Networking allows tax returns, firm and preparer information, fees, acknowledgements, and updates to be shared between all of the computers in the office by storing them on the computer designated as the File Server. In such an environment, all of the other computers, also known as Workstations, use a common configuration, so that a return created on one computer is available to be viewed or edited on any other computer on the network.
For most offices using TaxSlayer Pro, the File Server also functions as the Transmitting Computer. These two functions can be handled by different computers, however doing so increases network complexity as well as the potential for problems, so it's generally best for one computer to handle both functions.
There are three kinds of computers in a TaxSlayer Pro network:
- File Server - The File Server is the PC where all the tax returns are stored. It is also the PC where the Firm Information, ERO Information, Preparer Information, Preparer Security, and Fees are configured. These configurations are used on all the PCs in the office.
- Transmitting Computer - The Transmitting Computer is the computer that transmits electronically filed tax returns to the IRS. The File Server is typically also designated as the Transmitting Computer, and we recommend this arrangement for the sake of simplicity and ease of management. Important: Only one computer should be designated as the Transmitting Computer.
- Workstation Computer - A Workstation is any computer other than the File Server. There is only one File Server; there can be any number of Workstations. A tax return created on a Workstation is automatically saved to the File Server upon exiting the return so that it can be accessed by any other computer on the network.
Configuring the File Server
To configure the File Server, from the Quick Menu of TaxSlayer Pro select:
- System / Network Configuration Menu
- File Server? - Answer YES
- Transmitting from this Computer? - Answer YES unless you plan to transmit from a different computer.
Configuring a Workstation
Before configuring a Workstation you'll need to determine the name of the File Server. From the Quick Menu of TaxSlayer Pro on the File Server select:
- System / Network Configuration Menu - Make note of the "Local Computer Name".
To configure a Workstation, from the Quick Menu of TaxSlayer Pro select:
- System / Network Configuration Menu
- File Server? - Answer NO
- Transmitting from this Computer? - Answer NO unless you know otherwise.
- File Server Address - Type the File Server name in the "File Server Name" field.
- Click "Connect to File Server".
Upon connecting to the File Server you should see a green-colored rectangle with the message, "File Server [IP address] contacted!" If you don't see this message, verify you spelled the File Server name correctly, and verify that the Workstation and File Server are on the same network.
- Don't work on a return on more than one computer at the same time. Errors will result.
- If you are connected to your local network by WiFi, ensure the Network Profile is Private rather than Public. Using a Public profile will result in problems accessing returns, transmitting, receiving, and getting updates.
- Successfully networking TaxSlayer Pro requires that each computer in your office be attached to the same network router. For security and stability, we recommend network connections be made by network cable rather than by WiFi. Our Technical Support staff can provide helpful advice on setting up an office network.
- TaxSlayer Pro operates in a "peer-to-peer" environment, which means that the program must be installed on each computer. Do not attempt to use the program in a "client-server" environment, where the the program is installed only on a central server and the other computers attempt to run it from the server. You will encounter errors.
- TaxSlayer Pro for tax years 2015 and prior requires a "Network Drive" to be mapped in the Windows network. This is no longer required beginning with tax year 2016 software.