How Pay Pros Conquer
the CPP Exam

By Tania Bunik

You may be one of many payroll professionals thinking about taking the Certified Payroll Professional (CPP) exam this year. With work deadlines, family commitments, and professional obligations, certification and training are easy to delay until tomorrow. Like many, Janet Golas, CPP, had been thinking about getting her CPP for some time. About a year ago, she decided to commit with the help of APA's online training program PayTrain®.

For seven years, Golas has been a Staff Accountant/HR Generalist at VAT, Incorporated, a Swiss company that manufactures vacuum valves. She received her bachelor's degree in accounting years ago and has been responsible for payroll through her various accounting positions, but she'd never formalized her knowledge.

"Having had payroll experience throughout my career, I was eligible for the CPP, so I thought, 'Why not?'" Golas said about her decision to go for the designation. "Certification isn't required in my position, but earning the CPP is just something I wanted to do for myself."

As an APA member, Golas has turned to APA for help with payroll questions over the years. With her sights now set on becoming a CPP, she turned to PayTrain's self-study program in May 2013 as the solution to her training needs.

"Although I had to learn payroll basics for my accounting degree, I didn't know all the details," she said. "I was looking for a course that would fit in my schedule and where I would get up-to-date information. I wanted to validate what I already knew and feel confident in my payroll knowledge and skills."

APA's PayTrain program blends printed reading materials with an interactive, web-based payroll training and certification preparation program. The online component includes in-depth lessons, exercises, quizzes, and games. Through a game called "On Track," PayTrain reinforces the materials learned at the end of each print module. PayTrain's exercises -- Excursions, Whistle Stops and Grand Tours -- help apply concepts learned in the printed materials through job-based scenarios. "The Great Train Robbery" and "Workin' on the Railroad" provide an entertaining and challenging review of the topics covered in the entire course.

Golas's stellar work ethic -- typical of payroll professionals -- along with PayTrain's learning tools helped her push through the material.

"Studying for the CPP exam was very challenging since I work full-time, have a long commute, a husband, and a 3-year-old son," she acknowledged. "I studied on my own since my job is very demanding and I could not afford to take time off during work hours to study. PayTrain's self-study course allowed me the flexibility to study whenever I wanted to -- before and after work and during my lunch breaks. PayTrain made learning fun! I found it easier to memorize material with the quizzes and games."

Golas took the CPP exam in September and passed!

In regard to her achievement, Golas said, "I highly recommend PayTrain to anyone who is looking to expand their knowledge of payroll or pass the CPP exam. PayTrain made studying for the CPP easy and enjoyable. Now I feel like I should have done it years ago."

As far as the impact on her career, Golas says, "I'm a trusted resource for payroll topics and issues now that I'm a CPP. Thank you, PayTrain!"

For nearly 25 years, PayTrain has helped thousands of exceptional payroll professionals like Golas prepare to pass the CPP, stay up to date 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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