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CPCP Exam Content Outline

CPCP Exam Content Outline

The following outline will apply beginning with the October 2015 testing period.

The certification examination consists of 150 multiple-choice items (four answer options per question) in the subject areas outlined below. It is weighted in approximately the following manner:

Subject Area Approximate Weight
I. P-Card Benefits for End-User Organizations 4%
II. Pre-Program Activities by End-User Organizations 8%
III. Request for Proposal (RFP) 8%
IV. Provider Selection Activities 4%
V. Program Implementation 15%
VI. Industry Providers: Roles, Perspectives and Attributes 8%
VII. Managing the Program 18%
VIII. Program Optimization 12%
IX. Electronic Payables 8%
X. Card Acceptance by Suppliers 10%
XI. Regulatory Topics 5%

Details by Subject Area

I. P-Card Benefits for End-User Organizations

A. Procure-to-pay process efficiencies
  1. Impact on procurement and accounts payable
  2. Impact on business units/buying departments
B. Revenue sharing
C. Management of cash flow and days payable outstanding
D. Spend data availability

II. Pre-Program Activities by End-User Organizations

A. Researching internal P-Card opportunity
B. Obtaining management buy-in
C. Evaluating a One Card solution
D. Creating the business case
E. Project planning
F. Identifying stakeholder needs
  1. Program ownership and team staffing
  2. Integration requirements for finance/ERP system
  3. Card types and geographical scope

III. Request for Proposal (RFP)

A. Identifying providers
B. Format
  1. Paper versus electronic
  2. Question styles/types
C. Content
  1. Order/arrangement
  2. Information about the end-user organization/program
  3. Information requested of bidding providers
D. Ethics
  1. Communications
  2. Confidentiality

IV. Provider Selection Activities

A. Evaluating submitted proposals
B. Technology demonstrations
C. Negotiations and final selection
D. Contract terms

V. Program Implementation

A. Pre-implementation program design
  1. Program roles and responsibilities
  2. Control environment
  3. Training plan, responsibilities and format(s)
  4. Internal and external communications
  5. Card issuance and targets
  6. Integration with finance/ERP system
  7. P-Card technology
B. Pilot program
C. Program rollout

VI. Industry Providers: Roles, Perspectives and Attributes

A. Card issuers/providers
B. Networks
C. Merchant acquiring community
D. Other

VII. Managing the Program

A. Auditing
B. Controls
  1. Preventative controls
  2. Detective controls and monitoring
  3. Risk analysis
C. Ongoing communications
D. Training
E. Metrics and benchmarking
F. Program reporting
G. Accounting
H. Working with suppliers
I. Partnering with provider
J. Records retention

VIII. Program Optimization

A. Program evaluation and benchmarking
B. Process improvements
C. Optimizing revenue sharing
  1. Speed of pay to issuer/provider
  2. Spend per card
D. Program staffing and support
E. Technology and automation
  1. Imaging
  2. Auditing
  3. Training
  4. Program management
F. Electronic catalogs and procurement
G. Expansion
  1. Additional Commercial Card types
  2. Card distribution
  3. Spend and supplier targets

IX. Electronic Payables

A. Models/types
B. Procure-to-pay process
C. Benefits and challenges
D. Incorporating into a payment strategy
  1. Spend and supplier targets
  2. Program management

X. Card Acceptance by Suppliers

A. Economics/fees
B. Benefits
  1. Impact on days sales outstanding and cash flow
  2. Process efficiencies
C. Data
  1. Security
  2. Transmittal

XI. Regulatory Topics

A. Sales tax/value-added tax (VAT)
B. Sarbanes-Oxley
C. Regulatory oversight of industry pricing/fees and practices


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Certified Purchasing Card Professional Credential 
The next application due date is February 28, 2017
to take the exam at the Annual Conference on April 10, 2017.

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