Preparing for tax season can be stress-free when you start early and follow an organized plan. We’ve taken care of the latter for you with our Pre-Tax Season Checklist series. For the first week in the series, we focused on checking off IRS, State, and Bank Requirements. This week, we’re tackling computer and tech maintenance.
From updating your antivirus software to setting up tech for your home office, here’s what you’ll want to check off your to-do list before tax season:
[ ] Perform routine maintenance on your computers (Note that routine maintenance should always be performed by an IT professional)
[ ] Defragment all hard drives
[ ] Remove old/unwanted programs
[ ] Check operating system for damage or corruption
[ ] Ensure all Windows Updates have been installed
[ ] Use Windows Disk Cleanup Utility to remove other unneeded files
[ ] Clean up your computer’s start up programs
[ ] If needed, purchase and test tech, hardware, and software for home office
[ ] Test and upgrade or replace hardware as needed
[ ] Update Adobe/Acrobat Reader
[ ] Renew subscriptions to anti-virus /firewall software
[ ] Set exclusions for TaxSlayer Pro in antivirus/ firewall software
Review recommended system requirements to run TaxSlayer Pro Desktop software
Each tax season, our tech support team assists tax preparers whose processor is too slow to run the TaxSlayer Pro software optimally. To avoid this issue, we recommend double checking your computer’s processing power (CPU), operating system, memory, and disk space before tax season begins. You can find our minimum and recommended system requirements here.
To check your processor, find your computer’s Settings Menu and select About. Once you identify your processor, go to https://www.cpubenchmark.net/ to check the score. (Search for your Model CPU and type the processor name into the search bar. At the bare minimum, your processor’s score should be 3000.)
If you find that your computer is no longer up to the task, our Purchasing a New Computer FAQ will help you choose a computer that fits your work as a tax professional.
Perform routine maintenance on your computer
Think of annual routine maintenance as your computers’ yearly checkup. These steps keep your computer operating optimally, saving you time and headaches during tax season. We highly recommend this be done prior to tax season each year.
Many routine computer maintenance tasks should only be performed by an IT professional, and the TaxSlayer Pro support team cannot assist. If you don’t have an IT professional on staff, services like GeekSquad and HelloTech can help.
If needed, purchase and test tech, hardware, and software for home office
Virtual and hybrid work will be more common than ever this tax year, and a good home office setup will be essential. To work efficiently, you may need to purchase additional tech like computers or printers and software such as a premium Zoom account. We also recommend our cloud-based tax software to work easily from any location. See our remote work tips for tax professionals to make sure you have everything you need.
Test and upgrade or replace hardware as needed
If you haven’t been using your printers, scanners, signature pads, and other hardware regularly, make sure to test them now. If needed, replace with one of our recommended printers or scanners for optimal performance with your TaxSlayer Pro software.
Update Adobe/Acrobat Reader
PDF software like Adobe is essential for viewing and printing tax returns. Before tax season, make sure to download the latest version of Adobe and Acrobat Reader software.
Renew subscriptions to anti-virus/firewall software
To avoid slow computers and security breaches, making sure your antivirus and firewall software is up-to-date is essential. TaxSlayer Pro doesn’t officially recommend one software over another, but we have found that the following software works well with the TaxSlayer Pro program: Microsoft Windows Defender, Symantec’s Norton Security, and McAfee Anti-Virus.
Set exclusions for TaxSlayer Pro in antivirus/ firewall software
Some antivirus and firewall software will block TaxSlayer Pro from performing program specific tasks such as printing, backing up data, and installing updates. This can be corrected by setting exclusions for the TaxSlayer Pro within your antivirus software. If you need help, please call Technical Support at (706) 868-0985.