Taxes, Accounting, Bookkeeping Services » Accounting and Bookkeeping

ID #1202

American Payroll Association

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To have your company listed on this page --

requires that you FIRST place a link TO the American Payroll Association on YOUR web site.
To be listed here:

  • Establish a link TO the American Payroll Association on your web site
  • Send an email message to:
  • Include the following:
    1. The location (URL) of your link TO the APA web site
    2. Your company name as it should be listed
    3. The URL of your web site
    4. A ten word (10) description of your company


I. Payroll Fundamentals and Operations 26% 
  A. Worker status
  1. Independent contractors
  2. Statutory employees/non-employees
  3. Temporary agency/leased employees
  1. Regular rate of pay
  2. Minimum wage
  3. Overtime
  4. Child labor
  5. White-collar exemptions
  6. Public sector/hospital special rules
  7. Public contracts and other provisions (e.g., compensable time issues, tip credit, public contract laws, sick and vacation time, etc.)
C. Payroll records
  • Masterfile components
  • Retention requirements
D. Payroll processing and operations
  1. Data entry/error correction
  2. Balancing input to output
  3. Prepare/balance remittances for deductions or funding requests
  4. Sorting/distributing output
  5. Method and timing of pay
    • Direct deposit
    • Stop payment and reissuance of paychecks
    • Escheat law compliance
    • Constructive receipt
E. Customer service
(e.g., problem resolution, vendor relations, confidentiality, payroll forms)

  II. Fundamentals for Calculation of Paychecks 30% 
 A. Calculation of earnings
(regular, overtime, shift/premium, holiday, bonuses, commissions, tips, etc.)

B. Calculation of special payments
  1. Manual or out-of-cycle payments
  2. Grossing up
  3. Payments after death
  4. Other (e.g., severance, workers’ compensation, etc.)
C. Calculation of employee benefits
  1. IRS-defined (i.e., company automobiles; company aircraft; vacations provided; discounts on property and services; professional memberships; entertainment tickets)
  2. Qualified and nonqualified plans
    • Pensions
    • Deferred compensation
  3. Cafeteria and FSA plans
  4. Dependent care
  5. Relocation
  6. Business expense reimbursements
  7. Health and welfare plans, including COBRA
  8. Stock options
  9. Group term life insurance
  10. Educational assistance
  11. Nontaxable employer-provided benefits (e.g., de minimis, working condition fringe, etc.)
  12. Disability/leaves (e.g., FMLA, etc.)
  13. Other (e.g., service awards, gifts, “golden parachutes”, cash pay-outs, death benefits, adoption assistance, jury and military pay, meals and lodging, etc.)
D. Calculation of employee taxes
  1. Federal income tax calculations (e.g., percentage, wage bracket, supplemental)
  2. Social Security/Medicare taxes
  3. Advance earned income credit
  4. Forms (e.g., W-4, W-5, etc.)
  5. Resident/non-resident aliens, expatriates, and totalization agreements
E. Calculation of deductions
  1. Voluntary (advances, credit union, charity, bonds, etc.)
  2. Involuntary (garnishments, support, levies, etc.)
  III. Tax and Regulatory Compliance 10% 
  A. Employment taxes
  1. Federal unemployment tax
  2. Social Security and Medicare taxes
  3. Federal income tax
B. Tax deposits: methods and timing

C. Reporting requirements
  1. Forms (e.g., W-2, W-2c, W-3, 1099, 1042, 940, 941, etc.)
  2. Due dates of reports
D. Federal taxation inquiries and notices
  1. Penalties
  2. Audits
  3. Problem resolution
E. Non-tax compliance reporting
  1. New hires
  2. Immigration and Naturalization (I-9)
  3. Bureau of Labor Statistics
  4. Penalties
F. Payroll penalties
  1. FLSA
  2. Worker status
  3. Payroll records
  IV. Accounting 8% 
  A. Account classification (assets, liabilities)

B. Account balances (debits, credits)

C. Payroll journal entries
  1. Wages/salaries, and other labor cost distribution
  2. Accruals, reversals, and adjustments
  3. Accounting periods
  4. Financial statements
D. Account reconciliation

  V. Payroll and Supporting Systems 16% 
 A. Feasibility studies, software evaluations and review

B. Systems implementation, update, enhancement, or upgrade

C. Systems production control (e.g., scheduling, deadlines, system priorities, technical aspects)

D. System edits and balancing

E. Interfaces

F. Security

G. Documentation

H. Backup and disaster recovery

  VI. Management and Administration 10% 
 A. Policies and procedures

B. Staffing, training, and job descriptions

C. Internal control and audits

D. Management skills and theories

E. Communication

  This informational outline reflects the criteria tested on the CPP Examination. This APA Certification Examination Outline has been in effect since 9/98

Back to Certification Page

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Last update: 2005-05-23 09:33
Author: Hari B. Gadi
Revision: 1.0

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