Networking allows tax returns, firm and preparer information, fees settings, 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 computers use a common configuration, and 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 computer designated as 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.
CAUTION: 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.
In TaxSlayer Pro on the computer that is designated as the File Server, go to Configuration > System / Network Configuration Menu. Make note of the "Local Computer Name". This is the computer the Workstations look to on the network.
In addition to the computer designated as the File Server, there are two other kinds of computers in the TaxSlayer Pro network:
- Transmitting Computer: The Transmitting Computer is the computer that transmits electronically filed tax returns to the IRS. To make management of the system simple, the computer designated as the File Server is typically also the Transmitting Computer. In the System / Network Configuration Menu, you will answer Yes to the menu line "Transmitting from this Computer?". Important: Only one computer should be designated as the Transmitting Computer.
- Workstation Computer: A Workstation is any computer other than the one designated as the File Server. Tax returns created on workstation computers are automatically backed up to the File Server upon exiting the return so that they can be accessed by any other computer on the network. To designate that a computer is a Workstation, in the System / Network Configuration Menu answer No to the two menu lines "File Server?" and "Transmitting from this Computer?". To indicate which computer on the network is the File Server, do the following steps:
- In the System / Network Configuration Menu, click File Server Address.
- Type the File Server computer name in the "File Server Name" field.
- Click "Connect to 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 computer name correctly, and verify that the computers in your office are connected to the same router.
- Don't work on a return on more than one computer at the same time. Errors will result.
- TaxSlayer Pro for tax years 2014 and prior required a "Network Drive" to be mapped in the Windows network. This was no longer required beginning with tax year 2015 software.
- 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 Group can provide helpful advice on setting up an office network.