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Lacerte tips to keep your computer running smooth for tax season

SOLVEDby Intuit5Updated November 02, 2021

Failure to address these recommendations will cause issues with the tax software that would require technical support intervention. Additionally, your firm will experience data loss or other issues such as downtime, lost productivity and increased cost per return.

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, Carbonite with Lacerte to synchronize data between computers. Refer to this article for instructions.

Download the Lacerte Tool Hub

We're constantly updating Lacerte to add new tax laws, program improvements and fixing unexpected behaviors. Windows is constantly updating, and security programs are constantly updating. 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. Refer to this article for instructions on fixing common problems in Lacerte Tool Hub.

  1. Close Lacerte.
  2. Download the Lacerte Tool Hub Install file. Save the file somewhere you can easily find it (like your Downloads folder or your Windows desktop).
  3. Open the file you downloaded (lacertetoolhub_setup.exe).
  4. Follow the on-screen steps to install and agree to the terms and conditions.
  5. When the install finishes, double-click the icon on your Windows desktop to open the tool hub.
    PCG_LAC_TH_Icon.png

If you can't find the icon, do a search in Windows for Lacerte Tool Hub and select the program.

Tips for network configuration

This section will cover various network setups and considerations. Usually, 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.

Recommended configurations:

  • Mapped drive through Net Use
  • Mapped drive through Group Policy
  • Terminal server/RDS/Citrix environment
 

If you're using Group Policy, make sure the setting shows Update instead of Replace. See this Microsoft support article for more information on configuring a mapped drive item.

For more details on network administration and Citrix, refer to this article. Learn more about our Hosting for Lacerte and how it can help you meet system requirements on our website.

Not recommended or supported:

  • Network-attached storage (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 for physical storage to save backups, but they shouldn't be used as a server.
  • Shared drives, like OneDrive, Google Drive, or 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 are 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.

It may work temporarily, but we recommend switching to a Windows Server 2012 or newer to avoid issues and increase productivity.

While the NAS may have worked in the past, it hasn't been something we technically support. See Troubleshooting Lacerte error - Unable to open Whole e-file for a workaround or the supported file OS section of this article for a more permanent solution.

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.

Creating a Network share through OneDrive or Dropbox might be tempting, but we don’t recommend these. It'd be better to:

  • 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, or
  • Have each of them store client data on their local computer 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).

LAN-speed-Lacerte.png

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 antivirus software configuration for Lacerte.

Backup programs

Lacerte doesn't 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 uses the Lacerte files.

If using an automatic backup software, we recommend using a scheduled backup set to a time where no one will be in the Lacerte program. We also recommend 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)
  • OptionYY (Options folder)
    • YY = 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 checklist:

  • 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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