Tips & Tricks

Whether you're new to ProFile or a long-time user, these tips will help you become more proficient in ProFile!

Make your ProFile Environment your own

ProFile's Environment Options lets you configure general editing, display, file management, office, system, and audit features. To quickly access Environment Options, simply right-click anywhere in the return and select Environment.

Enlarge forms to fit your screens

For easier reading, use ProFile's Zoom to Screen Width feature (go to Environment Options, and then select Display) to automatically adjust forms to fit the full width of high resolution screens. The result – forms are displayed in larger font, improving readability! For even faster toggling between the two display widths, click the magnifying glass icon on the toolbar.

Track time spent on a return

Did you know you can track the amount of time you spend on a return in ProFile? Select the Use Timer option (go to Environment in the Options menu, and select the Edit tab) to see the elapsed time in an open return at the bottom of the window.

Track time spent on a return
Compare returns in two windows with tiling (T1, T2, T3 & FX)

There's an easy way to compare a client's previous year return with the current year. Just open both the previous year and current year returns, then tile the view (go to the Window menu and click Tile Horizontally). You can then open and compare the same forms from different years at the same time.

Set up ProFile options for multiple users

Use ProFile's Options Administration features to configure settings for multiple users. You can save user-specific ProFile options and settings in Options Packages. To create an Options Package:

  • Go to Options menu and select Options Administration.
  • Select the one of the four options on the top of the window to determine how ProFile will save and load the settings.
  • In the Options package directory section, browse to the location where you want to store the Options Package.
  • In the Options Packages section, click New and enter a name for the package.
  • Click OK to save the current options and settings into the specified Options Package.

To load the Options Package, just open ProFile's Options Administration window and select the Options Package you want to load.

Set up ProFile options for multiple users
Customizing the Audit feature

Customize ProFile's Audit feature to create your own review process! The Auditor displays diagnostic (audit) messages that help reduce errors and oversights in your client files, as you work. You can control the types of audit messages that display, select audit messages that trigger preventive filing, and more.

To customize the Audit feature, go to Options, select Environment, then click Audit and select the options that will help you resolve issues before submitting returns.

Manage and organize your clients' returns

The Client Explorer and Classic Database lets you manage your clients' returns the way that works best for you. The Client Explorer organizes returns by client, so you can see all of the work you're doing for a single client, across all modules. The Classic Database sorts returns and files by module and year.

You can use only one management solution at a time. To choose one:

  • Go to the Options menu and click Database.
  • Then make your selection. We highly recommend using the Client Explorer database for a more client-focused management system!
Back up your files

If you're not currently backing up your documents, it’s important that you start this practice today. Here are a couple of ways you can back up your files in ProFile:

  1. NEW from ProFile Review, Cloud Backup
    If you have signed up for "ProFile Review," as of tax year 2015 you can auto backup your T1 and T2 files to the cloud. If needed, you can then re-download your client file from your ProFile Review account. To activate:
    1. Go to the Online menu and select Online Settings.
    2. Make sure you are signed in to your ProFile Review account.
    3. In the Online Backup area, select Enable Online Backup.
      Online Settings

      As an added precaution, also ensure that the specific file you are working on is selected to be backed up. You can do so by selecting File and then Properties and then checking the box beside Upload a copy of this file to ProFile Review

      Online backup
  2. Set ProFile to automatically back up files
    You can set ProFile to automatically back up your files as you work. It only takes a minute and you only have to do it once.

    To keep a backup of the next-to-last version of every file that you save:

    1. Go to the Options menu and select Environment.
    2. Click the File tab.
    3. Select Keep Backup.

      You can automatically save copies of files as you work by selecting Auto save files every, then specify the number of minutes between saved copies. This feature is very useful if you lose power to your computer. When you return to ProFile, the return you were working on automatically opens to the point it was last saved.

      If you need to restore the file later, go to the File menu and click Open. In the Files of type list, select 2015 ProFile T1 Backup (*.15A, *.15B) for tax year 2015 as an example, then select the return you want to restore.

      Keep backup
How to EFILE returns

Are you new to EFILE or have new staff? See the following guides: "How to EFILE T1 Returns" and "Corporation Internet Filing". We'll guide you through registration for EFILE as well as how to EFILE returns in ProFile.

Remember, starting in 2013, tax preparers who file more than 10 returns are required to file them electronically. For more information, go to the CRA mandatory EFILE page.

Jump to a section within a form (T1, T2 & T3)

Instead of scrolling through a lengthy form to get to a specific section, right-click in the form to see a list of all its sections, then select the one you want to see.

Right-click to jump to a section within a form (T1, T2 & T3)
Find a specific form in a return

Use the Search box in the toolbar, or use the Form Explorer (press F4) to quickly find a specific form. Simply enter the form name or number in the search field and select from the list of forms displayed.

Use the search box in toolbar Find a specific form in a return
I can't find a provincial form!

Did you set your jurisdiction in the Info worksheet? In the T1/TP1 and T3 modules (and to a lesser extent, the T2 and FX modules), ProFile is smart about the forms it displays to you. ProFile only shows provincial forms that apply to your province. If you haven't specified a provincial jurisdiction yet, you won't see those forms.

There are lots of forms! Where do I start?

In the Form Explorer (press F4), switch to the Detail or Key views. Then, sort the list by Step. The step order organizes forms in the suggested order that you should complete them. ProFile carries information from forms earlier in the sequence into forms that appear later on.

There's lots of forms
Monitor changes to important amounts

ProFile's Monitor makes it easy to watch important amounts as ProFile recalculates them.

To monitor a field, select the field and click the + (plus) symbol in the bottom right-hand corner of the window. As you make changes in a return, keep an eye on the bottom of the screen to see how those changes affect the specified amount.

Note: The Monitor feature is module and year specific.
Monitor changes to important amounts

To stop monitoring a field, right-click on the specific field at the bottom of the window and select Delete Monitor.
Delete Monitor

Create a copy of a completed form

Need to create another copy of a form you just completed? A great time saver is the Copy/Paste Form feature in the Edit menu. For example, if you are completing business or rental statements for non-spousal partners in ProFile's T1 module, you don't have to re-enter the same information in both files.

You can just:

  • Open the completed form in the current window, and select Copy Form.
  • Open a blank copy of the same form in another return that you want to copy to and select Paste Form.
Track time spent on a return
Fields in forms: The rainbow connection

ProFile colours amounts and fields depending on their status. Here's what those colours mean:

  • For the values themselves:
    • Blue: Amounts that ProFile calculates or carries from another form. You can override the amount, but that's not recommended in most cases.
    • Red: A calculated value that you overrode.
    • Green: A calculated value that you can't override.
    • Purple: Information that was imported or carried forward from a previous year's return.
  • For the background colour of a field:
    • Yellow: There's an auditor error or warning for the amount.
    • Green: A memo or tape is attached to the field. Click the field to see it.
    • Orange: A variance message.
    • Red: A value so bad that ProFile can't even properly store the information – like a completely invalid date.
Overriding the format of a field

For certain fields, ProFile restricts the format of information that you enter, such as postal codes. You can override the format of these fields and enter values that don't match ProFile's format—such as entering a US ZIP code in a postal code field. To override a field format, right-click in the field and select Format override (CTRL + F2).

Overriding the format of a field
Review your return prior to submission

Use the CRA Submission view feature to review your T2 return before submitting it to the CRA. Right-click in the return and select CRA Submission view. In this view, you can see the fields and values that will be transmitted to the CRA.

Access summary forms instantly

You can access your T1 jacket, Tax Summary, T1 Summary, and Comparative Summary from the Goto menu — without leaving your current return! These summary forms help you spot potential errors or omissions while working on the current year's return.

Automatically fill in T1 Adjustment forms

Sometimes you need to file a tax adjustment for a client, such as for a recently discovered donation receipt or last-minute RRSP contribution. If you need to file a tax adjustment for a T1/TP1 return, ProFile can fill in the T1-ADJ form for you automatically. Just take a snapshot of your return, enter the new information, and ProFile takes care of the rest.

Copy information between all family members' returns (T1)

With a Coupled return, ProFile optimizes credits and amounts between 2 spouses' returns. With “Family linking”, ProFile also optimizes credits between returns for an entire family (albeit not to the extent of a coupled return).

To complete Family Linking:

  • Select Options > Module > Calculation options > Allow family linking. Allow family linking
  • Open both the supporting taxpayer's return and the dependant's return at the same time.
  • Make sure that at least one of the following matches between the dependant's entry in the Dependant worksheet (in the taxpayer's return), and the Info worksheet (in the dependant's return):
    • The dependant's SIN, or
    • Both the dependant's name and birth date.

As long as both returns are open, if the dependant has credits that aren't needed to reduce taxable income to zero, ProFile automatically transfers eligible amounts to the tax return of the supporting taxpayer or spouse.

Import CRA data into T1 returns

Use ProFile's data import feature to save time and import client data from the CRA. With a few simple steps, you can securely access and download relevant information from CRA's Represent a Client website into multiple T1 returns. ProFile automatically carries the imported data to appropriate fields in your returns.

ProFile CRA data import

To use this feature, you need your CRA credentials and client authorization. You can import data for:

  • A single T1 return
    Open the T1 return into which you want to import information. Then, go to the File menu and select Import CRA data. Sign in to CRA Represent a Client service, follow the prompts to get to the Tax data delivery page, and enter the client's SIN. Once the data download is complete, return to ProFile and select the data you want to import, then click Accept CRA Data.

- or -

  • Multiple T1 returns
    In the Goto menu, select Client Explorer. From here, you can select up to 10 clients for whom you want to import data. Under Actions in the Client Explorer, select CRA Import and follow the same steps as importing information into a single T1 return.

When complete, you can review the imported data in the Data Import tab (go to the Audit menu and select Show Auditor). It's that simple!

Print EFILE reports to PDF (T1)

You can print reports on the results of an EFILE transmission as a PDF file, making it easy to store and share. After transmitting a file, go to the EFILE menu and select Reports. Then, select the file for which you want an EFILE report and click Open. To print the report, select PDF on the print button in the EFILE window. You can now easily share the report with your client!

Use Intuitive Copy-Paste to create business statements for associated corporations

In the T2 module, use Intuitive Copy and Intuitive Paste to complete RACDetails worksheets for corporations in the same associated group of related or associated corporations (RAC). For large groups, this is a great timesaver!

First complete the worksheet for one of the corporations in the group. Go to the Edit menu and select Intuitive Copy. Then, open an empty RACDetails worksheet in another tax return for an associated corporation, go to the Edit menu, and click Intuitive Paste.

Copy Memos and Tapes to other fields

Instead of creating a new memo or tape with the same information, you can copy memos and tapes from one field to another. First locate the field with a memo or tape that you want to copy (the background colour of the field will be green). Right-click the field and choose Copy Memo/Tape. Then, right-click the destination field and select Paste Memo/Tape.

Note: When copying from the source field, any review marks will not copy over to the destination field.

Have a ProFile question? Use Live chat!

You can now chat live with ProFile technical support representatives from within ProFile! Get answers to your questions while working on a return.

Just go to the Help menu and select Live Chat. You can also click on the Live Chat button (Live chat icon) on the toolbar.

ProFile CRA data import
Working with multiple monitors

If you have more than one monitor, the Multi-Monitors feature lets you work in multiple returns side-by-side, with each return displayed in its own monitor.

First, open all of the files or returns that you want to work with. Then, do one of the following:

If you are working on multiple returns:

  • Go to the Window menu and click Launch Current Window.
  • Left-Click and choose the other return and select Launch Window or click the Launch Window icon on the toolbar. By selecting this icon, it will open the current file in a separate window.
Working with multiple monitors

Tip: You can still use this feature if you have only 1 monitor. The new window will open on top of the current window. You can then resize and move the windows to optimize your workspace.

In addition, you can compare returns in two windows with Tiling.

  • Just open both the previous year and current year returns, then tile the view (go to the Window menu and click Tile Horizontally). You can then open and compare the same forms from different years at the same time.
Get faster with keyboard shortcuts

Get efficient by knowing the keyboard shortcuts in ProFile. This PDF has keyboard shortcuts will help you get to where you need to go or what you need to do – quicker!

You may want to print it out and keep it by your computer for quick reference.

Use error codes to troubleshoot EFILE errors

When electronically filing a return, returns are sometimes rejected with an EFILE error. The ProFile Auditor can assist with identifying and fixing the error. In fact, you can avoid most EFILE errors early on by making sure the Auditor is active at all times. The Auditor instantly flags errors and omissions, as well as providing detailed explanations of how to correct potential issues.

After errors are fixed in a return, you’ll have to tell ProFile that you’re ready to retransmit the file.

  • Go to the File menu and select Properties.
  • Clear the CRA Errors and MRQ Errors checkboxes, and click OK. You can now resubmit your return.
  • >Use error codes to troubleshoot EFILE errors

    Tip: For a comprehensive list of error codes and their corresponding messages, click here for Federal error codes and click here for Revenu Québec error codes.

Keep up to date with important information

Stay updated with key articles that provide product and tax information that are useful during the tax season.

  • What's New – Release notes about new and updated forms and features in the most recent release.
  • Known Issues - Issues and bugs that we are aware of and investigating, along with workarounds to keep you productive.
  • What's Fixed - Previous known issues that we've addressed in a recent release.
  • News/Alerts - News and alerts that may be of interest, such as extended support hours or notes from the CRA.

To access these pages from within ProFile, go to the Online menu > Update Information, and select the page you want.

Quickly access a previous year return (For T1 module)

If you want to compare a current return with the previous year's, simply right-click anywhere in the current return and select Previous year's return. ProFile opens the previous year's return in the same window, making it easy for you to compare both returns.

Note: The previous and current return must be stored in the same folder.

Quickly access a previous year return
Create an FX return from T1 and T2 returns

You can save time by creating a new FX return from your T1 or T2 return. Right-click anywhere in your T1 or T2 return and select Create FX. ProFile transfers personal and identifying information to the FX Info form, eliminating unnecessary data entry.

Attach and link documents to returns

ProFile’s HyperDocs feature lets you link a client’s source documents and working papers to the clients’ tax returns, or even to a specific field in a return. You can attach or link almost any file format, including Excel, Word, PDF, JPEG, and TIFF.

To attach documents to specific field in a return:

  1. Right click the field and choose Attach HyperDoc.
  2. Browse to and select the documents that you want to add.
  3. Choose either Embed Document Copy or Link Document.

To add documents to the tax return in general:

  1. In a return, go to the File menu and select HyperDocs.
  2. Do one of the following:
    • In the HyperDocs window, click the "Add" icon. Then, browse to and select the documents that you want to add.
    • Drag the file from a Windows Explorer window onto the HyperDocs window.
  3. Choose either Embed Document Copy or Link Document.

When you Embed a document, ProFile adds a separate copy of that document to the ProFile return. Changes to that document outside of ProFile will not affect the copy in the return.

When you Link a document, ProFile maintains a link to the file. If the file changes, a visual reminder appears to let you know the document has changed. (Click the Synchronize icon in the HyperDocs window to remove the warning symbol.) When linking documents, make sure you don’t move them – otherwise ProFile won’t be able to find them.

Hyperdocs window warning

Need more detail?

See our video tutorials.

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