Tax Accountant Large
Tax Accountant Large

Intuit® Lacerte® Tax users: Get your system ready for tax season

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With the release of Intuit® Lacerte® Tax 2021, we want to make sure you have the necessary resources available to you to start things off on the right track. Here are some key resources to aid you in installing your product, as well as recommendations to optimize its performance.

This article includes general maintenance tips from Lacerte Technical Support. The suggestions provided in this article are for informational purposes. For assistance with any of the following tips, contact your local IT professional, network administrator, hardware manufacture, or software provider.

Tips for Microsoft Windows

Disable offline file sync on all workstations that use Lacerte: The intent of synchronization programs is to allow a user to retain access to network files while disconnected from the network, and synchronize these files when reattached to the network. You may experience data corruption/loss when using a synchronization program such as, but not limited to, Sync Center, Dropbox, Google Drive, and Carbonite with Lacerte to synchronize data between computers. See Disabling offline files for Windows Sync Center with Lacerte and ProSeries.

Download the Lacerte Tool Hub: We are constantly updating Lacerte to add new tax laws, program improvements, fixing unexpected behaviors, Windows updates, and security programs.  Because the programs on your computer are always changing, sometimes things can break. The hub is a Launchpad for the tools you’ll use to fix various issues. Each tab has a set of tools for addressing different types of problems. See Fix common problems and errors with the Lacerte Tool Hub.

Tips for network configuration

This section will cover various network setups and considerations. In most cases, Lacerte is installed on the workstation. Its data and options will be stored on the network. The experience that you get with Lacerte will vary depending on the network environment. If the network is fast, Lacerte will be fast. If the network is stable, Lacerte will be stable, and so on.

Recommended configurations:

  • Mapped drive through Net Use
  • Mapped drive through Group Policy; important: If you are using Group policy make sure the setting shows Update instead of Replace. See Configure a Mapped Drive Item.
  • Terminal server/RDS/Citrix environment

For more details on network administration and Citrix, please refer to Lacerte on Citrix or Terminal Server Environment. Learn more about our Hosting for Lacerte and how it can help you meet system requirements.

Not recommended or supported:

  • NAS Drives: Customers who use NAS drives often spend more time fixing issues than working. NAS drives use Linux; however all the testing and development we do is only for Windows environments. NAS drives are good physical storage to save backups to but they should not be used as a server.
  • Shared drives like OneDrive or Google Drive, Dropbox: These programs will constantly sync and update as you make changes. This can be very destructive to databases and usually won’t be fast. Slow speeds and constant syncing is a recipe for data corruption and performance issues.
  • Drives Mapped over VPN: Similar to shared drives, drives that are mapped over a VPN will deliver very slow speeds, this can lead to data corruption and performance issues.

Q: What should I do if I have one of these?
A: It may work temporarily, however we recommend switching to a Windows Server 2012 or newer to avoid issues and increase productivity.

Q: I have a NAS and never had issues before, what happened?
A:  While the NAS may have worked in the past, it has not been something we technically support. See Troubleshooting Lacerte error – Unable to open Whole e-file for a workaround or Supported File OS for a more permanent solution.

Q: I don’t have a server, what can I do instead?
A: Network the computers in the office together. One computer will have all the options and data on it and the others will have a drive mapped to this “main” computer.

Q: My employees all work from home, what’s the best way to set this up?
A: Creating a Network share through OneDrive or Dropbox might be tempting but we don’t recommend these. It would be better to either:

  • Explore a hosted solution like Hosting for Lacerte.
  • Remote into a computer that’s in a traditional office, so that the computer is connected to the network directly.
  • Have each of them Store Client Data on their local machine and send them to other employees as needed.

These ideas each have their own pros and cons, the best one to use will depend on your firm and what works best for you.

Optimize network settings and check speed

We recommend using 1-gigabit network switches as Lacerte uses 50 MB/sec or more when running across a LAN. You can check the Speed in Lacerte by going to Help > Troubleshoot (F10).

Third-Party products and background process tips

Antivirus and Security Software

Firewalls are now on every computer to help protect your system from malicious use. Some firewalls can see online functions in Lacerte as a threat and block the connection. To prevent this, we recommend configuring the antivirus to trust Lacerte. See Firewall and Anti-Virus Software Configuration for Lacerte Tax.

Backup Programs

Lacerte does not recommend the use of real-time backups. There are known situations of a real-time backup program corrupting Lacerte databases. If the backup program is using or reading your Lacerte files, then Lacerte won’t be able to use them. Ideally, Lacerte will be the only program that using the Lacerte files.

If using an automatic backup software, it is recommended to use a scheduled backup set to a time where there will be no one in the Lacerte program. It is also recommended that you set the backups to not overwrite the previous backup to minimize the risk of the corrupted database overwriting the previously made backup.

Folders to include in your backup:

  • Idata (for Individual client files)
  • Pdata (for Partnership client files)
  • Cdata (for Corporate client files)
  • Sdata (for S-Corporation client files)
  • Fdata (for Fiduciary client files)
  • Rdata (for Exempt Org client files)
  • Tdata (for Estate client files)
  • Ndata (for Gift client files)
  • Bdata (for Benefit Plan client files)
  • Option?? (Options folder) ?? = tax year

Tax year 2021 readiness checklist

Windows checklist:

  • Disable Offline File Sync on all workstations that use Lacerte
  • Download and install the Lacerte Tool Hub

Network checklist:

Third-party products

  • Configure your antivirus program to exclude Lacerte and Lacerte data.
  • Configure your backup program to run on a schedule.
  • Test the backup to make sure it’s saving the files you need.

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