Business Loans

Now What? How to Track Finances After Filing for a PPP Loan

Feb 27, 2021 • 6 min read
Young business owner taking notes on a notepad in kitchen
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      UPDATE: The PPP loan application period ended May 31, 2021. Learn about financing options available for small businesses today at


      Congratulations! You’ve wrapped up your Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan application, which is a huge accomplishment. If all goes well, you’ll soon benefit from this amazing program for America’s small business owners.

      Just remember that your efforts don’t end once you click submit on your application. You likely noticed that there’s a precise list of approved uses for your government-granted funds, so you must keep detailed records of your business expenses to avoid needing to pay it all back.

      Approved Uses for the PPP Loan Funds

      As you get ready to spend your newfound funds, it’s crucial that you utilize them exclusively for approved uses. There are 2 main categories for fund usage: payroll and other business expenses. Payroll is the most important category, as this program is intended to literally protect paychecks. So the SBA requires you to use at least 60% of the money for payroll costs.

      Let’s take a closer look at some of the key expenses in the payroll category:

      • Compensation in the form of salaries, wages, commissions, or similar compensation up to $100,000
      • Payment of cash tips or equivalent
      • Payment for vacation, parental, family, medical, or sick leave
      • Allowance for dismissal or separation
      • Payment of retirement benefits
      • Group vision, dental, disability, or life insurance
      • Payment of state or local taxes assessed on the compensation of employees (but not the employer’s share of state or local taxes)

      Of course, your business faces pressing demands that don’t fall under the umbrella of the payroll category. Here’s a breakdown of some of the expenses allowed in the “other business expenses” category:

      • Healthcare costs related to the continuation of group healthcare benefits during periods of sick, medical, or family leave, as well as insurance premiums
      • Mortgage interest payments (but not prepayment or payment of the mortgage principal)
      • Rent
      • Utilities
      • Interest on any other debt obligations incurred before February 15, 2020
      • Refinancing an SBA EIDL received between January 31, 2020, and April 3, 2020
      • Covered expenditures such as business software or cloud computing services that facilitate:
        • business operations
        • product or service delivery
        • the processing, payment, or tracking of payroll expenses, human resources, sales, and billing functions
        • accounting or tracking of supplies, inventory, records, or expenses
      • Covered property damage costs
      • Covered supplier costs
      • Covered worker protection expenditures

      As you can see, your PPP loan can cover many essential expenses. While this flexibility is exciting, it shouldn’t be interpreted as a sign that the SBA is lenient with how the money is used. Your only hope for loan forgiveness is to strictly follow the program’s rules.

      Sunrise Is Your Best Friend as You Seek Loan Forgiveness

      If the prospect of organizing and tracking all your expenses seems overwhelming, take heart in the fact that Sunrise’s online bookkeeping tool will handle most of the work required for you to stay on top of your PPP loan use. Packed with all manner of exciting features, this service can help your business grow while keeping a keen eye on every corner of your operations. And the best part is—it’s free.

      An impressive expense tracking system is built right into the program. Every time you use the funds from your Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan, you’ll know exactly where it’s going, how it’s being used, and how to report on all the details when the time comes. No stress. Just easy bookkeeping.

      The practical applications of this robust bookkeeping system go way beyond monitoring expenses as they relate to the PPP. There’s a laundry list of incredible features designed to make your life easier. Sunrise can:

      Put Your Business on the Fast Track to Future Capital

      Any business owner who has applied for loans, grants, or any other form of financial aid can attest to the abundant red tape that goes along with the process. When other small business owners scramble to organize receipts, bills, and other expense details, Sunrise can set you up for success. It keeps and categorizes your information with automatic expense tracking and financial reports, which can help you satisfy the requirements of the government or other lenders, as well as identify areas of spending you can reduce during crises like the COVID-19 pandemic.

      Help You Manage Cash Flow

      Sunrise offers highly customizable invoices. These invoices allow you to plug in your logo, business, and billing information, add sales taxes based on the location of your customers, and more. You can also send individualized quotes and estimates that easily convert into invoices with 1 click, add discounts, handle refunds, and see where your invoices sit, whether they are paid, unpaid, or overdue.

      Give You a Personal Business Bookkeeper

      For business owners who don’t have the knowledge or bandwidth to handle bookkeeping, Sunrise has an upgraded option that will give you access to a real live, professional bookkeeper. Starting at only $149 per month, you can sync your expenses and offload the hassle to an expert. These professionals can handle the monthly closing of your books, help with your taxes, and be available to answer all of your questions by email or text.

      The Right Call for Your Business

      Whether you’re using it to track the relevant expenses for your PPP loan or to make sure your customers are using your invoices to pay you on time, Sunrise is an excellent addition to your daily small business setup. The expansive free version and upgraded options are all capable of empowering you to take your business to the next level.


      : The information provided in this post does not, and is not intended to, constitute business, legal, tax, or accounting advice. All information, content, and materials available in this post are for general informational purposes only. Readers of this post should contact their attorney, business advisor, or tax advisor to obtain advice with respect to any particular matter.
      About the author
      Grant Olsen

      Grant Olsen is a writer specializing in small business loans, leadership skills, and growth strategies. He is a contributing writer for KSL 5 TV, where his articles have generated more than 6 million page views, and has been featured on and Grant is also the author of the book "Rhino Trouble." He has a B.A. in English from Brigham Young University.

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