This list of frequently asked questions provides answers to common customer questions about Financial Manager. For additional information or one-on-one assistance, you can send an email to FeesHelp@USPTO.gov(link sends e-mail) or call the USPTO Contact Center at 1-800-786-9199 (select option 3, then option 4).
Deposit Account Management
- What are my options for funding and replenishing a deposit account?
In Financial Manager, you have the option to fund or replenish a deposit account online using a stored EFT account or by transferring funds from a different stored deposit account. To replenish a deposit account online, the user must have Funds Manager permissions on the account being replenished and Funds Manager permissions on the funding source (EFT or deposit account being used to replenish funds).
In addition, Financial Manager has an auto-replenishment feature, allowing customers to specify an amount to charge an active, stored EFT when the deposit account balance falls below a customer defined threshold.
Customers may also fund or replenish a deposit account via wire transfer or by submitting a check/money order via postal mail. Government agencies may also use the Intra-Governmental Payment and Collection (IPAC) system. For more detailed instructions on how to replenish a deposit account, please visit the Deposit Account Replenishment Options page.
- Have there been any changes to how I manage my deposit account?
To optimize functionality in Financial Manager, the following deposit account management rules now apply:
- All USPTO deposit accounts are stored in Financial Manager.
- Setting up and managing deposit accounts is done exclusively online.
- Once you open a new deposit account, you have 45 days to fund the account, or it will close automatically. Consider funding and replenishing your deposit accounts online using an electronic funds transfer (EFT) or another deposit account – it is fast and secure. However, you are still able to add funds using a check/money order or wire transfer. Learn more on the Deposit Account Replenishment Options page.
- If your deposit account balance ever falls to $0, you have 45 days to replenish the account, or it will close automatically.
- After one year of inactivity, a deposit account is marked as "Active - No Recent Activity." The deposit account is still available for use when in this status. A deposit account in this status can easily be changed back to "Active" status by using the account for fee payment, making a replenishment or withdrawal, or clicking the reactivate button in Financial Manager. If no action is taken within 30 days, the deposit account will then be marked as "Pending Closure" and can no longer be used for payments or replenishments. Administrators have an additional 30 days to reactivate the deposit account in Financial Manager while the account is "Pending Closure." If no action is taken during this additional grace period, the deposit account will close and funds will be returned via check to the correspondence address on file.
- Monthly deposit account statements are no longer mailed; instead, you can access and download your monthly statements at any time in Financial Manager.
- Deposit account Administrators manage account withdrawal options online (which are turned off by default).
- Deposit account Administrators receive email notifications about all status changes to their deposit account. The notifications include instructions on how to keep the deposit account active and in good standing.
These updates eliminated the need for the $10 fee that was previously charged to open a new deposit account. Setting up a new deposit account is free!
- How do I access my deposit account monthly statements?
Users with reporter permissions are able to access monthly deposit account statements in Financial Manager and run and download customized reports anytime, anywhere!
- Does the USPTO still accept deposit account payments through the mail?
Yes, the USPTO accepts mailed authorizations to pay fees using funds from your deposit account.
- What is a deposit account? What are the benefits of opening a deposit account?
Deposit account holders enjoy a high level of assurance that their USPTO fees are paid appropriately and on time. USPTO deposit accounts are pre-paid fund reserves that customers can establish to pay fees to the USPTO. Established for the convenience of attorneys, agents, and the general public in paying fees for products and services, deposit accounts eliminate the need to submit a check, credit/debit card, or other payment information each time a fee is required. Furthermore, in an instance of miscalculation of a fee due, the balance required may be charged to the deposit account with a general authorization, which preserves the date of your filing.
Setting up and managing a deposit account in Financial Manager is simple. It's also easy to make a payment using your deposit account or generate a customized report on account activity. Even better – setting up a new deposit account is free!
- I have Funds Manager permissions on my deposit account. Why can’t I replenish my account using an EFT or another deposit account in Financial Manager?
The USPTO has recently updated Financial Manager’s user permission settings to strengthen account security. To replenish a deposit account online, the user must have Funds Manager permissions on the account being replenished and Funds Manager permissions on the funding source (EFT or deposit account being used to replenish funds).
This update does not affect customers that fund or replenish a deposit account via wire transfer, check/money order via postal mail, or the Intra-Governmental Payment and Collection (IPAC) system.
Stored Payment Method Management and Security
- How do the permission settings work in Financial Manager? Who has access to my personal and account information?
- Are multiple Fee Payers able to simultaneously submit payments using the same stored payment method?
Yes, multiple Fee Payers are able to simultaneously pay fees using the same stored payment method.
- Is there a limit to the number of Financial Manager users that can be assigned Fee Payer permissions and submit payments using my stored payment method?
No, you can add as many Fee Payers to your stored payment method as makes sense for your organization.
- What is a stored payment method?
- In Financial Manager, can anyone with my password withdraw money from my deposit account?
Withdrawal functionality is turned off by default. Administrators may toggle on or off the ability to withdraw funds by check and/or EFT. The only users that are able to withdraw money from your deposit account (when enabled) are Funds Managers that you've assigned to help manage your account.
We encourage you to think critically about your User Permission settings and suggest assigning permissions in a manner that aligns with your organization's business processes. In addition, we encourage assigning Administrator and Funds Manager permissions to different users for increased security.
Stored Payment Method Management and Security - Other
- What kind of information is displayed in the Message of the Day?
- How many different electronic payment methods can I store in Financial Manager?
There is no limit to the number of credit cards, USPTO deposit accounts, and/or electronic funds transfer (EFT) accounts you can store in Financial Manager.
Transitioning to Financial Manager
- Why didn't I receive a dual authentication email when I attempted to pay fees using my EFT?
Financial Manager's enhanced security features allow customers to pay fees with an EFT to the USPTO without authenticating the payment through an emailed link. EFT payments are processed immediately and you no longer receive an authentication email before the payment is accepted.
- I missed the payment method migration deadline. What happened to my deposit account/EFT?
As of August 2016, all deposit accounts and EFTs must be stored in Financial Manager in order to be used for payments or reporting. Payment methods that were not migrated by the migration have been deactivated. For deposit accounts, any remaining balance will be returned via mailed check. To expedite your refund, download the deposit account closure request form and submit the completed form to RADHelpdesk@uspto.gov. EFTs that were not migrated to Financial Manger by the deadline can be added as a new payment method, but will undergo the eight business day authentication process again.
You can easily set up a new deposit account, electronic funds transfer (EFT), or stored credit card in Financial Manager. Simply follow the steps outlined in the Financial Manager Quick Start Guide to get started.
- Was my electronic payment method information automatically moved from Financial Profile to Financial Manager?
No, your personal and payment method information and history was not automatically moved from Financial Profile to Financial Manager. This is because Financial Manager's enhanced user permissions requires information that wasn't available in Financial Profile. However, you can easily set up a new deposit account, electronic funds transfer (EFT), and stored credit card in Financial Manager. If you need assistance, with your payment methods, you can send an email to FeesHelp@uspto.gov or call the USPTO Contact Center at 1-800-786-9199 (select option 3, then option 4).
- What happened to Financial Profile when Financial Manager launched?
Financial Profile was replaced by the reporting features offered in Financial Manager. Financial Profile was turned off and you can now use Financial Manager to research payment history, generate and download printable transaction reports, retrieve monthly statements, and more.
Like the old system, Financial Manager allows you to monitor the date and amount of every transaction between the USPTO and your stored payment method. Financial Manager broadens this service, offering reports that show both high level and detailed information about your transactions. The user permissions feature enables you to control which users can view and download these reports as PDF, Excel, and/or CSV files. Enhanced filters and sorting capabilities also make it easier for you to quickly find the information you need.
- Can I pay patent and trademark filing fees using a payment method stored in Financial Manager?
Yes, you can pay fees in any storefront (e.g. EFS-Web, TEAS, etc.) using a payment method that is stored in Financial Manager.
Transitioning to Financial Manager - Other
- Why is the transaction report for my recently migrated payment method missing transactions?
It may take up to an hour for all of your transactions to load in Financial Manager once you have migrated your payment method. If your transaction report appears to be missing transactions an hour after migrating the payment method, please verify that your search parameters (date, transaction amount, etc.) are correct.
If your transactions do not display after an hour or more, please contact the USPTO Help Desk at 1-800-786-9199 or send an email to FeesHelp@uspto.gov.
- Do all users within my organization need to have their own uspto.gov account? Or can we create one account for the entire organization?
Financial Manager requires each user to have their own uspto.gov account. This new requirement enables Financial Manager's user permission settings, which gives organizations increased control over who can access their accounts and how.
Users should not create a shared uspto.gov account for their organization, as this compromises your organization's ability to monitor and control payment method activity.
- When I try to sign in, I get an error message that reads "An authentication error has occurred. It is likely there is a system outage causing the error. If your problem persists, contact the USPTO Helpdesk." What does this mean?
This is a generic system error message that often displays if you've entered incorrect uspto.gov account credentials. Please make sure that you have entered the email address you used to create your uspto.gov account when signing in.
Financial Manager Reports
- Do the transactions I complete online post to Financial Manager in real time?
Transactions generally process and post within one hour. However, users may at times experience delays in the processing and posting of transactions on Financial Manager. Delays may be more noticeable during month-end closing.
- Where do I find the Reference # associated with my payment or refund in Financial Manager reports?
Reference # can be found on any Financial Manager transaction report or monthly statement. The Reference # is the USPTO supplied identifier, such as Patent Application Number, Patent Number, Trademark Registration Number, Trademark Serial Number, etc., associated with your payment.
The Reference # is available at the transaction summary level for both payments and refunds. If the transaction included payments for multiple patents or trademarks at once, the transaction summary view will display “multiple” in the transaction summary column. When this occurs, the Reference # for each individual fee payment is listed in the transaction detail view, under Sale Item Reference #.
The Reference # is available at the transaction detail level for payments only, under Sale Item Reference #. To access the transaction detail view online, click on the expand (+) icon or transaction ID hyperlink from your monthly statement or transaction search report. Details on accessing transaction details in downloaded reports are available in the Financial Manager Reports Handbook.
Financial Manager Reports - Other
- How do I generate transaction reports for multiple payment methods at once?
Currently, Financial Manager allows you to generate reports for one stored payment method at a time. After July 2016, Financial Manager will offer a new feature that will allow users with Reporter permissions to search for transactions within an individual stored payment method or all of your payment methods of the same type (i.e. all credit/debit cards, all EFTs, or all deposit accounts). This will eliminate the need to search for transactions one payment method at a time.