FECFile for Authorized Committees: Setting Up Your Database

FECFile for Authorized Committees: Setting Up Your Database

Welcome to the Reports Analysis Division web
video series on FECFile, the Commission’s free electronic filing software… I will walk you through the process of setting
up a campaign committee database using FECFile. Before starting you will need to: – Download the software from our website.
– Request a password. – Have the Getting Started Manual for Candidate
Committees on hand All of this information can be found on the
Commission’s website. Let’s begin by opening FECFile from the
desktop. At the opening screen you will choose “Create a new Committee File” if you are
filing your committee’s first electronic report. For each subsequent report, it is important
to open the same committee file. Do not create a new committee file each time you file a
report. Signpost: Select your Committee Type To get started, the software will prompt you
to select the type of committee and the corresponding Form type. For House and Senate campaigns,
choose Campaign Committee (Non-Presidential). The option specifies F3 because candidates
report their activity on the Form 3. Signpost: Enter Committee and Candidate Information
Informational Callout: Committee ID is assigned… Next, you will be prompted to enter your committee’s
information. Start by entering your assigned FEC identification number, followed by the
committee name and address. It’s important to enter complete and accurate
information throughout the set up process because this information is the foundation
for your electronic filings and much of the information will appear on all reports filed
by the committee. Signpost: Add an Individual to Your Database Next, you must designate the committee’s
Authorizing Candidate. This is the first chance to add an individual and their information
into your database. Click in the Authorizing Candidate field and
hit the Tab Key on your keboard. This will open the Individual Organization window where
you’ll be able to fill out the identification information for the candidate. Informational Callout: Candidate ID is assigned… You’ll use the same process to enter identification
information for each individual, company, or committee the first time you add them.
After that, each time you enter a transaction for that individual, the software will pull
from the Individual and Organization database to save you time so you do not have to fill
out the form again. Once the form is filled out, click ok, and
you’ll return to the Committee information screen. Complete the candidate information
at the bottom and click OK. Once the committee information is filled out,
the software will prompt you to create your first report. Click yes.
Signpost: Enter the Election Cycle You’ll start by establishing the election
cycle the candidate is currently running in. An election cycle starts the day after a General
Election and lasts until the day of the next General Election. Signpost: Create Your First Report You’ll advance to the Report Information
screen where you’ll specify the type of report and the coverage dates for that report.
Many of the coverage dates are automatically populated but some reports require you to
enter them manually. Visit the FEC website by clicking the link in the “About” section
below to find the exact coverage dates for the report you are creating. You can also see that the election cycle you
specified is pre-populated on the screen. Next, you will need to enter the treasurer’s
information. Click once in the “Signed By” field and hit the “tab” key. This will open the Individual Organization
Information window, where you can enter in the name, address, occupation and employer
of the treasurer. Be sure to select the applicable Type at the
top. Doing so will edit the form below to ensure you can only enter the required information
for the entity you’re adding to the database. Signpost: Add Transactions Click OK and you are now ready to enter transactions
if you wish to do so. More information on entering transactions can be found in the
Getting Started Manual. Signpost: Save your Data! Before moving on be sure to save your datafile.
The .dcf file is the only copy of your data, so be sure to save the file often, in an accessible
location, and with a name that you will remember. Also, regularly back up the file on a flash
drive, external hard drive, or CD. Congratulations, you’ve just learned how
to create a committee in FECFile. As you continue to explore the software I
encourage you to watch the next videos in the series to learn more about FECFile and
empower yourself to file your reports easily and accurately. Thanks for watching.

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