Limiting access to completed tax returns and viewing client data in read-only mode

Alerts and notices

You can add a warning to a specified status event (such as "ELF file created") to discourage anyone from opening a client's return after you log that event for the client. You can also configure the warning prompt to require the master password (if you enabled standard security settings) or have it honor specific security permissions (if you enabled advanced security settings).

When a member of your staff attempts to open a return for which a discourage access event was logged, UltraTax CS displays the Warning - Status System dialog. Staff members can bypass the warning and open the return with editing rights, open the return in read-only mode (which is the default selection), duplicate the client's data and create a new return, or (if applicable) view the return in FileCabinet CS.

Video overview

The following video outlines the process of using status system warnings for electronic files. 

Adding an access warning to a status event

To add a warning to a client status event, complete the following steps.

  1. Choose Setup > Office Configuration, click the Status tab, and then click the Discourage Access button.
  2. The Discourage Access dialog lists all user-defined and UltraTax CS status events. Mark all applicable checkboxes and options to configure the selected status event to display a warning when anyone attempts to open a client's return after the event has been logged for that client's return.


    • For each user-defined status event you select, you can choose to trigger the warning only if it is most recently logged event, or if it has been logged at any time. If you have set a master password or enabled advanced security, you can further restrict access to the return for which an event is logged by marking the Based on security settings, require master password or honor privilege settings to bypass this event checkbox.
    • To require the staff member opening the return to enter a reason for doing so despite the warning, mark both the Default 'Warning - Status System' screen to 'Open completed client for editing' checkbox and the Require reason for opening client despite warning checkbox.
    • When you select application-defined status events, a warning is set automatically for any client's return for which that event has been logged at any time.
  3. Click OK. After the selected status event is logged for a client (either automatically or manually), and after the client's return is closed, when a staff member attempts to open the client's return, the Warning - Status system dialog will open. The staff member can select one of the following options on this dialog.
    • Open completed client for editing: Selecting this option opens the client's return normally, with all data-entry fields available. To add a note to the client's status history about bypassing the warning, staff members can mark the Reason for opening client despite warning checkbox, click the Open Client for Editing button, and enter the note in the Bypass Warning Reason - Status System dialog. (Note that this checkbox may be marked by default and may require staff to enter a note if the Default 'Warning - Status System' screen to 'Open completed client for editing' and Require reason for opening client despite warning checkboxes are marked on the Setup > Office Configuration > Status tab > Discourage Access dialog.)
    • Open completed client in read-only mode preventing all updates: Selecting this option will open the client's tax data entry screens without editing rights, which prevents users from changing amounts on input screens and prevents the application from recalculating the client's return. This option is marked by default. 
    • Replicate client with cleared status events: Selecting this option creates a new UltraTax CS client with all the information from the current client. This enables staff members to view and edit the return data as necessary without affecting the original client's return. To delete the replicated client when you close it, mark the Treat replicated client as temporary; delete it upon closing checkbox.
    • Access tax return in FileCabinet CS: If your firm is licensed for FileCabinet CS and you have stored the client's return in that application, selecting this option will open FileCabinet CS.

Opening a client's return in read-only mode

As described above, leaving the default Open completed client in read-only mode preventing all updates option selected on the Warning - Status System dialog will open the return in a read-only mode, which disables functionality that could cause UltraTax CS to recalculate the data in the return. For example, you cannot access Form view while the return is open in read-only mode. Read-only mode is intended for tax return review purposes only.

The following areas in UltraTax CS are disabled when a client's return is open in read-only mode. 

  • Print Preview, Print Current Page and the Print Returns dialog
  • Form View and Organizer View
  • Diagnostics
  • Import dialogs for other applications (such as Accounting CS)
  • Client Properties
  • Client Status
  • Client Communications
  • Shareholder / Partner Information

If the client's return had data in a statement dialog, you can open the statement to view the data, but cannot make any changes to that data. All statement dialogs that don't contain data are disabled.