Certified Accounts Payable Professional

Close up of accountancy adding machine with rolls of data.
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The Certified Accounts Payable Professional (CAPP ) program is for accounts payable professionals who are in a supervisory or managerial position. You'll need to pass an exam and meet extensive experience requirements to be eligible to receive the CAPP designation.

The experience requirement also includes recent supervisory or management experience. This designation is well respected within the industry, so small business owners can certainly benefit from the skills and knowledge of individuals holding the CAAP designation.

Accrediting Agency

The Institute of Financial Operations is the accrediting agency dedicated to promoting the advancement of accounts payable professionals. Members of the institute receive the quarterly publication, Financial Operations Matters, which has industry leaders covering a variety of accounting and accounts payable topics.

A Quote from the Accrediting Agency

According to the Society of Financial Examiners' website, "Hundreds of organizations recognize the value of certification, including Baylor Healthcare Systems, Defense Accounting and Finance Service, Genentech, General Motors, Microsoft, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Quest Diagnostics, T-Mobile, Wal-Mart Stores, Yale University, etc."

About the Exam

The CAPA certification exam is a closed-book, proctored exam that covers the following content:

  1. Management responsibilities, including recruiting, interviewing candidates, training methods, staff rotation, and other soft skills for improving employee-manager relations.
  2. Managing customer relations, including developing customer relationships, resolving disputes, and soliciting customer feedback.
  3. Invoice handling, including managing master vendor files, issuing discounts, and using accounting software in the payables process.
  4. Travelcard administration, establishing and communicating P-card guidelines, and handling employee expense reporting.
  5. Understanding internal controls, including cash management procedures, fraud detection, and prevention processes, and standards for security over accounting software.
  6. Tax reporting and employment reporting guidelines, including sales and use tax, income tax, and employee classification issues for independent contractors.
  7. Accounting software and technology knowledge will also be tested on the exam.

Additional Requirements

You'll need to meet the experience required to get the CAPP designation, which means you'll need to meet the following requirements:

  • At least two years of managerial experience with a bachelor's degree or higher.
  • At least three years or more managerial experience with an associates degree or higher.
  • At least five years or more managerial experience with no degree.

To be eligible for this designation, you'll need to ensure that your management experience was accomplished within one year of the exam date. So you'll want to make sure that you meet this requirement when scheduling your exam.

Examination Dates

The exam can be scheduled in the spring and fall.

Examination Fees

The examination fee is discounted for members of the Institute of Financial Operations. Visit the institute's website for the most current pricing. Members and non-members are also subject to other nominal pre-registration and application fees.

Continuing Education Requirements

After earning the CAPA designation, you'll need to continue to demonstrate your commitment to learning through taking continuing education classes. You're required to earn at least 25 continuing education credits within a two-year period.

Competitive Advantage

You'll have the following advantages over other individuals who don't have the designation:

  • You'll have demonstrated knowledge of both the soft skills as well as the technical skills to succeed in a supervisory position in accounts payable.
  • Your image as a competent, trustworthy valuation accounts payable professional will be enhanced.
  • You'll get access to the best practices for managing, controlling, and monitoring the accounts payable processes from other industry professionals through workshops, online training, and research reports.