If you are working or training in the financial field and you want to handle payroll for various businesses, you should take the Certified Payroll Professional (CPP) exam in order to earn a credential from The American Payroll Association (APA). This certification will showcase your knowledge and skills and help you stand out from other public accountants.
Here is what you should know before you take your CPP exam:
#1: You Need Work Experience to Take the Test
It is not just a good idea to have real-world experience before you take the CPP; you are required to have a certain number of actual work areas in the field before you can register for the test. This is not a certification that is given to beginners; it is given to professionals who are already working in the field and who are looking for a way to level up and stand out from their competition.
#2: You Need to Complete Approved Courses
Before you can take the test, you have to complete a list of approved courses that the APA requires you to take before signing up for the CPP. You may be able to sign-up for the CPP if you are currently enrolled in the classes and will complete them before the test.
The classes that you take are not just fluff classes; they will teach you all the information that you need to know in order to pass the test. The knowledge you are expected to have is vast. You are going to need to know how to create paychecks. You will be expected to understand both basic and advanced payroll concepts. You need to fully understand how to ensure your clients are compliant with federal and state laws. You also need to know more nuanced things, like how to deal with an audit of your books or taxes.
#3: You Will Take the Test at a Testing Center
When you sign up for the test, you while have to choose which testing center you want to take the test out. The APA uses a national testing provider that has numerous locations in every state; however, how close the testing location is to you will vary based on your location. Be aware that you may have a testing location in your hometown, but you may instead have to drive a few hours to get to a testing location.
#4: You Will Get Your Test Result Right Away
You will learn how you did on the test the day that you take the test. The test is a multiple-choice test, so the testing center will be able to tell you your score before you leave. However, they will not be able to give your certification on the spot. The APA will mail you your official certification.
If you want to elevate yourself and move up within your profession as a payroll specialist, take the classes necessary so you can take the CPP and become a certified payroll specialist. This will help you obtain better jobs and show clients that you really do have the knowledge and skills you claim to have.