Bulk Contributions\Expenses Upload Guide

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Contents
1. About Bulk Upload
2. File Specifications
3. Contributions File Format
4. Expenses File Format
5. Using Microsoft Excel for editing csv files
6. Troubleshooting & Caveats


1. About Bulk Upload
The Aurora Online Contributions & Expenses filing system offers users the ability to transmit in bulk, contributions or expenses line items in the form of a .csv (comma separated values) text file where that file conforms to a pre-defined format that the Aurora system can recognize and directly insert into it’s back-end information system.  Contributions (which include monetary contributions, in-kinds, commitments and in-kind commitments) and Expenses (which include monetary expenses and in kind expenses) will be uploaded separately as the data field definitions differ.  The bulk upload feature applies only to Contributions & Expenses reports, not Financial Disclosure Statement reports.  The .csv file format has been chosen as the standard file format due to its wide support across various information database systems, it’s small, light-weight size, and its support from numerous tabular based spreadsheet applications such as Microsoft Excel.   This feature allows users to track their contributions and expenses in their own local information system or spreadsheet to be electronically transferred to the Nevada Secretary of State’s system all at once without having to double enter this data.  The only requirement in using this upload feature is that the user has a valid Aurora filing login account and your uploaded files conform to the file specifications and data format.
 
2. File Specifications
  • Your file may have any name but must end with a ".csv" or ".CSV" file extension.
  • Files may be produced via an extract from your information system's database, from Microsoft Excel, any text editor program or any program supporting the .csv file format.  Read the “Using Microsoft Excel for editing csv files” section below for further information on using Microsoft Excel to create your csv file.
  • A single file must be no larger than 8 Megabytes in size.
  • A single file must not contain more than 5,000 rows.  To upload more than 5,000 rows to one report you will have to do multiple uploads.
  • Files must not contain illegal characters “<” or “>”.
  • Each data field must be separated by a comma (“,”) character.
  • Each data row must be separated by a line break.
  • Files may or may not start with a column header which defines the fields.  It's up to the user.  Column headers need to be specific to the file formats listed below and be all one word.  A space between header words will cause an error and the upload will not be accepted.  If first line starts with "ContributionType" we'll assume it's a column header (for the contributions file) or “ExpenseType” for the expense file.  These column header rows will not be imported into your contributions and expenses report.  Click here to download a sample contributions file WITH a column header in the correct format without spaces.  Click here to download a sample contributions file WITHOUT a column header.
  • If a text field will contain a comma within its value (e.g. "Acme Corp, Inc.") the entire value must be enclosed in double quotation marks so that the comma in the data value is not confused for a field delimiter.  If your text value also contains a double quote, each double quote must be replaced by 2 consecutive double quotes as to not confuse the text begin and end markers.  Examples: "Robert "BOB" Anderson" should be sent as "Robert ""BOB"" Anderson".  
  • Double quotes around text field values are optional when there is no comma or double quotes within the value.
  • Fields may be undefined via no value or "" but there must be a comma to separate each field whether a field is defined or not.  Example ("Field1",,"Field3" or "Field1","","Field3")
  • All contribution\expense dates must be in the format of MM/DD/YYYY and must be within the period range for that report period.  For example when importing into C&E 2012 Report #1 Due 5/22/12, any contribution date outside of Jan 01, 2012 - May 18, 2012 will be rejected.
 
3. Contributions File Format

Position Field Name Format Notes
1 ContributionType Text Max 1 Char Must be "C" (Monetary Contribution), "I" (In Kind Contribution), "M" (In Kind Written Commitment), or "W" (Written Commitment).  REQUIRED
2 ContributorType Text Max 1 Char Must be "I" (Individual) or "O" (Organization).  REQUIRED
3 ContributorFirstName Text Max 30 Chars OPTIONAL When ContributorType = "O" this value will be discarded.
4 ContributorMiddleName Text Max 30 Chars OPTIONAL When ContributorType = "O" this value will be discarded.
5 ContributorLastName Text Max 100 Chars When ContributorType = "O" put entire organization name here only. REQUIRED
6 ContributorAddress1 Text Max 60 Chars REQUIRED
7 ContributorAddress2 Text Max 30 Chars OPTIONAL
8 ContributorCity Text Max 45 Chars REQUIRED
9 ContributorState Text Max 2 Chars REQUIRED
10 ContributorZip Text Max 10 Chars REQUIRED
11 ContributionDate Date Max 10 Chars Format: MM/DD/YYYY REQUIRED
12 ContributionAmount Decimal If your amount contains a comma, it must be enclosed in double quotes, e.g. "5,000.00". REQUIRED
13 InKindDescription Text Max 1000 Chars REQUIRED for In Kind Contributions Only, ContributionType = "I", for all other types this value will be discarded.
14 IsLoan Boolean Max 1 Char Must be "1" (True, this contribution is a loan) or "0" (False, this contributions is NOT a loan). REQUIRED

Click here to see a sample valid contributions file.
Click here to see a sample invalid contributions file.
 
4. Expenses File Format

Position Field Name Format Notes
1 ExpenseType Text Max 1 Char Must be "E" (Monetary Expense) or "I" (In Kind Expense).  REQUIRED
2 PayeeType Text Max 1 Char Must be "I" (Individual) or "O" (Organization).  REQUIRED
3 PayeeFirstName Text Max 30 Chars OPTIONAL  When ContributorType = "O" this value will be discarded.
4 PayeeMiddleName Text Max 30 Chars OPTIONAL  When ContributorType = "O" this value will be discarded.
5 PayeeLastName Text Max 100 Chars When PayeeType = "O" put entire organization name here only. REQUIRED
6 PayeeAddress1 Text Max 60 Chars REQUIRED
7 PayeeAddress2 Text Max 30 Chars OPTIONAL
8 PayeeCity Text Max 45 Chars REQUIRED
9 PayeeState Text Max 2 Chars REQUIRED
10 PayeeZip Text Max 10 Chars REQUIRED
11 ExpenseDate Date Max 10 Chars Format: MM/DD/YYYY REQUIRED
12 ExpenseAmount Decimal If your amount contains a comma, it must be enclosed in double quotes, e.g. "5,000.00". REQUIRED
13 InKindDescription Text Max 1000 Chars REQUIRED for In Kind Expenses Only, ExpenseType = "I", for all other types this value will be discarded.
14 ExpenseCategories Text Max 100 Chars Required for monetary expenses only.  When there are multiple categories, separate values by a comma and enclose the entire list within double quotes: (e.g. "A,B,D,J").  Note that each C&E report form may have it's own set of legal category values.  For example the 2012 report has categories A-L, while the 2010 report has A-J.  Categories are not case sensitive and they may or may not be preceded by a space character.  Legal values are C ; “C” ; “a,b,c” ; “A, B, C”.  An illegal value would be A,B,C (not enclosed in double quotes) or “A”, “B”, “C” (each individual value enclosed in double quotes). REQUIRED for Monetary Expenses Only

Click here to see a sample valid expenses file.
Click here to see a sample invalid expenses file.
 
5. Using Microsoft Excel for editing csv files
If you have the Microsoft Excel program installed on your computer as part of the Microsoft Office suite you may edit and track your contributions and expense line items in an organized, tabular user interface on your local machine in a disconnected manor from the Aurora filing system, prior to importing this information over into your target report.  One powerful advantage of using Excel to edit your line items is that it conforms to the csv file specifications of automatically enclosing a table cell value in double quotes when a comma is present within the value and replacing any double quotes that may occur within your value with two consecutive double quotes.  It’s possible for you to record your contribution and expense items in Excel in a column structure that is different from the expected structure used in this file upload function as long as you re-organize your columns in the specified file format prior to uploading your file but it will save you the work of retrofitting your spreadsheet if you were to use the prescribed Excel templates listed here:

Contributions Excel Template

Expenses Excel Template

These templates are provided to you as a courtesy for the convenience of simplifying your data entry and file upload but are provided as is, without warranty and it is beyond the scope of the Nevada Secretary of State’s office to support your usage of Microsoft products such as Excel.  Using these templates and uploading .csv files to this system is a voluntary process provided as a courtesy to the user in avoiding duplicate data entry but is not mandatory for filing your contributions & expenses reports online.

These templates are in the MS Excel .xlsx file extension which support more complex features such as column sizing & column constraints that are not supported by the .csv format.  Once you are ready to upload your file you will need to save your spreadsheet to the .csv format.  To do this, click the “Save As …” option from the File menu, then in the “Save as type:” drop down list in the “Save As” dialog box, choose “CSV (Comma delimited) (*.csv)” option.

Excel Save Dialog box and Options

Doing so will typically produce the following warnings:

Excel Save Dialog box and Options

Which is informing you the .csv format can not support the multiple worksheets feature offered in Excel.  Click Ok.  Then you will likely see the next warning:

Excel Save Dialog box and Options

Here you click “Yes” to acknowledge the fact that when saving to .csv you will lose certain Excel features that the .csv file format can not support such as column filtering and sizing.  Save your .csv file to a location on your computer’s hard drive that you can easily find when choosing this file from the Aurora upload page.  

Once your .csv file is saved to your local computer you may upload this file to our server by clicking on the “Select” button to first choose your local file, then click the “Upload File” button to transmit your file to the Aurora system for validation and processing.  
 
6. Troubleshooting & Caveats
Overwrite Option When you choose the “Overwrite any existing contributions\expenses.” option when saving your uploaded line items previously saved contributions (when doing a contributions upload) or expenses (when doing an expenses upload) will be purged prior to importing in these line items.  Importing contributions will never have any effect on saved expenses and vice-versa.  Once line items are overwritten they can not be recovered so use this option with caution.

Using your Browser’s Back Button Exercise caution when clicking on your browser’s back button to get back to the file upload page.  You may see a warning indicating that you must refresh and repost your data to get the page back.  Doing so can result in a file being re-uploaded and reprocessed.  Instead of using your browsers back button it is recommended that you click on the Upload Contributions\Expenses buttons on your report form page.

Not seeing your imported expense or contribution The visibility of a contribution or expense within your report is highly dependent upon numerous variables such as contribution\expense type (monetary vs. in-kind), contribution\expense amount and other miscellaneous factors such as if a contribution is a loan and guaranteed by a 3rd party.  For example, if you click a “View Items” link next to a line item on your report summary page labeled “Total Monetary Contributions Received in Excess of $100”, you will not see any contributions saved under $100 nor would you see contributions guaranteed by a 3rd party.  When in doubt, you may scan through the full report visible when you click the “Printer Friendly Report” button on the bottom of the main report summary page.  This gives you a full view of all contributions and expenses saved to your report.  


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