ORCA Frequently Asked Questions (1.034)


Note: Always check for the latest updates to ORCA at: www.pdc.wa.gov



How do I use ORCA?
*Be sure to view the tutorials available by clicking “Help” on the ORCA menu bar.
*You use ORCA by entering data and letting the software create the forms for you.  You can’t enter data directly onto forms.
*Use the Setup Wizard to create your campaign. Be careful to choose carefully because you can’t change it once you’ve created the committee.
       - If this is an person whose name will be on the ballot,
            choose “Candidate Campaign”.
       - If this is a political committee that exists every year,
            choose “Continuing Political Committee Campaign”.
       - If this is a ballot, levy, referendum or initiative committee that is raising money for one election,
            choose “Single Election Year Committee”.
*Entering Data
       - Contributions: To enter a monetary contribution:
            Transactions>Contributions>Monetary Contribution.
       - Deposits: Once you’ve entered all of the contributions that made up a bank deposit,
        you will “deposit” them in ORCA, which creates the C3 for you:
            Transactions>Make A Deposit
       - Expenditures: To enter an expenditure:
            Transactions>Expenditures>Monetary Expenditures.
 
For other questions you might have, select the topic from the list above.
When entering transactions in ORCA, you can click the F1 key on your keyboard to access context sensitive help.

CAMPAIGN SETUP
Q:How do I start the new year for my continuing political committee?
A:Political committees “close out” at the end of every calendar year. In January, create a new committee using the setup wizard in ORCA, import your names and addresses from the previous year and enter your beginning bank balance as carry forward cash; File>Committee Information>Carry Forward Cash. Click the green “plus” sign and enter the amount and a description. Your contact names, addresses, occupation and employer will import. The transactions of contributions and expenditures will not import into the new year as your aggregates are tracked by calendar year. Be sure to select the election in which your committee is participating (File>Committee Information>C4 reporting periods).
Q:I’m setting up my campaign and don’t know if it’s a Candidate Campaign or a Continuing Committee.
A:If the campaign is for an individual running for office, select Candidate Campaign. If the campaign is for a committee that is active every year and not just for a specific election, select Continuing Political Committee Campaign. Committees such as school levy and initiative campaigns select Single Election Committee Campaign.
Q:I’ve downloaded ORCA and, when I click “Open Campaign,” nothing is there.
A:After downloading ORCA, you must create a campaign using the setup wizard.
Q:I've created my committee twice and need to delete one.
A:Click Open Campaign and determine which one you want to delete, being careful not to delete the one with the data you want to keep. Click File>Delete Campaign. Select the campaign you want to delete, click Ok and click Yes. Caution: you cannot restore the committee once it’s deleted.
Q:When I set up the committee, I chose the wrong office or jurisdiction. How do I fix it?
A:Click Open Campaign and determine which one you want to delete, being careful not to delete the one with the data you want to keep. Click File>Delete Campaign. Select the campaign you want to delete, click Ok and click Yes. Caution: you cannot restore the committee once it’s deleted.
Q:I've created my committee in ORCA and now nothing happens.
A:If your committee is already open, you will see the name of the committee written in white letters at the top of the screen under the menu bar. You can now enter transactions by selecting items on the menu bar. If the top of the screen says, “Welcome to ORCA” then you need to open the committee. Click “Open Campaign” select the campaign to open and click OK.
Q:Does it matter if I enter items out of date order?
A:No. The system is set up to report in correct sequence regardless of when you input the information.
Q:I need to create a committee and electronically file reports in Orca for a previous year.
A:In order to create a committee for a previous year, you must set your computer date back to the year you are creating. If you want to create a committee for 2007, change the year to 2007, open Orca and create the committee. After you’ve created the committee, be sure to change your computer year back to 2008.
Q:I want to change from reporting in WEDS to using ORCA. Can I import my data from WEDS into ORCA?
A:You can import names, addresses, occupation, employer, etc. from WEDS to ORCA. You cannot import transactions such as contributions, expenditures, etc. You will have to enter the data manually.
Q:I submitted a paper C4 report to the PDC before I had ORCA set up. What do I do with the transactions I already reported on paper?
A:All transactions must be entered in ORCA and transmitted electronically. Before transmitting a previously submitted paper report, contact PDC staff so we can make an adjustment in our database that will allow you to transmit the reports.
Q:How do I set up my campaign to electronically file reports with the City of Seattle in addition to the PDC?
A:For compliance related questions and for campaign set up information please contact Polly Grow at Seattle Ethics and Elections, 206-615-1248. For strictly computer related questions please contact Bob DeWeese at Seattle Ethics and Elections. 206-684-8579.  City of Seattle set up instructions can be found at the SEEC web site.
Q:How do I create a new bank account or a savings account in Orca and move money into it?
A:Accounts > Chart of Accounts, Double Click on Bank Accounts, Click the green “plus” sign to the right, Name the new account “Savings”, At this point, you can also edit the Bank Account name to “Checking” if you wish; it’s not necessary Now, move the money into savings: Transactions > Bookkeeping Adjustments > Account Adjustments.
Q:My carry forward includes a petty cash account. How do I enter my petty cash carry forward for the new campaign? I have $550 in my campaign bank account and $40 in petty cash.
A:Enter the total cash on hand ($590) as a carry forward then transfer the $40 to petty cash. (Transactions>Bookkeeping Adjustments>Account adjustments)

FILER ID / PASSWORDS
Q:What is my Committee Identification Number (Filer ID)?
A: This is a unique identifier given out by the Public Disclosure Commission for electronic filing. You will be issued this number once we receive your signature and password documents. You can find the signature authorization request at www.pdc.wa.gov > Filer Resources > ORCA Links Filing Instructions> Registration and Filing Instructions, then print Password Request Form. Mail this document to the PDC with two passwords. Campaign accounts and candidate surplus funds accounts have different Filer ID’s.   Note:  You must have a signature authorization form with passwords on file with the PDC before we can issue you a filer id.
Q:I already have a temporary Filer ID and password from filing my F1, Personal Financial Affairs Statement. Why won’t they work in ORCA?
A:The F1 and the campaign finance databases are separate. You must apply for the campaign Filer ID with the signature authorization letter. You must submit a separate request for the ORCA system.
Q:I tried to file my January C4 for my continuing political committee and it was rejected because the Filer ID/Election Year 2007 conflicts with 2008. Or it said my Filer ID is not registered for 2008.
A:Political committees “close out” at the end of every calendar year. In January, create a new committee using the setup wizard in ORCA, import your names and addresses from the previous year and enter your beginning bank balance as carry forward cash; File>Committee Information>Carry Forward Cash. Click the green “plus” sign and enter the amount and a description. Your contact names, addresses, occupation and employer will import. The transactions of contributions and expenditures will not import into the new year as your aggregates are tracked by calendar year.
Q:How do I change my passwords?
A:Submit a new signature authorization request to the PDC with your new passwords.
Q: I tried to transmit my reports and was told my passwords are incorrect:
A:Your passwords are case sensitive and must be entered in the correct order. If you still can’t get your passwords to work, contact staff at the PDC.
Q:I tried to transmit my reports and was told my filer ID is incorrect.
A:Your Filer ID must be entered exactly as indicated in the email from the PDC. It is case sensitive and must have the correct number of spaces between the letters and the numbers. Verify the Filer ID by clicking File>Committee Information>Committee Info.

C4 REPORTING PERIODS
Q:I’m trying to file my C4 and I don’t have any reporting periods to choose.
A:You need to select the election in ORCA. File>Committee Information>C4 Reporting Periods. Select the election your committee will be participating in or the ballot on which the candidate’s name will appear. ORCA will provide the standard reporting periods for the type of election you selected.
Q:I need to file a June C4, but instead of a June period, it includes part of July.
A:If your candidate’s name is on the primary ballot or your continuing committee is participating in the 2008 election, you will file the 21 day pre-primary C4 which covers transactions between June 1st and July 22nd.
Q:My political committee is not participating in the election this year so I need monthly reporting periods. How do I change them?
A:You can create custom reporting periods in ORCA. Click File>Committee Information>C4 Reporting Periods. Click Create Custom Reporting Periods>Edit Custom Periods. You will see a window “Append” with the number 6 next to it. Change to number 8 and click “Append,” then click OK
Q:I don’t have enough C4 reporting periods. How do I add more reporting periods?
A:In ORCA, click File>Committee Info>C4 reporting periods. Choose which ballot your candidate’s name will be on or that your committee will be participating in. If you choose “Unknown Ballot” you will not have reporting periods past June.

If you are a continuing PAC that is not participating in a specific election you may need to create additional reporting periods. You can create custom reporting periods in ORCA. Click File>Committee Information>C4 Reporting Periods. Select “Unknown Ballot”. Click Create Custom Reporting Periods>Edit Custom Periods. You will see a button “Append” with the number 6 next to it. Click “Append” and then click OK.
Q:I need to add a reporting period for my final C4 report.
A:You can add additional C4 reporting periods. Click File>Committee Info>C4 Reporting periods. Click Create Custom Reporting Periods>Edit Custom Reporting Periods. You will see a button “Append” with the number 6 next to it. Change the number to 1. Click “Append” and then click OK.
Q:I had entered my campaign start date as February 1st, but now realize I had a transaction in January. I’ve filed my first C4 report, but when I change the campaign start date to an earlier date, I can’t add the January reporting periods.
A:Once you’ve filed a C4, you must create custom reporting periods to add earlier reporting periods.

1.File>Committee Info>C4 Reporting Periods>Create Custom Reporting Periods>Edit Custom Periods

2.You will see the number 6 next to the “Append” button. Change the number to 1. Click “Append” and then click OK.

3.You can now edit the last reporting period in the list. Double click the start date and change it to January 1st of the correct year. Then, double click the stop date and change it to January 31st of the correct year. Click OK. The January reporting period will now be available in the report manager and you can transmit the report to the PDC.
Q: I didn’t have over $200 in contributions or expenditures and want to combine my April and May C4 reporting periods. How do I combine reporting periods?
A:You can combine reporting periods:

1.File>Committee Info>C4 Reporting Periods>Create Custom Reporting Periods>Edit Custom Periods

2.Single click the April reporting period to highlight it.

3.Single click the April reporting period to highlight it.

4.Hold down the Control key on your keyboard while you click the May reporting period to highlight it also.

5.You should have April and May now highlighted and can click “Combine Selected.”

6.Click OK and you will see the combined period in your C4 list.

CONTRIBUTION LIMITS
Q:I entered the occupation and employer information for my contributor, but it doesn’t show up on the C3.
A:Occupation and employer information is required for contributors who have given OVER $100 in the aggregate. You can enter the information in ORCA and the software will disclose the information once the contributor’s aggregate exceeds the threshold. If the contributor’s aggregate is $100 or less, the occupation and employer will not show on the C3.
Q:I’m a legislative candidate and received a $1,000 contribution from the party legislative district, but Orca warns me that the contribution exceeds the limit.
A:You must enter the number of registered voters for your district so Orca can calculate the allowable limits from the party committees. File>Committee Information>Contribution Limits.

CARRY FORWARD
Q: I’m a candidate and need to know how do I enter surplus funds from my last campaign?
A:File>Committee Info>Carry Forward Cash. Click the green “plus” sign and enter the amount and a description. (Note: if you are a prior WEDS user, you don’t have to enter the carry forward as a contribution and “deposit” it as you did in WEDS. The amount will automatically be entered in your bank account.)
Q:What do I do for the new calendar year for my continuing political committee?
A:Political committees “close out” at the end of every calendar year. In January, create a new committee in ORCA, import your names and addresses from the previous year and enter your beginning bank balance as carry forward cash; File>Committee Info>Carry Forward Cash. Click the green “plus” sign and enter the amount and a description.
Q:My ending balance for my last campaign (candidates) or the last calendar year (continuing committee’s) is wrong and does not match my bank account. What do I use for my carry forward balance?
A:Use the correct amount for your carry forward so you can start the new campaign or calendar year with the correct carry forward and can still file timely. However, you should audit the campaign ending with the wrong amount so you can correct the reports and amend with accurate data.

ERROR MESSAGES
Q:A red error message box popped up on my screen while I was working in ORCA and asked me if I want to send an error report. What am I supposed to do with this screen?
A:This screen alerts the PDC that an error occurred in ORCA while you were working. It transmits useful information to our programmers that enables them to correct problems. When you see this screen, please type a description of what you were doing when the error occurred (for example: I was entering a contribution. Or..I clicked “Upload” when I got this message) and your email address (optional) so we can respond to you with a solution to the error.
Q:I got an error message that my Filer ID is incorrect or that my committee is not registered for the election year. What do I do?
A:Your Filer ID is a unique identifier given out by the Public Disclosure Commission for electronic filing. It must be entered with the correct number of letters, spaces and numbers.  Note:  You must have a current registration (PDC form C-1 or C-1pc) on file for each campaign you are filing for.
Q:I tried to file my January C4 for my continuing political committee and it was rejected because the Filer ID/Election Year 2007 conflicts with 2008. Or it said my Filer ID is not registered for 2008.
A:Political committees “close out” at the end of every calendar year. In January, create a new committee using the setup wizard in ORCA, import your names and addresses from the previous year and enter your beginning bank balance as carry forward cash; File>Committee Information>Carry Forward Cash. Click the green “plus” sign and enter the amount and a description. Your contact names, addresses, occupation and employer will import. The transactions of contributions and expenditures will not import into the new year as your aggregates are tracked by calendar year
Q:When I try to transmit my reports, I get an error message telling me my computer cannot connect to the Server.
A:If you have dialup service, be sure you are connected to the Internet before trying to transmit. If you have changed your computer date to a previous year, be sure you’ve changed it back to the current year.
Q:When trying to transmit, I got an error message that said, “Server Error The required attribute ‘contId’ is missing.”
A:This generally means you are missing required information in the report you are trying to file.
  • If you are trying to file a C4, check the Schedule A to see if you have a vendor name for every transaction. If any are missing, return to the expenditure and enter all the required information and try to file again.
  • If you are trying to file a C3, check the report to see if you have missing contributor names. If any are missing, return to the contributions and enter all the required information and try to file again.
  • If the problem is in the C3 and you have couple names, return to the list of couple names (Accounts>Contacts>Couples>Browse). Make sure the “couple” name is different that either of the individual names. If you named the “Couple” Fred Jones and individual 1 is also Fred Jones, the software doesn’t know if you are attributing a contribution to the couple or the individual. Correct all the “couple” names so they are Fred and Mary Jones, not just Fred Jones. That should make all the names appear correctly on the C3.
Q:I entered a contribution to my committee from a business. When I transmitted the report, I received an email back stating the entry is missing the occupation and employer.
A:The business was not recognized by the PDC system and generated the email to you asking for more information. You will notice the last line of the email stated, “If you know that this programmatically generated response is in error, please disregard it!” Therefore, you can ignore the message.

IMPORTING and EXPORTING
Q:How do I transfer contacts from one ORCA campaign to new ORCA campaign?
A: On the ORCA desktop, click “Import and Export”
Click “Import from another program or file”
Click Next
Click “ORCA Dataset”
Click Next
Select the closed campaign that has the names you wish to export FROM
Click Next
Double click the name of the new campaign committee you wish to import INTO
Click Next
Check items you wish to import
Click “Import”
Click Finish
Q:Can I print a list of contributors?
A:Yes, you can export to a CSV file and then open it with Excel and save it as an Excel file. Open ORCA and click File>Utilities>Import and Export. Click Export to a File and click Next. Choose Comma Separated Values and click Next. Select the Committee you are exporting the names from and click Next. Click Browse and click Make a New Folder. Name the folder and save it on your desktop. Click OK. Click Next and click Finish. Open Excel, click File and then Open. You can now open the files you created in the new folder on your “C” Drive and save them as an Excel file.
Q:How do I import names and addresses from an Excel file into ORCA?
A:You can import contact information into ORCA as long as your Excel columns have the correct titles and order. First have at least one contributor name entered in ORCA and then export it using the method above “Can I print a list of contributors?” The list created will give you the column order and titles into which you will arrange your contacts in the Excel file to be imported. Once the Excel setup matches the CSV file format, save it to your desktop as a CSV file and you can import into ORCA.

TRANSMITTING
Q:Why do some of my C3’s and C4’s in the report manager have green or purple check marks?
A:Reports that have been transmitted show a green check mark. Reports that have been amended show a purple check mark. If you’ve transmitted a report that has errors, it has an orange checkmark so you know to return and make corrections such as missing occupation or employer information.
Q:I entered all my information, now how do I send it to the PDC?
A:Be sure to review the Tutorial on Electronic Filing by clicking the Help feature on the menu bar. To transmit your reports: Reports>Preview, Print & Submit Reports
  • Single click the report to transmit so it is highlighted.
  • Click Upload/Amend
  • Click Public Disclosure Commission which will open the password screen.
  • Enter the required information and click Upload
Q:Why, when I send my C4's and C3's electronically, is only one of the reports submitted?
A:C3's and C4's are submitted separately with their associated attachments. You must send each C3 and C4 one at a time.
Q:I sent my passwords to the PDC and received my Filer ID, now where do I enter them?
A:Enter the Filer ID: File>Committee Information>Committee Info - Enter the passwords: You don’t enter the passwords until you are ready to upload a report. After selecting the report in the report manager, clicking Upload/Amend then Public Disclosure Commission, the passwords are entered on the next screen.
Q: I tried to transmit my reports and was told my passwords are incorrect:
A:Your passwords are case sensitive and must be entered in the correct order. If you still can’t get your passwords to work, contact Jennifer or Chip at the PDC.
Q:I tried to transmit my reports and was told my filer ID is incorrect.
A:Your Filer ID must be entered exactly as indicated in the email from the PDC. It must have the correct number of spaces between the letters and the numbers. Verify the Filer ID by clicking File>Committee Information>Committee Info.
Q:What is my Committee Identification Number?
A:This is a unique identifier given out by the Public Disclosure Commission for electronic filing. You will be issued this number once we receive your signature and password documents. You can find the signature authorization request at www.pdc.wa.gov>Electronic Filing and selecting either Candidate or Committee.
Q:I tried to file my January C4 for my continuing political committee and it was rejected because the Filer ID/Election Year 2007 conflicts with 2008. Or it said my Filer ID is not registered for 2008.
A:Political committees “close out” at the end of every calendar year. In January, create a new committee using the setup wizard in ORCA, import your names and addresses from the previous year and enter your beginning bank balance as carry forward cash; File>Committee Information>Carry Forward Cash. Click the green “plus” sign and enter the amount and a description. Your contact names, addresses, occupation and employer will import. The transactions of contributions and expenditures will not import into the new year as your aggregates are tracked by calendar year.

AMENDING
Q:How do I see the reports I filed?
A: Go to the PDC web site at www.pdc.wa.gov and click "View Actual Reports". Type the candidate name (last name first) or committee name in the “Filer Name” field and click “Send Query.”
Q:How do I amend a report?
A:Return to the original transaction and make the corrections necessary and refile the report and the software will report it as amendment. You do not need to enter the original confirmation number as you did with WEDS.

If you are amending a transaction from a previous C4 Reporting Period, you must amend all affected subsequent C4 reports.
Q:I got a warning that one of my contributors was missing information. How to I correct it?
A:Accounts>Contacts>Individuals>Browse (binoculars). Find the name to edit and click to highlight. Click OK. That will open the window for the contact and you can make the corrections.
Q:My committee wrote an expenditure check that hasn’t been cashed or it has been returned to me uncashed. What do I do?
A:DO NOT USE THE CORRECTIONS OR ADJUSTMENT FEATURE. Return to the expenditure (Transactions>Expenditures>Monetary Expenditures>Browse) until you see the expenditure in the window. Click the red “X” to delete the expenditure. This will change the amount on the C4 and any subsequent C4 reports. All affected C4 reports must be amended.
Q:I deposited a contribution check and it was returned by my bank as NSF (or I refunded a contribution). How do I adjust my reports since I didn’t actually receive the money I reported?
A:DO NOT USE THE CORRECTIONS OR ADJUSTMENT FEATURE. The contribution must be “deleted” and an amended C3 and C4 filed for the adjustment to be reflected in the PDC database.

The contribution must be “undeposited”, deleted and the C3 amended and any affected C4’s amended.
  1. To undeposit an item, you must first locate the item in the Make a Deposit screen. Transactions>Make a Deposit>Previous Arrow. Once located, use the mouse to select the item, click the left arrow in the middle of the screen to move the item back to the left side of the deposit manager screen. Click OK. (Note: if the item is the only item in the deposit and the C3 for this deposit has been transmitted you cannot “undeposit it.”)
  2. Delete the contribution. Transactions>Contributions>Monetary Contribution>Previous Arrow. Once the transaction is located, click the red “X” to delete.
  3. Amend the C3
  4. Amend any changed C4 reports
Note: if the contribution to be deleted is the only item on the deposit and the C3 for the deposit has already been transmitted to the PDC, you will not be allowed to delete the deposit. You can only edit the contribution to zero amount and then amend the C3. (If refunding a contribution, do not enter the expenditure for the refund.)

NAMES and CONTACTS
Q:I received a check with two names on the account. How do I know which name to enter as the contributor?
A:Unless one of the individuals states that the contribution is only from him or her, you will split the contribution between the individuals. ORCA allows you to create “couples” so you only need to enter the contribution once and the software will split it on the C3 for you. Each individual is entered in the system with address, occupation, employer, etc. and is also linked to the “couple name.”

To enter a contribution from George and Kay Jones: Transactions>Contributions>Monetary Contribution. Enter Contributor Name as: George and Kay Jones or George & Kay Jones (The “Couple” name must be different than either of the Individual names) Choose “Couple” as the type of contact and click OK In Contact 1 field, enter George Jones. You will then be prompted to enter George’s information. When finished, click OK.

You will then be prompted to enter Kay’s name as Contact 2 and then prompted to enter her information. When finished, click OK and you will be returned to the contribution screen to complete the contribution. After depositing the contribution from George and Kay Jones, you will see is split between them on the C3.
Q:I created a “couple contact” for George and Kay Jones, but now George made a contribution and told me it is only from him, not from Kay. How to I enter the contribution?
A:When you enter the contribution, in the name field, click the F11 key on your keyboard. Select George Jones from the list and the contribution will be from only George.
Q:How do I create a couple if I have already entered the individuals in ORCA?
A:Click on Accounts>Contacts>Couple. Name the couple (for example: Fred and Mary Smith). In the field for Individual 1, click the F11 Key to open the list of individuals and select Fred Smith. In the field for Individual 2, click the F11 Key and select Mary Smith.
Q:I entered a contribution from a couple, but the C3 doesn’t show the names.
A:The “couple name” must be different than either of the contact 1 or contact 2 names. Sometimes users make the mistake of entering the “couple name” as one of the contact names. For example: the couple name should be Fred and Mary Jones or Fred Rogers and Mary Jones if they have different last names. If you enter the couple name as Fred Jones and contact 1 as Fred Jones, the C3 will drop the name completely as the software doesn’t know if you are attributing the contribution to the couple or the individual if the names are the same.
Q:How do I enter retired, student or unemployed contributors?
A:On the contributor information screen enter the contributor’s status (retired, unemployed, student, homemaker, etc.) in the occupation field.
Q:The campaign received a $150 contribution from an individual but I don’t know the person’s occupation and employer. My C3 is due today. What do I do now?
A:Enter “Requested” in the occupation and/or employer field and submit the report so it isn’t late. When you obtain the information, edit the contact (Accounts>Contacts>Individuals>Browse) and then amend the C3.
Q:I got a warning that I was missing information for a contributor or vendor. How do I edit them?
A:To edit a contact, click Accounts>Contacts on the menu bar at the top of the screen. Select “individual” for a contributor or “other” for a vendor, and then click the browse button (binoculars) to see the contact list. Click the name you need to edit to highlight and then click OK. Make your changes and then click OK.
Q:I entered the occupation and employer information for my contributor, but it doesn’t show up on the C3.
A:Occupation and employer information is required for contributors who have given OVER $100 in the aggregate. You can enter the information in ORCA and the software will disclose the information once the contributor’s aggregate exceeds the threshold.
Q:The aggregate contribution amount is wrong for my contributor.
A:You may have entered the contributor’s name twice. Check your list of contributor names for duplicates (Accounts>Contacts>Individuals>Browse). If you see duplicate names, move contributions from the duplicate name to the name that will be retained. Once you’ve removed all transactions from the duplicate name, you can delete it by clicking the red “X” on the bottom of the name screen.
Q:Can I get a list of contributors?
A:Yes, you can export to a CSV file and then open it with Excel. Open ORCA and click File>Utilities>Import and Export. Click Export to a File and click Next. Choose Comma Separated Values and click Next. Select the Committee you are exporting the names from and click Next. Click Browse and click Make a New Folder. Name the folder and click OK. Click Next and click Finish. Open Excel, click File and then Open. You can now open the files and save them as an Excel file.
Q:I entered a contribution to my committee from a business. When I transmitted the report, I received an email back stating the entry is missing the occupation and employer.
A:The business was not recognized by the PDC system and generated the email to you asking for more information. You will notice the last line of the email stated, “If you know that this programmatically generated response is in error, please disregard it!” Therefore, you can ignore the message.
Q:I used the wrong contributor name when I entered a contribution. How do I change it to the appropriate one?
A:First, enter the contributor name correctly (Accounts>Contacts). Then, go to Transactions>Contributions>Monetary Contributions and use the “browse” button to find the contribution you need to change. On the contribution window delete the name currently listed in the “contributor name” field, use the F11 key to get a list of your contacts and choose the correct name from the list. Click OK to save your changes. Last, you will need to file an amended C-3 to reflect the name change.

FORM C4
Q:My first C4 report for the campaign shows an amount on line 1 and it should be “zero.”
A:If your campaign had a carry forward amount from a previous campaign (candidate committee and single election year committee) or the previous calendar year (continuing committee), the amount will show on line 1. This is correct.

If you entered a contribution with a deposit date prior to the campaign start date, the deposit will be reported as a carry forward amount and appear on line 1 of the C4 instead of line 2. Adjust either the campaign start date (File>Committee Info>Candidate) or the deposit date.
Q:Line 8 from my previous C-4 Report doesn't carry correctly to Line 1 of the next month's C-4.
A:You may have entered inappropriate corrections or adjustments in ORCA. In order to make corrections, return to the original transaction and make the changes there. Do not use the corrections or adjustments feature unless PDC staff directs you to do so.
Q:I made a mistake and my C4 is wrong. I have a duplicate expenditure (or contribution). How do I change it on the C4 to amend?
A:Changes are not made directly on the forms. You go back to the original transaction to make changes. If you have a duplicate expenditure, return to the transaction to be deleted (Transactions>Expenditures>Monetary Expenditure>Previous) and when you see it in the window, click the red “X” at the bottom of the screen to delete. Now amend the C4 and any subsequent C4’s that have been filed.

EXPEDITURES – SCHEDULE A
Q:I entered my expenditure, but it doesn't show on the Schedule A form.
A:Expenditures of $50 or less are grouped on the first line of the expenditures on Schedule A unless you click “itemize always” on the expenditure screen.

If you still don’t see the expenditure on Schedule A, verify the dates of the transaction.
Q:How can I look at all the expenditures I’ve entered in ORCA?
A:Most screens in ORCA have a ‘browse” feature you can access by clicking the “binoculars” on the window. To see a list of all the expenditures you’ve entered, click Transactions>Expenditures>Monetary Expenditures. Then click the “binoculars” to see the complete list. You can double click on any of the entries in the list to open that transaction for editing.
Q:Can a candidate be reimbursed with campaign funds for out of pocket campaign-related expenses?
A:If a candidate makes documented out-of-pocket campaign expenditures on behalf of his or her campaign expecting repayment (not intending to make an in-kind contribution), the campaign committee must repay the candidate within 21 days of the expenditure or the candidate will be deemed to have made a loan to his or her campaign committee which is limited to $4,700 per election. Undocumented out-of-pocket campaign expenditures by the candidate are in-kind contributions not eligible for repayment.
Q:The candidate has several out of pocket expenses to be reimbursed. How do I enter these?
A:The vendor for the expenditure is who the check is written to; in this case, the candidate. You must itemize all expenditures, so enter each item being reimbursed and enter the original vendor’s name (who the item was originally purchased from) as well as the vendor’s address and what the item was in the description field.
Q:What is the “itemize always” box for on the expenditure screen?
A:Expenditures of $50 or less are grouped on the first expenditure line of Schedule A. Checking the “itemize always” box causes the vendor name and address to show on Schedule A.
Q:I ended up with a duplicate expenditure check and need to know how to delete it.
A:Return to the original transaction to delete it. Transactions>Expenditures>Monetary Expenditures>binoculars to see the list. Determine which expenditure is the duplicate and you want to delete. Double click on the expenditure to be deleted so it appears in the window. Click the red “X” at the bottom of the screen to delete. If you have already transmitted the C4 for this period, amend it and any subsequent C4’s to show the changes.
Q:I entered a payment to a vendor earlier in the campaign and now have received a partial refund from the vendor. How do I enter the vendor refund?
A:Go to Transactions>Miscellaneous Receipts>Vendor Refunds. Browse to find the original expenditure entry, enter the amount of the refund, the received date and a description. Click OK to save. Now you must deposit the funds and file a C-3. The refund will be listed on Line 1d of the C-3.

IN KIND CONTRIBUTIONS, DEBT – SCHEDULE B
Q:The candidate paid for some items from her own funds. How do I enter it?
A:Transactions>Contributions>In Kind Contributions.
Q:I entered a vendor debt, but it doesn’t show up on Schedule B.
A:If you checked “Carry Forward” on the window where you entered the debt, the debt will not show up on Schedule B. Return to the debt window and uncheck “Carry Forward” and the debt will be entered properly.
Q:How do I pay a debt?
A:Return to the original entry of the debt (Transactions>Debt>Vendor Debt>Previous Arrow pointing left until you see the debt). When you see the debt to be repaid, click the green “plus” sign and click on “Debt Payment.”
Q:I held an auction for a campaign fundraiser and combined donated items into baskets that were purchased by a group of people. How do I enter this in ORCA?
A:The auction form is not really set up to handle baskets. It can only handle one in kind donation and one purchaser. For baskets, do not enter them in the auction form. Instead, enter them as in kind contributions and as monetary contributions. Be sure to keep a notation in your files of your transactions.

For example,

·         You have 3 in kind donations to the basket, each valued at $25; total value $75

Enter each of the in kind contributions on Schedule B

·         You have 5 purchasers of the basket for $150 ($30 each)

Subtract the Fair Market Value ($75) from the purchase price ($150) for the actual contribution amount ($75)

 

Purchase Price of basket                  $150

Fair Market Value of items in basket      -$75

Contribution amount                       $ 75

 

·         Divide the contribution amount ($75) by the number of purchasers (5) for the contribution amount made by each purchaser

Enter each purchaser’s contribution ($15) on Form C3

LOANS - SCHEDULE  L
Q:How much can a candidate loan the campaign?
A:Only $4,700 in candidate loans to the campaign per election may be repaid with campaign funds. Additional personal funds from the candidate becomes a contribution.
Q:How do I pay an outstanding monetary loan to the candidate?
A:Return to the original loan transaction: Transaction>Loans>Monetary Loan>Previous Arrow pointing left until you see the loan. Click the green “Plus” sign to make a payment. The loan amount will be reduced and an expenditure entered on Schedule A.
Q:Can a candidate be reimbursed with campaign funds for out of pocket campaign-related expenses?
A:If a candidate makes documented out-of-pocket campaign expenditures on behalf of his or her campaign expecting repayment (not intending to make an in-kind contribution), the campaign committee must repay the candidate within 21 days of the expenditure or the candidate will be deemed to have made a loan to his or her campaign committee which is limited to $4,700 per election. Undocumented out-of-pocket campaign expenditures by the candidate are in-kind contributions not eligible for repayment.
Q:I don’t understand the difference between a candidate loan and debt.
A:Candidate loan: The candidate has a $4,700 loan repayment limit per election.
If out of pocket expenditures made by the candidate are repaid within 21 days, they don’t count against the loan repayment limit. This loan repayment limit does not apply to anyone other than the candidate.
  • If the expenditures (for candidate or other person) are repaid by the end of the reporting period, they are reported as a straight expenditures and the candidate or person being repaid is the vendor. Describe the item purchased and the original vendor name and address in the description field.
  • If the expenditures are outstanding at the end of the reporting period, then they might have to be reported depending on the amount and the amount of time they have been outstanding.
Debt:
  • Debt of $250 or more outstanding at the end of the reporting period must be reported (Transactions>Debt>Vendor Debt). This applies to any debt, not just the candidate.
  • Debt of $50 or more that has been outstanding for 30 or more days must be reported.
Q:The loans I entered don’t show up on the Schedule L or the C3.
A:If you checked “Carry Forward” on the window where you entered the loan, the loan will not be available for deposit and will only show as a liability. Return to the loan window and uncheck “Carry Forward” and the loan will be entered properly.
Q:I entered a loan to the campaign and it isn’t showing in the “Make a Deposit” screen.
A:Return to the screen where you entered the loan. Be sure “Carry Forward” box is not checked. If it is, remove the checkmark and the loan amount will show in the “Make A Deposit” screen.

CONTRIBUTIONS, DEPOSIT – Form C3
Q:I’m a candidate subject to contribution limits. I received a check for $1600 from a contributor. How do I enter it in Orca?
A:In the monetary contribution screen, enter $800 for the primary, then click the “new” button and enter $800 for the general election.
Q:How do I enter anonymous contributions?
A:Transactions>Contributions>Anonymous Contributions.
Q:Is there a limit to the amount of allowable anonymous contributions?
A:The campaign may accept up to $300 or 1% of the total contributions to date (whichever is larger) in anonymous contributions.
Q:How do I enter contributions from the candidate?
A:Transactions>Contributions>Candidate’s personal funds.
Q:What does the “itemize always” box do on the contribution screen?
A:Contributors of $25 or less in the aggregate appear on line 1e of the C-3 report. You must still enter each contributor's name and address so the program can track the aggregates for that contributor. If you the names and addresses of contributors of $25 or less to be reported on the C-3, click "Itemize always" on the contribution window.
Q:I entered some small contributions and don't see the contributor names on the C-3.
A:Contributors of $25 or less in the aggregate appear on line 1e of the C-3 report. You must still enter each contributor's name and address so the program can track the aggregates for that contributor. If you the names and addresses of contributors of $25 or less to be reported on the C-3, click "Itemize always" on the contribution window.
Q:I entered the occupation and employer information for my contributor, but it doesn’t show up on the C3.
A:Occupation and employer information is required for contributors who have given OVER $100 in the aggregate. You can enter the information in ORCA and the software will disclose the information once the contributor’s aggregate exceeds the threshold.
Q:I entered my contributions, but a C-3 report wasn't created.
A:You need to deposit the contributions before a C-3 report is created. Click Transactions>Make A Deposit.
Q:How do I undeposit an item?
A:To undeposit an item, you must first locate the item in the Make a Deposit screen.
Once located, use the mouse to select the item, click the left arrow in the middle of the screen to move the item back to the left side of the deposit manager screen. Click OK. (Note: if the item is the only item in the deposit and the C3 for this deposit has been transmitted you cannot “undeposit it.”)
Q:How do I delete an entire deposit?
A:You can only delete a deposit that has not been electronically filed with the PDC. On the “make a deposit” window, use the previous record button to find the deposit you wish to delete. Use the red X at the bottom of the window to delete it. Click OK to save. You can now delete or edit any of the contributions that were part of the deposit.
Q:I filed a duplicate C3 by mistake. How do I remove it?
A:Once a C3 has been electronically filed, it cannot be deleted from ORCA. You can “zero” out the C3 and amend it. If there are multiple contributions included in the deposit, you will delete all contributions but one. You then edit the remaining contribution to “zero” amount and amend the C3. (Transactions>Contributions>Monetary Contributions>Browse. Select the contribution to be edited and change the amount to “zero.”)
Q:I made two deposits on the same day and they both are for the same total. Orca won’t let me transmit the second one.
A:Orca tries to protect you from mistakenly filing duplicate deposits. If you really do need to file two deposits on the same day for the same amount, you will need to make an adjustment in order to file. The easiest way is to combine the two deposits into one and put a memo in your files stating what you did and why.
Q:What is the group contribution feature for?
A:The group contribution feature is not available for Candidate Committees. For PACs who receive the same amount every month from the same filers. For example, 18 members of a union who each month have a payroll deduction of $10 sent to the PAC as a contribution. These donors can be combined into a group. Each month, the group is selected in a single transaction, but each individual contribution appears on the C3.
Q:I entered a $500 pledge, but the donor only gave me $400 and said he can’t honor the rest of the pledge. How do I handle this?
A:Return to the pledge transaction (Transactions>Pledges>Previous) Enter the $400 contribution by clicking “Cash Payment” and then the green “plus” sign. Enter the $100 cancelled portion by clicking “Canceled” and then the green “plus” sign.
Q:I received a contribution that was made using an online vendor. The vendor charged me a transaction fee to process the contribution. How do I enter it?
A:You should enter the full amount of the contribution that was authorized by the donor, including the transaction fee (Transactions>Contributions>Monetary Contributions). Then you should enter the transaction fee as an expense paid to the vendor (Transactions>Expenditures>Monetary Expenditures). Your C-3 will not match your deposit slip for this contribution so you should keep a note regarding the discrepancy in your campaign records.
Q:I need to refund part of a contribution that I received. How do I report the refund?
A:Go to Transactions>Expenditures>Refund a Contribution. Browse to find the original contribution entry, enter the amount of the refund, the date and a description. Click OK to save.

FORM C1 AND C1PC
Q:Can I electronically transmit my C1 or C1PC in ORCA.
A:Original signatures are required on the C1 and C1PC forms so they must be mailed to the PDC. A copy is also mailed to the County Auditor or Elections Department.
Q:Do I need to complete the C1 or C1PC screen in ORCA if I’ve already filed a paper report with the PDC?
A:No.

BACKUP AND RESTORE
Q:How do I backup my data?
A:On the home page of ORCA, click Backup Campaign Data, then select the committee name to be backed up. Click Ok. Indicate the file name, leaving the ".zip" extension on the end. Indicate the location where you want the data saved (for example Drive A for a floppy drive, desktop, etc.) and click Save.
Q:How do I move my data to another computer?
A:You must have ORCA installed on the computer that you want your data moved to. Backup the campaign data from the original computer and then restore it to the new computer.
Q:How do I restore my data?
A:Open ORCA. Click Restore Campaign. Indicate the location of the data to be restored (for example: Drive A for a floppy drive, desktop, etc.). Click on the name of the data and click Open. Once you have restored the data, click Open Campaign.
Q:The previous treasurer emailed me the backup of the Orca campaign. How do I get it onto my computer?
A:First go to the PDC website and update your version of Java and then install the latest version of Orca on your computer. Next, open the email with the old Orca dataset and save the zip file (do not open the file) to your computer desktop. Last, open Orca and restore the campaign. Indicate the location of the data to be restored (for example: Drive A for a floppy drive, desktop, etc.). Click on the name of the data and click Open. Once you have restored the data, click Open Campaign.

UPDATES, MISCELLANEOUS
Q:When I transmitted my report, I got a message that there is an update to Orca available.
A:Most updates can be obtained by opening the Orca software and on the Orca desktop, click “Orca Web Updates.” However, if that doesn’t update Orca, you update from the PDC website /filers/orca/Default.aspx . Be sure to use the link at that site to update your version of Java first.
Q:I updated my version of Orca from the PDC website, but now Orca won’t open.
A:Update your version of Java software from the PDC website and you should be able to open Orca once again.
Q:When I try to transmit my reports, I get an error message telling me my computer cannot connect to the Server.
A:If you have dialup service, be sure you are connected to the Internet before trying to transmit. If you have changed your computer date to a previous year, be sure you’ve changed it back to the current year.
Q:How do I see the reports I filed?
A:Go to the PDC web site at www.PDC.WA.Gov and click "View Actual Reports". Type the candidate name or committee name in the “Filer Name” field and click “Send Query.”
Q:Part of the window is missing. I can't see the city and state for a contributor or I can’t see the full password screen.
A:Your DPI setting is not correct for ORCA. Right click on your desktop>Properties>Settings>Advanced. Change the DPI to Normal 96 DPI. Your fonts may be set too large to view the entire screen. Right click on your desktop>Properties>Settings>Appearance. Change the font size to Normal.
Q:What do I do with my candidate campaign now that the election is over?
A:Once all transactions are disclosed and all the bills paid, file the Final C4. On the Report Manager screen, click the “Final C4” box. You can review the “Surplus Funds” information on the PDC web site for options if there is money left. If there is outstanding debt, it can either be paid via candidate contribution, carried forward to the next campaign or forgiven. Rules differ between local and judicial candidates and legislative and State office candidates.
Q:I have a continuing political committee. What do I do at the end of the year?
A:Continuing committees “zero out” at the end of the calendar year. You will file the December C4 and then create a “new” committee in Orca using the Setup Wizard. Enter your beginning bank balance as “Carry Forward Cash.” And begin filing for the new calendar year.
Q:I have a single election year committee. How do I handle the reporting after the election?
A:You will file a new C1PC registering as a “Single Election Year Committee” Ballot Committee for the next election in which you plan to participate. You may have to estimate the date if it is not yet known. You will then use the “Setup Wizard” to create a new “Single Election Year Committee” in Orca.

Please Note:  When setting up a “Single Election Year Committee” that the box next to “this is a special election” is checked. If you are participating in the August primary or November general election you should uncheck this box.

SURPLUS FUNDS
Q:What are surplus funds?
A: Surplus funds are contributions given for an election that remain after the election and that are not needed to pay obligations from the election campaign and may only be disposed of in one or more ways permitted by law. Review the candidate manual for a more detailed description of what is allowed. Below is only a brief summary:
  • Return to contributors, so long as the amount returned does not exceed the aggregate amount contributed by that donor. Refunds of contributions made by the candidate to his or her own campaign are subject to restriction.
  • Transferred without limit to a political party or legislative caucus committee
  • Held for use in a future campaign for election
  • Transferred to the candidate’s personal account as payment for earnings lost as a result of campaigning
  • Donated to a charity registered with the Secretary of State’s Office
  • Deposited in a separate Surplus Funds Account and then used to pay non-reimbursed public office related expenses or for any of the six purposes outlined above.
Q:I have surplus funds left after the election. Can I leave them in my campaign bank account or do I have to open a separate account?
A:It depends on your plans for the funds.
  • All uses of surplus funds can be conducted directly from the campaign account with the exception of reimbursement of public office-related expenses. In that case, you must open a separate bank account and file a C1 with the PDC to register the surplus funds account.
  • If the funds are to be used for the next election, you can leave them in the same bank account and begin using them for the new election once you’ve filed a C1 registering the new campaign with the PDC.
  • However, once contributions for the new election are deposited into the account, the funds become active campaign funds and are no longer surplus funds.
Q:If I leave my surplus funds in the same bank account to use for the next election, can I still file my final C4 for this election?
A:Do not file the final C4 until the cash on hand amount is zero.
  • Either file a C1 registering the surplus funds account and report a campaign expenditure showing the transfer to the surplus funds account and then file the final C4 for the campaign or
  • File a C1 registering a campaign for the next election and you can leave the funds in the same bank account, but they can only be used for the new campaign and are no longer surplus funds. You can then report the expenditure to the new campaign and file the final C4 report.
Q:How do I set up and report my surplus funds account?
A:A: File a C1 registering the surplus funds account. Send a signature authorization letter to the PDC if you wish to electronically file the surplus funds reports. You will receive a unique Filer ID from the PDC. Transfers into and expenditures from a separate surplus funds account—and expenditures of surplus funds from a candidate’s campaign account—must be reported according to the same schedule and in the same manner as normal “C-Series” campaign filings.
Q:My campaign is over, but I want to maintain my bank account, post office box and or campaign web site for the next campaign and will be paying the small fees until I start the new campaign. Can I pay them from the surplus funds account?
A:Yes, but you must file a C1 registering the new campaign if you are making expenditures for that future campaign. You must report the transactions to the PDC.