this gonna be the domino now? Blake Oliver: [00:45:47] I think Intuit has to do it. Yeah, I think we're gonna see it happen. Let's see, we were talking about crypto a little bit. Did you see that news about how the Digital Dollar almost made it into this giant Senate bill? David Leary: [00:46:01] Yeah, I think you tweeted that, and I was a little shocked. I didn't read the article when you tweeted it, but I was just like ... I don't think it's probably ... The times we're in, right now, to do some experimenting with what is a dollar- Blake Oliver: [00:46:12] We've talked about the concept of the Digital Dollar in previous episodes, and this is the idea that the Fed should create its own dollar-backed cryptocurrency and use it to give a free bank account with the Federal Reserve to every American. This way, the Fed could loan money, or inject money, or print money straight into an account of every individual in the United States in a time of crisis rather than mailing a check or having to go through the banks. It would be a way to create liquidity for individuals. [00:46:49] I thought it was a brilliant idea when I heard about it months ago. Wouldn't it have been great to have something like that, right now, so that people wouldn't have to wait for months to get their checks from the IRS? Well, somebody tried to sneak this into some legislation in the House, when it wasn't clear that the Senate bill was gonna pass and maybe the House would do its own version of this. Language actually made it into the House bill to create a Digital Dollar and get this to happen. Then, it got stripped out, and the House bill never happened, so it didn't make it into the Senate bill either. I think it shows that there is a wave of support for this coming. I think, maybe, after this crisis, given how bad it's gonna be for individuals and small businesses because of the lag, maybe this will actually happen for real. David Leary: [00:47:38] I think somebody put on that tweet thread that the government's already been doing this, in a way, for food stamps and distributing money through electronic means already. They just charge up your card. Blake Oliver: [00:47:48] Yeah, they do these prepaid debit cards is what they're doing. That's how California does it. They partner, I think, with Bank of America. So, if you file for unemployment, they'll send you a debit card and then load it up every week with your money, and that's how you can spend it, just directly that way. So, this would be ... The Digital Dollar accounts would actually be set up via the banks. You'd register with a bank to have one of these accounts, and that would be linked to the cryptocurrency or whatever. Then you could transfer the money from that account into a regular bank account or just spend it directly using a debit card maybe the bank provides. They would still go through banks to actually provision the tech, but it would be something that the federal government could just directly inject cash into, if they needed to. David Leary: [00:48:41] Did you see that Robinhood ... We've talked about Robinhood. Their whole platform crashed on [crosstalk] Blake Oliver: [00:48:46] They're still around? David Leary: [00:48:47] -swings in the market. They're still around, but they are apologizing now. Blake Oliver: [00:48:51] Oh! David Leary: [00:48:51] They're apologizing for the recent outages. They say they owe it to their customers- that they'll do better, and they're giving out a small credit. I think you talked about the credit before [crosstalk] Blake Oliver: [00:49:04] It's like 15 bucks, though, right? David Leary: [00:49:07] -apologized, yeah. Blake Oliver: [00:49:07] Aww. David Leary: [00:49:07] They said that their engineering team has further strengthened and stabilized the systems. Blake Oliver: [00:49:12] Well, it's a free product. You get what you pay for. David Leary: [00:49:16] We'll see how they do with that. Then speaking of other products that have kind of gone free in a way, have you seen the reports on how much the usage ... We talked about Zoom, I think last week, but even Slack now is going through the roof. Blake Oliver: [00:49:30] Oh, I saw that Slack posted- or the CEO of Slack wrote about how many new users they're seeing, and their stock went up, I don't know, 14 percent or something because of that. You had some data on Microsoft teams, right? David Leary: [00:49:42] Yeah, and I can't find the article ... I cannot find the article, but I heard this on a podcast. Microsoft Teams ... Because a lot of companies are already on Office 365, they've had Microsoft Teams for two, three, four years, probably, and they've never used it. With everybody working at home, since they already have it, they're just turning it on and using it. Microsoft Teams, in one week, added as many users as Slack entirely has. Blake Oliver: [00:50:05] Wow. David Leary: [00:50:06] It just shows kind of that Microsoft scale, right? In a week, they added a whole entire Slack- Blake Oliver: [00:50:13] That's crazy. David Leary: [00:50:14] -in one week of use. But these. Yeah. Work at home is the way to do it. On a lighter note, have you done any of these- used Zoom to do a social thing? Blake Oliver: [00:50:23] Yeah, we did a work happy hour once, in the last three weeks, and then we kind of let that go. But I'm in favor of it. David Leary: [00:50:34] I'm getting invited to a lot of them. Blake Oliver: [00:50:36] Yeah. David Leary: [00:50:36] I think it's kind of fun to do, but I also am like ... I'm now in a Zoom eight hours a day. I don't wanna do another Zoom in the evening. I think that's the ... Actually, in a way, it makes you miss going out and having a drink. Blake Oliver: [00:50:52] Yeah, yeah. David Leary: [00:50:52] Even with all these conferences getting canceled, I'm starting to- it's starting to set into me that ... I'm exchanging emails from people that I normally would be able to give a hug to at a conference. It hit me yesterday. I was like, I don't know when I'm gonna see these people again, like physically see these people. I don't know if I'm gonna physically see you, who knows when, Blake. Blake Oliver: [00:51:11] In September. It'll happen. August, September. I'm confident. I mean, it has to have ended at that ... Schools have to open in the fall. There's no other option. As a parent, I'll vote for anyone who says they're gonna open the schools in the fall, regardless [crosstalk] David Leary: [00:51:30] I think that's one of the things you're gonna see ... Teacher funding. Teachers are gonna ... People are gonna vote for teacher raises. Teachers are gonna get funding; school budgets are gonna go up. Absolutely, they will. Nobody ... Because this is the alternative. We don't have schools, we don't have a funded school system, kids are gonna be home with you. Blake Oliver: [00:51:46] Oh, God, no ... No! David Leary: [00:51:47] Nobody wants this. Blake Oliver: [00:51:47] No, David, no! David Leary: [00:51:50] School budgets are going to skyrocket after this [crosstalk] because they can threaten ... Now, they can threaten. Now, a teacher strike means something. "Hey, we're gonna strike." Oh, no, no, no. We've been through this. Yeah. They're gonna get through that, somehow. I think that's about it. I don't know, is there anything else we haven't beat on this week? Blake Oliver: [00:52:10] I have an article, "The Best Hair Clippers for Home Use in 2020," because, you know, we're all gonna start cutting our own hair pretty soon. In case you're wondering, the Wirecutter says that the Wahl Elite Pro High Performance Haircut Kit #79602 is the best home hair clipper, and you can get it for 50 bucks on walmart.com
. Link is in the show notes. David Leary: [00:52:32] I saw Veronica Wasek, who is an accountant. I saw it on Facebook ... She does a lot of YouTube videos and training videos for QuickBooks. She was out there saying she's started her own self-haircut today. So, accountants and bookkeepers, this is a new skillset. You can ... Do you have to get a new credential, so you'll be like a CPA and then whatever the licensing for the hairdresser is? Blake Oliver: [00:52:55] Well, you can cut your own hair. You just can't charge anybody to cut their hair. So, don't be charging your family members to cut their hair, or you're gonna be in violation of state licensing laws, in most cases. David Leary: [00:53:07] Not in Arizona, though. I think in Arizona, you just have to disclose. Blake Oliver: [00:53:10] Wasn't that a bill that got shot down? David Leary: [00:53:13] I don't know if it's shut down, right now, but [crosstalk] So, a reminder to everybody, if you are cutting your hair, call us and tell us about this. Blake Oliver: [00:53:20] Yes! David Leary: [00:53:21] I wanna hear how it's going out there because I feel like the vibe I'm seeing online, and people are doing tweets, here ... They're frustrated with the SBA loan process ... I've even seen people frustrated with some of the benefits corporations are giving. Give us a call. Vent. Let us know how it's going out there, for all of you that are out there, all of you listeners. What's the phone number, Blake? Blake Oliver: [00:53:44] It is (202) 695-1040. That is (202) 695-1040. Leave us a message, we'll take a listen, and we might even play it on the air. David Leary: [00:53:56] And is there any limit? Can people just leave a five-minute message if they want? Blake Oliver: [00:53:59] It's Google Voice, so whatever limits they have. I don't know. David Leary: [00:54:01] We'll just assume it's unlimited, at this point. Blake Oliver: [00:54:05] Yeah, leave us a message. If you start ranting. and it gets cut off- David Leary: [00:54:08] Hang up and call back! [crosstalk] Blake Oliver: [00:54:08] -hang up, and call back, and finish your message. That's right. All right, David, I'm gonna go spend some time with my family; some more time with my family ... Getting a lot of family time in. David Leary: [00:54:20] I'm trying to. Actually, this is a question for you. Is this a good idea or a bad idea, based on our knowledge of Florida? Right before all this started, I ordered ... In Arizona, lawn chairs, outside patio furniture, they dry-rot eventually. The sun is just too intense. So, I ordered the new- they call them ... Let's just call it material. They call them slings. It slings, and you have to reattach this to the chairs. So, I ordered them, custom made, from Florida, and they showed up. I'm wondering, based on our knowledge of how Florida had zero social distancing happening the las two weeks, do I touch these? Blake Oliver: [00:54:56] I bet that Arizona sun is just gonna kill everything. It's been outside long enough. David Leary: [00:55:01] Exactly. So, I'll post some pictures, and if people wanna see that, they can just follow me on Twitter. Now, what if they wanna see you sitting by the pool? Blake Oliver: [00:55:08] You can follow me on Twitter, @BlakeTOliver, or connect with me on LinkedIn. I'm Blake Oliver CPA. You're also welcome to email me; Blake@blakeoliver.com
. How about you, David? David Leary: [00:55:18] I'm @DavidLeary on Twitter and on LinkedIn. Blake Oliver: [00:55:21] Until next week, stay safe. Stay healthy. David Leary: [00:55:25] Bye, everyone.
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