Certified Accounts Payable Associate (CAPA) is a professional certificate for accounts payable specialists. You'll have to demonstrate your knowledge and competency as an accounts payable specialist to earn your CAPA. You'll also have to meet education and work experience as well to earn this designation. You'll get access to news, publications, white papers, and research reports to help you deliver more value towards small businesses in managing the accountings payable processes.
The Institute of Financial Operations is the accrediting agency dedicated to promoting the advancement of accounts payable professionals. Members of the institute receive the quarterly, award winning publication Financial Operations Matters, which has industry leaders covering topics that include accounts payable, automation, data capture, internal controls, and more. The Institute of Financial Operations hosts meetings, workshops, and other events throughout the country to help its members network and learn the industries best practices.
A Quote from the Accrediting Agency
According to the Society of Financial Examiners' website, "The Institute of Financial Operations serves as a global voice, chief advocate, recognized authority, acknowledged leader, and principal educator for people in financial operations, with a particular focus on accounts payable, accounts receivable, and information management/data capture."
About the Exam
The CAPA certification exam is a closed-book, proctored exam that covers the following content:
- Customer relationships and staff management.
- Invoice handling, voucher matching, procurement card procedures, and payment processing.
- Travel card administration and employee expense reporting.
- Understanding internal controls, including vendor master files, cash management, audits, and fraud control measures.
- Tax reporting, including sales and use tax, income tax, and other tax issues affecting small business owners.
- Accounting software and technology knowledge will also be tested on the exam.
You'll need to do more than just pass an exam to get the CAPA certification. You'll need at leats one year of experience in an accounts payable position if you've got a bachelor's degree in accounting or finance. Otherwise, you'll need three years of work experience. You'll also have to have gained this experience around the time you're taking your CAPA exam -- experience ten years ago just won't cut it. These requirements ensure that you'll have not only a theoretical understanding of the materials, but a real-world, practical experience dealing with the subject matter covered on the exam.
The exam can in the months of October, April, and May.
The examination fee is $175 for members of the Institute of Financial Operations. The price is $275 for non-members. There's some other nominal fees associated with registering for the exam for both members and non-members.
Continuing Education Requirements
After earning the CAPA designation, you'll need to continue to demonstrate your commitment to learning through taking continuing education classes. You're required to earn at least 25 continuing education credits within a two-year period.
You'll have the following advantages over other individuals who don't have the designation:
- You'll have knowledge of the latest accounting software and other technology for managing the payables of small businesses.
- Your image as a competent, trustworthy valuation accounts payable expert will be enhanced.
- You'll get access to industry events and workshops to help you build your knowledge and share your ideas with other industry professionals.
- You'll get access to the best practices for managing, controlling, and monitoring the accounts payable processes from other industry professionals.
You can find more information by visiting the CAPA designation by visiting the The Institute of Financial Operations' website.