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Top 10 Accounts Payable Analyst Certifications

This article provides an overview of the top certifications available for Accounts Payable Analysts, including information on prerequisites, exam details, and potential career paths.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 16 min read

Certifications are important for an accounts payable analyst in the job market because they demonstrate a level of competency and expertise in the field. They can serve as proof that an individual has a certain set of skills and knowledge necessary to perform the job well. Furthermore, certifications provide employers with assurance that their employees have been formally trained in the latest accounting practices and standards. Finally, certifications can give an accounts payable analyst an edge over other applicants when competing for a position.

The purpose of this article is to review the best certifications for Accounts Payable Analysts and explain how they can help advance an accounts payable analyst's career.

What are Accounts Payable Analyst Certifications?

Accounts payable analyst certification is a professional designation that recognizes individuals who have demonstrated knowledge and experience in accounts payable operations. This certification is awarded by the Institute of Financial Operations (IFO) and requires applicants to pass a comprehensive exam that tests their understanding of various accounts payable procedures, such as invoice processing, payment terms, and reconciliation. The certification also covers topics related to financial analysis, internal control systems, and data security.

The benefits of obtaining an accounts payable analyst certification are numerous. It can help you stand out from other job applicants in the accounts payable field, giving you a competitive edge when applying for positions. Additionally, having this certification demonstrates to employers that you have a high level of knowledge about the accounts payable process and can be trusted with handling sensitive financial information. This certification may also lead to increased job opportunities with higher salaries or advancements within your current organization. Ultimately, having an accounts payable analyst certification can help you become more successful in your career.

Pro tip: When considering an accounts payable analyst certification, make sure to research the certification's content and the requirements for earning it. In addition, look into any continuing education or renewal requirements associated with the certification to ensure that you are able to maintain it over time.

Related: What does an Accounts Payable Analyst do?

Top 10 Accounts Payable Analyst Certifications

Here’s our list of the best certifications available to Accounts Payable Analysts today.

1. Certified Accounts Payable Professional (CAPP)

Certified Accounts Payable Professional (CAPP) is a certification offered by the Institute of Financial Operations (IFO). It is designed to recognize individuals who have achieved a high level of proficiency in accounts payable operations. The CAPP credential demonstrates an individual’s commitment to their profession, and signifies that they are knowledgeable and competent in accounts payable best practices.

The CAPP program consists of three courses: Accounts Payable Fundamentals, Advanced Accounts Payable, and Process & Controls for Accounts Payable. Each course covers topics such as invoice processing, payment cycles, vendor management, and internal controls. To earn the CAPP designation, candidates must successfully complete all three courses within 12 months and pass the associated exams with a score of 80% or higher.

To get started on the path to earning your CAPP certification, you must first register with IFO. Registration fees vary depending on whether you are already a member of IFO or not. Once registered, you can purchase each course separately or purchase them as part of a bundle package which includes all three courses plus exam vouchers at a discounted rate.

The cost for the entire CAPP program is approximately $1,000 USD for non-members and $850 USD for members. This cost includes all three courses plus exam vouchers. Additional fees may apply if you choose to take additional exams beyond those included in the bundle package or if you need to retake any exams due to failing them initially.

2. Certified Government Financial Manager (CGFM)

Certified Government Financial Manager (CGFM) is a professional certification program offered by the Association of Government Accountants (AGA). It is designed to recognize professionals who demonstrate a high level of knowledge, skills, and abilities in government financial management. The CGFM credential is recognized as a mark of excellence in the field and can be used to demonstrate mastery of the principles and practices of government financial management.

To become certified as a CGFM, an individual must meet certain eligibility requirements, including having at least two years of experience in government financial management or related fields. Once these requirements are met, individuals must pass three comprehensive examinations that cover topics such as budgeting, accounting and auditing, internal controls, and financial reporting.

The process typically takes between six months to one year to complete. In order to begin the process, individuals must first register with AGA and pay an application fee. The cost for the entire process varies depending on whether or not you are an AGA member; for members it costs $450 while non-members pay $650.

3. Certified Public Accountant (CPA)

A Certified Public Accountant (CPA) is a professional designation given to individuals who have met certain educational and experience requirements, passed a national exam, and adhere to a code of professional ethics. CPAs are licensed by the state in which they practice and are responsible for providing financial services such as auditing, tax preparation, consulting, and financial planning.

It typically takes four years to become a CPA. To qualify for licensure, an individual must complete 150 semester hours of college-level coursework in accounting and related subjects, including courses in auditing, taxation, cost accounting, business law, and other topics. Additionally, the individual must pass the Uniform CPA Examination administered by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA).

To apply for the CPA Exam in most states you must first register with your state’s board of accountancy. You will need to provide proof of your education credentials as well as any other required documents. After registering with your state board of accountancy you can then register with the AICPA to take the exam.

The cost of taking the CPA Exam varies from state to state but generally ranges from $250-$800 depending on what type of application you submit and how many sections you plan on taking at once. Additionally there may be additional fees associated with background checks or other requirements that vary by state.

4. Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA)

Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA) is a designation awarded by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA). It recognizes individuals who have achieved a high level of professional competency in the areas of financial management, cost management, business performance measurement, and risk management.

To become a CGMA, you must have an undergraduate degree from an accredited college or university and at least three years of relevant experience in the field. You must also pass two exams: The CIMA Professional Qualification Exam and the AICPA Uniform CPA Examination.

The exam process typically takes between nine months to one year to complete. The cost for taking both exams is approximately $1,000 USD. Once you have passed both exams, you will be awarded the CGMA designation.

5. Certified Internal Auditor (CIA)

Certified Internal Auditor (CIA) is a professional certification offered by the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA). It is designed to recognize professionals who have achieved a high level of proficiency in the internal auditing field. The CIA designation demonstrates an individual’s commitment to the profession and knowledge of internal auditing standards and practices.

The CIA certification process consists of three parts: education, experience, and examination. To become certified, applicants must meet certain educational requirements, such as having a bachelor’s degree or higher from an accredited college or university. They must also have two years of professional experience in internal auditing, control, or related financial management areas. Finally, applicants must pass the CIA exam administered by the IIA.

The CIA exam is composed of four parts: Part 1 – Internal Audit Basics; Part 2 – Practices and Principles; Part 3 – Business Analysis and Information Technology; and Part 4 – Financial Management. Each part has its own set of questions that test your knowledge on various topics related to internal auditing.

The cost for taking the CIA exam varies depending on which country you are located in. Generally speaking, it can range anywhere from $400-$1,000 USD per part. Additionally, there may be additional fees associated with registering for the exam and other costs associated with studying for it.

In total, it typically takes between 6-12 months to complete all four parts of the CIA exam depending on how much time you dedicate to studying each week.

6. Certified Management Accountant (CMA)

Certified Management Accountant (CMA) is a professional certification granted by the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA). The CMA designation is recognized worldwide as a mark of excellence in management accounting and financial management. It is designed to demonstrate mastery of the skills and knowledge necessary for success in today’s rapidly changing business environment.

It typically takes between 12-18 months to complete the CMA program, depending on how much time you are able to dedicate to studying. To become a CMA, you must meet the following requirements:

1. Have an undergraduate degree from an accredited college or university;

2. Pass two rigorous exams administered by the IMA;

3. Have at least two years of professional experience in management accounting or financial management;

4. Agree to abide by IMA's Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct;

5. Become a member of IMA and maintain membership throughout your certification period.

The cost to become a CMA varies based on your individual circumstances, but typically ranges from $500-$1,000 USD for the exam fees alone, not including study materials or other associated costs such as membership fees or travel expenses for taking the exams.

7. Certified Financial Services Auditor (CFSA)

Certified Financial Services Auditor (CFSA) is a professional certification offered by the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA). It is designed to provide assurance that an individual has the knowledge and experience necessary to audit financial services organizations. The CFSA certification is recognized by many organizations as a mark of excellence in the field of internal auditing.

The CFSA certification requires passing an exam that covers topics such as risk management, internal controls, and financial reporting. The exam consists of multiple-choice questions and takes approximately four hours to complete. Candidates must also have at least two years of experience in financial services auditing or related fields.

In order to obtain the CFSA certification, candidates must first register with the IIA and pay an application fee. After registering, they will be provided with study materials and instructions on how to prepare for the exam. Once they have passed the exam, they will receive their official certificate from the IIA.

The cost of obtaining the CFSA certification varies depending on where you live and whether you are a member of the IIA or not. Generally speaking, it costs around $1,000-$2,000 for non-members and $500-$1,000 for members.

8. Institute of Management Accountants’ Accounting Technician Certification Program (IMA-ATCP)

The Institute of Management Accountants’ Accounting Technician Certification Program (IMA-ATCP) is a professional certification program designed to recognize the knowledge and skills of accounting technicians. This certification is designed for individuals who are interested in pursuing a career in accounting or finance, but do not have the educational background or experience necessary to qualify for the Certified Management Accountant (CMA) designation.

The IMA-ATCP consists of two exams: The Basic Accounting Exam and the Advanced Accounting Exam. The Basic Accounting Exam covers topics such as financial statements, taxation, cost accounting, and auditing. The Advanced Accounting Exam covers topics such as managerial accounting, budgeting, financial analysis, and corporate governance. Both exams must be passed in order to earn the IMA-ATCP designation.

It typically takes three to six months to complete both exams depending on how much time you are able to dedicate to studying each week. In order to get started with the program, you will need to register with IMA and pay an application fee of $50. After registering, you will receive access to study materials and practice tests that can help prepare you for the exam.

In addition to the application fee, there is also an exam fee associated with each exam which is currently $150 for each exam ($300 total). Once both exams have been completed successfully, there is an additional fee of $100 for certification maintenance which must be paid annually in order to maintain your certification status.

Overall, it costs approximately $450-$550 (depending on when you register) and takes three to six months in order to obtain your IMA-ATCP designation.

9. Association for Accounts Payable Professionals’ Accredited Payables Specialist Certification Program (APSP-APS)

The Association for Accounts Payable Professionals’ Accredited Payables Specialist Certification Program (APSP-APS) is an industry-recognized certification program designed to recognize and validate the knowledge and skills of accounts payable professionals. The program is based on a comprehensive body of knowledge developed by leading experts in the field. It includes topics such as accounts payable processes, internal controls, financial analysis, technology, and risk management.

It typically takes three to six months to complete the program depending on the individual's experience level. To obtain the APSP-APS certification, applicants must pass a written examination that tests their knowledge of accounts payable processes and procedures. The exam is administered online and consists of multiple-choice questions covering all aspects of accounts payable operations.

The cost for the APSP-APS certification varies depending on whether you are an existing member or nonmember of the Association for Accounts Payable Professionals. For members, it costs $395, while for nonmembers it costs $595. Additionally, there is a one-time application fee of $50 for both members and nonmembers.

Once you have passed the written examination, you will be awarded your Accredited Payables Specialist Certification from the Association for Accounts Payable Professionals. This certification will demonstrate your expertise in accounts payable operations and give employers confidence in your ability to manage their accounts payable processes effectively.

10. Institute of Finance and Management’s Accounts Payable Certificate Program (IFM-APCP).

The Institute of Finance and Management’s Accounts Payable Certificate Program (IFM-APCP) is a comprehensive online learning program designed to provide students with the knowledge and skills necessary to become successful accounts payable professionals. The program consists of eight courses, which can be completed in as little as three months.

The courses include: Introduction to Accounts Payable; Working with Suppliers; Managing Accounts Payable Processes; Understanding Financial Statements; Working with Credit Card Payments; Reconciling Bank Statements; Understanding Internal Controls and Auditing Accounts Payable.

To get the IFM-APCP certificate, students must complete all eight courses and pass a final exam. Upon completion of the program, students will receive an official certificate from IFM.

The cost for the IFM-APCP certificate program is $1,395 USD. This fee includes access to all course materials and the final exam.

Do You Really Need a Accounts Payable Analyst Certificate?

An Accounts Payable Analyst Certificate is not required to be an Accounts Payable Analyst, however it could be beneficial. With the right certifications, you can demonstrate to employers that you are knowledgeable and experienced in the field of Accounts Payable.

Certifications can also provide you with a competitive edge when applying for jobs and can help you stand out from other applicants who do not have the same qualifications. Additionally, having a certificate can help you land better paying positions in the Accounts Payable field.

Having a certification will also give employers more confidence in your abilities as an Accounts Payable Analyst. It shows that you have taken the initiative to learn about the specific area of expertise and have been tested on your knowledge of it. It also demonstrates that you are serious about your career path and willing to go above and beyond to become a successful professional in your chosen field.

In conclusion, obtaining an Accounts Payable Analyst Certificate is not necessary but it could provide many benefits if pursued. It could give employers more confidence in your abilities, set you apart from other candidates, and potentially lead to higher-paying positions in Accounts Payable Analysis.

Related: Accounts Payable Analyst Resume Examples

FAQs About Accounts Payable Analyst Certifications

1. What is an Accounts Payable Analyst Certification?

An Accounts Payable Analyst Certification is a professional certification that demonstrates knowledge and proficiency in the field of accounts payable, including accounting principles, financial analysis and management of accounts payable processes.

2. Who can take an Accounts Payable Analyst Certification Exam?

Any individual who has a strong understanding of accounts payable processes and procedures may take the exam.

3. How much does an Accounts Payable Analyst Certification cost?

The cost of the exam varies depending on the provider, but typically ranges from $150 to $400.

4. How long does it take to obtain an Accounts Payable Analyst Certification?

Most certifications require approximately 6-12 months of study before taking the exam, however this varies depending on each individual's level of preparation.

5. What are the benefits of obtaining an Accounts Payable Analyst Certification?

Having a certification can demonstrate to employers that you have expertise in this area and can help you stand out from other applicants for jobs in accounts payable and finance roles. It can also provide you with a competitive edge when negotiating salary or promotions within your current role.