Newsletter- Setting The New Standard
FEC Changes
Helpful FEC Links
FEC Reports Made Easier
Content Ideas?
Newsletter Archive
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It's been a while since we sent a newsletter to everyone and we want to let you know that our staff and all of our families are fine after the San Diego fires a few weeks ago. Actually, we're proud to report that the city had an outpouring of public support and ended up with more volunteers than they needed and an oversupply of goods donated for the victims of the fires. Thanks again for all your emails and phone calls of concern.

In this newsletter we have some important FEC online filing updates to tell you about and we’ve included some helpful FEC links.

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FEC Filing Electronic Filing
Format Changes

The Federal Election Commission is releasing their most significant electronic filing format update in over four years.

If you use BackOffice for federal reporting, we want to let you know that we’ve been working hard to ensure a seamless transition. If you’re using other campaign management software besides BackOffice, then we recommend contacting your software vendor to make sure that they will also be ready for these changes.

With only a one month window for testing, we've focused significant resources on preparing for this update. And although we are still waiting for the FEC to give the vendors access to the report testing environment, we have been doing our own internal testing and will be ready to test on their system from day 1. The estimated new format will be required starting December 12th.

One of the major advantages of using web-based software like BackOffice is that you almost never have to download or install software updates. Unfortunately, this format change is one of the rare situations where you will have to install the revised FEC viewer. As soon as the FEC provides the new viewer we will pass it along to you.

In the sections below we have included some helpful links for FEC reporting.

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Helpful Links for Running FEC
Reports with BackOffice

Changed Transaction Report

The changed transaction report is designed to assist in finding discrepancies that may be causing problems with an FEC or other government compliance report.

Learn how to run this report online >>

Report Warnings and Errors Overview

When generating an FEC or other government compliance report, BackOffice always runs automatic checks for a variety of errors and provides you with a list of potential problems. There are divided into three sections: Fatal Errors, Report Warnings and Items for Review.

Learn about each online >>

Understanding the FEC Form 3Z-1

BackOffice includes a special report designed specifically to help you understand the numbers that appear on your Form 3z-1 and prepare a Form 99 to respond to a 3z-1 inquiry from your FEC analyst.

Learn how to use this report online >>

Tips for e-filing your FEC Report

Nearly every time an FEC report is due, clients call us about not being able to file their FEC report. This happens because the FEC server is overloaded processing everyone's submissions. We have some helpful recommendations to keep this from happening to you.

See these helpful tips online >>

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FEC Reporting Made Easy
(or at least easier)

PART I: Using Good Software
by Ben Katz

In part I of this series, I will discuss what to look for in campaign reporting software and how it can make your job preparing Federal Election Commission reports easier and more effective. I’m clearly biased about what software to use for campaign finance reporting. However, with ever increasingly complicated reporting requirements it is extremely important to use software that will assist in fulfilling these requirements.

Read the rest of Part I online >>

PART II: Beyond The Software
by Ben Katz

No software can manage all the rules for you -- you need to make sure you're very familar with campaign finance law. The Federal Election Commission offers easy to read guides for political committees of all types. We have posted links to FEC publications online, along with the rest of Part II.

Read the rest of Part II online >>

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Newsletter Content Ideas?

We’d love to hear your content suggestions. If there is a topic you’d like us to cover, email Jeremy Geltman, our newsletter editor, at

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Newsletter Archive

To see previous newsletters with new feature updates, staff picks, articles and more, go to

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Since 2000, has been providing campaign solutions for fundraising, accounting and contact management, online donation processing, government filing, voter contact, volunteer coordination, and web site administration. The company serves over 800 clients in 47 states, from local-level campaigns through Congressional and statewide races.

In 2006 was ranked as the best provider of web-based political software by Personal Democracy Forum's user survey. In the same survey in 2007, was ranked 1st in all categories: software, service, pricing and overall.

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