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TaxCycle Suggestions - backup and sub-folders

Intuit ProFile had a few nice features which really helped in managing high volume personal tax returns.

  • I am wondering which of any of these features exist in TaxCycle or can be added to TaxCycle.
  • If they exist, could someone indicate how these can be set-up in the Options module.

BACKUP file in a backup folder
In ProFile you could configure a backup setting so that if anything happened to your working copy you still had a backup one. This really helped a lot during the busy season by providing access to more than one copy of the return and for recovery in the event that something happened to the working file. Typically the backups were saved to a separate back up folder.

Q1 - Does TaxCycle have an autocopy or backup feature?
Q2 - Can the copy of backup be directed to a sub-folder?

PDF folder and other subfolders
In ProFile you could configure multiple sub-folders so that only your active tax file was in the default folder and all the remaining stuff were in sub-folders in each year.

In my case, I used the following sub-folders under each tax year:-

  • Backup - to house a copy of the tax file
  • EFile - to house efile confirmation PDF’s sent that efile calendar year for multiple tax years.
  • T1013 - to house the T1013 confirmation
  • Invoice - to house the tax invoices sent and paid.
  • PDF - to house all pdf copies for all clients.

I know that Client Manager can manage some of these functions. However, a backup folder and a PDF folder would be very useful.

Q3 - How do others manage the high volume and busy tax season document bloat?

My working files are on a 40Tb NAS server, RAID ??10?, I think, so that it appears like a 20Tb hard disk. The back up is taken every three hours to another NAS server.

I figure that three hours is an acceptable loss, though I can change the settings to reduce that period.

@TimParris
Thank you for sharing your set-up. I am purchasing new hardware next week. Which NAS server do you use right now? Is it SSD or HD based?

I’m sure most of us have various backup systems to avoid losing all the work we’ve been doing. Ideally you shouldn’t have to scale up your backup system during tax season.

My concern with the backup system you’ve outlined, @dominique_dabolczi, is that they’re on your main system. A virus that affects your main system will also likely affect these backup folders.

I run a system similar to what Tim has outlined. I have a Synology NAS (one at work; another at home). The live data is on the NAS at work but it has a second drive that backs up the main data once a day. I figure I can live with the loss of one day’s work but like Tim, I could configure that to backup with a lower time gap. Synology’s software allows you to configure the setup of the backup drives. The two disks I have are Western Digital drives.

I also have my data backup to a USB drive each day. There are two USB drives that are alternated with one always coming home with me.

I also have the NAS unit at home that I am configuring to do backup through an FTP system. That’s one of my January tasks.

For the USB backups, I’ve used a program called AutoHotkey to create scripts that will backup various folders. Then I use the Windows Task Scheduler to run these scripts at different times of the day/week. These are done mostly during the night when I’m hopefully asleep.

I scan all T1013’s, T183’s, T1032’s, etc. into a PDF file for that year. If required, I can open the file, search for the client name, and export whatever signed form(s) I need. As for folders, I have folders for each client and subfolders for each tax year where I save documents and the DoxCycle file for that client and that year. I don’t keep separate copies of invoices but these are printed to my copy of the DoxCycle file if I need them.

Memory is cheap. Depending on the size of your practice, you can get a sufficiently-sized NAS and disks for less than $1,000.

Hmmm… I think we need to back up slightly.

NAS stands for Network Area Storage. It is essentially a cheap server that handles one job, storage, well and does not handle other jobs well.

You use a NAS when you want a lot of storage, either shared by people or extremely redundent storage. You can’t use NAS for storing Quickbooks or Sage 50 databases, as those require a server running on the same storage device. NAS typically arranges disks in an RAID format (Redundent Array of Inexpensive Disks). The disks may be HD or SSD.

In my case, I use a WD EX4100 NAS for the main array and a QNAP NAS2ADC38 for the backup array. Both are served by a 24 port gigabit network switch with TWO network cables per NAS to the switch. Really, they should be served by two network switches, but I am not ready for that! Because of the nature of how the devices are connected, I am not protected against viruses or ransomware. This is the next step, but I have reach my limits for this year.

You can buy the NAS chassis without drives or with drives. I bought both chassis without drives and am using WD RED series drives in them. As the NAS will put the drives to sleep and these are spinning HD, I typically will find myself pausing when I go to save or search for a file on the drives as the drives come out of sleep.

Here are links to several types of NAS chassis, from Canada Computers - You are specifically looking at the devices with “doors” on the front. Otherwise, they are just network disks.
https://www.canadacomputers.com/search/results_details.php?language=en&keywords=nas

Here is information about WD disk colours and why you want which colour. (RED series are specifically designed for use in NAS.)

Why I chose to go to NAS - I chose these devices as I am just moving from a single person shop to a multiple person shop. I needed extreme redundancy and space with an initial multiple user environment. In future, I may move to a full server with these two devices serving as back-up devices, linked via a separate account for virus and ransomware protection.

I don’t know about Sage 50 but I have my Quickbooks client files located on my Synology NAS. Quickbooks 2013 through 2019 programs are installed locally on my computer but client files are on the NAS. I think the trick was to create or restore the client file locally then move the files to the NAS. I don’t have any QB client files on my desktop computer.

@snoplowguy - Actually, after sending that, I realized that my QB files are on the NAS. It is only the Sage database which must be on a server with a Sage SQL engine running.