Staff Development

The articles in this section describe programs and services from the APA that aid in staff develoment and advancement.

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Knowledge Assessment Calculator

The Knowledge Assessment Calculator is a perfect tool for self or staff assessment, screening payroll candidates and determining certification status and readiness. Five assessments are available and cover a range of payroll knowledge and experience:

  • Concepts and Terms -- for new and entry-level employees
  • Fundamental Payroll Practices -- for those with some payroll experience
  • Compliance, Operations, and Administration -- for more experienced payroll professionals, including supervisors and managers
  • Preparing for the FPC Exam
  • Preparing for the CPP Exam

The Knowledge Assessment Calculator can be purchased singly or for a group.
Determine which assessment best suits your needs by visiting the KAC Web site.

Certification Exams

APA certification is a valuable, objective credential that verifies a specified level of knowledge, skills, and abilities in the payroll profession. Certification helps individuals demonstrate their payroll expertise, secure promotions, advance their careers, and enhance their standing within the profession. APA offers two levels of certification, the Fundamental Payroll Certification (FPC) and the Certified Payroll Professional (CPP).

Job Descriptions

APA has developed the following position descriptors for the various positions found in Payroll Departments. These are the same descriptions used for APA's Survey of Salaries and the Payroll Profession, which is conducted every other year. The next survey will be completed during 2007. View all job descriptions.

A. Payroll Clerk/Assistant
B. Payroll Practitioner I (Entry-level)
C. Payroll Practitioner II (Intermediate)
D. Payroll Practitioner III (Senior)
E. Payroll Administrator (1-Person Payroll Department)
F. Lead Payroll Administrator (2- or 3-Person Unit)

Payroll Management
G. Payroll Supervisor
H. Payroll Manager/Director
I. Director/Vice President of Payroll
Technical/Professional Staff
J. Accounting Clerk
K. Payroll Accountant/Payroll Analyst
L. Payroll Records/Benefits Administrator
M. Payroll Tax Administrator

Payroll Systems/Information Technology
N. Data Processing/Entry Operator
O. Lead Operator
P. Payroll Systems Coordinator
Q. Payroll Systems Analyst


An essential component of APA's mission is the presentation of quality training programs that range  from basic payroll education to advanced topics in payroll management.  Legislative updates,  special topic seminars and forums and an all-encompassing annual meeting provide over  300 in-person training opportunities each year.


APA also presents educational opportunities by audio conference, video webcasting, online training  programs and custom in-house programs.


Complete listing of APA Training opportunities

Professional Resources

APA publishes a comprehensive list of compliance resources produced by the Association's experienced editorial team of payroll and employment law experts. Publications are issued in many media, including printed text, e-book, magazine, e-magazine, newsletter, e-newsletter, and CD. Online ordering is available.


Complete listing of APA Professional Resources