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CPCP Reading References

Reading References List

The listed references are intended to help exam candidates who are seeking options for exam preparation purposes.

About the Reading References—How to Use the List

The list does not attempt to include all acceptable references, nor is it suggested that the examination is based entirely on these references. In some cases, individual experiences are the best reference.


  • Do not focus on the publication year of the listed resources; some information and most best practices are timeless.
  • Do not try to obtain and read every resource; rather, identify the topics for which you have the least knowledge or experience, concentrating on resources for those topics first.

See also the Study Tips webpage.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

The most frequently asked question is whether there is a study guide or review course for the exam. According to the Professional Testing Corporation (business partner for the CPCP program), it is not a good practice to teach to a test. This would simply test an individual's ability to memorize material for the purpose of taking an exam, which is different than the ability to understand and apply concepts to one's job.   

For more information, visit the FAQs webpage on "Preparing for the Examination" to review:

  • how the Reading References list was developed
  • how to obtain resources noted within the list
  • why the list includes so many NAPCP resources
  • other sources of P-Card education

Recommend a Resource for Study Purposes

If you are aware of good references not already on this list (that align with one or more topics on the CPCP exam content outline), please let us know! Contact us at

Suggested References (grouped by topic and then sorted alphabetically by author)

Even though a listed resource may refer to a specific provider and/or solution, the Purchasing Card Professional Certification Council (PCPCC) does not endorse any particular offering.

Many of the listed resources are available from the NAPCP's Resource Center, but might be exclusive to NAPCP members. NAPCP resources accessible to complimentary subscribers as well are denoted by a diamond (♦). Others can be obtained through an Internet search. Note: In some cases, there may be a cost associated with obtaining a particular reference.

Exam Subject Area Potential References

Broad resources, applying to multiple subject areas:

♦ NAPCP. Commercial Card and Payment Glossary. (Tip: Without looking at the definition for each term, see if you can define each.)

♦ NAPCP tips in conjunction with poll results; (poll results are organized by topic on this page).

AFP. 2013. AFP® Payments Decision Guide to Implementing a P-Card Program.

Available for purchase: 

I. P-Card Benefits for
End-User Organizations

♦ NAPCP. Why Use Purchasing Cards.

♦ NAPCP. P-Card Value Proposition.

PayStream Advisors. 2013. Purchasing Cards: Working to Simplify the Procure-to-Pay Process.

II. Pre-Program Activities by End-User Organizations

♦ NAPCP. What are Purchasing Cards.

NAPCP. 2012. Purchasing Card Best Practices: The Key Elements of Building a World-Class Program.

♦ NAPCP. Program Implementation Overview.

♦ NAPCP. One Card Overview.

Visa. 2007. Practical Guide to Commercial One Cards.

Wells Fargo. 2010. The Business Case for a Single Card Purchasing Strategy.

III. Request for Proposal (RFP)


IV. Provider Selection Activities

American Express Corporate Services. Commercial Card RFP Guide: How to create an effective Request for Proposal for corporate T&E card, purchasing card and/or other automated commercial corporate payment solutions.

MasterCard. RFP Guide.

NAPCP. General Guidelines for an RFP Process and P-Card Specific Information for an RFP.

Visa. RFP Payment Solutions Guidelines.

V. Program Implementation

Aberdeen Group. 2008. The Purchasing Card Implementation Report.

MasterCard Corporate Payment Solutions. MasterCard Corporate Purchasing Card Implementation Guide.

NAPCP. 2012. Purchasing Card Best Practices: The Key Elements of Building a World-Class Program.

PayStream Advisors. 2009. Electronic Payments and P-Card Survey: Bottomline Savings from Procurement to Finance (particularly the chapter on Purchasing Cards, which also includes content relevant to sections I. and II. of the CPCP exam content outline).

VI. Industry Providers: Roles, Perspectives and Attributes

MasterCard Worldwide. 2007. The Anatomy of a Transaction.

♦ NAPCP. How P-Cards Work (process and key players).

♦ NAPCP. Merchant Discount and Interchange Overview.

NAPCP. 2006. Best Practices Task Force Report: Optimizing Revenue Sharing (includes a section about card issuers' profitability).

Visa. Interchange. What It Is. How It Works.

VII. Managing the Program

J.P. Morgan. 2008. Auditing and Compliance Strategies for a Solid Purchasing Card Program.

MasterCard International. 2004. MasterCard Corporate Purchasing Card Best Practices Guide.

NAPCP. 2010. Fraud Prevention and Detection: Establishing and Maintaining a Purchasing Card Program with Adequate Management Controls to Prevent Fraud, Misuse, and Abuse.

VIII. Program Optimization

Bank of America. 2008. Empowering a Procure-to-Pay Process Change Leader: How to Uncover the Hidden Costs, and Align and Engage Resources to Achieve Payables Optimization in Your Organization.

NAPCP. Revenue Share: Common Elements and Optimization Tactics.

NAPCP. 2006. Best Practices Task Force Report: Optimizing Revenue Sharing.

Visa. 2009. Procure-to-Pay and Commercial Card Best Practices During a Difficult Economy.

Visa. 2006. Practical Guide to Commercial Card Integration with e-Procurement and ERP Applications.

IX. Electronic Payables

♦ NAPCP. Three-page ePayables series (what, why, how).

Visa. 2010. Visa PerformSource Overview to Accounts Payable Automation.

X. Card Acceptance by Suppliers

Evans, David S. 2011. Interchange Fees: The Economics and Regulation of What Merchants Pay for Cards (♦ see an overview).

MasterCard Worldwide. 2012. Acceptance Matters, and Now We Know By How Much.

♦ NAPCP. Why Use Purchasing Cards (includes a section about suppliers).

♦ NAPCP. How P-Cards Work (process and key players).

♦ NAPCP. Levels of Transaction Data.

NAPCP. Supplier Economics and Benefits of Accepting Cards.

NAPCP, First Annapolis Consulting. 2010. End-User Perspective on Suppliers' Acceptance of Card Payments.

PCI Security Standards Council™ website (addresses the PCI DSS).

Sutherland Asbill & Brennan. 2012. Data Security Developments in the Payment Card Industry.

XI. Regulatory Topics

Anderson, Greg, and Renise Cohen. 2007. "Taking Charge of Corporate Purchase Card Programs: Strategies for Addressing State Sales and Use Tax Issues," Tax Management Multi-State Tax Report, Vol. 14, no. 4, April.

Grant Thornton. 2005. Sustaining SOX Compliance: Moving from Chaos to Consistency.

MasterCard. Five Habits for Effective SOX 404 Compliance for Purchasing Card Programs.

NAPCP. 2005. The Sarbanes-Oxley Act and Its Impact on Purchasing Card Programs; ♦ an Executive Summary is also available. 

NAPCP. 1099 Reporting News and the Changes Effective in 2011.

♦ NAPCP. Managing Sales and Use Tax Compliance for a P-Card Program.

♦ NAPCP. Durbin Amendment.

♦ NAPCP. Interchange Regulation.

TSYS. 2011. The Durbin Amendment and the Payments Value Chain

Visa. 2004. Sales and Use Taxes—An Introduction to the Basics for Card Program Administrators.

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