E-File Campaign Finance Statements
Campaign finance statements can be filed electronically using the San Francisco Electronic Disclosure System (SFEDS), otherwise known as Netfile, free of charge. SFEDS is a web-based, data entry filing system that allows candidates and campaign committees to submit disclosure reports mandated by California's Political Reform Act to the Electronic Filing System.
Before establishing an electronic filing account by completing the steps below, please review the May 17, 2013 notice regarding changes to electronic filing requirements.
- Create a Netfile User Account
The “Netfile User Account” is an individual specific account for each committee officer that can be used to access a committee account or sign electronic statements. Create this account before requesting a committee account. If you have already created a Netfile User Account due to your association with another committee then you do not need to complete this step a second time.(Step-by-Step Instructions)
- Signature Verification Card (Form SFEC-112a)
The Signature Verification Card (Form SFEC-112a) is obtained from within your Netfile User Account and is required to sign electronic campaign finance statements. It is required that you print and sign the form in hard copy. All committee officers that sign electronic statements must complete this form. If you have already completed this form due to your association with another committee then you do not need to complete this step a second time. If you completed a Signature Verification Card form in another jurisdiction then you will need to complete the Signature Verification Card for San Francisco. (Step-by-Step Instructions)
- Committee Account Registration Form (Form SFEC-112b)
The committee account is used to file electronic statements and is controlled by a committee officer with a “Netfile User Account.” File this form to create a new committee account to file electronic statements, to change the committee officer in control of an existing committee account, or to notify the Commission that a committee that is not required to file electronically will volunteer to file electronic statements. Only one committee officer can control the committee account.
- Link the Committee Account to your Netfile User Account
This process gives a committee officer's Netfile User account access to a Committee Account. (Linking Instructions - See Page 3)
Make sure all committee officers have completed the necessary steps above. Then, follow these step-by-step instructions to enter the Signer ID numbers into the committee account and sign the statement:
- How to sign electronic statements using SFEDS
- How to sign electronic statements using an Android phone or tablet
Committees using third-party vendor software use different methods to enter the Signer ID numbers into the statement depending on the vendor. Read the following notice to enter the Signer ID numbers manually into your .CAL document or contact your vendor or the Ethics Commission for assistance.
Proceed to the login page to access SFEDS.
Yes, the Ethics Commission accepts filings created using software certified by the Secretary of State that generate filings in CAL 2.01 format. The Secretary of State maintains a list of certified third-party vendors. The Ethics Commission will not endorse any of the third-party vendors. Filers must research and select third-party vendors independently. Filers using third-party software must still create a Netfile User Account and a Committee Account.
- List of Certified Third-Party Vendors
- May 17, 2013 Notice to Vendors re Changes to Electronic Filing Requirements
Electronic filings must be submitted in CAL 2.01 format. Filers using filing software from third-party vendors must still obtain a committee account from the Ethics Commission and all committee officers that sign the statement must have a Netfile User Account and an approved Signature Verification Card. To submit CAL documents to the Ethics Commission use the page linked below. The Ethics Commission will not accept CAL documents submitted via e-mail.
SFEDS can file FPPC Form 450, 460, 461, 465, 470, 496 and 497 electronically.
I need to report a type of transaction that is not directly supported by the SFEDS system. What steps should I take to report the transaction?
Please contact the Ethics Commission at 415-252-3100. Staff is available to work with filers to report unique transactions that are not supported within the filer system's user interface.
The Ethics Commission staff is available during our office hours to assist you with your filing requirements.
- SFEDS Orientation: You will receive a login and password and an introduction to the system.
- SFEDS Clinic: Bring in your campaign records and learn to input your data into the SFEDS system.
Contact the Ethics Commission to schedule an appointment for a SFEDS Orientation or a Tutoring Session.
The users guide is also an excellent resource that includes step-by-step instructions on how to use the system. To obtain the users guide, enter your committee account and choose "User Guide" from the "Help & Support" menu.
- Any computer with Internet access.
- Current versions of the following web browsers: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Safari, Chrome, etc.
- A compression utility such as WinZip or Stuffit Expander. (Windows XP and MacOS X 10.3 or greater have a built in compression utility so there is no need to install a compression utility.)
- PDF reader such as Adobe Reader or FoxitReader.