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eFile Instructions

Instructions for using the BEA eFile system

Welcome to BEA’s eFile system

eFile is BEA’s electronic filing system that makes use of fillable Adobe PDF forms. The system enables reporters to download the survey forms in PDF format for each reportable enterprise, enter the required data, save the data, and submit the forms securely to BEA. Reporters must have access to the Internet and Adobe Acrobat Reader version 7.0 or newer or Adobe Acrobat Professional version 7.0 or newer in order to use eFile. You can download the latest version of Adobe Acrobat Reader for free from http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep2.html.

Step 1: Obtain an eFile identification number and password from BEA – go to https://www.bea.gov/efile/password/ and submit a request.

Step 2: Once you have received the confirmation email from BEA and followed the link to confirm the password, point your browser to https://www.bea.gov/efile. Note: The password is case sensitive. Select the survey you wish to file and enter the eFile identification number and password to access the BEA eFile Form List - a list of the forms required to be filed by the Reporter. Note: You may change the password for the U.S. Reporter by following the instructions on the login screen. If you forget the password, go to https://www.bea.gov/efile/password/reset_password.cfm. If this does not work for you, fill out a new request.

Step 3: Next download the PDF forms—you must download the forms one at a time. You must download a form for each entity being reported. With the exception of surveys that allow consolidation (such as the BE-45), even if two separate entities are to be filed using the same form type, you must download different copies of the form. There are identifiers built into each form which uniquely identify the entity being reported (even for newly added affiliates). Read the survey instructions carefully to find out when consolidation is allowed. When you click the button to download the form, you will see an option to save the form or open it. Choose OPEN. The form will then open up in your Adobe Acrobat software. We recommend that you work in the Adobe Acrobat software to complete the form. Note: We do NOT recommend working in the web browser. If your form opens up in a browser window, save it to your PC, then open your Adobe Acrobat software and open the file there. Working in the browser may cause you to lose data you have entered.

Step 4: Some forms allow you to run a check of the entered data by clicking on the "Run Error Checks" button located on the first page. This check performs basic mathematical verification of certain data items (e.g. line 8 must = lines 4 + 5). You are not required to correct these errors identified before submitting the form to BEA. There are also some automatic checks that will be run when you submit or save data. These checks may require correction before the form can be submitted or saved.

Step 5: If you are using the free Adobe Reader software, you cannot save the data you enter by saving the form locally on your PC. You may, however, submit a partially completed form and return to it later by downloading the form again from the eFile website. When you download the form after a partial submission, all of your previously entered data will be filled in for you. If you edit the form, you must save/submit the data again before closing. The Reader software will give you a warning about saving data when you close the documents. Once you have submitted the completed form to BEA, you can download it and save it to your PC for your records.

Step 6: You can submit your data to BEA in three ways. You can click the Save/Submit button on each form and choose the submit option, you can click on the "Submit Saved Data" button for each form individually on the eFile form list page or for surveys with multiple forms, you can click on the "Submit All Saved Documents" button located just above the form list on the eFile page. The "Submit All Saved Documents" button will submit all of your saved data at once to BEA.

Step 7: The status of all of your documents is shown in the form list. If you have submitted or saved documents since logging into the eFile system, you can update the status by clicking the "Update Submission Status" button. When you first submit a document, the submission status will say "Not yet processed". This will be updated to "Document has been processed", once we download your data into our database. If you have saved data without submitting it, the submission status field will have a button to submit the saved data. You can submit a document multiple times. In most cases, we will process your latest submission and overwrite previous submissions. Other times we may contact you to verify changes made between submissions. Email efile@bea.gov if the submission status is not updated within 24 hours after a final submission.