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Filing FEC Form 3x

Article ID: 688
Last updated: 13 Jan, 2013

Filing FEC Form 3x

Preparing Your FEC Form 3x report

Your FEC Report
 
When all of your data entry is done and you are ready to view your report, results are just a click
away.  Go to “Reports” in the menu bar and select “Federal” and “Form 3X – PPC or PAC”. 
This will immediately bring up the Live Update prompt box:
 

 
If you wish to check the Aristotle servers for new FEC updates, make sure you are connected to
the Internet and press Yes.  If you do not wish to check for updates, press No.  Be advised that by
clicking yes this will not check for all updates for PAC MANAGER but just for updates related
specifically to the FEC forms and application.
 
 
Once you have chosen Yes or No, the Form 3X window will appear with the “Form 3X
Information” tab selected:

The Information Tab is where most of your changes from report to report will be made. 
 
Upper Left
Reporting Period:    Date range this report covers
Itemization Threshold:  Lowest aggregate dollar amount needed before transactions are
itemized
Itemization Threshold
Start Date:      Aggregate start date
Election Date:     Date of the next election, including Primary, General, Special, etc 
 
Upper Right
Committee Information:  Brings up the Committee Information Window.  The information 
in this window must initially be filled out for any report to pass 
FEC Validation.

Bank Accounts:    Brings up the Bank Accounts window to allow you to choose only 
specific bank accounts to report

Default Primary:    Allows you to state the Period you wish to be treated as the 
“Primary” period.  Should always be “Primary” unless you have
 created custom periods.

General:      Allows you to state the Period you wish to be treated as the
    “General” period.  Should always be “General” unless you have
    created custom periods.

Quarter:   Contains the names for the various reporting periods

Period:    The current period
Periods in Current

Election Cycle:    Used to bring in memos from outside the election cycle 
 
Bottom
Beginning COH:    Cash On Hand at the beginning of the reporting period
Mail Name on Sch11:   Check if you wish to use the Mail Name field on Schedule 11
Address3 on Electronic:  Check if you wish the Address3 Line to show in your report
Amendment:      Check if you are filing an amendment
Amendment Text Box:  Enter the full FEC Confirmation number of the original report (eg 
FEC-12345).  This number should never be the confirmation 
number of an amendment.

Amendment Number:   Select the amendment number.
Contribution Pay Period:  Select the frequency of your payroll deductions
Order By:      Affects the order of your itemizations
Destination:   Check Print/Preview Version V Forms to preview your report.  
Check  Electronic to file your report electronically. If you are
running an amendment for reporting dates before 01/01/2003,
please uncheck Version V Forms and check Version IV Forms.
 
 
After entering in all the necessary information for the Form 3X Information Tab, click on the
Form 3X Schedules Tab to select which schedules you would like to see.

If there is nothing to print for a particular schedule, that schedule will of course not show up. 
For this reason, it is very effective to simply check all of the schedules.  The schedules of course
match the FEC schedules for Form 3X:

The Form 3X Other Schedules Tab is not used for standard FEC Form 3X filing.  It covers
auxiliary forms such as the Statement of Organization and the Form 99.

Each of the forms on this tab are filed independently of Form 3.
 
Form 1 and Form 1s:  Check these boxes if you are filing a Statement of Organization.  The 
information for this report is pulled from your Committee Information 
(reached via the Form 3X Information Tab).  Please uncheck everything
on the Form 3X Schedules Tab when filing a Statement of Organization.
 
Form 2:    This option is not used.
 
Form 6, 48 Hour:  Check this box if you are filing a 48 Hour report for contributions of 
$1000 or more received less than 20 days, but more than 48 hours, before 
an election.  Please uncheck everything on the Form 3X Schedules Tab 
except Schedule A when filing a 48 Hour report.  For accurate results, it is 
best to change your Reporting Period and Itemization Threshold Start 
Date to the day you received your contribution(s) as well as increasing 
your Itemization Threshold to $1000.00.
 
Form 24, 24 Hour:  Check this box and if you are filing a 24 Hour report for Independent
Expenditures made within 24 hours of an election.  Please uncheck
everything on the Form 3X Schedule Tab except Schedule E when filing a
24 Hour report.
Form 24, 24 Hour:  Check this box and if you are filing a 24 Hour report for Independent
Expenditures made within 48 hours of an election.  Please uncheck
everything on the Form 3X Schedule Tab except Schedule E when filing a
48 Hour report.
 
Schedule I:  Check this box if you are a National Party Committee and need to file a
non-federal transaction aggregation report.  Please uncheck everything on
Form 3X Schedules Tab when running this report.
 
Form 99:    Check this box and click on the Form 99 button to file the free-form text 
message to the FEC, the Form 99.  Please uncheck everything on the Form 
3 Schedules Tab when filing a Form 99.  When you click on the Form 99 
button, a text box will appear for you to type in your message.  When  you 
finish your message, press OK.  The program will then prompt you for a 
file name, with the default being “FEC_FORM_99”.  DO NOT CHANGE 
THIS FILE NAME.  Simply press Save.  If it asks you to overwrite the 
existing file, say yes.  After this, the filing is the same as any other FEC 
filing.
 
Form 1M:    Check this box if you are filing a Notification of Multi-Candidate Status.  
The information for this report is pulled from your Committee Information 
(reached via the Form 3 Information Tab).  Please uncheck everything on 
the Form 3 Schedules Tab when filing a Notification of Multi-Candidate 
Status.
 
Bank Accounts:  These buttons allow you to set your FEA, Levin, and FEA Shared bank
accounts.  They must be set for the software to run properly.  After being
set the first time, they will remember what is supposed to be checked from
report to report.  You will choose only the bank account that corresponds
with its tab.  For example, in the LEVIN bank account button only the
LEVIN account will be selected.

Committee Information
Important for every FEC report is the Committee
Information, reached via the Form 3X Information Tab. 
Pressing this button will open the Committee
Information window where you will be able to enter the Committee Information, Candidate
Information, and Other important information associated with your committee.  When pressed,
you will immediately be presented with the Committee Information Tab:

The most important fields on this tab are the Committee Name, FEC ID Number, Signature,
and Date.  Although you will want to fill out all appropriate fields, without the previous entries
your report will fail validation.
 
After filling out your Committee Information, move on to the Candidate Information Tab.  This
tab is not used for 3X filers and can be skipped.  Continue on to the Other Tab .

The Other Tab encompasses all the other miscellaneous information about your Committee that
was not covered in the first two.  Chief among the options here is the Treasurer button.  The
Treasurer information must be filled in for the report to pass FEC validation.  Everything else
here should be filled in as needed.
 
Special Note:  Load Candidates
Press this button to load the FEC candidate list.  When pressed, the program will prompt you to
open the candidate file.  You will need to find the file “FOIACN.DAT” that you downloaded
from the FEC (http://ftp.fec.gov) or the less recent one that came with CM4/PM4 in your
CM4/PM4 directory.  The program will then proceed to load the candidate list into CM4/PM4. 
This is important only if your committee ever makes contributions to congressional candidates.

Restoring and Reprinting FEC reports

Now you can easily view and resubmit FEC reports.  Below is the process that you will need to
follow:
 
1.You will need to click on the “Re-validate, Reprint and Submit Previous File” button, and the
following screen will appear:

This is where you will search for your previously filed report.  If it is not located in your CM or
PM folder you will then need to click on the look in drop down arrow and change to the correct
directory.  Once your file has been selected and you click the “OK” button the report will
validate for you, just as if you had rerun the entire report.
 

                                            
If you select a report that was run in version 5.0 you will fail validation, and your report
will not appear correctly.  Reports that were originally run in version 5.0 must be run in
version 5.1 as of February 9, 2003.
 
2.  Select “OK” to view your messages, or click on the “Congratulations you have successfully
passed validation” box.
 
3. Once you have viewed your messages click on the “x” in the upper right hand corner to close
out of it.  
 
4.  The FECprn.exe will appear as a separate window allowing you to view the report.  Should
you find the report acceptable, you will then need to click on your CM or PM that has been
minimized.  The following box will appear asking you to load the file.                                             
5. Click “OK” and the Upload screen will appear, as if you had rerun the entire report.

Using and Understanding the Settings Tab

1.)   Filter Out Disbursements With the Check Status of Void:  By checking this box the program will
take any disbursements with the check status of VOID and those disbursements will not pull onto the
report.  This is used for checks that were written and voided on in the same reporting period.
 
2.)  Use Committee Names Instead of Candidate Names for Earmarked Candidates:  This box gives you
the option of pulling the committee name on your earmarked receipts instead of the candidate name. 
Should you want the Committee Names to appear for your earmarked receipts instead of the Candidate
Names you will need to download the CM04.zip to your PM or CM folder.  This file can be found at the
following link http://www.fec.gov/finance/disclosure/ftpdet.shtml, and scrolling to the 2003-2004
Committees.  Then you will need to extract its contents to the CM or PM folder.  It will create a folder
called foia04.

Filing Your FEC Report 
 
When all of your data entry has been completed, and you have checked your Committee
Information and Form 3X Information, you are ready to file!  From the Form 3X Information
Tab, make sure Print Preview, Version V Forms, and Electronic are selected and press Print. 
A box will appear asking you if you wish to define missing information:

This is to save you from unwanted warnings later on.  The FEC requires Employer and
Occupation information for any individual contributing over $200.00.  In the event that you do
not have said information, it is required to show that you have made your best efforts to attain it. 
By checking the two boxes, Campaign Manager will automatically look through your
contributors and fill in empty Employer and Occupation fields with “Information Requested”.
 
The Define Missing Information screen is also your chance to write a short memo to the FEC. 
The white box below “Report Memo Entry if Desired:” is a space for you to make an
unformatted note that will appear at the end of the your report.  This note must not contain any
carriage returns (do not press Enter or Return while typing in the white box).  For a more
detailed, formatted note to the FEC, please use a Form 99.
 
Following the Define Missing Information screen, a window appears asking for the totals from
your previous report.  It looks like:

Enter the fields it requests.  If you need the Column B Line 11(a)(i) and Line 11(a)(ii) from the
previous report, you can obtain them from the FEC’s website at
http://herndon2.sdrdc.com/dcdev/.  You can also re-run your previous report and look for the
following box:


 
Save For Your Records appears right before you save your .fec.  This allows you to write down
your 11Ai and 11Aii numbers for your next report.  This saves you the step of looking up your
corresponding numbers on the FEC website.  Once you click the “OK” button the report will
continue to generate.
 
Shared Federal/Non-Federal activity can be left blank, as it will auto-generate when the report is
run.
 
After this screen, a Save As box will appear for you to enter a name for your report.  This
filename must not contain spaces. It also must end in “.fec”. 
 
Good Report Filenames      Bad Report Filenames
AprilMonthly.fec                      April Monthly.fec
June02amend.fec                 June 2002 amendment
YearEnd.fec                            Yearend.
 
After saving your file, Campaign Manager will tell you if your report has passed FEC validation. 
If the report has failed validation, you will be shown a readout of your column A and B totals,
followed by any errors or warnings.  Errors are what keep your report from passing validation. 
Errors must be fixed.  Warnings are more along the lines of cosmetics.  Fixing a warning is not
necessary, and may not even be applicable depending on the circumstances.
If your report passed validation, you will be shown a preview of your report in the FEC’s
preview software.  While you are reviewing your report, the FEC’s upload software will have
opened in the background.  Initially it will look like an empty, dark gray window.  Once you are
satisfied that the report is correct, move on to the FECLoad window.
 
In the FECLoad window, go to File > Load.  In the Open window, find your report (the .fec file
that you just named) and click Open.  You will then be presented with the Settings box:

Enter the password you received from the FEC, and your Committee ID.  The Fax and E-mail
fields are there to enable the FEC to send you a confirmation that they received the report, either
by Fax or Email.   If you wish to test file, check the box next to “File it to a test server”.  If you
are filing an amendment, enter the FEC confirmation number of the original report in the bottom
box.  Make sure to enter the entire confirmation number (FEC-12345 instead of 12345).  Finally,
choose your filing method.
 
If you are connected to the internet, via cable/dsl/dialup, choose TCP/IP.  (Most Common)
Note:  If you are behind a firewall, make sure port 443 is open.
If you are connected to the internet, but are behind a proxy server, choose SSL.
 
Once you have chosen your Filing Method, select the Configure tab.

If you selected TCP/IP, the Configure tab will look like this:

The following information needs to be entered in exactly as written below:
 
TCP/IP Hostname:  disclose.nictusa.com
Agency ID:  FEC
 
If you selected SSL, the Configure tab will look like this:

in your proxy server information first, followed by the HTTPS URL and Agency ID as
follows:
 
 HTTP(s):  webforms.nictusa.com
Agency ID:  FEC  
 
Once the Upload and Configure tabs have been properly keyed in, you are ready to push OK and
upload your report.  If this is the first time you have every filed a FEC report from this machine,
you will be asked to move your mouse around and type random keys to automatically create a
security code tailored to your machine.  Once the report is uploaded, you will receive an on-
screen confirmation as well as either a fax or email confirmation from the FEC. 
 
Congratulations!  You have successfully prepared and filed your FEC report!

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Article ID: 688
Last updated: 13 Jan, 2013
Revision: 1
Views: 1778
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