According to the NACPB, professionals who have an associate or bachelor’s degree in accounting who already had an OJT automatically qualify for a certification exam. Note that the NACPB also requires each bookkeeper to have at least a year of experience as an accountant or as a bookkeeper before attempting to take the certification exam. However, with the American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers (AIPB), the required experience is much longer. A bookkeeper must have at least two years of bookkeeping experience before they can take the certification exam under their organization.
The Certification Exams
Both the AIPB and NACPB certification exams have four (4) parts that cover various topics about payroll procedures, financial records adjustments, inventory control, error corrections, etc.
The Uniform Certified Public Bookkeeper Certification exam covers:
- Part 1: Accounting Fundamentals – 50 Questions
This part covers accounting purchases and business transaction analysis.
- Part 2: Accounting Principles – 50 Questions
This part of the exam measures competency on long-term bonds, cash flow statements, and partnerships accounting.
- Part 3: Payroll Fundamentals – 50 Questions
This part has a strong emphasis on payroll practices, gross pay computation, and employer payroll and labor planning. Note that most of the questions include simulations of real-world situations.
- Part 4: QuickBooks Fundamentals – 50 Questions
This part tests your knowledge on the different QuickBooks programs.
Note: You can only take one part at a time and must finish the exam following a sequential order. Each section has a two-hour time limit, and examinees can take the exam online. To pass the exam, you must attain a score of 75%, meaning you have to get 37 correct answers in each 50-question exam. You have to pay a fee of $100 for members and $150 for nonmembers for each part of the exam. Those who fail the exam and wish to retake must pay another fee of $50 for members and $75 for nonmembers.
Unlike the NACPB exam, the AIPB certification exam must be scheduled on any of their testing centers. Note that the final two parts of the exam are open-book, so you may bring a resource book that you can use. The institute also has available study materials that you can purchase from their website. For AIPB members, the exam fee is $479, while nonmembers must shell out $574 for the exam. To pass the certification exam from the AIPB, you must have a score of 75% for the first two sections and 70% for the final two parts.