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Importing data into FECFile

The FECFile import feature allows user to import the following data sets into the software:

  • Individuals and organizations (IND/ORG)
  • Schedule A transactions (SA)
  • Schedule B transactions (SB)
  • Schedule H4 transactions (H4)

To successfully import a data set, the data set must be formatted properly into an "import format" — an ASCII character (28) delimited text file.

Downloading and using FECFile converters  

Download the FECFile import and data format converter.

  1. The download will open a download session window. Click Save, select the desired location for saving the file and start the download.
  2. Once the zipped file has downloaded and the files extracted, open MSExcel and click File from the menu. Click Open, browse to find the import format spreadsheet in the location where you saved it, and open. The workbook contains a format for the IND/ORG, SchA, SchB, SchH4 and worksheets for each. The workbook also contains a legend (title tabs are on the bottom). 
    Note: One of the files extracted from the zipped download is the Data Converter. Using this tool is explained in the next section.
  3. Enter your data into the worksheet. Take note of what fields are importable and what fields are required.
  4. Once your data entry is complete, delete the header line in the worksheet. Click File then Save As, and save the worksheet as a comma separated variable (.csv) file.  For example, myfile.csv.

Converting data to ASCII 28

FECFile requires a special delimiter to separate data fields.  The following steps will convert a .csv text file into an ASCII 28 delimited file.

  1. Left click, drag and drop the .csv file onto the Data Converter. Release the mouse button.
  2. A new file will appear with the same name, only the extension will be changed to .fs (For example, myfile.fs). This is the ASCII 28 converted file. The file is now ready to be imported by FECFile.

Importing your ASCII 28 file into FECFile

The procedures for importing information from Schedules A, B and H4 differ from importing the individuals and organizations database.

Importing Schedules (A, B, and H4)

  1. Open the software, load the .dcf file, and click on the Reports icon.
  2. Click the report into which the transaction data will be imported. All transactions dates must fall within the selected report’s coverage date range.
  3. At the top left of the screen, select Tools then Import Transactions. An Import From window will appear.
  4. Locate the import file; highlight it by clicking. Select Open. The Import Window will appear. The import file will have the .fs extention.
  5. Click the Start button, and your data will import into the software.
    Note: If your file has duplicate individual or organization entries the Merge window will appear. The Merge feature is discussed in more detail in the FECFile user manual. In short, this tool allows you to merge two like records into one. You can merge the entire record or individual fields. Click the Merge button and the left record will be added.
  6. Click Ok and take note of the status logging that appears now in your Import Window.
  7. Click the Close button and click on the FECFile Save icon to save the imported data and the database.

Status logging shows:

  • Import results
  • Number of transactions imported
  • Any errors that occurred during the import process

Any transaction that failed the import process must be fixed in the MSExcel .csv file, re-converted to the ASCII .fs file, and re-imported. You must also delete any transactions that were previously imported, as they will create duplicates when re-imported.

If a large data set contains many errors, it may be easier to close down FECFile without saving the import and start the import process over once you have corrected the data in the .csv file.

Importing individuals and organizations

  1. Open the software and load the database.
  2. At the top left of the screen, select Tools then Import Names. An Import Names From window will appear.
  3. Locate your import file; highlight it by clicking the left mouse button and select Open.  The import file will have the .fs extension.
  4. If the file has duplicate entries, the Merge window will appear. The Merge feature is discussed in more detail in the FECFile User Manual. In short, this tool allows you to merge two like records into one.
  5. Click the Merge button and the left record will be added. Upon the last entry, the import process is finished, and the Merge window disappears.  The Continue button in the Merge window allows you to skip a particular record and move to the next without the merge occurring.
  6. The Individuals/Organizations window should now be open in the software. Confirm that the new entities have been imported. The Individuals/Organizations window contains all of the profiles in alphabetical order.
  7. Click on the FECFile Save icon to save the imported data and the database.

If a large data set contains many errors, it may be easier to close FECFile without saving the import and start the import process over once you have corrected the data in the .csv file.

If you have questions regarding importing, please contact the Electronic Filing Office.