CMDI to offer ‘TurboTax’ product to campaigns

CMDI will now offer a service it’s touting as TurboTax for campaigns. 

The campaign finance services platform is making the product, known as CrimsonFiler, available to all its Crimson users starting July 22.

"It's one of the most significant changes to the Federal Election Commission filing process since CMDI was the first to file electronically," Erik Nilsson, who runs sales and marketing for CMDI, tells C&E.

CMDI, which handles two of every three dollars raised by GOP campaigns, pioneered electronic FEC filing, according to Nilsson. It's first effort was on behalf of the Bob Dole for President campaign in 1996, which submitted reports with the company's original DexFile system.

Their new system, which Nilsson says is a continuation of that “bloodline,” does for campaigns what TurboTax does for tax preparation: It saves users time.

"They don't have to spend tons of time taking their data out of one system, formatting it correctly in Excel spreadsheets and then uploading it correctly [to the FEC]," he says. It automates of all that labor. It really simplifies the whole process."

Still, CrimsonFiler won't correct incomplete donor data -- that's up to he campaign.

"It's getting the paperwork i's and t's in order," he says. "With one click they can upload their receipts and expenditure data and it brings in all of the donor contact and transaction data."

Existing users of Crimson get free access to CrimsonFiler. But new clients can use the service for as low as $500. "Obviously if you're running for president it's a much higher price," Nilsson says. 

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