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Taking CPP this year

My supervisor said yes when I asked her to pay for me to get my CPP. But I have to wait until 7/1/07 before the new budget kicks in. At that point I will order paytrain 2007. Is there anything I can do now to start the studing process? AND do you know when the test is in the Fall? I was hoping I did not have to wait until 2008 to take it, but if it is anytime before October I may want to, just to get all of the studing done.


  • Fall Testing is September 15 through October 13, according to the Recertification email I got from the APA.

    I only studied for about 6 weeks, if I recall right. Unless you are pretty new and uncomfortable with the basics, I don't know if you'd really need to study for 6 months. Or maybe that's just me. :)
  • Thanks for your reply. I have been doing payroll since 2002 at my current company and did it off and on for the 10 years before. Since my employer is willing to pay for it I did not want to waste it. I am glad to know I should be able to schedule this in September/October.
  • I would caution though not to assume your going to ace it. I have many people who have taken my CPP prep classes who have been doing payroll longer than me who failed it the first time they took it because they didn't know what to expect. Remember there are questions on Management, Payroll Systems, Accounting. These areas are areas that some people don't have a lot of experience in. I've been doing payroll for 9 years now but I was always with big companies so I never handled Accounting. It all depends on the person. It is not an easy test. The pass rate last year for around 55%.
  • Thanks. Even though the book may be out I have to wait until July to order it. So that is what I am worried about. Maybe not enough time. Either way I have to wait until July to register also so I may as well wait and look over the study guides and go from there. I do have some accounting background. I completely understand the workings of our paychecks and what increases vs. decreases ones taxable wages. I have to balance all of my payroll liabilities to the GL, I do the 941's and the W2's. However, even though I understand this place I am worried on what I do not know. Which I am pretty sure there is alot.

    Thanks everyone for your replies.
  • I would also suggest taking the KAC (Knowledge Accessment Calculator)
    It is an exam that costs something like $20.00 per attempt.

    The KAC is a timed test (I think 60 minutes), and will show you your strengths and weaknesses, and you can take it as many times as you want (but at 20.00 each). The questions change after each test also.
    Its can be found on the APA website.

    I also had the paytrain software, and the Payroll Source. Both were very helpful. What I would recommend though, is joining an online review course for the CPP exam. I am out here in California, and took an online review course based in the east coast. Classes were offered 4 nights a week (with different instructors).

    In a review course, you'll be able to correspond with other payroll professionals. You will learn alot, and its an invaluable experience.
    Plus alot of what you learn, you will be able to apply with your job.
    And then again, some stuff you will probably never ever see again.

    Good luck!

    Chris Lindstrand, CPP
  • I would suggest reading IRS publications 15, 15A, and 15B. On top of this if you can get PayTrain it is well worth the $'s and most definitely a Payroll source book.

    The only "true" piece of advice that I can offer is don't wait until the last minute to study and allow yourself some "me" time before reading or studying as there is so much information if your mind "really" isn't focused ... it won't do you much good to study.
  • Or try some APA chapter-sponsored sessions. I think some of these are online.
  • To everyone that is taking the CPP exam this month, I wish you all the best of luck.

    Chris Lindstrand, CPP
  • I took in on April 21st, did not pass was within 2 points of passing though will continue to study and retake it in the fall. Yes, it was very hard!!!
  • Hi all, I'm taking the CPP in spring 2008 and was wondering if I need to memorize what every single form is, such as their numbers and what they are for? I'm making notes as I work my way through the Payroll Source and want to make sure I'm concentrating on the appropriate info.
  • Additionally, read publications 15, 15A, and 15B. My test was lots of questions regarding paycheck calculation and semi-monthly, monthly taxing requirements, etc.

    That was last year, however, I'm sure they still have some testing questions about it.
  • Thanks so much for the advice. I have downloaded several of the publications from the IRS site that are listed in the CPP handbook to read over, including pub 15.
    Another question that I have been wondering - the handbook says we are given 4 hours to complete the exam. Have any of you needed the full 4 hours to complete it, or is 4 hours just a generous amount of time?
    Thanks again!
  • I spent about 3 to 3 1/2 hours on it but I went through the questions twice to verify my answers and redid all the calculations a 2nd time to look for math errors and went back to the questions that I wasn't sure of a 3rd time to make sure I was making best "guess" at the answer
  • I've been in payroll so long....................... *sigh*
    It took me about 2.5 hours the last time I took it in 2004 and I also went through and rechecked the ones I marked. You can answer a question and flag it for review, then go back and just hit the ones you flagged.
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