eFOCUS Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


General

  1. What are the FOCUS due dates?
  2. How can I enter the Calendar Year and/or SEC File Number in my Schedule I filing?
  3. Can I compare a saved-but-not-yet-submitted FOCUS filing to a previously submitted filing?
  4. How can I change information for my firm's CFO and/or CEO in eFOCUS?
  5. How is the "% complete" statistic calculated in the worklist of my FOCUS filing?
  6. Is it possible to upload supporting documents for my FOCUS filing into the eFOCUS system?
  7. Is it possible to include in my filing additional information that I anticipate being asked by my firm's Coordinator to provide?
  8. Can I enter more than one exemption to SEA Rule 15c3-3 in my FOCUS filing?
  9. Where should I enter "matched trades for fails to receive" in my FOCUS filing?
  10. How is the Approve function different from the Submission function?
  11. Can I electronically sign my firm's FOCUS filing in eFOCUS?
  12. When exporting my FOCUS filing to WinJammer, the extension for the file that is generated (.txt) is similar to the extension generated for a regular Text file. Is there any difference? If so, which one should I use when using WinJammer?
  13. Is it possible to carry memos forward to future eFOCUS filings?
  14. My firm would like to send a copy of its FOCUS filing to our clearing firm. Is there a way to do this through the eFOCUS system?
  15. Does my firm need to continue submitting FOCUS filings if we have submitted a Form BDW?
  16. Where can I find tutorials for the eFOCUS system?

 

Problems and Issues

  1. Why do I see an "access denied" message when trying to log in to eFOCUS?
  2. I am logged into eFOCUS but cannot view the form I need to complete. What should I do?
  3. Why don't I see the scheduled FOCUS filing that I need to submit through eFOCUS?
  4. Why can't I import data for a FOCUS filing?
  5. Why can't I enter data into my FOCUS filing?
  6. Why is eFOCUS calculating a value incorrectly?
  7. What should I do if I see a "calculation error" message for a line item in my FOCUS filing?
  8. My firm has $0 amounts to report for assets on its FOCUS filing. When I attempt to submit the filing, the eFOCUS system reports errors for the $0 amounts and will not let me complete the filing. What should I do?
  9. I have experienced problems completing my FOCUS filing with Internet Explorer. What should I do?
  10. Why wasn't I able to save my data in eFOCUS?
  11. Why can't I submit my eFOCUS filing?

 

Specific Line Items

  1. Where can I list the "Other additions and/or allowable credits" referenced in Line Item 3630 (Question 7) on my FOCUS filing?
  2. Where can I list the appropriate haircuts within Line Item 3736 (Question 9E) on my FOCUS filing?
  3. The value that is auto-calculated for line item 3780 of my FOCUS filing differs from the result I get if I calculate the value myself based on the formula referenced in the line-item description. Why is there a discrepancy?
  4. In eFOCUS, is Line 3931 (i.e., number of months) automatically calculated?
  5. For which FOCUS filings do I need to complete line 4211 (monthly profit and loss before income taxes)?
  6. For Line Item 4270 (Statement of Changes in Ownership Equity) of my firm's FOCUS filing, should the value entered be positive or negative?
  7. How can I enter more than one clearing firm in Line Item 4335 on my FOCUS Report?

 

General

 

1. What are the FOCUS due dates?
Due dates for FOCUS filings may be found on the Filing Due Dates page.
2. How can I enter the Calendar Year and/or SEC File Number in my Schedule I filing?
If the Calendar Year or SEC File Number does not automatically appear in your FOCUS filing, you can override the value. To do so, right-click the line item and then select Override Value from the list of options that appears. In the following series of boxes that appear, confirm that you wish to override the value and input the correct information. The overridden field should then be populated with the value you entered.
3. Can I compare a saved-but-not-yet-submitted FOCUS filing to a previously submitted filing?
No. It is only possible to compare filings that have been submitted through eFOCUS.
4. How can I change information for my firm's CFO and/or CEO in eFOCUS?
You may change contact information for your firm's CFO and/or CEO by editing the values for Line Items 30/31 and 32/33. These changes will be saved in the eFOCUS system when you save the changes in your filing. Please note that changes made in eFOCUS will not automatically be made to the FINRA Contact System.
5. How is the "% complete" statistic calculated in the worklist of my FOCUS filing?
The "% complete" statistic is a ratio that compares the number of line items completed in your current FOCUS filing with those completed in your previously submitted filings. This statistic is intended to provide you with an estimate of completion for your current filing.

Please note that you may have a % complete statistic of less than 100% when you have finished entering values in your filing. This may happen if you have line items that, in your current filing have zero balances, but in previous filings had balances other than zero. You may submit a filing that does not show a status of 100% complete.
6. Is it possible to upload supporting documents for my FOCUS filing into the eFOCUS system?
No, it is not possible to upload supporting documents in eFOCUS. If your Coordinator requests supporting documentation for a FOCUS filing, you should encrypt and email that information directly to your Coordinator. Alternatively, you may submit this information through the ACES Request Form provided to you.
7. Is it possible to include in my filing additional information that I anticipate being asked by my firm's Coordinator to provide?
Yes, using the memo or annotation features in eFOCUS, you can store information in each of your filings. Memos can be viewed by your Coordinator, whereas annotations can be viewed only by individuals at your firm. For more information, view our tutorial on Creating Memos and Annotations.
8. Can I enter more than one exemption to SEA Rule 15c3-3 in my FOCUS filing?
Yes.
9. Where should I enter "matched trades for fails to receive" in my FOCUS filing?
You should enter the book value of "matched trades for fails to receive" on line 10 of your FOCUS filing. You should also indicate the associated market value for this line item in the corresponding memo field.
10. How is the Approve function different from the Submission function?
The Approve function is an optional feature that your firm can use as part of your internal review of FOCUS filings before submitting them to FINRA. If your firm uses the Approve function, you must still click on the Submit button in order to send your final filing to FINRA for review.
11. Can I electronically sign my firm's FOCUS filing in eFOCUS?
No. It is not possible to electronically sign your firm's FOCUS filing through eFOCUS.
12. When exporting my FOCUS filing to WinJammer, the extension for the file that is generated (.txt) is similar to the extension generated for a regular Text file. Is there any difference? If so, which one should I use when using WinJammer?
eFOCUS has an option to export a FOCUS filing to EXCEL, XML, TEXT or TRK. While TEXT and TRK export files both end with the ".txt" extension, the format of the data within the files is different. TEXT format is a generic format that can be used to import into other applications while TRK is a format that is specific to WinJammer.
13. Is it possible to carry memos forward to future eFOCUS filings?
Yes. You may copy and paste memos from past filings into new filings.
14. My firm would like to send a copy of its FOCUS filing to our clearing firm. Is there a way to do this through the eFOCUS system?
FINRA has implemented functionality in eFOCUS that allows FINRA member firms to securely transmit FOCUS filings to select financial institutions, including clearing firms.

View our online tutorial for detailed transmission instructions and for information about how to view the list of participating institutions.
15. Does my firm need to continue submitting FOCUS filings if we have submitted a Form BDW?
Yes. You must continue to submit regularly scheduled FOCUS filings for your firm until your firm's termination becomes effective. In addition, under SEA Rule 17a-5, you must submit a final FOCUS filing within two business days of the effective date of your termination.
16. Where can I find tutorials for the eFOCUS system?
Tutorials for the eFOCUS system are available at http://www.finra.org/focus.

Problems and Issues

 

1. Why do I see an "access denied" message when trying to log in to eFOCUS?
You may be using the incorrect URL to access eFOCUS. If you are a user at a firm, you must log in to eFOCUS via the following Web address: https://firms.finra.org/efocus/.

If you are an SEC user, you should log in to eFOCUS via the following Web address: https://efocus.finra.org/.

Please contact your Coordinator if you are still unable to access eFOCUS.

You will not see a link to eFOCUS when you log in to the Firm Gateway if you do not have permission to access eFOCUS. You can request access through your firm's Super Account Administrator (SAA). To determine who fills this role for your firm, log in to the Firm Gateway, click on "My Account" and view information from the "Applications & Administrators" link. If you do not have access to the Firm Gateway, contact FINRA at (301) 869-6699 to find out who at your firm fills the SAA role and contact that individual for access.
2. I am logged into eFOCUS but cannot view the form I need to complete. What should I do?
You may need to clear your cache. The cache, also known as the Temporary Internet Files folder, is where your computer records your Web browser activity, such as Web downloads. The purpose for storing this information is to make browsing the Web faster. To clean your cache, do the following:

 

  • From the Internet Explorer Tools menu, click Internet Options. The Internet Options box should open to the General tab.
  • On the General tab, in the Browsing History or Temporary Internet Files section, click the Delete Files button. This will delete all the files that are currently stored in your cache.
  • Click OK twice.
3. Why don't I see the scheduled FOCUS filing that I need to submit through eFOCUS?
eFOCUS only schedules those filings that your firm is required to submit. If you believe you need to submit a filing that is not scheduled in eFOCUS, please contact your Coordinator.
4. Why can't I import data for a FOCUS filing?
You can only import data for a filing with the status of Scheduled or Amendment. To determine whether you have scheduled filings or amendments, select View All from the Filings section of the dashboard.

Data Templates
Ensure you are using a valid template to import data from an .xls, XML or .txt file. Before importing a file, you may find it helpful to view sample import files and their required formats. In the Import Filing section of the dashboard, click the file links to display the samples you would like to see. Once a sample file launches, you can save it to your computer and use it as a template for importing information into your filing.

Calculated Items
When you export data from a previously submitted filing and then import it to a scheduled filing, the system may flag some calculated items as errors. To work around this problem, delete the calculated items flagged as errors and then try to import the data again.
5. Why can't I enter data into my FOCUS filing?
Edit Mode
It is not possible to edit your filing when it is in read-only mode. Your filing will be in read-only mode if it has been submitted to FINRA, or if you have been assigned to a read-only, submit-only or approve-only role in the eFOCUS system. Only users assigned to an editor role can enter data into filings or amendments that are scheduled but not yet submitted.

Auto-Calculated Items
In general, you cannot enter data for line items that are autocalculated. However, there are certain autocalculated line items that you can override if required. To determine whether a particular line item can be overridden, right-click the line item. If the option to "Override Value" appears, then it is possible to override the value.

Browser Issues
If your browser does not allow you to click in a field and enter data, save and exit your filing and return to the dashboard. Open the filing again, and you should now be able to enter the data.
6. Why is eFOCUS calculating a value incorrectly?
There are rare instances when eFOCUS will not recalculate a value after one of its inputs has changed. If this happens, you can re-enter one of the inputs to trigger the recalculation. To determine the input values for a particular line item, place your mouse over the line item to view its formula.
7. What should I do if I see a "calculation error" message for a line item in my FOCUS filing?
To resolve a calculation error, refresh any value that is included in the calculation by removing the value and then adding it back.
8. My firm has $0 amounts to report for assets on its FOCUS filing. When I attempt to submit the filing, the eFOCUS system reports errors for the $0 amounts and will not let me complete the filing. What should I do?
Replace the $0 amounts with $1 and resubmit the filing.
9. I have experienced problems completing my FOCUS filing with Internet Explorer. What should I do?
You can try using Firefox to complete your FOCUS filing.
10. Why wasn't I able to save my data in eFOCUS?
You are not able to save data in eFOCUS if you have been logged out of the system. Please note that users are automatically logged out of eFOCUS after eight hours. You should save your work at least once every two hours to avoid loss of data.
11. Why can't I submit my eFOCUS filing?
As-of Date
You may only submit a filing after the associated reporting period, as indicated by the as-of date, has ended.

Errors
You cannot submit a filing that contains errors. To detect errors in your filing, run the edit function, which is available in the toolbar at the top of your filing. In the Edit Browser window that appears, you will see a list of errors (if any) that must be corrected before you can submit the filing. To navigate to an error in your filing, double-click the corresponding line item in the Edit Browser. As you make corrections to your filing, you can click the refresh button at the top of the Edit Browser window to view the remaining filing errors.

Specific Line Items

 

1. Where can I list the "Other additions and/or allowable credits" referenced in Line Item 3630 (Question 7) on my FOCUS filing?
You should create a memo for Line Item 3630 in your FOCUS report to document any additions or allowable credits.
2. Where can I list the appropriate haircuts within Line Item 3736 (Question 9E) on my FOCUS filing?
You should create a memo for Line Item 3736 in your FOCUS report to document appropriate haircuts.
3. The value that is auto-calculated for line item 3780 of my FOCUS filing differs from the result I get if I calculate the value myself based on the formula referenced in the line-item description. Why is there a discrepancy?
The formula used to auto-calculate line item 3780 is more expansive than the formula stated in the line item description. You can view the full formula used to calculate line item 3780 by placing your cursor over the corresponding value in your FOCUS filing.
4. In eFOCUS, is Line 3931 (i.e., number of months) automatically calculated?
No. Line 3931 is not automatically calculated. You must input a value for this field.
5. For which FOCUS filings do I need to complete line 4211 (monthly profit and loss before income taxes)?
Line 4211 should be completed for all FOCUS filings, including quarter-end filings.
6. For Line Item 4270 (Statement of Changes in Ownership Equity) of my firm's FOCUS filing, should the value entered be positive or negative?
The value you enter for Line Item 4270 should be positive.
7. How can I enter more than one clearing firm in Line Item 4335 on my FOCUS Report?
You can add multiple clearing firms in Line Item 4335 by separating each with a comma.
    Last Updated: 1/30/2013