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What simple devices I need for network sharing for a small tax firm? I am new to proseries professional . I and my assistant can access live update returns together

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I am new to proseries professional 2018. I have one assistant currently, and other two tax preparers soon.  I am owner of small tax firm. I want them work on returns or input data and I review and sign at last. I want network sharing is for all users can access data files or returns. That I need to have network infrastructure, what is simple device should I purchase service? Please help detail. I heard. VPN ? Correct?  How to get VPN? 

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Level 15

Based on your responses above, it appears you may need to better understand the functions of different types of VPN and networking.

NordVPN is a pubic VPN that provides another layer of protection for your internet traffic by tunneling and encryption to prevent packet sniffing and to anonymize the communication between your computer and the destination.

Communication within your LAN/WAN is presumed to be safe behind the firewall that should have been set up on your router as well as individual computers.  Communication between the router and each connected device should also have been encrypted with at least WPA2-AES, ideally with the Enterprise variant.

If you need to VPN into your network from outside, you will need to set up a private VPN, which NordVPN is not.  My only experience is with CISCO and only as a user - that is probably not an economical option for a small office though.  FWIW, Windows also has a built-in function that allows the PC to work as a VPN server.  There are other alternatives but I am not familiar with them and because you need to open certain ports through your firewall, it's definitely something you would want a professional to set up for you.

In case you need access to your network from the outside, remote desktop could be a viable option.  Unlike private VPN where you may have a server that could function as a virtual machine, you will need a physical machine for each connection.  My understanding is that private VPN would allow more access control than just remote desktop.  In terms of security, you would definitely want to make sure you layer as many levels of protection as you can by practicing good password management, turning on 2FA, and using pubic VPN at the very least.  One of the software I have used, which is quite popular, is TeamViewer.  LogMeIn is one other example although I haven't used it myself.

Given the amount of confidential information hosted on your network, you would be well advised to weigh your options and ensure you have the necessary safeguard in place.

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Still an AllStar

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Level 15

Based on your responses above, it appears you may need to better understand the functions of different types of VPN and networking.

NordVPN is a pubic VPN that provides another layer of protection for your internet traffic by tunneling and encryption to prevent packet sniffing and to anonymize the communication between your computer and the destination.

Communication within your LAN/WAN is presumed to be safe behind the firewall that should have been set up on your router as well as individual computers.  Communication between the router and each connected device should also have been encrypted with at least WPA2-AES, ideally with the Enterprise variant.

If you need to VPN into your network from outside, you will need to set up a private VPN, which NordVPN is not.  My only experience is with CISCO and only as a user - that is probably not an economical option for a small office though.  FWIW, Windows also has a built-in function that allows the PC to work as a VPN server.  There are other alternatives but I am not familiar with them and because you need to open certain ports through your firewall, it's definitely something you would want a professional to set up for you.

In case you need access to your network from the outside, remote desktop could be a viable option.  Unlike private VPN where you may have a server that could function as a virtual machine, you will need a physical machine for each connection.  My understanding is that private VPN would allow more access control than just remote desktop.  In terms of security, you would definitely want to make sure you layer as many levels of protection as you can by practicing good password management, turning on 2FA, and using pubic VPN at the very least.  One of the software I have used, which is quite popular, is TeamViewer.  LogMeIn is one other example although I haven't used it myself.

Given the amount of confidential information hosted on your network, you would be well advised to weigh your options and ensure you have the necessary safeguard in place.

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Still an AllStar

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Thank you itonewbie
Because last year I used cloud based tax software. I and my assistant were working very helpful. My assistant input data and worked easy section, I reviewed at final and signed return
I change to proseries professional this year 2019 and want my assistant help me the same. Then my new customer on board supportteam  adviced me have vpn on my assistant pc . I searched vpn and understood like you explained that vpn only encrypt and secured files transfer from place to place
Therefore I think I still need private network and not define what it is:(
I asked my IT for help too but he told me costly for a small company
I have teamview and google remote access already but I still think it is not convenient for an live update return for each other. Other word , we have to transfer file via team view and open it and back and forth for each other
I work in CA and my assistant in TX
I might need two more tax preparers in CA
Can you suggest me further?
I appreciate this
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Level 15
Level 15
Change back to a cloud based software?  @itonewbie  wouldn't ProConnect Online work in this situation?

♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸♥Lisa♥¸¸.•*¨*•♫♪
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Level 15
PTO definitely works.  This is one of the strengths of PTO.  You then don't have to worry about access control, data security, and backup for data loss.  I would give PTO some serious thoughts if I were @mybesttaxservice unless the OP and team have a strong preference for form-based input.
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Still an AllStar
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Thank you, Lisa.
POT is two expensive for small comp . Is it cost 4-5k? Correct:)
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Level 15
PTO did drastically jack up the prices for 2019 and that has caused a stir among existing users, especially those who have lower volumes and will see increases of 50% to multiples of what they paid for 2018 (even after taking into account renewal discounts).  Since fees for PTO are on a PPR basis and are on a tiered structure, it's difficult to say how much it'd cost you without knowing the volume.  If you have a high volume, you may get a good discount off the published rates by negotiating with Intuit.  There is a 50% discount off the (inflated) rack rates until end of June; you can find more information about the pricing here: https://proconnect.intuit.com/tax-online/pricing/

You may like to take it for a spin and see if you and your team are comfortable with it.  There is no charge for preparing and reviewing returns online; you will need credits only if you print or e-file a return.

The PPR fees are all inclusive, so you won't have to pay separately for the use of client portal, state returns, and you can prepare and e-file prior year returns for free so long as you have current year credits.

The downside to PTO is that the client portal (which is available only for individual returns worked well until they "enhanced" it last year lacks many of the vital functions that existing previously) has deteriorated in reliability and caused many to use other alternatives, there is no conventional organizer either in paper or electronic format (let alone proforma), and there is no in-built function to export data if you ever want to migrate to another tax program (although, unofficially, Intuit could export data offline from PTO to Lacerte, which is the engine that drives PTO - that means, at least theoretically, you could buy an REP subscription for Lacerte to do the offline conversion, then export from Lacerte for import into other tax products).

Overall, PTO is a versatile tax product capable of preparing moderate to relatively complex returns because of the Lacerte engine although there is less control and the interface is a bit clunky.  The previous pricing level made it a product worth recommending despite its shortcomings but given the new rates, you should seriously consider your alternatives for more polished products with better deals if you don't need it to be cloud-based.
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Still an AllStar
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I appreciate your comment about PTO, Lisa
Make a decision for buying tax software is very time consuming:( Last year I started up my tax firm corporation. I love tax software similar with Turbo Tax (Proseries could be). Then last year I decided to purchase mytaxprepoffice which is cloud base tax software, there are  some feature easy such as asset and vehicle depreciation, cheap price $500/year unlimited 1040 and business entity form, 3 users can work on tax software any where and any time, on top the support team is 7/24 chat. First year I experienced that tax software has much bugs of calculation and not supported several forms. That is why I change to Proseries Professional 2019. I hope I and my staff can be more comfortable this year. The problem now is networking sharing.
Because when tax software engineer each one should work on one specific area, we are users working on all areas. We dont remember all tax law, then we relied on their calculation and warning. We were working on forms and doubled check all the times. Some time we didnt know who is wrong:( Tax software is wrong or tax preparer is wrong:( We spent much time to check with IRS's publication. Work followed me in sleep:( (because I worried to lose client first year and my reputation)
That is why I consider using tax software more careful for 2019.
Thanks Lisa
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Level 15
If you're worried about accuracy, PTO would be as robust as PS with Lacerte under the hood.  But if you like form-based input, PTO would probably not be your choice.

Private VPN would probably be your best option, notwithstanding the cost.  Because tax software is resource intensive, you'd want to make sure you have sufficient RAM and good hardware for the server to run virtual machines.
 Lag may be a problem whether you use VPN or remote desktop, depending on bandwidth, so you may need to do a bit of experimenting.
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Still an AllStar
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Thank you a lot Lisa
I will stay proseries professional Stand a lone with teamview remote and find out more feature as needs for future
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Level 15

You might want to hire a local IT guy or gal in your area to help you get setup.  I know how to turn a computer on but if I was trying to setup a network in my office I would find someone that knows what they are doing with that kind of techy stuff.

ex-AllStar, ex-Lutefisk taste taster, ex-ACME product tester
and ex marks the spot where those rocks and anvils hit me.
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Hello, Iron. Per my first year on board Intuit support, I need to have VPN serve on my assistant's PC. If I subscribe or download NordVPN (NordVPN said it work for 6 PC), then can we have networksharing with Proseries Professional.
I appreciate this
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Level 15
I know nothing about rocket science or networking so I can't help you there.  If you need some help with spoon carving, I might be able to steer you in the right direction.  I've never heard of NordVPN so I don't know if that is a good thing or a bad thing.  But like I said, you really might want to talk to an IT expert to help you out.
ex-AllStar, ex-Lutefisk taste taster, ex-ACME product tester
and ex marks the spot where those rocks and anvils hit me.
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Level 8

The simplest method is to just have a router with each of the PC's attached to the router.  Then have 1 PC with all the data files stored on it.  Then map each of the PC's to the PC that has the data stored on it and you are good to go.

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Level 15

@mybest...

This is peer to peer forum, for tax professionals using the Intuit sotware.  This isn't the place to get help setting up hardware.

We are NOT IT experts (except for Susan) and can't help you with this.  You need to hire someone locally to set up your networking.  

Former Chump... umm.... AllStar.
If a post answers your question, click on *Accept as solution* for future searches
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I talk with local IT. They still dont know that how your tax software program work for network sharing and what is requirement? Thank you Rion
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Level 15

Some of these articles may help https://accountants-community.intuit.com/search?filters%5Bcountry%5D=US&filters%5Bdocument_type%5D=A...

Did you purchase a network license? If not, consider using a Sneaker Network (Reebok's work well) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sneakernet :wink:


ex-AllStar
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