Certification Boosts Payroll Pros’ Credibility
When I first started in payroll many moons ago, I had no idea what I was in for. I was looking for something different—a job that was engaging and would keep me busy. And that is exactly what I found as a payroll professional! I soon discovered that payroll was something I really had a knack for. I loved all of it, from the intermittent stress, tight deadlines, and ticking clocks, to the pride I felt when I delivered a “perfect payroll,” to the joy of helping someone understand the information on their paycheck stub.
Later, I started to wonder about furthering my payroll education. I started looking into local colleges and universities to see if they had any sort of program that would directly support my career in payroll. I found a few courses on business administration and accounting, but nothing that was payroll-specific. I was going to give up on my search until a former coworker mentioned earning a payroll certification through the APA. That was all I needed to hear. If there was a way that I could gain direct knowledge to further my career path and to help make me an expert in my chosen field, I was going to do it.
The conversation with my former coworker led me directly to the APA and its vast number of resources and educational tools, including certification, which is available for people like me who wanted to focus on payroll compliance and gain a better overall understanding. It can be difficult to learn all there is to know, so it is important to find resources to help organize all of the knowledge necessary to be successful. Once I found the APA and its certification programs, I started my journey towards becoming a fully certified payroll professional. I earned my Fundamental Payroll Certification (FPC) in 2012 and my Certified Payroll Professional (CPP) the following year.
Certification provides a level of credibility within any industry, not just payroll. With payroll specifically, it lets people know that you have gone above and beyond “self-training” and company-specific “on-the-job training” in an effort to ensure that you truly understand the concepts and compliance items as they relate to processing payroll. Certification allows you to expand your knowledge to a federal or even global level. It also offers a level of personal satisfaction knowing that all of your hard work has yielded results that can multiply your personal return on investment. With a certification, employers will have added reassurance that the candidate they are hiring has subject matter knowledge beyond company-specific experience. Certification is an added level of demonstrated expertise in your field. My advice to you: Get certified!
KaSandra A. Gore, CPP, is Senior Manager of Payroll at Amherst Holdings, LLC, and a member of PAYTECH’s Board of Contributing Writers.