Post updated on 2019-01-24
Of course using MS Word for comparison is an option. The purpose of requesting an alternate method is to reduce the friction of using the MS Word method. Options, settings, and templates need to be tested against use cases. Usually this is done each year in an iterative manner during the months of Nov to Feb, as new releases are rolled out. What is needed are tools to assist in a more comprehensive procedure because we love that TaxCycle is feature rich with frequent small tweaks and periodic major enhancements. We certainly do not wish to slow that process down.
At some point in time, it would be great to have a tool set and testing methodology for our customizations such as letter templates.
For me, the purpose of asking for tools, procedures, and test cases (whenever that may fit into the development cycle) is to help to improve the quality and consistency of my custom letters while reducing the time and seemingly haphazard method that I use currently to test and check the results.
It is simply a matter of wanting to reduce the time and mind share of the current dragged out method of checking periodically.
It is a desire to ease the implementation of settings, options, and templates at the beginning of the major crunch period. Without test files we need to create our own to test and check the various templates and letter output. This is more in line with the usually programing implementation methodology of development, test, fix, test, approve, then implement.
Unfortunately it is usually in late March the I discover those quirks or gottchas that I hadn’t considered in Jan or early Feb. Late March, when the crunch is on and when my mind is in auto pilot, and, when the last thing that I want to do is to think about technically testing and fixing options, settings, and templates.
That was one of the major issues with Profile. Sometime during the third or fourth week of March some update from CRA and/or Profile would create a major issue and halt the works for a few hours or a few days.
Clients do not like this. Nor do I.