Thursday, November 13, 2008

Desktop TaxWise Training Webinar - Day 2 - users and accounts

Today we learnt about users and user groups.

The term user refers to a login name or account in TaxWise, and not to individuals. This is similar to how email accounts work - different people can use the same email account, but they all have the same password and login. For next year, it appears that the IRS requires that each user (login name) have a password.

In the past, user and login names had different functions, for example:
1) All returns were prepared in the one account Guest. If this is going to be done again, all it requires is that the account have a password. The problem here is that each time someone logs in and tries to check the returns, there may be a huge number of returns they have to go through.
2) All returns were prepared in the one account Guest, and after appropriate diagnostics had been run, they were transferred to a Pending user account. When the returns were accepted, the returns were moved to a Completed user account.
3) There was a different user name for each day so that by it was possible to track a return by the day it was started.
4) At one site, there were only two preparers, so the guest account was adequate for both, and the site coordinator did not see a need for multiple accounts.

The point here is that there are different solutions for the same problem, and here are several aspects to consider.
1) A different login for each user lets each preparer keep track of the number of returns prepared, and the site coordinator will slowly get a feel for each preparer's performance and consequently, which returns require more attention. It will be easier to identify the preparer and talk to them in the event of problems. The login name does not need to reflect the name of the user.
2) A single login for all users or multiple users is like having a single email account or a single telephone number for all users (like in a customer support center). It could work, but sometimes will get into the way of getting things done.

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