American Payroll Association

Certified Payroll Professional (CPP)


Credential: Certified Payroll Professional (CPP)  In-Demand resource  GI Bill resource
Credentialing Agency: American Payroll Association

Renewal Period: 5 years

The American Payroll Association (APA), Certified Payroll Professional (CPP) certification is for professionals with extensive payroll knowledge and experience. CPPs demonstrate proficiency in payroll concepts, compliance, research and resources, paycheck calculation, payroll process and supporting systems and administration, payroll administration and management, audits, and accounting. Candidates must meet a combination of education and experience requirements. Candidates must pass a written exam.

More information can be found on the certifying agency's website.

Certified Payroll Professional (CPP)

MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS

Attainability:    medium

Eligibility Requirements (View Details)

  • Credential Prerequisite
  • Experience: 3 years
  • Education
  • Training
  • Membership
  • Other
  • Fee

Note: This credential may have multiple options for a Service member to meet eligibility requirements. Requirements listed here are based on the minimum degree required. To view other options, see the Eligibility tab.

Exam Requirements (View Details)

  • Exam
  • Written Exam
  • Oral Exam
  • Practical Exam
  • Performance Assessment

Exam Administration (View Details)

  • In-person exam
  • Remote proctored on-line exam
  • Third-party test vendor

RECERTIFICATION SUMMARY

Renewal Period: 5 years

  • Continuing Education
  • Exam
  • Continuing Education OR Exam
  • Fee
  • Other

AGENCY CONTACT INFORMATION

American Payroll Association

660 North Main Avenue
Suite 100
San Antonio, TX  78205-1721

Phone: (210) 226-4600

Fax: (210) 226-4027
Email: APA@americanpayroll.org

Option 1:

Candidate must have been directly or indirectly involved with the practice of payroll for three out of five years preceding the date of the examination. The practice of payroll is defined as direct or related involvement in at least one of the following: 

  • Payroll Production, Payroll Reporting, Payroll Accounting, Payroll Systems, and Payroll Taxation
  • Payroll Administration
  • Payroll Education/Consulting

Option 2:

Candidate must have been employed in the practice of payroll for at least the last 24 months and completed, within the last 24 months, all of the APA courses listed under one of the three options (under Criteria 2) on the APA website.

Option 3:

Candidate must have been directly or indirectly involved with the practice of payroll for at least the last 18 months, must have obtained the Fundamental Payroll Certification (FPC) designation, and must have completed, within the last 18 months, all of the APA courses listed under one of the three options (under Criteria 3) on the APA website.

The Certified Payroll Professional (CPP) credential has the following other requirements:

  • Candidate must agree to adhere to American Payroll Association Code of Ethics.

Written Exam

  • Core Payroll Concepts (24%)
    • Worker Status
    • Fair Labor Standards Act
    • Employment Taxes
    • Employee Benefits
    • Employee / Employer Forms
    • Professional Responsibility
    • Methods and Timing of Pay
  • Compliance/Research and Resources (16%)
    • Escheatment
    • Legislative and Regulatory Requirements
    • Reporting
    • Record Retention
    • Penalties
    • Global
    • Multi-state Taxation / Reporting
  • Calculation of the Paycheck (20%)
    • Compensation / Benefits
    • Fringe Benefits
    • Involuntary Deductions / Taxes
    • Voluntary Deductions
    • Employer Taxes and Contributions
    • Total Payroll
  • Payroll Process and Supporting Systems and Administration (12%)
    • Maintain Master File Components
    • Concepts and Functionalities
    • Business Continuity Plan
    • Technology Evaluation
    • Staffing, Employee Development, and Core Competencies
    • Upgrade / Implementation Knowledge
    • System Maintenance / Updates
    • System / Project Implementations
  • Payroll Administration and Management (10%)
    • Policies and Procedures
    • Management Skills and Practices
    • Customer Service and Communication
    • Staffing, Employee Development, and Core Competencies
    • Audit Policies and Procedures
  • Audits (9%)
    • Internal Controls
    • Payroll System Controls
    • Accounting System Controls
    • Audit Policies and Procedures
    • Third Party Controls
  • Accounting (9%)
    • Financial Reporting
    • Accounting Principles
    • Payroll Journal Entry
    • Account Reconciliation

Exam Preparation Resources

There are a number of resources available to help you prepare for the Certified Payroll Professional (CPP) examination:

An additional resource is O'Reilly Learning Safari Books Online, a searchable digital library that provides online access to thousands of books, training videos and conference sessions. See the Educational Resources section on the Related Sites page here on COOL to learn how to get free access.

Testing Information

  • Exam Administration

    Credential exams may be administered in-person at a testing site, proctored on-line remotely, or have options for both. If an exam is administered through a test vendor, the third-party test vendor box will be checked. The following test administration options apply to the Certified Payroll Professional (CPP) credential where checked:

    • In-person exam
    • Remote proctored on-line exam
    • Third-party test vendor
  • For more information on the American Payroll Association testing process, visit the agency website.

RECERTIFICATION

Certified Payroll Professional (CPP)

Renewal Period: 5 years

The Certified Payroll Professional (CPP) credential has the following recertification information:

  • The CPP certification is renewed every five years. CPP certification holders have two options to recertify. CPPs may either obtain a minimum of 120 qualified and approved Recertification Credit Hours (RCHs) or by retaking the CPP certification examination prior to the expiration of the current certification. A certification renewal fee is required.

    Additional information can be found in the CPP Candidate Handbook on the APA website.
  • Note: Marine Corps COOL will only pay recertification fees for the current year, no arrears will be paid. Voucher requests for recertification fees must be submitted with proof of the current status of the certification (for example, a screen shot of your credentialing agency dashboard or a copy of a current fee receipt).

In Demand

This certification is considered in demand. The U.S. Department of Labor sponsored CareerOneStop's analysis indicates the certification is frequently mentioned in online job postings.

Click for external link to CareerOneStop's Credentials Center.

COOL Bucks

See your installation Education Service Officer for credential exam information and coordinating instructions.

COOL Summary

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COOL Summary

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Some

Credential is related to some tasks associated with the duties of the military occupation (at least one critical task but less than 80%)

Most

Credential is directly related to most of the major duties associated with the military occupation (at least 80%)

Other

Credential is related to this military occupation, but is more advanced or specialized and therefore will likely require additional education, training, or experience

CA Eligible

This certification is eligible for CA.

Star

Star credentials are MOS enhancing, as designated by the Proponent. MOS enhancing credentials are directly related to an MOS or ASI, are taught either partially or completely as part of a Program of Instruction (POI), and improves the MOS technical proficiency.

Skill Level

The Skill Level reflects the level, based on MOS training and/or experience, the Soldier should be the most prepared to successfully earn the credential. See the Table Legend for details about each level.

Navy Bucks

Credential voucher or reimbursement for credential exam, re-certification, or maintenance fee has been approved for payment through the Navy's Credential Program Office. To get a voucher request form, click Menu at the top of any page, then click "2 Complete Voucher and Apply" under Credentialing Steps.

CG Bucks

Current Coast Guard policy states all credentials listed on CG COOL may be reimbursed assuming the enlisted service member meets the eligibility requirements as outlined in the Coast Guard Voluntary Credentialing Program Policy (COMDTINST 1540.1(series))

Early Career

1-3 years experience; Enlisted E1 through E4

Mid Career

4-10 years experience; Enlisted E5 through E6

Late Career

10+ years experience; Enlisted E7 through E9

Early Career

1-3 years experience; Enlisted “A” School through E5

Mid Career

4-10 years experience; Enlisted E6 through E7

Late Career

10+ years experience; Enlisted E8 through E9

Early Career

1-6 years experience; Officer O1 through O2

Mid Career

6-12 years experience; Officer O3 through O5

Late Career

12+ years experience; Officer O6 and Above

GI Bill®

Reimbursement for exam fees has been approved for payment through the GI Bill.

Note: GI Bill approval data is updated quarterly. For the latest information, visit the WEAMS Licenses/Certifications Search page. Make sure to select "Both" in the LAC Category Type drop-down before searching.

Click to go to the external link for GI Bill licensing and certification information.

ANAB (ANSI)

This credential has been accredited by ANAB (ANSI).

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ICAC

This credential has been accredited by ICAC.

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ABSNC

This credential has been accredited by ABSNC.

Click to go to the external ABSNC web site.

NCCA

This credentialing program has been accredited by NCCA.

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IAS

This credential has been accredited by IAS.

Click to go to the external IAS web site.

Low

May be difficult to attain: minimum education requirement is a Bachelor's degree, and/or minimum experience is 10 or more years.

Note: In some cases “years of experience” refers to time actively on duty or while holding a certain occupation or prior certification and not always in consecutive calendar years. Additional years required for certain preliminary stages may not be included in this classification. For requirements measured in hours, 1080 hours was considered a year. For days, 365 days was considered a year. Please review all prerequisites and requirements for eligibility, and additional information for details.

Medium

Moderate ease of attainment: minimum education requirement = Associate's and/or prerequisite and/or minimum experience = more than 2 years and less than 10 years of experience.

Note: In some cases “years of experience” refers to time actively on duty or while holding a certain occupation or prior certification and not always in consecutive calendar years. Additional years required for certain preliminary stages may not be included in this classification. For requirements measured in hours, 1080 hours was considered a year. For days, 365 days was considered a year. Please review all prerequisites and requirements for eligibility, and additional information for details.

High

Highly attainable: minimum education requirement = HS or less and/or minimum experience = 2 years or less experience and no additional requirements.

Note: In some cases “years of experience” refers to time actively on duty or while holding a certain occupation or prior certification and not always in consecutive calendar years. Additional years required for certain preliminary stages may not be included in this classification. For requirements measured in hours, 1080 hours was considered a year. For days, 365 days was considered a year. Please review all prerequisites and requirements for eligibility, and additional information for details.

MOS is Military Occupational Specialty
ASI is Additional Skill Identifier
WOMOS is Warrant Officer Military Occupational Specialty
AOC is Area Of Concentration Officer
Functional Area
Branch

Army e-learning

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NKO e-learning

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Bright Outlook – new job opportunities are very likely in the future for this job

Registered Apprenticeship

An apprenticeship program is registered with the U.S. Department of Labor. Go to the Apprenticeship Finder and enter career path or location to find apprenticeship opportunities.

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Click here for External link to: My Next Move salary info for Bookkeeping, Accounting, and Auditing Clerks

Bright Outlook – new job opportunities are very likely in the future for this job

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Click here for External link to: My Next Move for Veterans - Payroll and Timekeeping Clerks
Click here for External link to: My Next Move salary info for Payroll and Timekeeping Clerks

Bright Outlook – new job opportunities are very likely in the future for this job

Click here for external link to: My Next Move for Veterans State Map for Payroll and Timekeeping Clerks

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Updated: January 29, 2021
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