What Are Estimated Expenses for Form 5 and 24/48 Hour IE Reports?

Applies To: Federal Election Commission – Political Action Committees (PACs), Party Committees

The FEC Form 5 and 24/48 hour Independent Expenditures (IE) reports are unique from many other agencies in that committees are expected to provide an estimated cost of the IE on the 24/48 hour IE report, then disclose the actual amount on the Quarterly Form 5 (if known at that time).

For tihs purpose we have a special transaction type called Estimated Expense. With this transaction type you can first record the estimate, then update it with the actual amount later. The Estimated Expense is not cash impacting and ISP handles any required compliance notes indicating it’s an estimate.

Take the following steps to create this transaction.

  1. Navigate to Accounting > Add Transaction.
  2. Select the Type Estimated Expense.
  3. Fill out the details of the expenditure.
  4. Complete the Support/Oppose section. Since this is an IE, the target of the expenditure should be indicated as supported or opposed.

At this point you will have a non-cash impacting transaction for the Estimated Expense. When you run your 24/48 hour IE report, this transaction will be used to pull information to the report to file.

Once you know the actual amount of the expenditure, use the following steps to update the Estimated Expense transaction:

  1. Navigate to the record with the Estimated Expense that needs to be updated.
  2. Click on the hotdog menu to the right of the Estimated Expense transaction.
    In the list of options, click on Add Actual Expense.
  3. Fill out the details for the actual expenditure amount.

The amount field will default to the Estimated Expense amount, but it can be changed as needed. Once you save, you will see an Expense transaction on the record that will be cash impacting and will pull to your Form 5. The Estimated Expense associated with this Expense will no longer pull to the report.