Form 3 Errors and Warnings

Applies To: Federal Election Commission – Candidate Committees

Sometimes you’ll encounter warnings or errors after generating a FEC Form 3 report that can easily be resolved. Below are a few common errors and how to get rid of them. For most of these you can use the hot dog menu to the right of the error to navigate to the specific location where the fix needs to happen.

Committee or Candidate Related Issues

First, review your filer’s record settings. Ensuring your filer is set up correctly will save you a lot of headaches down the road.

Required Committee ID Number or Invalid FEC Committee ID Number
You can update this in the Committee Info section. Click the edit icon in the top right and add or edit the info in the ID Number field.

Required Treasurer
Make sure the treasurer has been added to the database as an Individual. If not, add the treasurer. Then navigate to the Committee record and go to the Relationships section. Click the edit icon in the top right of the section and in the window that appears, search for the Treasurer’s individual record in Affiliated and choose Treasurer from the Relationship Type menu.

Invalid FEC Candidate Office Sought ID Number
Navigate to the Candidate’s record and in the Candidate Info section, click the edit icon in the top right corner. In the window that appears, add or edit the Office Sought ID Number. Make sure you use the Candidate ID rather than the Committee ID.

Donor Related Issues

Required Address
In the donor’s Individual record, locate the Address section and click the Add icon in the right corner. Add the address and be sure to mark it as Primary Reportable.

Required Occupation and Required Employer
In the donor’s Individual record, specifically at the top of the record, will be where Occupation and Employer information, among other data, is found. In order to edit this information, click the edit icon in the top right and in the window that appears, add Occupation and Employer information.

Transaction Related Issues

Required Note for Compliance
When you see this error, a specific transaction requires a note that will be included on the report explaining the purpose of the transaction. You can handle this by navigating to the transaction either from the Register or within the entity’s record, then click the transaction in question to view the details of the transaction. Locate the Compliance Note field and add the purpose of the transaction.

Report Generation Related Issues

This filing is older than the last amendment
If you see this error, please double check the FEC ID you are using of the report you are amending. This can be found on your committee’s page on the FEC site. Also double check the Number of Amendments.

There is a calculation discrepancy with the current Election Cycle to Date total for Line X.
Current Election Cycle to Date total should be equal to Period Total plus previously filed Election Cycle to Date

If you are receiving this error, most likely a transaction on a previously filed report has changed – for example, new transactions were added, an older transaction was removed, a financial account was updated, a committee type was updated, a relationship to the filer added or removed, or a transaction tag was added or removed. Any one of those actions would change how a transaction was reported and therefore impact the summary line totals.

Use the Changed Transactions Report found on the Compliance Tools page under the Reports tab. In the Report menu select Changed Transactions, select the filer if there are multiple in your database, then add the Report Close Date and Report Generation Date. This will list potential transactions that may be causing the discrepancy.

You can also generate reports moving back one report at a time until the report generated matches the report filed. You’ll then know the next report is where the discrepancy started. From there, do a line by line comparison with the reports to determine what transaction either went missing from the line or was added to the line.

Starting Cash On Hand not equal to Ending Cash on Hand on Previous Filed Report
Typically this happens when transactions have been added or removed from a financial account or database after a report has been filed. Just as with a line calculation discrepancy, this can be determined by comparing reports that have been filed with the same report freshly generated out of the system. Once you locate when they match, the report after that will be where the discrepancy occurred.

Calculation discrepancy with the current Election Cycle to Date total for Lines 11ai and 11aii but not 11aiii.
If you are receiving this error for lines 11ai and 11ai but not 11aiii, the cause is likely the value you entered for Previous Unitemized Individual Donations when generating the report. Confirm that is correct or use the Get from FEC feature.