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 to navigate to the specific location where the fix needs to happen.

The following require navigation to the Committee or Candidate’s record:

  • 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: First and foremost, you’ll want to be sure the Treasurer has been added to the database as an Individual. Once that has either been added or confirmed, navigate to the Committee record, then 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.

The following require edits made to a donor’s record:

  • 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.

The following are transaction related and require edits made within a transaction:

  • 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.

The following are report related:

  • 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.
  • 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 To: The Cycle to Date in Column B of the current total is calculated by adding the number in Column B of the previous report to the number in Column A of the current report. If you are receiving this error, most likely a transaction on that line was either added to an already reported reporting cycle or an older transaction was removed from the database or financial account for that filer and is no longer calculating in the line totals.

There are two ways to locate the transaction causing this. One is to 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.

The second way of finding the transaction is to 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.

Additional Help on Form 3:

-Click here to see how to How To Add an FEC Form 3z to a Form 3