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Viewing Your Lacerte Data in Bigtime

After your Lacerte data is imported into BigTime, you’re probably wondering where can you find all of this information and what to do with it. This article will help you with grasping what information from Lacerte comes into BigTime through syncing, where you’ll be able to view it, and how to get started with managing it.

Which Lacerte Data Comes Into Bigtime?

As you know from How to Install TaxLink, the first sync happens after you install TaxLink and map your Lacerte tax data files to the syncing software. This is a breakdown of the information you can expect to find in BigTime after that happens.

Client Information

TaxLink will bring in your clients’ names, contact info, and the return ID from Lacerte. If this is your firm’s first time performing this connection (or if you have new clients), your clients in Lacerte will be brought into BigTime as new clients. This information will appear on the Project Dashboard and Contact Info tabs within a client record in BigTime. You can access this list of your clients from MY COMPANY...PROJECT LIST in the navigation menu.


TIP: Understand Clients and Projects in Bigtime

Information associated with a client or project lives within a client/project record in BigTime. This is the basis for building and tracking work around clients. To dive deeper into the way clients and projects are established in BigTime, read Creating a New Client or Project.


Preparer Information

You can expect to see preparer information input on returns in Lacerte. This means that the assignments set in the Staff Preparer and Preparer fields will come into BigTime. If staff records for each of your firm’s preparers are created and properly mapped in BigTime, any assignments on returns in Lacerte will automatically be assigned to those preparers (referred to as staffers) and will be visible on the Engagement Dashboard in BigTime.

You won’t find preparers from your Project List, however. And unlike the way new clients are brought in, staffer records in BigTime aren’t automatically generated for you upon the initial sync. You will need to create these records from MY COMPANY...STAFF LIST. If you need help with creating these staffer records and properly mapping preparer IDs, consult these articles:

Preparation Fees

Any preparation fees set within return records in Lacerte will be imported to the Tax Data tab of the engagement record for each client.



Manage Lacerte Data on the Engagement Dashboard

The Engagement Dashboard is where all information about tax returns, including client and preparer information, return type, and statuses is synthesized and tracked. This is where you’ll be most active with your return data in BigTime.


Creating Workflows Based on Return Type

When your Lacerte data is brought in, BigTime recognizes that returns belong to specific return types and creates these categories (and organizes returns by type) within BigTime. To get the most out of the task management features of the Engagement Dashboard, which will help you track the progress of each return, you will want to create workflows based on your return types.

What this means is that you will set up statuses for each stage of each return type. You can then assign this status to the engagement as work on it progresses, and can even eventually mark it complete. This will prove helpful when seeking an update on how many returns a certain staffer is working on and the status of each item.

We recommend that you learn more about engagements and the Dashboard, why workflows are important, and how to set them up by reading these resources. Don’t be alarmed by the use of “task” and “Task Dashboard” in these articles. Task is the general term for items of work in BigTime, but this can take on any number of names depending on the industry.

Editing/Viewing Return Data on Engagement Records

Each of your firm’s returns appear on the Dashboard along with the name of the client, information about statuses and preparers (if you have successfully mapped your Lacerte status and preparer IDs), along with information about preparation fees and due dates.

It is important to note that clicking the name of the engagement is how you will view details about that return. This is different from clicking the name of the person for whom you’re preparing the return, which will take you to his or her client record in your Project List.


As work on an engagement progresses, you might find the need to make edits. BigTime allows a number of options for updating engagement records, including updating due dates and assignments. You can also apply bulk status updates to engagements, select various filters on the Dashboard to get a better picture of statuses and assignments, and even export that view.

For information on all of the options for editing engagement records (also known as “tasks” in BigTime), and customizing the Engagement Dashboard, consult these articles:


  • WHEN IS DATA FROM TAXLINK SYNCED WITH BIGTIME AND VIEWABLE FROM THE ENGAGEMENT DASHBOARD? Data from Lacerte is synced in BigTime in the following scenarios: 
    1. Upon TaxLink installation.
    2. When a user presses SYNCHRONIZE ALL TAX RETURNS from the TaxLink Advanced Settings menu.
    3. When a user navigates from within a client’s return details in Lacerte back to the full client list.
    4. When a status is updated on a client in Lacerte.
  • CAN I CREATE REPORTS TO REFLECT DATA ON THE TAX DATA TAB OF MY RETURNS? Unfortunately not. These fields from Lacerte cannot be reported on in BigTime. You can export your Engagement Dashboard, though, which would allow you to capture that information.
  • CAN ANY OF THE STAFFERS ON MY STAFF LIST CREATE ENGAGEMENTS? When staffers are created and invited in BigTime they fall into the Everyone user bucket and can’t create engagements. To give them permission to create engagements, they’ll need to be added to a custom security group.
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