What's new in Filpac

Over the past few years we've averaged about 70 updates posted to our website during the year. (So if you go to Help->About and see that your system date is more than a week in the past, you're not using the "latest and greatest".) Here are some of the system upgrades

Master file entry screen updated

(Oct. 12, 2017)  Primary and secondary addresses are now displayed in tabs.  This change was made to make room for two email addresses on the main entry screen, where we display as much as possible to help speed data entry.

Faster searching in multiple committees

(Oct 4, 2017)  If yours is a multiple-committee Filpac database you'll notice that general searches will run faster.  Speed-tuning a database is more of an art than a science so we rely on our users to tell us how we're doing.

Earmarked donations in user import

(Nov. 19. 2016)  Committee treasurers know how storing and reporting earmarked donations can be a bit tricky, and bulk-importing them doesn't necessarily make it easy.  We've removed the confusion by enabling the proper accounting when the donations are imported.

 More improvements in duplicate processing

(Aug. 26, 2016)  We're always looking for ways to improve what is already the best duplicate-removal system in the business.  Today we made several changes based on user experiences.

Seamless transaction fee accounting

(Aug. 3, 2016)  When website donations are imported, the system allows for recording the transaction fees on a batch, daily or item basis.

Another report to raise money and ease compliance headaches

(July 5, 2016)  Reports : Special Reports : Receipts by Year or Cycle.  We've upgraded this report, which was used to summarize donor totals by year.  Now it prints receipt totals in columns by one of following three parameters:

Calendar Year
General Election Cycle

You can use it to quickly identify lapsed donors, or identify maxed-out donors (supplementing other reports in the system that do the same). Run it using the dates of your next disclosure report to identify recipts that might have beem mis-coded.  Export it to a CSV format and manipulate it with Excel.

We'll even make a video for you

(June 27, 2016)  If there's a particular process in the Filpac system such as a special import or report, that requires better documentation (or if you've lost your notes on how to do it), let us know and we'll post either a video or enhanced instructions.  Our mission here is to save you time.

Excel is for numbers. Not for lists.

(June 20, 2016)  If you're a Filpac user who's still using Excel to manage other lists, then you're not using the Filpac system to its fullest.  Fact is that managing multiple lists is easier in Filpac.  If your hangup is the importing process, call us.  We've posted several how-to's and videos to help you through the process.  We've even posted videos that help you through specific types of imports.

Make better use of location codes.

(June 2, 2016)  If your database is heavy with individuals who actually are members of organizations, there's a slew of new features to help manage those organizations.  It starts in the master file edit area where you assign location codes.  Go into Program Setup to change the term "location" to whatever suits your business, i.e. "member bank" or "chapter".

Auto-assign greeting

(Oct. 22, 2015) Let's say you've imported several hundred names and would like to generate emails or letters. If the names came without prefixes, and you'd rather not fill in all of them, how do you address someone as "Mr." where using the first name is a bit too informal? Let the Filpac system do it for you. Now you can auto-assign greeting based on the full name. Here's how it works:

Name Assigned Greeting
Mary Drysdale Ms. Drysdale  based on gender
Clifford P Osteen, MD Dr. Osteen based on the suffix
Sandy Mercer Sandy  because Sandy, like Chris, Pat and Robin, can be either male or female.
D L Sutton, Jr. Mr. Sutton  because the suffix is male
The Honorable Chester W Simpson Mr. Simpson because "The Honorable Simpson" is goofy

Batch processing

(Sept. 9, 2015)  If you're processing receipts for one or several client-committees, now you can assign a Batch ID to groups of checks and run the appropriate reports.

Assign addresses based on the date

(May 1, 2015)  If you generate bulk mailings to a list heavy with retirees or the well-to-do, here's a feature that enables you to make sure that the mail is sent to the right address.

To activate this feature, the primary address must first be marked as a Home address. Then, when you enter Home in the secondary address section, the Seasonal Home dates will pop up in the lower-right section of the entry window. If the dates are entered as "Nov 1" to "Mar 31", any list or mail-merge generated from during the months of November through March will reflect the secondary address.

County grouping

(April 10, 2015)  Counties can be assigned to county groups. If you have a search that commonly calls for a multitude of counties, you can assign them to a group; and then just call the group rather than the individual group. If your state is arranged by districts comprised of counties, you can assign each county to the appropriate group, and then generate reports by district.

Changed password logic

(January 21, 2014)  The system administrator can now assign access permissions to individual users and groups.

May 30, 2014

Go to go to Accounting->Reports->Snapshot. This report provides a "snapshot" of your finances as of a certain date. It shows the balance in your cash accounts, as well as any outstanding loans or obligations. In as little as two clicks. It can be run in summary or detail format, and exported to an Excel-readable file.

April 10, 2014

Info Print: When the user’s information is printed, it will show donations to all committees.
Donor History in merge file: When you generate a merge file and choose “Delimited” as the file type, you’ll see a checkbox that says “Append Donor History”. Check this box and then check the merge file that’s generated: At the end of each record will be the description, date and amount of each donation.

March 11, 2014

Organizations added to the auto-remove duplicates section.

Feb. 13, 2014

New feature in Data File Fix that clears duplicate emails from master file records.

Sept. 9, 2013

Go to Reports->File Search and then to the Output tab. Check Special Output and you'll see a pick-list of formats. The first sends the results of your search to an Excel file with columns for the latest and highest amounts, as well as all the list codes. We intend to fill this section with more formats in response to customer requests.

August 31, 2013

New push-button in the Master File edit section (second tab) that shows the date the record was first added to the system as well as the last update (according to the codes) and the date, time and user ID of the last edit.

August 24, 2013

Updated the default fields in the User Import section to go along with the output fields in Datacenter.

August 23, 2013

Added a new format to the walk-list printing. We call it "survey form".

August 19, 2013

Added some features to the Super Voters report. Updated the Ohio voter file import program.

August 11, 2013

Go to Data File Maintenance->Individuals (or All Records). You'll notice there's a button labeled "Search only Coded Records". When this button is pressed, the system will search only for those records that are, as the label suggests, coded in some way. So if your database includes a voter file, and you have several named "William Smith", you can use this feature to find the "William Smith" who's actually a member or donor.

July 28, 2013

The Advanced Search program has been rewritten and expanded. More efficient search logic makes for faster searches, particularly for users with large databases.

July 18, 2013

Two new reports in the special-reports section that enables the user to quickly view individual donors' contribution levels and totals over several years.

June 17, 2013

We're all about fast and accurate data entry. Some of our users requested a method of speedy data-entry that mimics the days of the character-based version, where everything could be entered without reaching for the mouse or the <tab> key. By checking the appropriate checkbox in Setup->Users, you now can!

May 30, 2013

Hover the mouse over the support-file buttons (receipts, disbursements, contacts, lists, workers and affiliates) and you can now see the most recent codes without having to click into the separate window.

May 22, 2013

The Virginia voter-file import utility now recognizes tab-delimited SBE files.

May 2, 2013

Enhanced group code count report.

March 1, 2013

Enhanced code management. Now you can change list codes to contact or worker codes, and vice versa.

Feb. 24, 2013

Added a feature to the update routine in which the system will look for "legacy" files and remove them. This un-clutters the Filpac program folder.

Jan. 27, 2013

Enhancements to the online backup in which the system automatically points to the appropriate folder based on the date.

Jan. 11, 2013

Group codes! Let's say you're running a golf outing and you want to sent a mailing not only to those who've attended before, but all those you've contacted about the golf outing and those who were on a golf-outing mailing list. So you have several golf outing codes (one for each year) a contact code or two and a list code. All related to the same event. It could make for a tedious search.

By attaching each code to a group code named GOLF, you'll pick up everyone in just one search!

Jan. 7, 2013

New Filpac Setup files. If yours is a stand-alone system, i.e. you're not using our server, download the new file set when you next update the Filpac program.

Dec 31, 2012

Federal individual-contribution limit increased to $2600 for the cycle.

Dec. 19, 2012

The accounting closing date will now automatically reset to the ending date of the most recently-filed report. The change will occur when the FEC Upload program is run.

Dec 14, 2012

New Filpac Setup files. (All those DLLs and RDDs need to be changed because we've upgraded the software that we use to make Filpac.) If yours is a stand-alone system, i.e. you're not using our server, download the new file set when you next update the Filpac program.

Dec. 12, 2012

New merge feature enabling you to summarize the codes and amount when two duplicate merge records are combined.

Nov. 28, 2012

Import program now totals aggregate donations with the intent of applying the correct schedule or line number when a receipt is added to the system.

Sept. 30, 2012

Individual records can now be manually added to an existing merge file.

Sept. 1, 2012

Email fields validated during file save.

August 14, 2012

Alaska disclosure forms.

August 10, 2012

Added a report that checks for bad occupations and employers.

July 24, 2012

Duplicate email report. This will help you track down duplicates where the names or addresses don't seem similar.

July 9, 2012

A few tweaks to the program that enables the user to easily merge duplicate records into one.

July 3, 2012

Some field lengths in Filpac extended to accommodate maximum lengths in the FEC's reporting scheme.

July 2, 2012

The user import feature was changed to better-enable the system to determine if the incoming record is an individual or organization.

June 12, 2012

User-definable location for help file. This will work around the problem some users are having on networks where the Filpac help file can't be opened because of the organization's network-security concerns.

June 6, 2012

Enabled the use of secondary addresses for disclosure reports. If the appropriate box is checked in committee setup, the system will first look for a secondary address when listing the individual on a state or federal report.

May 24, 2012

Virginia voter file changes.

May 4, 2012

Filpac Version 5. This is bigger than it looks. In the past we've kept individuals, organizations (PACs) and vendors in separate files; now they've been combined. This will enable better performance and an easier upgrade path to the browser based software.

March 8, 2012

The Info Print report can now be date-selective.

March 6, 2012

New North Dakota zip code database with updated legislative districts.

Feb. 15, 2012

Records with dates prior to the accounting closing date are displayed differently in the receipt- and expenditure-entry windows.

Jan. 12, 2012

Added a checkbox to the "Remove Uncoded" utility so that uncoded voter-file records with cell phones and email addresses can be removed. Normally these would be saved.

Jan 11, 2012

Import utility now recognizes more import-file types.

Dec. 31, 2011

Made it easier to search for "super-voters". Added Super-voters to the Count options.

Dec. 9 2011

Hamilton County, Ohio voter file import utility.

Oct. 28, 2011

Users can now use the first name for the default greeting if the greeting is blank and there's something in the Prefix field. Previously if the greeting was blank for Mr. Jim Smith, it would default to "Mr. Smith". Now it can be set to default to "Jim".

Oct. 6, 2011

Enabled up to ten reimbursement codes in Committee Setup.

Oct. 3, 2011

Updated Virginia voter-file import features.

Oct. 1, 2011

The user-defined import process has been upgraded to include the election and polling-question fields.

Sept. 27, 2011

FEC Software version upgrade. If yours is a stand-alone system, i.e. you're not using our server, Download it to stay current.

August 28, 2011

Now you can search for PACs, people and vendors from one screen. Go to Data File Maintenance->All Main Files. This is helpful if you can't remember if, for example, you can't remember if you entered a record as a PAC or a Vendor, or if you entered a candidate as an individual or a political committee.

August 10, 2011

Advanced Search now looks for any parameter or word string in the master file.

July 17, 2011

Searching enabled for occupations and locations without a code.

July 12, 2011

(P)aypal and (O)nline are now options for receipt and disbursement forms.

July 5, 2011

Now you can add family members to merge file selections.

June 21, 2011

Changes to Transaction Summary that include beginning and ending balance, and transaction ID.

June 19, 2011

User-Specific, rather than access-level-specific, passwords throughout system.

April 20, 2011

The user-defined import process now saves unmatched records to a separate file.

April 4, 2011

Changed the look and feel of many of the F3 lookup screens, where the mouse wheel is now functional.

March 27, 2011

If you've logged into the software in the past couple of weeks you might have noticed that we've changed some of the entry grids. This is to pave the way for more ambitious data-entry screens still to come. (Hint: you'll never again think of using Excel for data entry.) When you're entering receipts or disbursements, you can use the scrollbar or stretch the window to move to the right and see more transaction detail.