Importing to WRS From Your Database Using XML or CSV
What is the purpose of the import feature?
This is a tool for committees that have contribution and expenditure data in an existing database and need to transfer the information to a campaign finance disclosure report.
Is this available to all committees?
Yes, the Web Reporting System (WRS) and its import feature are available to all registered (organized) committees. If you have not yet registered your committee, you may review these instructions, but you will not be able to access the WRS. Upon registering your committee, you will be issued a userID and password that will enable you to log into the system.
Where do I start?
The first step is to convert data from your database, such as Access or Excel, into XML or CSV file format. XML and CSV are the formats used by the import process.
The next step is to create the reporting period in the WRS that you will be importing to, click on either the contribution or the expenditure tab, depending on which data you are importing, and follow instructions. ( Click here for more detailed instructions.)
How do I go about converting my data to XML?
A number of software programs will save your data into the XML format as long as you have the correct order and field names. You can also do an Internet search to find numerous conversion programs, some of which are shareware at a nominal fee. You can convert data to CSV by simply saving an existing Excel or Access database into CSV file format. There are a few rules that must be followed:
All columns must be adjacent
Any column with data in it must have a valid header
The same fields found in an XML file must be present in the CSV file (e.g. comitteename, committeecode, etc)
Header names are not case sensitive
In the contributions csv filed, contactaddress2 and contactsecondary phone are optional columns
In the expenditures csv file, contactmiddleinitial and contactsecondary phone are optional columns
contacttype must be "Individual", "Organization", "Trust", "Vendor", or "Misc". "Organization" contacttype in expenses requires a committee id and does not in contribution csv files
"Vendor" contacttype appears only in expenditure csv files and does not require a committee id
"Misc" is for small unitemized transactions in both expenditure and contribution csv files
Columns can be in any order
File must be in .csv format
How does the XML or CSV file need to be set up?
After clicking on the Import button, what steps are involved?
I appear to have an error in my data. What could be wrong?
There are two types of errors that can occur; parse errors and business rules errors.
I do not see the import button on the In Kind tab. Why?
Contributions and Expenditures are the only data that can be imported. Transactions on the other schedules will need to be entered item by item, rather than with a bulk import.
When is the best time to import records? Just prior to the due date, when all are entered in my database?
Now is the best time. Even if you only have a few transactions, you can set up your database, convert those files to XML and import. This will allow you to find any errors in advance of the due date and it will not take as long to process if records are imported periodically, in batches, instead of all at once. *(The upload seems most efficient when transactions are kept to 200–250 at a time.)
Will the public be able to see the transactions?
The report will not be available to the public until it is submitted, or filed. At the end of the reporting period, when all transactions are entered, you will click on DR2 Submit to file the report. Following that, the report will be made available for public viewing.