Getting your office set up and ready for tax season each year may seem like a daunting task, but if you start early and follow our weekly office setup checklist series, you’ll be sure to have everything crossed off your list well before the beginning of e-File. The full Pre-Tax Season Checklist is available on the TaxSlayer Pro Support Website, but for the checklist series, we have broken it down into manageable sections making it easier for you to organize and prepare.
This week, the series focus is Computer Maintenance. Your computers may be the most valuable part of your tax office, so it is important that they are cleaned, protected, and ready to go when your clients begin to arrive. Renewing your antivirus subscription, ensuring your processor is running within our recommended requirements, and replacing outdated hardware or software are all items to consider prior to the start of e-File. With Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales right around the corner, now may be the best time to upgrade your computer equipment. You’re sure to find huge savings on computers, printers, scanners and more.
[ ] Perform routine maintenance on your computers (this should only be performed by an IT professional . TaxSlayer Pro Technical Support will not be able to assist)
[ ] 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
[ ] Upgrade and/or replace any old and outdated hardware (computers, printers, scanners, etc)
[ ] Update Adobe/Acrobat Reader
[ ] Renew subscriptions to anti-virus/firewall software
[ ] Exclusions for TaxSlayer Pro should be set in any anti-virus/firewall software
Review recommended system requirements to run TaxSlayer Pro software – The link above will take you to the TaxSlayer Pro Knowledgebase article outlining the minimum system requirements to efficiently run the program. Technical Support often speaks with preparers during tax season who are running TaxSlayer Pro on processor too slow to run the program. 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.)
Perform routine maintenance on your computer – Routine maintenance should always be performed by an IT professional. TaxSlayer Pro’s Technical Support will not be able to assist. Annual routine maintenance is important because it keeps your computer operating optimally. We highly recommend this be done prior to tax season each year.
Upgrade and/or replace and hardware as needed – Scanners, signature pads, printers and any other hardware used with TaxSlayer Pro should be tested and replaced as needed.
Update Adobe/Acrobat Reader – The best way to view and print tax returns in the tax software is through Adobe. Before tax season, make sure Adobe Reader is up to date.
Renew subscriptions to anti-virus/firewall software – Running anti-virus/firewall software is vital for your computer’s protection. While TaxSlayer Pro does not recommend one type of software over another, there are a few security packages that work best with the program. These include: Microsoft Windows Defender, Symantec’s Norton Security, and McAfee Anti-Virus.
Exclusions for TaxSlayer Pro should be set in any anti-virus/firewall software – Some anti-virus/firewall software will block TaxSlayer Pro from performing program specific tasks such as printing, backing up data and downloading/installing updates. This can be corrected by setting exclusions for the program. If you require assistance with setting program exclusions for TaxSlayer Pro, please call Technical Support at (706) 868-0985.