ORCA FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions 1.060

 

Note: Always check for the latest updates to ORCA at the PDC web site.

 

How do I use ORCA?

 

Campaign Setup

Names and contacts

Filer ID/passwords

Form C4

C4 reporting periods

Expenditures - Schedule A

Contribution Limits

In Kind, debt - Schedule B

Carry Forward

Loans - Schedule L

Error Messages

Contributions - Form C3

Importing & Exporting

Form C1 and C1PC

Electronic Filing/Transmitting

Backup and Restore

Amending

Updates, Miscellaneous

 

Surplus Funds

 

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 a 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 go to Transactions>Contributions>Monetary Contribution.

In the Monetary Contribution window enter the Contributor Name>Use your tab key or mouse to continue.  You can use the F11 key to pick existing contacts from a list.  If you are entering a new contact you will be prompted to enter additional information about that specific contact including, Contact Type, Contact Address, Occupation/Employer Information & some optional information.  Please complete any applicable fields unless it reads “optional.”  Click OK to return to the “monetary contribution” window.  No matter the contact you will enter the contribution amount, date of receipt and election if it is a limited race & Click OK to save changes.  (*Time Saver Note:  If you have more than one contribution to enter you may use the “new record” button to continue rather than clicking the OK button.  Click OK when you finished entering all contributions.)

Once you’ve entered 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 a monetary expenditure go to Transactions>Expenditures>Monetary Expenditures.

In the Expenditure window enter the Vendor Name> Use your tab key or mouse to continue.  You can use the F11 key to pick existing contacts

from a list.  If you are entering a new contact you will be prompted to enter additional information about that specific contact including, Contact Type, Contact Address, Occupation/Employer Information & some optional information.  Please complete any applicable fields unless it reads “optional.”  Click OK to return to the “monetary expenditures” window.  Choose the Bank Account where the expense is being made from in the drop down menu & enter the expenditure date which will activate the right hand side of the window.  Choose the “add” button (green + symbol).  In the Expense Items window choose an appropriate Expenditure Account (5150 – Miscellaneous may be used at any time)>Enter the amount>Enter a complete description of the expenditure>Click OK to close the window & OK again to close the Monetary Expenditure window. ORCA will add these expenses to a Schedule A that will be filed with the C-4 for the reporting period that it took place in.  (*Time Saver Note:  If you have more than one expense to enter you may use the “new record” button to continue rather than clicking the OK button.  Click OK when you finished entering all expenditures.)

 

To view go to Reports>Preview/Print & Submit>a Report Manager window will appear>Choose the C3 or C4 Report tab>Highlight the report you wish to review & choose “View Report” on the right side.

 

 

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                                                         (Return to top)

 

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 or restore a campaign created previously.

 

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:  Open the campaign account that you need to adjust in ORCA.  Click on File>Committee Information>Candidate Info.  Use the drop down list to change Office Sought. Click OK.  If you also need to change the Jurisdiction, return to the Committee Information screen and make the change.  You cannot change both Office Sought and Jurisdiction in the same transaction.  You must click OK between each change and re-open the Committee Information screen for the change to take effect.

 

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 2011, change the year to 2011, open Orca and create the committee. After you’ve created the committee, be sure to change your computer year back to the current year.

 

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                                                     (Return to top)

 

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> Registration and Filing Instructions, then print Password Request Form. You may also submit a C-1 or C-1pc electronically using ORCA and a signature authorization form will be created for you. Mail this document to the PDC with two passwords. Campaign accounts and candidate surplus funds accounts have different Filer ID’s as do Exempt and Non-Exempt accounts for bona fide political committees.  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 2013 conflicts with 2014. Or it said my Filer ID is not registered for 2014.

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. Both passwords are required to transmit reports. 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 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.

 

 

C4 Reporting Periods                                                (Return to top)

 

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 2014 election, you will file the 21 day pre-primary C4 which covers transactions between June 1st and July 14th.

 

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. 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 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 I can’t add the January reporting period.

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.

*Please note:  If you enter new activity not previously included in the aggregate totals for your C-4s you will need to amend (re-submit) all subsequent C-4 filings to reflect the carry forward amounts on Line 1 and Line 10.

 

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. Hold down the Control key on your keyboard while you click the May reporting period to highlight it also.
  4. You should have April and May now highlighted and can click “Combine Selected.”
  5. Click OK and you will see the combined period in your C4 list.

 NOTE:  You will not be able to combine, edit or delete the “locked” C4 reporting periods (for example, the 21 or 7 day pre-election reports) as these are required to be filed regardless of the level of activity.

 

Q:  My political committee is a “single election committee” but our ballot measure will be on the general election.  My C-4 reporting periods do not include “November” as a choice.  How do I create C-4 reporting periods for the general election?

A:  You can manually enter the date of the general election in ORCA.  Click File>Committee Information>C4 Reporting Periods. Select “Other Special Election”. Enter the date of the general election and click OK.  ORCA will provide you with the 21 and 7 day pre-election reports as well as the post election C-4.

 

 Q:  I am in the process of changing reporting options form “mini” to “full” and need to file a C-4 that covers from the beginning of my campaign to today.  How do I edit my reporting periods in ORCA?

A:  You can create custom reporting periods in ORCA.  Click File>Committee Information>C4 Reporting Periods. Select the appropriate election on the right. Click Create Custom Reporting Periods>Edit Custom Periods. You will see a button “Append” with the number 6 next to it.  You can change the 6 to indicate how many extra dates you need.  Click “Append” to add them.  You may adjust these newly created reporting periods by “double clicking” in the cells (Start Date, Stop Date or Due Date).  Click OK when you are done to save your changes.

 

NOTE:  You will not be able to combine, edit or delete the “locked” C4 reporting periods (for example, the 21 or 7 day pre-election reports) as these are required to be filed regardless of the level of activity.

 

 

 

 

Contribution Limits                                                    (Return to top)

 

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>Campaign Limits.

 

Q: I’m a candidate subject to contribution limits.  I received a check for $1900 from a contributor.  How do I enter it in Orca?

A:  In the monetary contribution screen, enter $1900 and choose the “both” option.  This will apply half of the total contribution to each election ($950 for the primary and $950 for the general).

 

Q: I entered a cash contribution from my candidate, but ORCA warns me that the amount exceeds the limit.  Why am I getting this error?

A:  When you set up the candidate campaign ORCA created an individual contact for the candidate automatically.  To enter a cash contribution from the candidate you must use TRANSACTIONS>CONTRIBUTIONS>CANDIDATES PERSONAL FUNDS.  If you create a new contact entry for the candidate ORCA will treat them as an outside donor and contribution limits will apply.

 

You can move the cash contribution to “candidate’s personal funds”, delete the contribution from the new candidate contact you created and then delete the duplicate contact information.

 

 

Carry Forward                                                           (Return to top)

 

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.

 

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 accurate 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                                                           (Return to top)

 

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 2013 conflicts with 2014. Or it said my Filer ID is not registered for 2014.

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 or the Schedule B for missing contact information. If any are missing, return to the original entry under the Transactions menu, 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.

o       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 than 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.

 

Q:  I finished entering information onto one of the screens in ORCA, but the OK button is dimmed so I can’t choose it.

A:  You are probably missing information in a required field or the information entered is not acceptable.  You will notice a warning in red lettering in the top left corner of the window.  Correct the information and then click OK to close the window and save your changes.

 

Q:  I entered a contribution of $25 or less from an individual so I only entered the contributor name. When I clicked the OK button, I received a warning that the address was missing.  Why am I getting this message when this information isn’t required?

A: Any contributor who donates $25 or less in the aggregate is automatically lumped together on Line 1e of the C3 report.  If you choose to override the defaults in ORCA by clicking the “always itemize” button, ORCA will prompt you for additional contact information.

 

 

Importing and Exporting                                           (Return to top)

 

Q: How do I transfer contacts from one ORCA campaign to new ORCA campaign?

 

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: Can I print a list of expenses?

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:  Caution: Make a backup of your Orca dataset before importing. If you have a problem with the imported data, you can then restore your original dataset. If you import more than once, the imported contacts will duplicate each time.  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.

 

Open ORCA and click File>Utilities>Import and Export. Click “Import from another program or file” and click “Next”.  Click “Comma Separated Values” and click “Next”.  Click “Browse” and select the file and click “Save”. Click “Next” and then select the data set to import the file into and click “Next.” Click “Import” and then “Finish” after the files are imported.  

 

Q: I tried to import my contacts from a previous campaign, but got an error message part way through the import and then gave me an error message or didn’t complete the import. 

A: If your data in the original dataset you importing FROM has errors, it cannot import correctly.  Open the contacts lists (individuals, couples, others, groups) and make sure none of the names are blank and that you don’t have any dashes, “unacceptable characters” such as rectangles in the fields.  *CAUTION – If you get an error part way through your contact list and import it again after you have made corrections, you will duplicate all contacts that were successfully transferred before.

 

Q: I have “group contacts” that I want to import, but I need to remove some of the individuals that make up my group list.

A: You can use the IMPORT/EXPORT icon to import all contacts including your groups.  When removing an individual that is part of your group you must delete their name from ACCOUNTS>CONTACTS>INDIVIDUALS.  This will remove them from your group list.

 

Transmitting                                                                (Return to top)

 

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 transmitted my C3 and received a confirmation message stating that it was successfully filed, but there is no check mark.  Did I do something wrong? 

A:  Although this is very rare it is possible to have a report successfully filed, but not have a green check mark by it.  If you received a confirmation message you have most likely filed properly.  You should also check the PDC website to verify that the report has been received.  You will see the same confirmation number in the top right corner of the C3 on the website as the number in your confirmation message.  Unfortunately, the check mark is part of the filing process in ORCA and cannot be “redone” so you will need to remember that the C3 was already submitted even though it is lacking the check mark.

 

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 sent my C4's and C3's electronically only one of the reports was 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 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 Filer 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>Filer Resources>ORCA>Registration and Filing Instructions.

 

Q: I tried to file my January C4 for my continuing political committee and it was rejected because the Filer ID/Election Year 2013 conflicts with 2014. Or it said my Filer ID is not registered for 2014.

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:  What is the “Edit Text Attachment” button used for?

A:  Sometimes PDC staff will ask you to include a memo to explain a specific scenario that you are reporting on your C3 or C4.  You can use a text attachment to disclose additional information.  The text attachment will be filed with the report that you create it with.

 

Q:  Do I have to use the “Validate Report” button to check for errors before I transmit a report?

A:  ORCA is set up to “pre-validate” your report automatically before it is submitted.  Validation will check for errors like missing contact information and over limit contributions.  You can check for these errors yourself by using the validate report button.  You will have an opportunity to edit the information prior to uploading the report.

 

 

Amending                                                                    (Return to top)

 

Q:  How do I see the reports I filed?

A:  Go to the PDC web site at www.pdc.wa.gov and click the “View Actual Reports” tab. Choose the type of report you are looking for (candidate or committee).  Choose the filer name from the drop down list and change any other search criteria you wish.  When the name of the filer appears on the right side of the screen use the “reports” link next to name to view the reports submitted by the filer.

 

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.

 

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                                                  (Return to top)

 

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 it is split between them on the C3.

 

NOTE:  You may enter two individuals with different last names.  (For example, George Jones & Kay Smith.)  Be sure to enter their full names in the “couple name” field and in “contact 1” and “contact 2” fields.

 

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 file and save it 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.

 

Q:  I entered a contribution of $25 or less from an individual so I only entered the contributor name. When I clicked the OK button, I received a warning that the address was missing.  Why am I getting this message when this information isn’t required?

A: Any contributor who donates $25 or less in the aggregate is automatically lumped together on Line 1e of the C3 report.  If you choose to override the defaults in ORCA by clicking the “always itemize” button, ORCA will prompt you for additional contact information.

 

 

Form C4                                                                      (Return to top)

 

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 entered a duplicate expenditure (or contribution). How do I change it so my C4 will be correct?

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.

 

Expenditures – Schedule A                             (Return to top)

 

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. Only expenses with dates that occur within the C-4 reporting period will appear on that C-4.

 

Q:  How do I enter a monetary expenditure?

A:  Go to Transactions>Expenditures>Monetary Expenditures.  You must type the name of the vendor (whomever you are paying or reimbursing), choose the expenditure account that was used to make the expense and enter the date of the expense.  When the required fields are completed on the left you will be able to click the “add” button (the green + symbol).

 

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 $5,500 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 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.

 

*Please Note:  The “vendor refund” feature will only work if you are using the campaign in which the original expenditure was entered.

 

In Kind Contributions, Debt – Schedule B             (Return to top)

 

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.

 

Note:  The “Carry Forward” debt check box is used to indicate debt from a previous campaign that is being carried forward into the new campaign.

 

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 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                                                  (Return to top)

 

Q:  How much can a candidate loan the campaign?

A:  Only 5,500 in candidate loans to the campaign per election may be repaid with campaign funds.  Additional personal funds from the candidate become 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 $5,500 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 $5,500 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.

 

Note:  The “Carry Forward” loan check box is used to indicate loans from a previous campaign that is being carried forward into the new campaign.

 

Q:  I entered a cash 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, Deposits – Form C3                         (Return to top)

 

Q: I’m a candidate subject to contribution limits.  I received a check for $1900 from a contributor.  How do I enter it in Orca?

A:  In the monetary contribution screen, enter $1900 and choose the “both” option.  This will apply half of the total contribution to each election ($950 for the primary and $950 for the general).

 

Q:  How do I enter anonymous contributions?

A:  Transactions>Contributions>Anonymous Contributions.

 

Please Note:  The Anonymous Contribution section should not be used for small contributions of $25 or less.  These are entered individually with the dollar amount and donor name.  ORCA will automatically lump them together on Line 1e of the C-3.

 

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: I entered a cash contribution from my candidate, but ORCA warns me that the amount exceeds the limit.  Why am I getting this error?

A:  When you set up the candidate campaign ORCA created an individual contact for the candidate automatically.  To enter a cash contribution from the candidate you must use TRANSACTIONS>CONTRIBUTIONS>CANDIDATES PERSONAL FUNDS.  If you create a new contact entry for the candidate ORCA will treat them as an outside donor and contribution limits will apply.

 

You can move the cash contribution to “candidate’s personal funds”, delete the contribution from the new candidate contact you created and then delete the duplicate contact information.

 

Q: The candidate paid for some items from her own funds. How do I enter it?

A: Transactions>Contributions>In Kind Contributions. 

 

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 want 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 want 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.  Check the items on the left that made up the bank deposit. In the middle of the window, click the arrow pointing right to move the items to the right side of the screen.  In the upper right corner of the window, enter the date the items were deposited in the bank and click OK

 

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.  It can be used by PACs who receive the same amount every month from the same filers.  For example, 18 members of a union who each have a monthly 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 entered a contribution of $25 or less from an individual so I only entered the contributor name. When I clicked the OK button, I received a warning that the address was missing.  Why am I getting this message when this information isn’t required?

A: Any contributor who donates $25 or less in the aggregate is automatically lumped together on Line 1e of the C3 report.  If you choose to override the defaults in ORCA by clicking the “always itemize” button, ORCA will prompt you for additional contact information.

 

Form C1 and C1PC                                                   (Return to top)

 

Q: Can I electronically transmit my C1 or C1PC in ORCA.

A: As of version 1.041 of ORCA, C1 and C1PC forms may be filed electronically.  As part of completing the campaign setup wizard, you will be prompted to complete the C1 or C1pc.  If you already have a current registration form on file with the PDC you may skip this step.  You may return to the C1 or C1pc at any time by choosing REPORTS>PREVIEW/PRINT C1 or PREVIEW/PRINT C1PC.

 

To be able to electronically submit the C1 or C1PC you must complete all required fields including party preference for candidates, reporting option, campaign books information and campaign bank. You can validate the report using the “Validate C1 Report” button at the bottom of the window. You can also print the report or view/save/print it as a PDF file to visually validate that it is correct. You can then submit the report to the PDC using the “Submit C1 Report” button at the bottom of the window.

 

Since the C1 report requires a signature, the electronically filed report will be activated once you have mailed in a signature card (which the application will prompt you to print if you did not enter a filer identification number or don’t have a filer identification number assigned to you yet). The PDC officially “receives” the report as of the postmark date on the signature card. If you have already provided a signature card to the PDC for ORCA reports, it will suffice, and then the report will be officially received by the PDC as of the date it is electronically submitted.

 

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. 

 

Q: Can I use ORCA to amend a previously filed C1 or C1PC?

A: Yes, you may amend the C1 or C1PC at any time using ORCA. 

 

Backup and Restore                                                  (Return to top)

 

Q: How do I backup my data?

A: On the home screen of ORCA, click Backup Campaign Data, and 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 G for a memory stick 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 G for a memory stick 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 G for a memory stick drive, desktop, etc.). Click on the name of the data and click Open.  Once you have restored the data, click Open Campaign.

 

 

Updates, Miscellaneous                                             (Return to top)

 

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 http://www.pdc.wa.gov/filers/orca/Default.aspx . Be sure to use the link at that site to update your version of Java first.

 

Special Note:  MAC/Apple users and Linux users must load ORCA updates from the PDC website.

 

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:  How do I see the reports I filed?

A:  Go to the PDC web site at www.pdc.wa.gov and click the “View Actual Reports” tab. Choose the type of report you are looking for (candidate or committee).  Choose the filer name from the drop down list and change any other search criteria you wish.  When the name of the filer appears on the right side of the screen use the “reports” link next to name to view the reports submitted by the filer.

 

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 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                                                             (Return to top)

 

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

·        Transferred to the state treasurer for deposit in the general fund, oral history, state library and archives or the international trade account

·        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:  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 are 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.