Many professionals looking to work in the Human Resources field are considering becoming certified payroll processing professionals. Certified payroll professionals, or CPPs’, are largely responsible for confirming worked hours, calculating earned wages, and preparing, then distributing paychecks. Although a certification is not required by some companies, it certainly helps HR professionals like yourself to stand out against other candidates. If you are interested in the steps to become a certified payroll processor professional, continue reading this post.
Check Your Eligibility
The first step to become a CPP is to ensure your eligibility. Traditionally, certification has only been available to members of the American Payroll Association (APA). Now, to take and become certified, you no longer have to be a card-holding member of the APA. However, you are required to meet many other measures. You must have spent three of the last five-years working a job related to processing payroll. In very few cases, the APA allows professionals with 18 to 24 months to take the certification exam. However, those applicants are required to take, and pass a number of additional certification courses. Before you become a certified payroll processor, you must first ensure your eligibility.
Consider Registration Deadlines And Fees
When you look to become a payroll processing professional, consider the associated registration deadlines and fees. The certification exam is not an easy one, it will take significant time for preparation. Because of this, you should make certain to provide yourself with ample time to register and study for the exam. The exam is offered twice a year, once in the fall, and once in the spring. Both registrations open in January, however the fall registration closes in October, whereas spring registration closes in April. In addition to meeting deadlines, you need to pay registration fees to sit for the exam. If you are a member of the APA, the fee is around $350. However, if you are not a member, taking the exam will likely cost you around $550. If you want to become a CPP, consider the registration deadlines and fees.
Prepare For Certification Exam
Prepare for the certification exam if you want to successfully become a CPP. The CPP exam is over four hours long, and includes roughly 200 questions. However, within these questions are several different topics. More than 50% of the exam is devoted to fundamental payroll concepts, calculating paychecks, research, compliance, and resources. This largely questions your knowledge of how to run payroll. The rest of the exam discusses things like the payroll process, various supporting systems, administrative tasks, and management. In addition, you likely need some background knowledge in accounting and audits. In order to become a CPP, you need to prepare for the certification exam.
Remember Recertification Requirements
Remember recertification requirements as you look to become a payroll processor. To remain a certified payroll processor, you need to consistently renew your certifications. Every five years, you must have accumulate over 120 recertification hours in order to be considered. You must obtain these hours attending events that are accepted by the American Payroll Association (APA). The association frequently releases and updates a chapter directory. Within this, you can constantly find out about upcoming events or webinars. Although not until five years after your original certification, always be aware of recertification requirements as you look to become a certified payroll processor.
Work As A CPP
After passing your exam, you need to look for work as a certified payroll processor. Although obtaining a certification is voluntary to become a payroll processor, it certainly helps you stand out amongst other applicants. At the same time, holding and renewing your certification could eventually lead to further career opportunities. Apply for positions on specialized job boards for payroll processors and HR professionals. Look for jobs with companies that encourage promoting from within. With this, you can likely rely on eventually reaching a higher position based on your certification and experience. A good start is often to look for positions with large payroll companies. Work as a CPP to complete your journey to becoming a payroll processor.
Many HR professionals are looking to obtain their payroll processing certification. However, there are several important steps if you wish to do so. First, you need to check and ensure your eligibility. Consider the associated registration deadlines and fees. Prepare for the CPP certification exam and consider recertification requirements. Finally, begin looking for positions as a CPP. Look especially for large companies looking to outsource payroll services. If you are interested in the steps to become a certified payroll processor professional, consider the important steps mentioned above.