Why NetFile is the #1 Disclosure Software in California
12 Reasons Why NetFile is #1
Use NetFile from Any Computer, Anywhere
Does your organization have a mixed environment of PCs, Macs, and Linux workstations? Did you have a power failure on the night of a filing deadline? With stand-alone disclosure packages, you'll quickly find yourself dead in the water. Not with NetFile! With NetFile, you can access your data anytime, anywhere from virtually any type of computer with an Internet connection and a reasonably modern web browser. You can use the computers at your home, local library, Kinko's™, or nearby university to access NetFile as your needs dictate. NetFile disclosure reports are generated using industry-standard Adobe Acrobat™ PDF, which can be printed and viewed from almost any type of computer using free Acrobat Reader™ software.
One Database, Not Three
With most disclosure packages, they only do one thing: disclosure. As a committee treasurer, you need to not only produce accurate disclosure statements, but you need to keep accurate financial records and provide fundraising/contributor data to your candidates, fundraisers, and consultants. If your existing disclosure package doesn't also manage your committee's books, you're probably using QuickBooks or Peachtree Accounting for your financial data. If your committee has one or more professional fundraisers, they probably maintain their own database of campaign contributions. Or, if you maintain that database with your disclosure package, it means the fundraisers probably call you frequently to find out who contributed and when, since all the data is located on your PC. Not only does keeping all of your committee's information in a single database save you time and money - it also prevents the mistakes invariably made when trying to maintain largely duplicate databases!
Simultaneous Access by Many Users
In a perfect world, we would never be in a rush. Then again, how many times have you received "last minute" data just before your reports are due, and you need to have 10 people typing data into a committee, just to get the reports filed on time? NetFile allows an unlimited number of users to work in the same account database at the same time! You can review data-entry occurring in the system even as it is happening.
Instant Software Updates
Every time a user logs into NetFile, they are using the latest version of the software. You will never need to worry about whether you need to contact your vendor to find out if an upgrade is available. You will never get an upgrade CD in the mail. You will never have to apply a "patch" to your software.
Automatic Data Backups
With a disclosure package running on a stand-alone PC, your data is only as safe as your hard drive. Every hard drive manufacturer provides estimates on the AVERAGE number of hours of operation before your hard drive will fail. It WILL fail; it's only a matter of time. How often do you make backups of your hard drive? With NetFile, your data is backed up every night. Once a week, the data is permanently archived to CD's and shipped to a remote data vault for long-term storage. Wouldn't you feel better knowing your data was safe?
Full Audit Trail
NetFile tracks your data and can be audited back to the user’s log-in ID to see who made the data entry.
E-Filing and Paper Disclosure Documents are Absolutely Identical
It's hard to believe, but some of our competitors have problems producing the same disclosure statement electronically that they produce on paper. Sometimes differences have been found as large as 30% to 40% in dollar totals reported by the same committee during the same reporting period! You will NEVER have a problem like that with NetFile. Our paper (PDF image) documents are produced directly from the e-filing documents we generate in the system, in nearly the exact same manner as the Secretary of State and Federal Election Commission. If the data isn't in the e-filing document, it will never appear on your paper filing.
Different Levels of User Access
Almost every stand-alone disclosure product assumes the user sitting in front of the computer keyboard is the campaign treasurer. With NetFile, you can assign each user a separate "role" with the campaign. NetFile "roles" include:
- Owner - Can e-file on behalf of the committee. Can do anything in the account. Can delete anything.
- E-Filer - Can e-file on behalf of the committee. Can do anything in the account except delete archived documents.
- Treasurer - Full account access, but can't e-file on behalf of the committee and can't delete archived documents.
- Data Entry Level 3 - Can perform data entry for all receipts and disbursements. No access to reports or bank registers.
- Data Entry Level 2 - Can perform data entry for Schedule G. No access to reports or bank registers.
- Data Entry Level 1 - Can perform data entry for contributions only. No access to reports or bank registers.
- Consultant - Can generate any report in the system, and can review bank registers. Can't add, alter, or delete data.
- Attorney - Can review generated disclosure statements, and can generate other transaction listing type reports for review purposes. Can't add, alter, or delete data.
- Fundraiser Level 3 - Can review contribution data and advanced contributor-related reports. Can't view expenditure data. Can update contributor contact information. Can't add, alter, or delete other data.
- Fundraiser Level 2 - Can only review contribution data and contributor-related reports. Can't view expenditure data. Can update contributor contact information. Can't add, alter, or delete other data.
- Fundraiser Level 1 - Can only review contribution data and contributor-related reports. Can't view expenditure data. Can't add, alter, or delete other data.
- Data Caging Firm - Can upload data using NetFile DataLoader. Can't log into the account at all.
- No Access - Can't log into the account at all.
The client's administrative user can change a user's role at any time. A user can have different roles for different NetFile accounts as well.
We Don't Rely on "Freebie" Agency Software
Some disclosure vendors think it's an acceptable solution to use confusing and unfriendly software provided by the state for the actual transmission of e-filing documents to the Secretary of State. NetFile would never take that kind of shortcut at the expense of our customers. E-filing is done directly from NetFile and your documents are transmitted directly from our servers to the Secretary of State. Once transmission is complete, our servers generate a "receipt" of the communication with the Secretary of State, and record the filing ID confirmation number assigned to your disclosure statement.
Here's a simple comparison of the steps required by a user performing the e-filing process using NetFile versus the Secretary of State's upload software (CALoader):
NetFile CALoader 1. Prepare and review your document as normal 1. Prepare and review your document as normal 2. Click the e-filing icon next to your document 2. Generate or Extract the e-filing document from your vendors software (the process varies by vendor) 3. NetFile can automatically remember your e-filing password (or you can choose to enter it each time you e-file) 3. Start the CALoader application 4. Confirm the e-mail address or fax number where the Secretary of State's confirmation should be sent. 4. Open the e-filing document in CALoader 5. Click the "Submit" button 5. Find the sheet of paper where you wrote down your e-filing password (I'm sure I had it on my desk a minute ago...) 6. Wait for your confirmation from the Secretary of State 6. Type in your password 7. Confirm the Filer ID of your committee (if you file for multiple committees, you'll need to change this virtually every time) 8. Confirm the e-mail address or fax number where the Secretary of State's confirmation should be sent. 9. Confirm your upload method (TCP/IP) 10. Confirm the host name and Agency ID of the server you are uploading (you'll want to make sure your vendor has given you this information sometime before 11:59 on the night of a filing deadline) 11. Click the "OK" button 12. Wait for your confirmation from the Secretary of State
Upload Contribution / Payroll Deduction Data
Does your PAC receive most of its contributions through payroll deductions? Does your committee have a large legacy database that you would hate to re-type? If either of these situations applies to your committee, NetFile has the perfect solution. The NetFile Data Loader allows any type of committee to upload all pertinent contributor and vendor data through a simple yet comprehensive data format. Recipient committees can also upload contribution data at will. The best part about the NetFile Data Loader is it can be used over and over again for the same committees! Did you already upload a particular contributor? No problem! The NetFile Data Loader already knows this, and will automatically update the existing contributor with any new information (like a change of address)! Uploaded data is in your NetFile account within minutes of transmission. All uploaded data is specially flagged, so if you ever make a mistake, NetFile technical support can fix the problem in no time.
Manage Your Accounts and Users in Real-Time
NetFile clients who have purchased a Volume Account License automatically have access to the NetFile Self-Service Administration Site. The client's designated "Administrative" user can create or delete NetFile accounts and users on the fly, assign user permissions, and can even review every attempt made by users to log into their accounts. During a filing deadline, NetFile clients want maximum control over the situation. Did a "surprise" Major Donor just materialize on your desk? You can create a new NetFile account in just minutes!
Total Support for California Disclosure Requirements
We pride ourselves on having the most demanding clients in the industry. NetFile has been put to the test many times by highly exacting political attorneys and treasurers. We never make excuses for our software. If your committee comes across a situation that we've never reported before (highly unlikely, but it is possible), we WILL update the software to handle anything you can throw at us. We guarantee it.
A NetFile sales representative would be more than happy to discuss any of the points above. Contact us now for more information.
First Time Here? Take the Tour
Try out a sample NetFile Professional or NetLobbyist (California Lobbyist) account. Sample accounts are available for a variety of organizations.