Payroll Veteran Achieves Certification With PayTrain

By Liz Schoenecker

Working in payroll requires meticulous attention to detail and a desire to stay abreast of ever-changing laws and regulations. Companies want to know they have hired the ideal employee for this crucial role. Vera Pimpiano, CPP, certainly embodies these attributes, as her commitment to her job and the payroll profession goes above and beyond what most employers expect.

Pimpiano's journey into payroll began in 1991 when she was hired as an accountant for a state-owned utility company. Twenty-four years later, she works with the same company in the role of Payroll Manager. Pimpiano manages a department of five full-time employees who oversee payroll for 1,600 employees. The company is not huge, yet the payroll requirements are diverse and complicated. The team manages pay and benefits for salaried employees as well as employees from two different unions. While confident in her payroll skills, she strives to be her best in everything she does. This drive prompted her to pursue the Certified Payroll Professional (CPP) designation.

Pimpiano learned about the CPP exam through her membership with the APA. Her employer did not require certification. The CPP designation became her goal because she knew it would improve her payroll skills and make her better at her job. Although most companies reimburse employees for professional development costs, Pimpiano paid for her own training and exam costs without asking her employer for reimbursement. This choice demonstrates another facet of her commitment to being the best she can be.

Pimpiano began to search for preparation options, which turned out to be daunting

"I kept trying to study for the exam but was so scared--there's just so much information to process," she explained. "Then I did the PayTrain® demo and decided that this was something that was going to really help."

APA's PayTrain self--directed option blends reading materials with an interactive, web-based payroll training and certification preparation program. The online component includes the same content found in the printed material, with additional exercises, quizzes, and games. PayTrain's exercises, called Excursions and Whistle Stops, reinforce materials at the end of each lesson, while Grand Tours reinforce material from the entire module. These exercises help users apply concepts learned in the printed material through job-based scenarios. The OnTrack game reinforces the materials learned at the end of each module. Once the seven modules have been completed, The Great Train Robbery and Workin' on the Railroad games provide an entertaining and challenging review of the topics covered in the entire program.

Using PayTrain as her guide, Pimpiano committed an hour to an hour-and-a-half every night over the course of several weeks to prepare for the CPP exam. The exercises, games, and variety of test questions really solidified her comprehension of the content.

"Being able to go through the exams and getting all the different questions was key," she said. "When you got something wrong, you could look it up right there and understand it."

When the exam date arrived, Pimpiano felt ready. She sailed through her exam and earned her CPP on the first try.

"After using PayTrain, I found the test to be easy," she acknowledged. "Not many people can just read subject matter and understand it thoroughly. PayTrain explains it very simply, gives you examples and exercises so you can see it and actually apply it. I highly recommend PayTrain for anyone preparing for the CPP exam."

For more than 25 years, PayTrain has helped thousands of exceptional payroll professionals prepare to pass the CPP exam, stay current on the most recent developments in payroll legislation, elevate their job performance, boost their earning potential, and advance their careers. Visit for more information about the PayTrain program and to try a free demo.

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