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How to Prepare for Your APA CPP Exam


How to Prepare for Your APA CPP Exam header

If you're seeking a career in accounting or human resources, chances are good that you'll need to be well-versed in payroll matters. The American Payroll Association is the nation's leading authority on payroll services. They have created and continue to administer the CPP certification exam to designate Certified Payroll Professionals. Preparing for your APA CPP exam can be stressful, but you don't have to worry. Exam Edge can help you get ready with our expertly crafted pack of CPP certification practice exams.

What Is a CPP?

A Certified Payroll Professional is a financial officer who has passed the CPP test. Certification requires a candidate to know, understand, and execute key concepts regarding payroll management. The designation shows proficiency in areas like calculating payroll, navigating federal and state labor and wage laws, structuring a payroll system for a business, financial reporting, system auditing, and much more.

While obtaining CPP certification is voluntary, it's a good idea for anyone interested in a career involved in accounting, financial, or payroll. The certification demonstrates that you take payroll matters seriously, understand various methods of handling employee wages, and can keep a company in compliance with relevant regulatory bodies.

To become a CPP, a candidate must score at least a 300 on the APA CPP certification exam.

Should You Take the APA CPP Test?

You don't need to obtain CPP certification to handle payroll for your company, but it's a great idea if you plan on furthering your career in the finance industry. With over 20,000 members, the APA is the country's largest force for financial workers and payroll professionals, and it advocates in legislative circles. Getting certified and joining the membership means you're taking an active role in your industry's wellbeing.

There are many benefits of taking an APA exam like the CPP test. At the very least, getting certified will help you gain a better understanding of the underlying principles of payroll. Studying for the test and taking plenty of CPP certification practice exams will help you get a high score as well as improve your abilities as a payroll professional. But that's not the main benefit.

When you are certified as a CPP, you will gain the respect of both current and future employers who see the designation as evidence of your competency. It's a great way to boost your career, increase future employment opportunities, and demonstrate your knowledge and skill. However, there are a few requirements you must meet before you are eligible to take the test.

Who Is Eligible for the APA CPP Test?

The CPP exam is available for more experienced professionals than some of the other APA certification exams. You are eligible to take the exam as long as you meet at least one of the APA's three requirements, listed below.

  • Longevity: You need to have been a payroll professional specializing in payroll management, administration, or education for three out of the last five years.
  • Education: You are eligible if you've been a payroll professional for the past two years and have completed specific courses offered by the APA (available on their website).
  • Certification: You can also take the test if you have been a payroll professional for 18 months, have completed those same courses in the last 18 months, and have received the APA's Fundamental Payroll Certification (FPC).

CPP certification is meant as a way for serious payroll and financial professionals to add an important designation to their CV, so its eligibility requirements are rather stringent. Additionally, Certified Payroll Professionals are required to recertify every five years.

Tips on How to Prepare for the APA CPP Exam

The APA recommends a variegated approach to studying for the CPP exam. If you are better at personal learning, virtual engagement, or a classroom setting, use those tools to your advantage. There are also online courses you can take on topics like payroll administration, the basics of payroll, and similar subjects. The APA offers these courses as a way to prepare for the CPP exam, but the unfortunate reality is that they can be quite expensive. For example, one of the tests costs over $2,000 for non-members.

Another tip is to download the APA's candidate handbook, which details the exam's subject matter, fees, eligibility requirements, and other crucial information you'll need.

While memorizing flashcards, poring over finance and payroll administration books, and quizzing your colleagues can help you absorb the material, the exam is often its own scary prospect. We've got a way to help you with that.

Exam Edge offers a wide variety of practice exams for the business world, including CPP practice exams. The test accurately mirrors the real exam in subject matter distribution, format, and duration, with options for timed testing and untimed versions. Taking practice exams is an effective way to prepare for several reasons, including:

  • Getting you used to the flow and format of the test
  • Providing you with a feel for the amount of time you'll have on exam day
  • Showing you the areas in which you need improvement
  • Making you comfortable with the test

When you head into your official CPP certification test, you'll be familiar with the subject and the test won't be able to intimidate you!

Start Preparing for the APA CPP Exam Today

The sooner you start prepping for your CPP certification test, the sooner you'll be able to boast a brand new feather in your financial cap. If you are new to Exam Edge, take one of our free CPP sample practice tests to see how our strategy works. These are totally FREE and can help you get a feel for the way our CPP practice tests function and how they can serve your individual study strategies.