The prep file tells your Lacerte program what name and address to print on tax returns, as well as which products you’ve purchased. When you make changes to your firm information or add products in My Account, your prep file is updated within 24 hours. After that, you can download your updated prep file directly in Lacerte or online through My Account. Click on the program year you need to get started.
You can download and install recent prep files two ways: either directly through your Lacerte program, or online in My Account.
- Sign in to My Account
- From your dashboard, click Previous Years.
- Select Older Prep Files back to 1990 (.zip).
- Click Save, then click Open folder.
- Double-click the zip file you downloaded to open it.
- Click Extract all.
- Select a destination you can easily find, like your desktop. Click Extract.
- Open the destination folder and locate the prep.YY file for the tax year you need.
- For example, to install a 2004 prep file, locate prep.04
- Right-click the prep.YY file, then press Copy.
- Browse to the program installation directory, "C:\Lacerte\YYtax".
- For example, if you're installing a prep file for the 2004 program, browse to "C:\Lacerte\04tax".
- Create a new folder if it doesn't already exist.
- Right click and Paste the prep file into the "C:\Lacerte\YYtax" folder.
For example, if you need to prepare a return for Lacerte 2015 or older you would have two options to get your firm information onto the forms.
- You can print the return and then stamp your firm information onto it.
- You can print the return and then write your firm information into it.
In addition, the prior year programs will prompt the user every 10 minutes to update their prep file. This message can be ignored. You can click on the “Do not show me this again” box and close the window.