Amending

How do I amend a report?

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.

What do I do when an expenditure check that I wrote isn't cashed?

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.

What do I do when I refund a contribution or I deposit a contributor's check and my bank returns it as NSF?

In order to refund a contribution, or show that the check was returned, please do the following:

1. With your campaign open, go to Expenditures>Refund Contribution

2. When the Refund Contribution window opens, click the Browse button

3. Look through the list of contributors to find the one you want to refund>click it to highlight>click OK

4. In the main Contribution Refund window, you will now see the contribution you chose in the previous step. Enter the amount and date you are returning the contribution as well as a description such as “Contribution Refund” or “NSF”. Click OK.

5. If you review the C4 report covering the period for the date you entered in the previous step, you will now see corrections included with this report. The information will appear on Schedule C Corrections.

6. If you have already uploaded this C4, please submit the report again as well as any subsequent C4 reports you may have filed, if applicable.

 

I mistakenly filed a C-4 report marking it "Final." How do I fix it?

With the campaign open, go to Reports>Preview/Print & Submit Reports

  • Click on the C-4 tab
  • Find the last C-4 report you filed and click to highlight
  • Look below the Upload/Amend Icon at right where you will find the Final Report box (which is blank)
  • Click in the box and a check mark will appear. This has now activated this feature.
  • Click in the box again and a check mark will disappear. This has now deactivated this feature.
  • Click on the View Report icon to verify that there is no X in final on the report and close the view window.
  • Upload the report which will amend the previous report which mistakenly showed Final.
What do I do when the report is due, but I don't have all of the information I need to include for a contributor or vendor?

Supply all of the information that you have and file the report, so it is not late. Keep working on obtaining the information and amend the report once you receive the missing information. Add missing information for contacts in the ORCA software by clicking 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.

Remember to resubmit any reports affected by your edits.

How do I "undeposit" an item?

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."

How do I delete an entire deposit?

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.

What should I do if I file a duplicate C-3 report?

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."

I entered a duplicate expenditure and need to correct it.

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.

Backup and Restore

How do I move my data to another computer?
  1. Install ORCA on the computer that you want your data moved to.
  2. Backup the campaign data from the original computer.
  3. Restore it to the new computer
How do I restore my data?
  1. Open ORCA.
  2. Click Restore Campaign. Indicate the location of the data to be restored (for example: Drive G for a memory stick drive, desktop, etc.).
  3. Click on the name of the data and click Open. Once you have restored the data, click Open Campaign.
How do I install a campaign on my computer that the former treasurer emailed to me?
  1. Install the ORCA software. Or, if you have the software installed, make sure you are using the latest version.
  2. Save the backup (zip file) you received from the treasurer to a location on your computer.
  3. Open ORCA and restore the campaign from the zip file. Once you have restored the data, click Open Campaign
How do I backup my data?

On the home screen of ORCA, click Backup Campaign Data, and then select the committee name to be backed up.

Click Ok.

Type the file name you want to use for the backup, leaving the ".zip" extension on the end.

Choose the location where you want the data saved (for example Drive G for a memory stick drive, desktop, etc.).

Click Save.

C4 reporting periods

Does a continuing committee do anything special when a new calendar year starts?

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, because aggregates are tracked by calendar year. Be sure to select the election in which your committee is participating (File>Committee Information>C4 reporting periods).

I'm trying to file my C-4 and I don't have any reporting periods to choose.

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.

I need to file a June C-4, but the reporting period includes part of July.

If your candidate's name is on the primary ballot or your continuing committee is participating in the 2018 election, you will file the 21 day pre-primary C4 which covers transactions between June 1st and July 16th.

Can a continuing committee change the reporting periods to monthly for a year in which the committee doesn't participate in the elections?

Yes, 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

I don't have enough C-4 reporting periods. Can I add more?

Yes. 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.

A continuing PAC that is not participating in a specific election 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.

I need to add a reporting period for my final C-4 report.

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.

I set up my campaign with a start date of February 1 and filed my first report. Now I realize I had a transaction in January, but cannot add the January reporting period.

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.

How do I combine reporting periods into a single reporting period?

This is a common question because, unless the election is within four months, a C-4 is due only when the committee has deposited or spent more than $200 since the last C-4 report was filed. Skipping reporting for a month or more, however, means that when the committee reaches the $200 threshold, it will report for the period of time that started where the last report left off and end with the end of the month in which the threshold was reached. Follow these steps to 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.

How does a "single election" committee create C-4 reporting period through the general election?

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.

How do I edit reporting periods so that I can file one report containing all activity from the start of my campaign until today when I change from the Mini to Full Reporting option?

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.

Campaign Setup

How do I get started?

Step 1. Download and install ORCA.

Step 2. Watch the tutorials founder under Help on the ORCA menu bar.

Step 3. Use the setup wizard to create your campaign.

Be careful to choose the right options and answer the prompts correctly, because you may not be able to make changes later.

  • A person whose name will be on the ballot chooses "candidate campaign"
  • A ballot, levy, referendum or initiative committee raising money for just one particular election chooses "single election year committee"
  • A committee formed to make independent expenditures or otherwise support or oppose candidates in just one particular election chooses "single election year committee"
  • A committee that plans to continue beyond a particular election chooses "continuing political committee campaign

Step 4. Enter data.

  • Enter contributions in the ORCA software.

    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

  • Enter expenditures in the ORCA software.

    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.)

  • View reports in the ORCA software.

Reports>Preview/Print & Submit>

The Report Manager window opens and displays two choices: C3 or C4 Report. Select the appropriate tab. Highlight the report you wish to review & choose "View Report" on the right side.

Does a continuing committee do anything special when a new calendar year starts?

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, because aggregates are tracked by calendar year. Be sure to select the election in which your committee is participating (File>Committee Information>C4 reporting periods).

I'm setting up my campaign and don't know if it's a candidate campaign or continuing committee.

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.

I've downloaded ORCA, clicked "Open Campaign," and find nothing.

After downloading ORCA, you must create a campaign using the setup wizard or restore a campaign created previously.

How does a continuing committee start the new calendar year?

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.

I've created a duplicate committee and need to delete one.

Determine which one you want to delete. This may require you to click "Open Campaign" so that you can see which one contains data.

Click File>Delete Campaign. Select the campaign you want to delete, click Ok and click Yes.

Caution! You will not have access to the committee once it's deleted unless you restore a previously created backup.

I chose the wrong office or jurisdiction when I set up the committee and need to correct it.

Once you have created a candidate campaign in ORCA you cannot edit the office or jurisdiction. If you have mistakenly chosen the wrong office or jurisdiction you will need to delete the campaign (FILE>DELETE CAMPAIGN) and create a new one using the Setup Wizard.

Carry Forward

How do I enter surplus funds from my last campaign?

File>Committee Info>Carry Forward Cash. Click the green "plus" sign and enter the amount. This dollar amount will appear on Line 1 of the first C-4 report for your campaign.

What do I use for a carry forward balance if I know there's a discrepancy between my bank account and my last report?

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.

My carry forward includes a petty cash account. How do I enter it in the new campaign?

Enter the total cash on hand as a carry forward then transfer the petty cash amount. To transfer, go to Transactions>Bookkeeping Adjustments>Account adjustments.

Example: There's $1,320 in the campaign account and $180 in the petty cash fund. Enter $1,500 as the carry forward amount and transfer $180 to petty cash.

My first C-4 report for the campaign shows an amount on line 1 and it should be $0.

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.

Contribution Limits

Why is ORCA warning me that the candidate's personal contribution exceeds the limit?

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.

I'm a legislative candidate and received $5,000 from my party, but ORCA warns me that the contribution exceeds the limit.

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. Voter counts for legislative districts and counties are typically available on the our Contribution Limits page by mid-February of the election year.

How do I enter a $2,000 contribution when my contribution limit is $1,000 per election?

In the monetary contribution screen, enter $2000 and choose the "both" option. This will apply half of the total contribution to each election ($1000 for the primary and $1000 for the general).

Contributions - Form C3

How do I enter a $2,000 contribution when my contribution limit is $1,000 per election?

In the monetary contribution screen, enter $2000 and choose the "both" option. This will apply half of the total contribution to each election ($1000 for the primary and $1000 for the general).

What do I do when an expenditure check that I wrote isn't cashed?

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.

Why is ORCA warning me that the candidate's personal contribution exceeds the limit?

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.

What do I do when I refund a contribution or I deposit a contributor's check and my bank returns it as NSF?

In order to refund a contribution, or show that the check was returned, please do the following:

1. With your campaign open, go to Expenditures>Refund Contribution

2. When the Refund Contribution window opens, click the Browse button

3. Look through the list of contributors to find the one you want to refund>click it to highlight>click OK

4. In the main Contribution Refund window, you will now see the contribution you chose in the previous step. Enter the amount and date you are returning the contribution as well as a description such as “Contribution Refund” or “NSF”. Click OK.

5. If you review the C4 report covering the period for the date you entered in the previous step, you will now see corrections included with this report. The information will appear on Schedule C Corrections.

6. If you have already uploaded this C4, please submit the report again as well as any subsequent C4 reports you may have filed, if applicable.

 

How do I know who the contributor is when I receive a check with two names on it?

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.

What do I do when I receive a contribution from an individual who I have set up as part of a couple?

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.

I entered a contribution from a couple, but the contribution doesn't show up on the C-3 report.

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.

How do I enter anonymous contributions?

Transactions>Contributions>Anonymous Contributions.

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.

Note: The campaign may accept up to $300 or 1% of the total contributions to date (whichever is larger) in anonymous contributions.

Does it matter if I enter items out of date order?

No. The system is set up to report in correct sequence regardless of when you input the information.

What does the "itemize always" box do on the contribution screen?

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.

ORCA is rejecting my C-3 report and the error message says "Segment Identifier Not Recognized."

This error can be caused by a number of issues, but most frequently is related to an unknown character in your report. The most common source is an extra space at the end of one of the contact names or addresses of one of your contributors. If you have used the "copy & paste" method for any of your entries, those entries would be the most likely cause. You can view and edit your list of contacts by going back to ACCOUNTS>CONTACTS. You may be able to see the extra spaces in order to delete them. Even if you cannot see them, you can still use the delete or back space to remove them.

How do I enter retired, student or unemployed contributors?

On the contributor information screen enter the contributor's status (retired, unemployed, student, homemaker, etc.) in the occupation field.

I entered contributions, but there's no C-3 report.

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.

How do I "undeposit" an item?

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."

How do I delete an entire deposit?

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.

What should I do if I file a duplicate C-3 report?

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."

How can I change a contributor's name if it was entered incorrectly?

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.

I made two deposits of the same amount on the same day and ORCA won't let me file two reports.

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 combine the two deposits and file one C-3. Put a memo in your files stating what you did and why.

If you have already filed a C-3 for the first deposit, here are the steps for adding the second to the same report:

  • In ORCA go to TRANSACTIONS>MAKE A DEPOSIT.
  • Find the 2nd deposit and use the red X located at the bottom of the window to "delete" the deposit action. This will move the contribution(s) back to the left "un-deposited" items side of the window.
  • Now find the original deposit. With the original on the right side of the window, use the right arrow in the middle of the screen to add the 2nd item to the first.
  • Click OK to save your changes.
  • Last, resubmit (or amend) the original C-3.
I entered a pledge, but now the donor says he can't honor the entire amount.

Enter the amount redeemed by going to Transactions>Pledges and click previous until you find the entered pledge. Click "Cash Payment" and then the green "plus" sign. Next, enter the amount that won't be redeemed. Click "Canceled" and then the green "plus" sign, then enter the amount.

How do I enter my online contribution processor's transaction fees?

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

I entered occupation and employer information for my contributor, but it doesn't show up on the report.

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.

Electronic Filing/Transmitting

What are those green and purple check marks in the report manager?
  • A green check mark means the report was filed with the PDC.
  • A purple check mark means the report was submitted again as an amendment.
  • An orange checkmark means you filed a report that has errors and you must correct the errors and amend the report. A common error is not including a contributor's occupation or employer information.
Should I worry if there's no check mark in the report manager after I file a C3 and receive confirmation it was filed?

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.

How do I send reports to the PDC after I enter the information?

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

How come only one report submits when I send my C-3 and C-4?

C3's and C4's are submitted separately with their associated attachments. You must send each C3 and C4 one at a time.

What does the "edit text attachment" button do?

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 is automatically filed with the report for which it was created.

Do I have to validate reports before I transmit them?

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.

Error Messages

Why is ORCA warning me that the candidate's personal contribution exceeds the limit?

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.

What do I do if I get an error message that my filer ID is incorrect or that my committee is not registered for the election year?

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.

What does the error message "computer cannot connect to the server" mean?

It probably means there is an issue with your Internet connection. If you are connected to the Internet, check the PDC website for any possible system maintenance notices. You can also request technical assistance through the PDC website.

What does the error message "server error - the required attribute contID is missing" mean?

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.

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.

ORCA is rejecting my C-3 report and the error message says "Segment Identifier Not Recognized."

This error can be caused by a number of issues, but most frequently is related to an unknown character in your report. The most common source is an extra space at the end of one of the contact names or addresses of one of your contributors. If you have used the "copy & paste" method for any of your entries, those entries would be the most likely cause. You can view and edit your list of contacts by going back to ACCOUNTS>CONTACTS. You may be able to see the extra spaces in order to delete them. Even if you cannot see them, you can still use the delete or back space to remove them.

I reported a contribution to my committee from a business and received a message saying I'm missing occupation and employer.

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.

Why am I warned that I need to add the address when the contribution entered is not more than $25?

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.

The January C-4 report for my continuing committee was rejected because the filer ID/election 2017 conflicts with 2018.

Another variation of the error message is "Filer ID not registered for 20XX."

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.

I made two deposits of the same amount on the same day and ORCA won't let me file two reports.

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 combine the two deposits and file one C-3. Put a memo in your files stating what you did and why.

If you have already filed a C-3 for the first deposit, here are the steps for adding the second to the same report:

  • In ORCA go to TRANSACTIONS>MAKE A DEPOSIT.
  • Find the 2nd deposit and use the red X located at the bottom of the window to "delete" the deposit action. This will move the contribution(s) back to the left "un-deposited" items side of the window.
  • Now find the original deposit. With the original on the right side of the window, use the right arrow in the middle of the screen to add the 2nd item to the first.
  • Click OK to save your changes.
  • Last, resubmit (or amend) the original C-3.

Expenditures - Schedule A

Does it matter if I enter items out of date order?

No. The system is set up to report in correct sequence regardless of when you input the information.

I mistakenly filed a C-4 report marking it "Final." How do I fix it?

With the campaign open, go to Reports>Preview/Print & Submit Reports

  • Click on the C-4 tab
  • Find the last C-4 report you filed and click to highlight
  • Look below the Upload/Amend Icon at right where you will find the Final Report box (which is blank)
  • Click in the box and a check mark will appear. This has now activated this feature.
  • Click in the box again and a check mark will disappear. This has now deactivated this feature.
  • Click on the View Report icon to verify that there is no X in final on the report and close the view window.
  • Upload the report which will amend the previous report which mistakenly showed Final.
I entered a duplicate expenditure and need to correct it.

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.

How do I enter my online contribution processor's transaction fees?

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

I entered an expenditure and it doesn't show up on the Schedule 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.

How do I enter a monetary expenditure?

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).

How can I look at all the expenditures I've entered in ORCA?

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.

You may also use the IMPORT/EXPORT function to export a list of all the monetary expenditures for the entire campaign. This list can be exported to CSV and then viewed in Excel.

How do I enter reimbursements I make to the candidate?

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.

What is the "itemize always" box for on the expenditure screen?

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.

Filer ID/passwords

What is my committee identification number (filer ID)?

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 registration statement (C-1 for candidates and C-1pc for political committees) and you have provided the PDC passwords you wish to use for the campaign. You can file the C-1 or C-1pc electronically using ORCA or file them electronically using the PDC website. The electronic filing process will allow you to create new passwords or update previously created passwords.

You can sign the C-1 or C-1pc electronically. No mailed version is required if you submit the registration electronically.

Campaign accounts and candidate surplus funds accounts have different Filer ID's as do Exempt and Non-Exempt accounts for bona fide political committees.

I already have a filer ID and password from filing the personal financial affairs statement. Why won't they work in ORCA?

The F1 and the campaign finance databases are separate. You can apply for the campaign Filer ID by submitting your candidate registration (C-1) or committee registration (C-1pc) electronically.

How do I change my passwords?

Email pdc@pdc.wa.gov. Include your filer ID and name in the email. We will call you at the phone number on file to create new passwords.

What do I do with the filer ID?

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.

What do I do to fix incorrect passwords?

Your passwords are case sensitive and must be entered in the correct order. If you still can't get your passwords to work, contact the PDC.

What is my filer identification number?

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 registration statement (C-1 for candidates and C-1pc for political committees) and you have provided the PDC passwords you wish to use for the campaign. You can file the C-1 or C-1pc electronically using ORCA or file them electronically using the PDC website. The electronic filing process will allow you to create new passwords or update previously created passwords.

You can sign the C-1 or C-1pc electronically. No mailed version is required if you submit the registration electronically.

Form C1 and C1PC

Can I use ORCA to file the registration (C-1 or C-1pc)?

No. You must use the PDC's campaign registration application to file a C-1 or C-1PC. For instructions, please check the videos on our guides and training videos page. Written instructions are also available on the website.

Does ORCA require me to file the C-1 or C-1pc if I've already mailed it?

No.

Form C4

What do I do with the ORCA data after the election?

Once all transactions are disclosed, all outstanding obligations, debts and expenses are paid, file the last C4. 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.

If you will no longer be actively using ORCA, you should make a backup of your campaign data and save the backup with your other campaign records for safe keeping.

My first C-4 report for the campaign shows an amount on line 1 and it should be $0.

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.

Line 8 from my last C-4 doesn't match Line 1 on the next C-4 report.

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.

Importing & Exporting

How do I transfer contacts from one ORCA campaign to another?

 

You can import your lists(s) of contacts from a previous campaign into your newly created campaign so you don't have to re-type them.

Your contacts are found by going to ACCOUNTS>CONTACTS>INDIVIDUALS. The import process will go smoothly if you don't have any errors in your previous list.

In the prior campaign, use the "browse" button found in the bottom right corner of ACCOUNTS>CONTACTS>INDIVIDUALS (or the appropriate choice) to review your list.

Delete any empty lines or duplicates you find in your list. Repeat this process for your couple contacts (ACCOUNTS>CONTACTS>COUPLES) making sure all your "couple" contacts have both an appropriate "couple name" and separate unique contact entries.

Please review your "other" contacts, (ACCOUNTS>CONTACTS>OTHERS) to make sure all are correct as well.

If you import contacts from a previous campaign to a new campaign and errors exist in the previous campaign, ORCA will halt the import process. If you import a second time it will import the entire list again, subsequently duplicating the names from the first attempt. You can delete the duplicates after the import process is successful.

In ORCA, 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

 

Can I print a list of contributors?

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.

Can I get a list of contributors?

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.

Can I print a list of expenses?

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.

How do I import names and addresses from an Excel file into ORCA?

First, make a backup of your ORCA dataset before importing. This will allow you to restore your data, if necessary. If you don't make a backup of your dataset and there's you have a problem with the imported data, the PDC will not be able to restore your data for you.

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.

I tried to import contacts, but got an error message during the import or the import failed.

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.

I have "group contacts" to import, but need to remove an individual(s).

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.

In Kind, debt - Schedule B

How do I enter refunds of payments the campaign made?

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.

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

How do I enter payments the candidate made using personal funds?

Transactions>Contributions>In Kind Contributions. (See in-kind loans, if the candidate expects to be repaid.)

I entered a vendor debt, but it doesn't show up on Schedule B.

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.

How do I show that debts have been paid?

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."

What do I do with the ORCA data after the election?

Once all transactions are disclosed, all outstanding obligations, debts and expenses are paid, file the last C4. 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.

If you will no longer be actively using ORCA, you should make a backup of your campaign data and save the backup with your other campaign records for safe keeping.

What is an "in-kind loan?"

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 an in-kind loan to his or her campaign committee which is limited to $6,000 per election. Undocumented out-of-pocket campaign expenditures by the candidate are in-kind contributions not eligible for repayment.

What's the difference between candidate loan and debt?

Candidate loan: The candidate has a $6,000 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:

  • Report debt of more than $750 when it: 1) is outstanding as of the last day of the reporting period and has been outstanding for more than five business days in the 30 days before an election; or 2) is outstanding as of the last day of the reporting period and has been outstanding for more than 10 business days during all other times.
Can the campaign reimburse the candidate when s/he uses personal funds for campaign-related purchases?

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 $6,000 per election. Undocumented out-of-pocket campaign expenditures by the candidate are in-kind contributions not eligible for repayment.

See the brochure titled Campaign Loans & Loan Agreements for further information regarding candidate loans.

Loans - Schedule L

How much can a candidate loan the campaign?

The candidate's loan repayment limit is $6,000 per election. Excess personal funds the candidate gives to the campaign are non-refundable contributions.

How do I enter loan repayments to the candidate?

Return to the original loan transaction: For a monetary loan, go to 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.

What's the difference between candidate loan and debt?

Candidate loan: The candidate has a $6,000 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:

  • Report debt of more than $750 when it: 1) is outstanding as of the last day of the reporting period and has been outstanding for more than five business days in the 30 days before an election; or 2) is outstanding as of the last day of the reporting period and has been outstanding for more than 10 business days during all other times.
The loans I entered don't show up on the Schedule L or the C3.

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.

I entered a cash loan to the campaign and it isn't showing in the "Make a Deposit" screen.

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.

Can the campaign reimburse the candidate when s/he uses personal funds for campaign-related purchases?

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 $6,000 per election. Undocumented out-of-pocket campaign expenditures by the candidate are in-kind contributions not eligible for repayment.

See the brochure titled Campaign Loans & Loan Agreements for further information regarding candidate loans.

Names and contacts

How to correct contributor information, like names, addresses, or employer and occupation?

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.

How do I know who the contributor is when I receive a check with two names on it?

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.

What do I do when I receive a contribution from an individual who I have set up as part of a couple?

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.

I entered a contribution from a couple, but the contribution doesn't show up on the C-3 report.

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.

How do I enter retired, student or unemployed contributors?

On the contributor information screen enter the contributor's status (retired, unemployed, student, homemaker, etc.) in the occupation field.

What do I do when the report is due, but I don't have all of the information I need to include for a contributor or vendor?

Supply all of the information that you have and file the report, so it is not late. Keep working on obtaining the information and amend the report once you receive the missing information. Add missing information for contacts in the ORCA software by clicking 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.

Remember to resubmit any reports affected by your edits.

How do I transfer contacts from one ORCA campaign to another?

 

You can import your lists(s) of contacts from a previous campaign into your newly created campaign so you don't have to re-type them.

Your contacts are found by going to ACCOUNTS>CONTACTS>INDIVIDUALS. The import process will go smoothly if you don't have any errors in your previous list.

In the prior campaign, use the "browse" button found in the bottom right corner of ACCOUNTS>CONTACTS>INDIVIDUALS (or the appropriate choice) to review your list.

Delete any empty lines or duplicates you find in your list. Repeat this process for your couple contacts (ACCOUNTS>CONTACTS>COUPLES) making sure all your "couple" contacts have both an appropriate "couple name" and separate unique contact entries.

Please review your "other" contacts, (ACCOUNTS>CONTACTS>OTHERS) to make sure all are correct as well.

If you import contacts from a previous campaign to a new campaign and errors exist in the previous campaign, ORCA will halt the import process. If you import a second time it will import the entire list again, subsequently duplicating the names from the first attempt. You can delete the duplicates after the import process is successful.

In ORCA, 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

 

Can I get a list of contributors?

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.

How can I change a contributor's name if it was entered incorrectly?

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.

I have "group contacts" to import, but need to remove an individual(s).

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.

What is the group contribution feature?

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.

Surplus Funds

How do I enter surplus funds from my last campaign?

File>Committee Info>Carry Forward Cash. Click the green "plus" sign and enter the amount. This dollar amount will appear on Line 1 of the first C-4 report for your campaign.

What are surplus funds?

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 instruction manual found under the Learn tab on the PDC website 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.
Can the surplus funds sit in my campaign account or do I have to move them to a new account?

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 may no longer be considered surplus funds and may not be eligible for transfer. Contact PDC staff for additional guidance.
If I leave my surplus funds in the same bank account to use for the next election, can I still file my final C-4 for this election?

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.
How do I set up and report my surplus funds account?

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.

Between campaigns, may I use surplus funds to pay maintenance fees for things like the campaign bank account, P.O. box, and website?

Yes, so long as you register the next campaign Interim maintenance fees are actually expenditures for the next campaign and must be reported to the PDC.

Updates, Miscellaneous

Does a continuing committee do anything special when a new calendar year starts?

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, because aggregates are tracked by calendar year. Be sure to select the election in which your committee is participating (File>Committee Information>C4 reporting periods).

Do you have post-election tips for local ballot measure committees?

Perpetual committees, such as a school levy/bond campaign committees that support every measure the district puts on the ballot, wraps up each campaign and files a final report. When a committee begins fund raising or spending for the next election, it registers a new campaign. The committee may have to project the election year, if it is not known. (Use the "Setup Wizard" to create a new "Single Election Year Committee" in ORCA.)

Note: "This is a special election" is automatically selected for single election year committees. Uncheck this box if the measure will be on the primary or general election ballo9t.

How does a continuing committee start the new calendar year?

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.

I've created a duplicate committee and need to delete one.

Determine which one you want to delete. This may require you to click "Open Campaign" so that you can see which one contains data.

Click File>Delete Campaign. Select the campaign you want to delete, click Ok and click Yes.

Caution! You will not have access to the committee once it's deleted unless you restore a previously created backup.

I've created my committee in ORCA and now nothing happens.

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.

I need to create a committee and electronically file reports in ORCA for a previous year.

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 2015, change the year to 2015, open ORCA and create the committee. After you've created the committee, be sure to change your computer year back to the current year

How do I set up my campaign to electronically file reports with the City of Seattle in addition to the PDC?

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. Set up instructions can be found on the SEEC website.

Do I have to validate reports before I transmit them?

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.