Frequently asked questions (Engagement CS)

Alerts and notices

Important reminder!

Product support for Engagement CS is ending on September 30, 2020. See Engagement CS license expiration 2020 - frequently asked questions for more information.

Licenses for Payroll CS, Trial Balance CS, and Write-Up CS permanently expired on March 1, 2017.

Some processes documented in the Help & How-To Center are no longer applicable, due to the discontinuation of Creative Solutions Accounting.

Click the appropriate topic below to view the questions and answers for that area of interest, or scroll through the FAQs one at a time.

Retrieving updates for Engagement CS via CS Connect

Yes, you can set up group privileges for staff to retrieve CSA application updates via CS Connect. When setting up privileges, clear the Retrieve available updates checkbox on the General tab of the Group Privileges dialog (which is accessed from the Groups tab of the Setup > System Configuration > Administration dialog), then staff members assigned to that group cannot retrieve updates. After the IT administrator has downloaded the updates, those updates are available for any staff member to apply. For laptop installations of the application, IT administrators can push the updates (via a login script) to the \Laptop\Wincsi\CSA\Updates folder, making the updates available for the staff member to apply as necessary.

For details, see Updating the Software via CS Connect: Version Management Guide (PDF).

Updating the laptop installation of CSA

Setting up clients in Engagement CS

For the Engagement CS module, the Max Clients column does not refer to the number of clients allowed for that license, but rather to the number of staff member IDs that can be designated as Engagement CS users.

When you have set up one engagement with the appropriate folder and document structure, you can use the customized template to copy to subsequent engagement clients.

Choose File > New > Engagement, select the Create from an existing engagement option on the Start page of the New Engagement wizard, and select the client and engagement that you would like to copy into the new engagement.

See Adding a new engagement

Inserting PPC Documents

There a several reasons why the icon for SMART Practice Aids in Engagement CS may be unavailable.

  • The PPC Practice Aids application is not installed on the local machine. To successfully integrate with Engagement CS, all PPC applications must be installed on all local machines that have Engagement CS installed. Click the Start button on your desktop and choose Control Panel > Add/Remove to locate and confirm that the PPC SMART Practice Aids application is installed on your machine.
  • An engagement has not been created. If the only item in the Tree View of the engagement workspace is the Trial Balance Status, an engagement has not been created. Choose File > New > Engagement to create a new engagement prior to integrating with PPC SMART Practice Aids. Be sure that an engagement is selected in the Tree View window within Engagement CS; click the appropriate engagement to open it in the application.
  • You are working in the Local Client Data (LCD) and not the Master Client Data (MCD). Be sure that the engagement is labeled as (Master) and not (Local) in the Tree View window of the engagement workspace. If it is (Local) you are working in the LCD and PPC SMART Practice Aids application only integrates directly with the Master Client Data (MCD). Although direct integration with PPC SMART Practice Aids is not available in the LCD, you can still insert already-generated documents from PPC SMART Practice Aids into the engagement. Choose File > New > Document, click the PPC tab, select Document from SMART Practice Aids to insert the already-generated document(s) into the engagement.
  • Another staff member is working in the engagement at the same time. If you have more than one staff member working in the same engagement, the ability to integrate directly with PPC SMART Practice Aids is disabled. However, you can still insert already generated PPC SMART Practice Aids into the engagement. Choose File > New > Document, click the PPC tab, select Document from SMART Practice Aids to insert the already generated document(s) into the engagement.
  • Your version of PPC's SMART Practice Aids or Engagement CS does not support direct integration. To integrate directly with Engagement CS, your version of PPC SMART Practice Aids must be CD version 12-07 or higher and CSA must be at version 2008.0.0 or higher. We recommend that each application be updated to the latest version.

To take advantage of the integration features between Engagement CS and PPC's Reference Library, you must have installed the most recent version of PPC's Reference Library and CSA application.

Synchronize versus Send/Receive

  • If you are connected to the Master Client (MCD) via a network connection there is no need to Send/Receive documents to update the Master Client Data (MCD) and Local Client Data (LCD). Updates to the engagement that are made by engagement staff working in the field can be updated in the MCD using the synchronization process.
  • When you choose to Send all engagement documents back to the Master Client Data (MCD) from the Local Client Data (LCD), the process deletes the client from the laptop or local machine and creates a transfer file to be received by the MCD; a more permanent procedure than simply synchronizing the MCD with the updated LCD. Typically, you would send all updated engagement files from the LCD when the field work has been completed in the engagement and there is no need receive it again from the MCD.

See also

Creating transfer files

Synchronizing with the Field Master Client Data or the Office Master Client Data

Importing from QuickBooks Pro

You can only import from QuickBooks Pro for the first year. Because Engagement CS will only import the net changes, you will need to set up the client in the prior year, and enter opening balances.

Updating an open Excel or Word workpaper

Integration with Excel is a one-way link from the CSA client database to Excel. The Excel workpaper refreshes automatically when it is first opened in Engagement CS. While the workpaper is open, subsequent updates made to the client's database in CSA are reflected in the workpaper when you click the Recalculate /_images/acct_pr/csa/btn-recalculate_in_xl.gif button from the Engagement CS toolbar or pull-down menu in Excel.

Do the following to remove that setting:

  1. Right-click in the cell, choose Delete, and click the Shift cells up option.
  2. Insert a new cell by right-clicking again, and then choose Insert and click the Shift cells down option.
  3. Specify the desired formula for the new cell.

Multi-staff functionality

Enabling the Multi-staff option allows multiple staff to be in the same engagement at the same time, allowing you to make changes to workpapers (including signoffs and notes) at the same time as other engagement staff. This feature optimizes the engagement workflow and reduces the overall time spent to complete engagement tasks. In addition, the Multi-staff function can also be used when working in the field as an alternative to the Check In and Check Out staff collaboration options.

See also

Multi-staff functionality in Engagement CS - Overview.

Multi-staff functionality - a typical scenario

In a multi-staff environment, only one staff member at a time can access the Trial Balance grid, Adjusting Journal Entries window, and other related functions available from the Setup menu.

To gain control of the trial balance and enable functions from the Setup menu, the staff member who is assigned to the trial balance must choose Tasks > Access Trial Balance. Note that for all other staff who choose Tasks > Trial Balance, a read-only Trial Balance report will be displayed when Multi-staff functionality is enabled in the engagement.

Note: A staff member who is currently in control of the trial balance can choose Tasks > Release Trial Balance to release their lock. Once the trial balance is released, you can choose Tasks > Assign Trial Balance to assign it to another staff member in the engagement.

See Working with the Trial Balance in a multi-staff environment.

This occurs if another staff member currently has the trial balance locked while you are trying to access it when the Multi-staff function is enabled. The status bar at the bottom of the engagement workspace displays the engagement staff ID of the person to which the trial balance is currently assigned.

Choose Tasks > Release Trial Balance to make it available for any other staff in the current engagement.

The ability to perform certain staff collaboration functions when Multi-staff functionality is enabled for a client depends on the number of users that are currently accessing the selected engagement. For instance, when only one engagement staff member is working in the engagement client while the Multi-staff feature is enabled, all staff collaboration functions are available. These options are disabled as soon as a second staff member enters that engagement.

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