..., because when I work on a client I have the prior return open and bounce back and forth between new year and old year.... and they look exactly alike... creating too much opportunity for user error
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"creating too much opportunity for user error"
But that is why we now have the Archie Leach Memorial Toggle Switch to lock the returns so that doesn't happen. But as a side note, you can try searching the archives for help on that. I know the subject has been brought up before.
On the older years I turn off the setting where enterable fields are yellow. It makes it really annoying to do prior year returns (I worked on 2 today, new client needs 1040X for 2015-2017) BUT I will never accidentally enter stuff in an older year.