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Article ID: KB16
Keyword Name: FEC file creating firts report election committee upload
Created: October 19, 2012
Viewed: 15467

Creating and Filing Your First FEC Report


This article will guide you through the steps to file and upload an FEC report in Trail Blazer and using the FEC’s electronic upload tool.



Under the Application Menu follow Disclosure > FEC Reporting and click the [Search] button to populate a list of past FEC reports (if you have any).  In my example I have 21 past reports.


Click the [+New] button from the search tool strip or from the bottom right of the window to begin filing a new report.


Begin by clicking the [1] (Create Report) button. If this is the first time you have used the FEC Reporting tool it will install the FEC software for you automatically.


Fill out the Disclosure Report Card with your appropriate information i.e. Election, Covering Period, Report Type, and Beginning/Ending Cash Balance etc.  YOU MUST VERIFY YOUR BEGINNING CASH BALANCE AGAINST THE ENDING CASH BALANCE OF YOUR LAST REPORT.


HINT: It’s MOST often better to set the Ending Cash to 0 and allow the FEC reporting tool to calculate this value.


Fill out the appropriate fields and click [OK]In this example I selected the October Quarterly as the FEC Report Type, I chose the General Election, and the other related fields such as date for covering periods and my beginning and ending cash on hand.


After you click [OK] you can sit back and let Trail Blazer work its magic, it will display green status bars that notify you of the progress.  It will automatically generate a PDF document of the FEC report when it’s complete; it will also display validation results – (if the report was a success or failure).  Within the Validation Results Tab and the Warnings Tab you can view the different errors or warnings if any occurred.


Check the error list and fix them if you have any, then re-run the report until no errors appear and the report passes validation. In my example there were no errors, I can view warnings and choose to fix them or not (the FEC doesn’t require you fix every warning, only errors). The error and warning sections are displayed in the  two pictures below:


Picture #1:


Picture #2:


When you are finished with validations click step [3] to Save the Report. Button [3] will turn grey after the report is saved as shown in the picture below:


Click button [4] to upload to FEC digitally (this will open the FEC’s digital upload tool).  Otherwise you may choose to Print (if you are running for US Senate) the report and mail it to the FEC via USPS.  In this example I choose Step 4 and walk through the basics of filing through the FEC’s Uploader.



Steps to upload an FEC report digitally

After clicking the [4] (Upload to FEC) button enter your information in the Upload tab and click the [Submit Filing to FEC] button located in the bottom right of the window. I entered generic information as displayed in the picture below and chose to file it to the test server.



The Configure tab will have default information as displayed in the picture below:

After you click the [Submit Filing to FEC] button you can view the results from the Results tab. If the upload was a success it will notify you, if it failed it will detail the reason and you can fix the problem and click the [Submit] button until the report is successfully uploaded.

You are now finished.  It’s recommended to file early in case you have to reconcile your bank account, fix contribution information ect.  If you happen to make some mistakes on past reports or don’t file on time you can file amended FEC reports to fix these issues.


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