The eFile Onboarding Experience

A short description of the eFile onboarding experience for public agencies.

The eFile Onboarding Experience
Onboarding

eFile was originally custom-built for the City of San Diego, but we've always had in mind that it could become a solution for agencies across California.

eFile is a next-generation electronic filing solution for  Form 700, Campaign disclosure forms (Form 460 and friends), and lobbyist disclosures. In 2024, we're adding a general compliance module, for the tracking of compliance requirements such as AB 1234.

In mid 2022, we started to develop a customizable and easily deployable version of eFile. We've been offering eFile to public agencies across California since early 2023.

One question we always get from new agency partners: What's the process for onboarding with eFile?

We've onboarded agencies that had no prior electronic filing system and we've a number of agencies that switched to eFile from Netfile's legacy system. Typically onboarding takes only a few weeks. The detailed timeline depends on potential customizations, which may take time to implement, and on the volume and quality of historic data that need to be imported into eFile.

Through the onboarding process you will receive frequent progress updates from your dedicated eFile team. The onboarding process generally follows these steps:

(1) Initial Setup

This phase usually takes one to two weeks. It starts the day your agency finalizes its contract with Electronic Filing Systems.

  • We work with you to determine the color scheme, logo, and message template design for your agency's instance of eFile.
  • We work with you and your IT team, to set up the URL under which eFile will be hosted. It's usually something like http://efile.youragency.gov, e.g., https://efile.cityofpaloalto.org.
  • We sort out email and single-sign up integration with your IT team (optional).
  • We provide instructions for secure FTP data transfer of historic data from your previous vendor.
  • We create a detailed implementation plan for any customizations and custom filing flows your agency desires.

(2) Implementation Phase

Our software engineers get to work and create a customized instance of eFile for your agency. As soon as the basic setup is ready, we set up a test system for your agency. You'll be able to track our progress by checking out the test system. You'll also receive weekly project updates.

The implementation phase can be as short as a single week or may span multiple weeks, depending on the degree of customization that is needed. In special cases, e.g., when we are implementing an entire custom filing flow, the implementation phase may extend into later phases and work will be carried out in parallel.

(3) Data Import

Once we receive the historic data from your previous vendor, we analyze it for completeness. If necessary, make a supplemental data request. Our data engineers and disclosure compliance specialists then move forward with importing filers, historic filings, and available electronic filing data into your instance of eFile.

You'll be able to track the import progress by checking out the test system. Depending on how early we start with the data import and how quickly it can be completed, there may be a second, final, data import just before the system goes live so that no filing data are missing.

(4) Testing, Validation, and Training

Once the data are imported, we will conduct extensive testing and validation checks using the test system. At this point, we will start scheduling training sessions with your agency's team, again using the test system.

(5) Deployment & Go-Live

We deploy the production system to its final URL. Your agency updates its website to add links to eFile and remove links to your previous filing system. At this time, you also ask your previous vendor to shut down their legacy filing system for your agency.

Once the system is fully up and running, agencies typically use our bulk messaging functionality to let their filers know about the new system. Filers receive a unique log-in link that allows them to set their password when logging in for the first time (this doesn't apply to single-sign on users who will log in via your agency's single-sign on solution).

(6) Post-Deployment Follow-Up and Continuing Training & Support

We're always available to support our agency partners! We provide trainings to admins and filers as needed. You will also have access to our extensive eFile Admin Handbook that is always kept up-to-date.

eFile follows the agile methodology of software development and we are constantly adding new and improved functionality. We'll always keep you up to date about changes and improvements to eFile.

Want to learn more about eFile and how we can help your agency?

Feel free to reach out to us at info@efile.systems or conveniently book an eFile demo!