Frequently Asked Questions
Recently a campaign treasurer emailed a list of questions to us. We found them so relevant that we're including them here. (Down to the the paragraph that starts with "The key to proper support . . .")
Q. Is there a cost involved with getting started other than the stated $1380?
No. Data conversion is almost always free. (Check our prices here.)
Q. How hard is it to use my current DCF files on your system?
We import the DCF files from FECFile into the Filpac system. The only reason to keep FECFile on your computer is for amending old reports. And unless the DCF database includes lots of complex transactions (memos, earmarks and the like), the old system can be discarded altogether once the numbers are verified.
Q. How many committees can I manage with the software? Is there a limit?
No limit. We have one treasurer with 77 committees in his system. Only charge is $60 to add additional committees after the initial installation.
Q. $1380 takes me through 12/31/2016 correct?
Correct. Actually until the 1/31/2017 filing.
Q. What will the price be for another cycle in Jan 2017? Will you jack it up high?
No. We're looking to keep customers for the long term. Many of ours came to us specifically because we're the price / features leader; they would look elsewhere if that changed.
Q. Will you still be in business next year? How long have you been in business?
Since 1988. We're not going anywhere.
Q. Are you R, D, or nonpartisan?
All of our candidate-users are R. PACSs mostly nonpartisan.
Q. Will I be assigned a contact or just a service line with multiple contacts?
Call us at 1-800-383-8400 or at the support email address. Open 8 - 6
weekdays, Eastern time. After-hours we monitor the email and voice mail. During
the quarterly filing periods we're open late. One guy handles most of the
support and is acquainted with everyone. Actually, we don't get that many calls.
The software just works. Most of the questions are How To's relating to reports
and complex transactions.
The key to proper support and long-lasting customer satisfaction is to get things started properly. The conversion of data from your old system (or, as is usually the case, collection of spreadsheets) is verified and accurate. You get 30 days of unlimited toll-free phone support which includes as many telephone training sessions as are necessary. Sometimes our installation process involves a personal visit.
Q: How easy is it to generate a list that someone can open in Excel?
A: Most reports in the system offer the option to Print, Display or Export to a Comma-Separated Values (CSV) file that can be opened in any spreadsheet or database application.
Q: Our database is actually a collection of Excel spreadsheets. How can these be converted to Filpac?
A: Data conversion is almost always free with the order. Completion time is about 24 hours. You can import spreadsheets on a recurring basis using our user-defined import process. ( View Demo )
Q: Our spreadsheets are a mess. Names and addresses are spelled differently, which makes it difficult to track duplicates. Is there a solution in Filpac?
A: The Filpac system includes several duplicate-merging tools that enable you to standardize addresses, highlight potential duplicates and easily merge those duplicates you find. This is the same system used by a national campaign that has collected as many as 10,000 online donations in a single day.
Q: I'm a part-time treasurer without the time to enter hundreds of checks every quarter. Can your software help?
If you're entering lots of checks, then you'll like the data-entry features of our system. Everything is designed for speed. If you're holding a check from someone already in the system, you can enter the check in as few as four keystrokes.
Q: Is there any limit to the number and duration of "help" calls that we can make to your support line?
A: Not really. You have 30 days of unlimited toll-free telephone support when you purchase Filpac. If you sign up for the annual warranty, you earn our Five Minutes Free courtesy, which means you can pick up the phone and call anytime. If the call lasts less than five minutes (which is the case 99 percent of the time), there is no charge. After that, non-warranty telephone support is $1 per minute.
Q. Why so cheap? One of your competitors sells their product for $5,000.
A. Well, let's see ... As you can tell by the look of this website, we don't spend much on "website development." And if you were to visit the cave we call an office, you'd rightly assume that our rent is low. But don't get us wrong! If you want to pay us $5,000, we'll happily adjust the invoice! In fact we'll hand-deliver it. We'll even take you to lunch. Instead of McDonald's, we'll treat you to Waffle House!
Q: What if the state or FEC changes their forms?
A: Any mandated changes in FEC forms are provided free of charge to users with current support contracts. State changes are provided free of charge to users in states where there at least ten Filpac users with current support contracts. For other states, we will make the changes at our regular hourly programming rate, or you can submit the generic state disclosure form that is included with Filpac.
Q: Getting ready for a mailing. How do I generate a mail-merge file that shows the person's highest donation?
A: Couple of ways to do this. This simplest is to generate a merge file through the file-search system (Reports->File Search). Then go to Mail Merge->Utilities->Highest Contribution. There it will fill in the highest contribution from each person, along with the date of either the highest or last contribution. Then go to Sort and Convert Format, where you can output the merge to a CSV file for transmittal to your mail vendor.