PA UC-2/2A - UCMS FTP or File Upload Support

Greg Hatfield Updated by Greg Hatfield

Effective with the first quarter 2014 filing, employers will be required to electronically file quarterly UC tax and wage reports through UCMS. The module described here converts saved Form UC-2/UC-2A data files into files suitable for uploading to the PA UCMS or FTP website as a CSV file. The module is accessed from the Module Library by selecting the item labeled PA UC-2/2A - UCMS FTP or File Upload Support. Form UC-2 and Form UC-2A are combined into one CSV file for easy uploading.

For more detailed information see the Pennsylvania Unemployment Compensation Management System (UCMS) home page. Make sure you are familiar with using UCMS and FTP filing before proceeding.

Know how you will be filing. See the link above.

UCMS supports several file formats. CFS Payroll System creates the Original Wage and Tax Reporting Comma Separated Value (CSV) file. This is also known as a Comma Delimited file. This contain both the tax report and wage report in one file.

The file can be submitted two different ways. Preparers submitting as a Third Party Administrator (TPA) can include multiple employers in one file. This file can be submitted via File Upload to the UCMS website, or via FTP website. Files greater than 500 Kb must be submitted via FTP. Employers submitting for themselves should submit via File Upload on the UCMS website.

Most preparers filing for multiple employers should file as Third-Party Administrators (TPA) via FTP.

Be sure to submit your files several days early to allow the processing time necessary before payments can be made.

Follow the steps below to create and submit Form UC-2/UC-2A CSV files for uploading to UCMS.

STEP 1 - First create and save Form UC-2/UC-2A data files as if you were submitting them on paper using the module on the Module Library labeled PA UC-2/2A - Quarterly Employer's Report for Unemployment Compensation. Verify that the forms are complete and correct. 

STEP 2 - Create a Comma Delimited (CSV) file. On this PA UC-2/2A Comma Delimited File (CSV) for Upload to UCMS screen, determine how you will be submitting the file. If you are submitting as a Third-Party Administrator (TPA) for several employers, then be sure to enter your TPA registration number in the box provided. If you will be submitting the file as an employer for a single employer, then enter the employer's UI account number in the box provided. Do not enter both a TPA number and an employer UI number.

Select the filing quarter in the dropdown list. If you are a TPA and the file is 500 kb or less you can submit the file via File Upload on the UCMS website, or via FTP. Files greater than 500 kb must be submitted via FTP. If submitting via FTP, then check the appropriate box. If you want to submit a FTP Pre-file, then check the appropriate box (see below for information on creating a FTP Pre-file). Employers with saved Form UC-2/2A data files will be marked "Ready" (see later under Status Column for an explanation) and automatically checked to be included in the file. Uncheck the box next to the employers you do NOT want to include in the file. If you are submitting as an employer, then you should only include the file for that employer and uncheck all others. TPA's may combine multiple employers in one file for a single submission. Click the ''Create File'' button to create the file. The file name and path will automatically be established for you using the file name required by UCMS.

When the file is successfully created, the correct file name will be copied to the computer clipboard. This allows you to use CTRL+V to paste the file name into the browse window when selecting the file to upload. To use this shortcut, the file must be created right before uploading it. The file name will be one of the following, depending on the options chosen:




where NUMBER is the 10-digit TPA number or the 7-digit employer account number, and QYYYYSS is the quarter, year, and 2-digit sequence number so it will have a unique name.

STEP 3 - Test the file using the File Validation Tool to validate it before submittal. See the UCMS instructions for validating the file.

If desired, you can review the files by double-clicking the file name displayed next to the employer name in the list. The file will be displayed in Notepad. Close the Notepad file when finished.

STEP 4 - If you want to have the program enter your login information automatically on the UCMS or FTP website, then first click the Store Login Info button and enter your UCMS Keystone ID and Password. Then click the FTP button to load the FTP login website (for FTP filers), or the UCMS button to load the UCMS login website (for File Upload filers) into your internet browser. (Note: the FTP website can also be reached by logging into the UCMS website). Do not click the screen or type any characters. After a 5 second delay the program will automatically attempt to type your login information into the login screen. If the program does not successfully enter the login information into the login screen, there could be several reasons. 1) The screen loaded too slowly. The user can try to lengthen the default 5 second delay. Click the Store Login Info button and change the delay seconds number. 2) The user inadvertently clicked something on the screen or pressed a key before the login information was sent. Try it again. 3) The web page is starting at an unexpected place. The user may have to manually enter the login information. Always be sure that the login information works manually before storing it for automatic login.

Be sure that the file was created using the same parameters with which you have chosen to file (TPA vs Employer, and FTP vs File Upload). The file name for each option is different and must match the filing method.

STEP 5 – Once logged in, follow the method for submitting a file via FTP, or UCMS File Upload, as appropriate. When browsing for the file to submit, if you created the file immediately before logging in, then you can press CTRL+V to copy the filename into the browse window. Whatever method you have chosen, be sure to complete the process.

If you are submitting more than one file, wait for the first file to be removed from the system or it may be overwritten since the file names are the same, as required by UCMS.

STEP 6 - At this point you have successfully completed your filing for the UC2-2A Wage Detail and Tax Report. Please note that you must allow a minimum of two days for your file to be processed. The next step is to follow the UCMS instructions to pay your UC Tax obligation when two days have passed and the file has processed. Check the ''Manage Uploaded Files" page of the UCMS website to monitor the status of submitted files.

If you must resubmit, first correct the errors on paper Form UC-2/2A for each affected employer. Next you must reset the status of the affected employers. See Resetting the Status for Employers below. You may now create the file again as described in STEP 2.

Explanation of Status Column

The column labeled Status next to the employer's name tracks the status of the corresponding employer's UC-2/2A data files. Following is an explanation of the status labels.

Ready – A single Form UC-2/2A data file for the quarter was found for the employer. This employer's data is ready to be processed into a CSV file.

Duplicate – More than one Form UC-2/2A data file for the quarter was found for the employer. In order to process a file for this quarter the user must delete any duplicate files for the quarter.

None – No Form UC-2/2A data files were found for the quarter for the employer.

Date – File name – The Form UC-2/2A data file for the quarter for the employer has been processed into a file. The name of the COPY of the CSV file when saved and date created are listed. Remember, the file to be submitted is not the copy with the QYYYY appended to it. This file will be rejected by UCMS because it does not follow their strict naming convention.

Resetting the Status for Employers

Once an employer's UC-2/2A data has been processed into a file for a given quarter, the file name appears in the status column and the employer's data cannot be processed (or reprocessed) into another file unless the status is reset. This feature is to safeguard the possibility of submitting the same data twice. To reset the employer for a given quarter, first select the quarter from the dropdown list. Check the box next to the employers that have already been processed into files. Click the Reset Status button to reset the selected employers. The status for the employers should then be Ready and they can be processed into another file.

FTP Pre-file

Third-Party Administrators (TPAs) who choose to file quarterly reports for their clients by submitting files to the department via File Transfer Protocol (FTP) must ensure that accurate data is transmitted. The pre-file process is used by the department to provide accurate account number and contribution rate information for the clients of a TPA to facilitate increased accuracy for filing and payment of quarterly UC reports. Third-Party Administrators (TPAs) who report wage and tax data for multiple clients on one file must send a minimum of one pre-file for each quarterly reporting period.

Up to three times each quarter, a TPA may submit a pre-file to the department that contains information about the clients whose wage and tax data will be reported on a quarterly data file that is submitted via FTP. Upon receipt of a pre-file, the department’s records will be searched to validate the client information. Valid account numbers, legal business names, federal employer identification numbers (FEIN), contribution rates, etc. will be provided to the TPA via a pre-file match file. Please review the demographic information in the pre-file match file for any differences from what you provided in case there are items that need to be corrected in either UCMS or in your system. This validated data should be used when preparing the quarterly wage and tax report files. Only those clients who were included on a pre-file match file are to be included on the quarterly report files.

To produce the FTP Pre-file, select the "FTP Pre-file" box. The status column will display "Ready" for employer's with 7-digit, non-zero account numbers, and those will be checked. Employers without numbers may be checked manually. Click the "Create File" button to create the file. Once logged into the FTP website, follow the directions to submit the FTP Pre-file via FTP. Be sure to retrieve the Pre-file Match file to obtain the rates and account number.

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Online UI Filing Support from the State UI Form Module