Two organizations offer bookkeeping documentation : the National Association of Certified Public Bookkeepers ( NACPB ) and the American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers ( AIPB ). NACPB provides the certified bookkeeping professional ( CPB ) license, while AIPB offers the license bookkeeper ( CB ) designation .
Both the AIPB and the NACPB confirm the bookkeeping profession, offer membership benefits, and provide professional development opportunities. Both CPB and CB credentials are wide recognized and respected in the U.S .
Read on to learn about eligibility, examen, and continuing education requirements for CPB or CB certification.
Why Become a Certified Bookkeeper?
- Valuable Credential
- Whether entry-level, experienced, or freelance, all bookkeepers can benefit from bookkeeping certification. CB candidates need at least 3,000 hours of work experience, while CPB candidates need 2,000 hours of work experience.
- Establishes National Credibility
- Both CPB and CB certification are valid in every U.S. state. These certifications display mastery of key bookkeeping concepts and skills to employers nationwide. According to a Lewis & Clark 2019 survey, a majority of CBs say that certification has improved their self-confidence.
- Improves Job Security
- Regardless of the field, professional certification elevates a job candidate’s resume. CPB and CB certification assures potential clients and employers that you are capable of completing required tasks. The demonstrated proficiency these credentials carry increases the likelihood that an employer or client hires you over a non-certified candidate.
- Increases Salary Potential
- Greater skills and experience generally correlate with higher earning potential. Nearly 60% of surveyed employed CBs received a raise after becoming certified. Around 75% of those bookkeepers noted certification was a key reason for the raise. Passing a certified bookkeeper exam gives you the power to negotiate your rates.
- Cost-Effective Career Development
- Obtaining CPB or CB certification is a cost-effective way to enhance your skills and boost your career. Study materials and examination fees only cost a few hundred dollars. In comparison, earning an advanced degree — another popular option for accounting professionals seeking career growth — costs thousands of dollars.
- Opportunity to Join a Community
- While joining NACPB or AIPB is not required to pursue bookkeeping certification, membership comes with many benefits of its own. NACPB and AIPB members receive discounted rates on courses, workbooks, and certification exam fees. Members also enjoy access to continuing education, networking opportunities, and industry news.
How Do You Qualify for CPB or CB Certification?
Candidates must meet similar eligibility requirements for the CPB license and the CB certificate. To earn either authentication, bookkeepers must successfully pass a four-part multiple-choice examination, verify their bookkeeping education and have, and agree to follow a professional code of conduct .
These requirements are the same for all U.S. professionals, regardless of state residency. however, employers in other countries may not recognize AIPB or NACPB credentials. Bookkeepers working internationally should inquiry early globally recognized credentialing options .
To qualify for CPB certification, candidates must possess an associate degree or knight bachelor ‘s degree in accounting. Those without a college academic degree can besides be eligible by completing the be NACPB courses :
- Accounting Fundamentals
- Accounting Principles
- Payroll Fundamentals
- QuickBooks Fundamentals (Desktop) or QuickBooks Online Fundamentals
Each self-paced course costs $ 399 for NACPB members or $ 499 for non-members. Candidates may bundle some courses for a lower combined rate .
Securing CB authentication from AIPB requires no minimum education. But candidates can benefit from pursuing an accounting certificate program or consociate degree .
Candidates for CPB licensure indigence to demonstrate a minimal of one year or 2,000 hours of bookkeeping or accountancy experience. Employers or clients must fill out a form attesting to the campaigner ‘s work .
Candidates for CB certificate must submit attest of at least two years of full-time bookkeeping experience or 3,000 hours of half-time or freelance have. Bookkeepers can complete this feel before taking the bookkeeping documentation examination or up to three years after passing the examination .
What Does the Certified Bookkeeper Exam Cover?
The NACPB and AIPB bookkeeper authentication exams use similar format : four sections with multiple-choice questions. Test-takers complete each part individually, covering unlike bookkeeping topics .
All four parts of NACPB ‘s CPB exam take stead on-line. Test-takers must complete the first two parts of AIPB ‘s CB examination in person at a Prometric examination center. Candidates can then finish the final two parts at home in a workbook .
Bookkeepers can take examination sections in any arrange, though AIPB recommends sitting for contribution one of the CB examination before scheduling function two .
Review each examination ‘s format, time, and ask fees in the tables below .
NACPB CPB Exam Structure
|Part One: Accounting Fundamentals||Multiple choice, open book, taken online||2 hours||$100 for members, $150 for non-members|
|Part Two: Accounting Principles||Multiple choice, open book, taken online||2 hours||$100 for members, $150 for non-members|
|Part Three: Payroll Fundamentals||Multiple choice, open book, taken online||2 hours||$100 for members, $150 for non-members|
|Part Four: QuickBooks Fundamentals (Desktop) or QuickBooks Online Fundamentals||Multiple choice, open book, taken online||2 hours||$100 for members, $150 for non-members|
AIPB CB Exam Structure
Part One: Adjustments and Error Correction
Test One: Accruals, Deferrals, and the Adjusted Trial Balance
Test Two: Correction of Accounting Errors and the Bank Reconciliation
|Multiple choice, taken in person at a testing center||2 hours||$100|
Part Two: Payroll and Depreciation
Test One: Payroll
Test Two: Depreciation
|Multiple choice, taken in person at a testing center||2 hours||$100|
|Part Three: Inventory||Multiple choice, open book, found in the “Mastering Inventory” workbook||No limit||No fee|
|Part Four: Internal Controls and Fraud Prevention||Multiple choice, open book, found in the “Mastering Internal Controls and Fraud Prevention” workbook||No limit||No fee|
Scoring the Exam
Each question on the examination counts equally toward the final score for that section. NACPB and AIPB passing scores range from 70 % -75 %, depending on the examination and section being taken .
NACPB ‘s on-line examination count scores mechanically, with grades displayed immediately after examination completion. In each section, test-takers must answer 37 out of 50 questions correctly to receive a pass rate .
NACPB and AIPB passing scores range from 70%-75%, depending on the exam and section being taken.
The beginning two parts of AIPB ‘s examination require in-person schedule at Prometric testing centers. Test-takers complete their examination on a computer and receive a printout of their final examination seduce before leaving the center .
Review the grade organization for each examination and section in the tables below.
NACPB CPB Exam Scoring
|Part One: Accounting Fundamentals||75%|
|Two: Accounting Principles||75%|
|Part Three: Payroll Fundamentals||75%|
|Part Four: QuickBooks Fundamentals (Desktop) or QuickBooks Online Fundamentals||75%|
AIPB CB Exam Scoring
|Part One: Adjustments and Error Correction||75%|
|Part Two: Payroll and Depreciation||75%|
|Part Three: Inventory||70%|
|Part Four: Internal Controls and Fraud Prevention||70%|
How Do You Register for the Bookkeeper Certification Exam?
NACPB does not require ball registration for the CPB licensure examination. Candidates can purchase entree to each examination incision directly from the NACPB web site. Bookkeepers must schedule and complete each section on-line within one year of the original purchase date .
To register for AIPB ‘s CB examination, candidates must fill out and mail an application, allowing four weeks for work. The application asks for contact information, go steady of birth, and work experience details. AIPB members pay a $ 25 registration tip, while non-members pay $ 60 .
Qualified applicants receive an “ authority to test ” letter and any study materials they purchase in the mail. Using the eligibility ID included in the letter, bookkeepers can schedule the foremost and second parts of their examination with Prometric .
Bookkeepers can retake CPB and CB documentation examination sections as needed. separate recapture fees apply for each examination contribution. Test-takers redoing the beginning or second depart of the AIPB examination must wait 30 days between attempts .
Paying for the Exam
Access to each partially of the CPB licensure examination costs $ 150. NACPB members pay a deoxidize monetary value of $ 100 per section .
Parts one and two of the CB certificate exam each price $ 100. Candidates must pay an extra $ 98 to purchase the two workbooks, which contain the examination for parts three and four. AIPB members pay a reduce price of $ 78 .
Online examination retakes with NACPB cost $ 50 per part for members and $ 75 for non-members. In-person examination retakes with AIPB cost $ 60 per section. There is no fee to retake back-of-workbook exams .
How Can You Prepare for the CPB Exam?
The best way to prepare for the certify bookkeeper examination is by studying early and thoroughly. Take advantage of practice exams, analyze workbooks, and other on-line resources to brush up on your bookkeeping skills and cognition .
Follow these five best practice tips to improve your bookkeeper authentication examination performance .
- Follow a study schedule
- Avoid cramming for the certified public bookkeeper exam. At least eight weeks before your test date, set aside time each day to prepare.
- Take two practice exams
- Take a timed practice exam before starting your study schedule and one a few days before the actual exam. This way, you can judge your growth and determine your likely score.
- Talk to people who passed the exam
- Find online communities where people discuss their exam experiences. By joining, you can ask successful test-takers questions. These websites might also offer additional exam preparation resources.
- Join a professional organization
- Certified public bookkeeper organizations provide resources to members preparing for their certification exams. Typical membership benefits include discounts on test prep materials, tutoring services, and job boards.
- Eat breakfast on the morning of the exam
- Although you may think eating on a stressful day could cause an upset stomach, your body needs energy so you can do your best. On exam day, eat foods low in refined sugar and fat.
Practice Exams and Study Resources
When you register for the CB examination, consider adding a few of AIPB ‘s official workbooks to your order shape. The six official CB workbooks image from $ 29 to $ 49 each for members ( $ 39- $ 59 for non-members ), containing sections on every examination topic. Quizzes included throughout the workbooks help ensure information mastery .
NACPB provides free and paid resources to help bookkeepers prepare for their certification exams. exempt options include training videos, webinars, a trail guidebook, and certificate drill tests. Paid options include six self-paced bookkeeper train courses that learners can purchase individually or in a dismiss pile .
Professionals looking to brush up on bookkeeping fundamentals can enroll in this introductory course from edX. dislodge, self-paced, and designed for part-time completion in six weeks, edX ‘s course covers topics including trust processes, payroll, ledger accounts, and reconciliations. The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants developed this course .
What Is Needed to Maintain the Bookkeeping Certification?
A majority of professional certifications expire sporadically and require refilling .
CPB licenses expire each year on December 31st. Professionals must complete 24 hours of approved continuing professional education each class .
Bookkeepers must acquire at least 60 credits of continuing professional education every three years to retain CB certificate. Registering continuing education with AIPB costs $ 3 per citation .
Should You Get Multiple Certifications?
Bookkeeping professionals may want to consider membership in the Institute of Certified Bookkeepers ( ICB ). ICB is the world ‘s largest bookkeeping institute. Members can complete invigilate exams to obtain authentication as penis bookkeepers, companion bookkeepers, and passkey bookkeepers .
Bookkeepers can besides obtain extra certification showing their domination of Intuit QuickBooks, the most popular accountancy software for minor businesses. Consider taking the QuickBooks certified drug user examination or pursuing the Intuit certified bookkeeping professional certificate. Exams are available at Certiport authorized testing centers across the U.S .
Common Questions About How to Get Bookkeeping Certification
How hard is the certified bookkeeper exam?
Certified bookkeeper exams are appropriately rigorous and exhaustive. The examination use multiple-choice questions to test cognition of key topics, including adjustments and mistake correction, payroll, inventory, and fraud prevention. Exam homework is encouraged.
Where can I take the bookkeeper certification exam?
Bookkeepers seeking the CPB license must complete all portions of the exam online. Those seeking the CB credential must schedule in-person appointments at a Bookkeepers seeking the CPB license must complete all portions of the examination on-line. Those seeking the CB certificate must schedule in-person appointments at a Prometric testing center
When is the certified bookkeeper exam administered?
Both NACPB and AIPB offer attest bookkeeper exams year round. CPB candidates receive one year from the date of purchase to pass each examination section. CB candidates must pass all examination sections within three years of registration .
How many times can I take the bookkeeper certification exam?
Certification candidates can retake exams as many times as needed. Re-examination fees apply for both the CB and CPB exams. Professionals retaking the CB examination must complete a 30-day expect period .