FAQs

The Knowledge Base is a central resource containing information regarding queries and problem reports resolved by our support department.

If you are experiencing any software related issues, before contacting Support please ensure you have updated your copy of Assistant to the latest release.

CLICK HERE FOR THE LATEST SOFTWARE ASSISTANT UPDATES

'Assistant has NOT been registered’ is shown when trying to open Software Assistant.

  1. Open Register Assistant via the Windows Start Menu (run a search for this application)
  2. Ensure the software is showing as registered. Complete the registration process otherwise.

'DATA directory is blank or does not contain 'Clients.DB'' is shown when trying to Configure BDE

This error occurs when there is no Clients.DB file in the folder you are trying to link Assistant with. Verify that your data directory is correct. You must have a Clients.DB file in your data directory. If not, you are either pointing to the wrong directory, or you may have a corrupt DB file.

'Index is out of date' is shown when trying to open a return or ledger

If this occurs when you are trying to open Ledger:

  1. Close the Ledger.
  2. Select 'Tools > Repair ledger files'.
  3. Try to re-open the Ledger.

If this occurs when you are trying to open a tax form:

  1. Close Software Assistant.
  2. Open Verify and backup data via the Windows Start Menu
  3. Tick only the first three boxes.
  4. Click 'Proceed'.
  5. Re-open Software Assistant.

'Invalid date format' is shown when opening a return or worksheet.

To rectify this issue:

  1. Open the Windows Control Panel.
  2. Select Region and Language (or regional language and settings).
  3. Under 'Format' change to any other language.
  4. Press Apply
  5. Change language back to your preferred format
  6. Re-open the tax form.

'Network initialization failed: Path not found' is shown when trying to open or upgrade Software Assistant.

You may need to 'Configure BDE' if your database is on a server or network drive.

  1. Open Register Assistant via the Windows Start Menu (run a search for the application)
  2. Click on Advanced
  3. Ensure the Data directory path is correct
  4. Click on Configure BDE
  5. Close the form
  6. Re-run the update or upgrade

'The directory is being controlled by another .net user' is shown when trying to open Assistant.

This problem can be caused by the computers on the network having a different database path to one another.

  1. Make sure everyone on the network has logged out of Software Assistant.
  2. Go to Assistant’s Data folder, usually 'C:\ProgramData\Software Assistant\Assistant\Data', unless your data is on a network drive.
  3. Locate the following files 'PDOXUSRS.NET' and 'PROXUSRS.LCK' and delete these files if present.
  4. Open Register Assistant via the Windows Start Menu (search for this application)
  5. Click on Advanced
  6. Check that the data directory is correct in the registration form then click on the 'Configure BDE' button.
  7. Repeat the above step on all computers. Make sure all computers have the same data path (the drive letter can be different but the rest of the path to Software Assistant’s data has to be identical on all computers).
  8. Open Verify and backup data via the Windows Start Menu (search for this application). 
  9. Tick the first three boxes only and click on ‘Proceed.’
  10. Attempt to run Software Assistant on all computers.

ATO Access Manager and your AUSKEY

What's changed?
The ATO has changed the process of how an AUSkey is used for PLS (SBR) lodgment. As a result, Tax Professionals may be required to make changes to their AUSkey permissions to control access to ATO online services.

When will I have to make these changes?
All users must make these changes before they attempt to lodge forms via PLS (when lodging via SBR). Failing to do so may result in rejection of tax forms when Lodging via PLS.

Why are we changing from the current system?
Tax Assistant has moved towards PLS, providing a digital way of interacting with the ATO. This is part of an initiative to simplify the process of engaging with multiple government agencies; one of which being the ATO.

How do I make these changes? 
For more information on how to make these changes, CLICK HERE

Bank feeds: How do they work?

Bank feeds are available at $22 per bank account annually with no ongoing fees or restrictions on number of downloaded transactions.

Order bank feeds on our order form. Bank feeds management will be added to your user portal, under the registrations section.

Use bank feeds management to register bank details. Net banking credentials will be required. Check with your client that the net banking account has an SMS code confirmation or any other security measure to prevent unauthorized transactions before registering the net banking details.

The bank feeds ID will be generated for each registered bank account and all available transactions will be downloaded to your user portal (usually three months of transactions). We use third-party services from Yodlee to retrieve the transactions.

The transactions will be refreshed automatically every night and stored in your user portal.

  1. Open ledger in Ledger Assistant and edit the appropriate bank account.
  2. Enter the bank feeds ID as generated in the user portal to associate the ledger account with the bank feeds connection.
  3. Select 'File > Import data > Import bank feeds' when ready to download bank transactions.
  4. Select the bank account from the accounts associated with the bank feeds and a period for which you wish to retrieve transactions.
  5. Transactions will be imported to the transaction import screen where Rules can be used to automatically allocate the account numbers to the transactions based on keywords in the transaction description, date, reference and other criteria.

Cannot load driver' is shown when opening the Assistant Diary.

This error is related to your printer drivers. This usually occurs when your printer is using a “Universal Print Driver” rather than the individual driver for your printer. Please download the individual printer driver for your printer from the manufactures website rather than using a Universal Print Driver.

CMN.ATO.AS.EM060 - X was reported as XXXX and will be corrected to XXXX

Most likely the ATO records do not have the reported amounts so their system expects the item should be another amount. You will need to contact the ATO to get them to update their records for any variations before lodging the BAS/IAS form again.

CMN.ATO.GEN.001001 Mandatory field not supplied - Report TypeVariation Code

When the PLS Activity Statement form is created, the software will prefill from the ATO's server to get the document ID and type variation code. Refer to the ATO website for the list of type variations.
Type variation code field
If the PLS Activity Statements form does not prefill and you get the message, "no activity statement available" then the taxpayer has an ABN branch number, which you need to enter in the client details (next to the ABN) then create the form again.
ABN branch number field

The tax payer's ABN branch is shown on the tax agent portal > activity statement page. Next to the Activity Statement text, you may see 00#.

CMN.ATO.GEN.500054 - Intermediary declarer Australian Business Number has failed the algorithm check

Enter the tax agent's ABN in Options as the intermediary declarer refers to the tax agent.

CMN.ATO.IITR.200001 - Questions relating to the full individual return form must be answered

Items 18G, 19I, 19W and 20P are required to be answered to pass the validation error.

CMN.ATO.IITR.210016 - Spouse Details Required

Make sure you have completed item IT8 Number of Dependent Children on the Test tab.

CMN.ATO.IITR.310066 - Capital Gains Tax schedule required

When the net capital gain is in excess of $10,000 a Capital Gains Tax schedule must be attached. The capital gains tax schedule and all other schedules are located on the navigator panel as shown.

 Capital gains tax schedule

Does Software Assistant have Single Touch Payroll (STP) reporting capabilities?

We are not implementing STP reporting (Single Touch Payroll) in Software Assistant at this stage. 

Error calling SBR Core Services/ Send Request Failed error

Most likely the ATO's PLS server is experiencing technical issues or under maintenance. You can check the ATO's status tracking website.

If the status is operational then contact the support team to troubleshoot the issue further.

Error reading PrintDialog1.Copies: Operation not supported on selected printer

You will need to re-select the default print from Control Panel.

ERROR_ITEM_VALUE_INVALID_PATTERN : "XXXX" does not match the pattern "[0-9]{2}"

The telephone area code on the cover page and/or declaration page of the tax return can only be two digits long. You will need to delete and retype the telephone area code so the fields are correctly updated.

ERROR_ITEM_VALUE_MAX_LENGTH_INVALID : Invalid length XX, where maximum length expected was 30

Due to the implementation of the Granular Data Reporting, the ATO has restricted the description length to a maximum of 30 characters (includes spacing) per line. Therefore check the description that the validation error has identified is no longer than 30 characters. If all the descriptions are fine then refer to the steps below.

The work related expenses schedule description is rolling forward from a prior-year tax return. If it is no longer needed then you should delete it or shorten the text to a maximum of 30 characters as per ATO requirements.

  1. Go to the Other tab
  2. Tick the work related expenses schedule box
  3. Go to the item worksheet the validation error is referring to
  4. Remove the text in the top box or shorten it to only 30 characters
  5. Click on the save button on the worksheet
  6. Go back to the Other tab and remove the work related expenses schedule tick box.

Fonts are not displayed correctly, are condensed or unreadable

Microsoft update KB3013455 breaks the way Arial font is displayed across certain applications. This only affects users running Windows Vista SP2 or Windows Server 2003 SP2. Users are advised to uninstall the update and restart the computer to resolve the problem until Microsoft can correct this issue.

How can I de-register Software Assistant?

Follow the steps below to de-register Software Assistant from your computer.

  1. Open Register Assistant (run a search for this application via your Windows Start Menu)
  2. Un-tick the modules that you wish to de-register.
  3. A message will appear asking if you would like to de-register the module, click 'Yes'.
  4. Click on the 'Register' button.
  5. The registration form will connect to our server and de-register the selected modules from your computer.

You can now register Software Assistant on another computer.

How do I allocate profits to beneficiaries/members

Check you have setup beneficiaries/members accounts correctly. Refer to "How do I set up beneficiary/member accounts"

  1. Go to the Posting tab
  2. Click on Transaction Journal Wizard
  3.  Click on profit distribution/member accounts allocation
  4. Complete the profit distribution window
  5. Click on Transfer to post the transactions for the profit distribution to the beneficiaries/members

How do I create a BAS form or an IAS form for a client?

You must have a client record present before you can create an Activity Statement or other forms for the client.

  1. Click on the down arrow next to the 'New' button.
  2. Select 'PLS Activity Statement'
  3. Select the desired form.

How do I create a BAS/IAS form for other periods/ annual GST/ monthly period?

After a certain period, you will not be able to lodge BAS forms for a previous year using that year’s module (i.e. GA, GB, GI and GR forms). To lodge a previous year’s BAS form, create the form in a year that has PLS Activity Statement menu.

  1. Change the year period in the top right-hand corner of Assistant. Starting from 2014 and onwards will have the PLS Activity Statement.
  2. Select the client.
  3. Click on the down arrow next to the 'New' button and select 'PLS Activity Statement' and then the Activity Statement form required. 
  4. Enter the reporting period (located on the top right-hand corner of the form).
  5. Enter the ABN branch number, if required
  6. Go to tools > load values from PLS. This will force the software to prefill the form for the reporting period.

Please note, the ATO has removed 1H from the electronic BAS form. They have advised tax agents will need to lodge the form on the tax agent portal to report for the GST instalments

How do I create rental property accounts?

  1. Go to Posting tab
  2. Click on Transaction Journal Wizard Transaction Journal Wizard.PNG
  3. Select Setup Rental or Member Accounts
  4. Enter the name of the property (maximum character length with spaces is 42)
  5. Click on OK

If you have another rental property then repeat the steps and increase the Property ID number.

If you have more than 9 rental properties then you will need to increase the account length to 5 by going to client details > ledger tab.

How do I download Software Assistant’s complete installation or upgrades?

  1. Login to your user account from this link. If you have forgotten these details you can reset your password
  2. Click on ‘Update Centre’ from the left hand navigator
  3. You will be taken to the download page which will list all available downloads.

How do I download updates for Software Assistant?

There are numerous ways of downloading updates for Software Assistant.

    1. When a new update is released, we will send notification emails to all existing clients. The email will contain a download link to the update.
    2. When a new update is released, you will be automatically notified within Software Assistant via a popup message
    3. You can download updates directly from our website. Click here for latest updates

How do I enter previous years transaction entries in the Ledger?

To create entries for a past financial year in the present year, you’ll need to configure that client’s ledger for a previous year.

  1. Open the Client Details form.
  2. Click on the Ledger tab.
  3. In the 'Year ends' field, enter a previous financial year.
  4. Click on the Ledger button. A general ledger will be created for the client with the current period being the year you specified.
  5. To create transactions for a later year, you have to double click on the 'Close Year' command.

How do I lodge an amendment for an Individual Return?

In order to lodge an Individual amendment form, you must have already lodged the original form and it must be in an ‘Accepted’ state.

  1. Open the original tax return.
  2. Make sure the status is marked as ‘Accepted’.
  3. Click on the arrow next to the ‘New’ button.
  4. Select ‘Tax forms’ and then ‘AR – Amend return or activity statement’ for 2011 and newer returns or ‘AI – Amendment of individual return’ for 2010 and earlier returns.
  5. Complete the amendment details, save and lodge the amendment return.

How do I lodge an early tax return

The early year of the tax return is not available. You can use the software to enter the data and print the tax return to mail it to the ATO. Make sure to cross out the year and mark the correct year on the tax return. Refer to the ATO website for more information.

Post your completed tax return to:
Australian Taxation Office
GPO Box 9845
[insert the name and postcode of your capital city]

How do I lodge the Work-Related Expenses Schedule?

To lodge the Work Related Expenses Schedule (D1 to D5), click on the ‘Other’ tab and then mark the “Lodge Work-Related Expenses Schedule” checkbox.

Please note, the ATO has restricted the maximum character length of the schedule to 30 characters, starting from 2019 tax return.

How do I manually post to GST account

Post to 3529 GST payments/refunds account; otherwise, "G18 - Adjustments" will not calculate correctly in the GST report.

How do I manually register Software Assistant?

If you are having firewall problems when trying to register then you can register Software Assistant manually by following these steps.

  1. Open Register Assistant via your Windows Start Menu (run a search for this application). 
  2. Tick the modules you wish to register. Do not close this form yet.
  3. On our website, Login to your user account 
  4. Select 'My Registrations' from the navigator.
  5. Click on the '+ Register' button
  6. Enter your Computer Name, Computer User and Serial Number in the boxes provided, then click on the green tick to generate an Activation code. You can find this information from the Register Assistant form you opened earlier. 
  7. Under the selected module you will now have an Activation code listed. Copy this code into the Activation code box of the Register Assistant form to register each module.

How do I post for closing inventory / livestock?

Make sure to transfer the inventory account or livestock account from the master chart of accounts before posting to them then follow the instructions below.

  1. Go to Posting tab
  2. Click on Transaction Journal Wizard Transaction Journal Wizard.PNG
  3. Select Closing Stock Adjustment
  4. Enter the inventory/ livestock details
  5. Click on the Transfer button to post the transactions

How do I recover lost or forgotten client record passwords?

If you have lost or forgotten a client record password, please contact support for assistance.

How do I reset the Software Assistant layout?

  1. Click on the 'View' tab in Assistant.
  2. Select 'Default layout'.

How do I restore from a backup file?

To fully utilise Software Assistant’s restore facility, you should set the backup feature to backup the database every day. This way you will have a wide range of backups to choose from. Assistant backup files are located in the Backup folder in Assistant’s Data folder.

To restore from a backup:

  1. Select 'File > Restore from backup…' to open the Restore data form.
  2. The Restore Data form will list all the backup files available to restore from, sorted from earliest to latest. Select the backup file from the list and click Next.
  3. The Restore Data form will now show contents of the backup file. From here you can choose to earlier restore all data for a particular client or restore only the selected documents.
  4. To restore all data for a client: select the client from the list, mark the 'Restore all client data' option and then click on Restore. Repeat this if you wish to restore data for another client.
  5. To restore only the selected document: select the client from the list, then in the Client’s folder window, select the document that you wish to restore, mark the 'Restore selected document' option and then click on Restore. Repeat this if you wish to restore another document.
  6. Click on the Close button to exit the Restore Data form.

How do I set up beneficiary/member accounts

  1. Open client details panel
  2. Go to the Ledger tab
  3. Enter the number of beneficiaries/members
  4. Go to the Other tab
  5. Enter a number (starting from 1, not 01) and name (optional - percentage of income to be split)
  6. Go to the ledger > Postings tab > Transaction Journal Wizard > Setup Rental or Member Accounts
  7. Select the member then click on OK

Repeat the steps based on the number of beneficiaries/members listed for the entity.

If you have more than 9 beneficiaries/members then make sure to increase the account length to 5 or 6 by going to client details > ledger tab.

How do I uninstall Software Assistant?

  1. Open the Windows Control Panel
  2. Locate the application named 'Assistant'
  3. Uninstall the application. 

*Warning* Removing the Assistant application before taking a backup of your files may result in data loss. 

How is a client activated or deactivated?

To deactivate a client:

  1. Select the client from the client list.
  2. Select 'File > Deactivate client'. The deactivated client will not be shown in the client list unless the 'Active' filter is disabled.

To activate an inactive client:

  1. Remove the tick from the 'Active' filter on the left-hand navigation bar.
  2. Find the inactive client from the list. Inactive clients are indicated by their pale colour.
  3. Select 'File > Activate client'. This command will only be available when an inactive client is selected.

How is the Software Assistant database transferred between computers?

There are a few ways of doing this. The easiest way would be to copy and paste the entire data folder from the current computer to the same location on the new computer. Alternatively, you can also mark and export the clients and then import them into the new computer.

To copy the data folder:

  1. Locate the data folder on the current computer. The default path is 'C:\ProgramData\Software Assistant\Assistant\Data'. You can check your location via Options > Directories in Assistant. 
  2. Connect a USB flash drive.
  3. Right click on the data folder and select 'Copy'.
  4. Navigate to the flash drive, right click and select 'Paste'.
  5. Insert the flash drive into the new computer.
  6. Copy the data folder from the USB flash drive to Assistant’s existing data folder on the new computer. Click 'Yes' when asked to overwrite the existing files.

To transfer the clients using export/import:

  1. Right click on the client list and select 'Mark/Unmark clients …' .
  2. Click on mark 'All clients' and click 'Execute'.
  3. Select 'File > Export data > Marked clients'.
  4. Save the zip file to a USB flash drive.
  5. Connect the flash drive to the new computer.
  6. In Assistant, select 'File > Import data > Import exported clients'.
  7. Locate the zip file that you saved onto the USB drive, and click 'Open'.
  8. The clients will be automatically transferred into the client list.

How to import transactions from a CSV file

  1. Select "File | Import data | Import ledger transactions" menu item in order to import comma-delimited or Tab-delimited file of transactions.
  2. You will have to set up the link between the accounts in the other package and accounts you use in Ledger Assistant. Therefore if the account link for the client has not been created, Ledger Assistant will suggest you set up this link prior to importing the file.
  3. First of all Ledger Assistant will display the columns of the selected import file. You will have to select the column type for each of the columns you wish to use. The following mandatory columns you must always nominate: Date, Account number, Amount (or Debit and Credit). The Balance category can be used for account balances without natural sign such as the export file of MYOB account balances.
    Since the QuickBooks export files usually do not have the account numbers, it is important to nominate QB Account Type and QB Account Name columns. These columns will then be used to match the QuickBooks accounts with the Ledger Assistant's accounts.
    Once the type of the columns has been selected and accepted by clicking on the button with the green tick image, Ledger Assistant will display the Import Transactions form that will show all transactions from the selected file.
  4. Now you will have to select the appropriate account for every transaction in the import file. When you select one match, Ledger Assistant will scan all the transactions and assign the same match for other transactions with the same account number. Header accounts can be indicated by using the account number "-1". Transactions with the account number "-1" will not be imported.
    When importing transactions from the internet banking system, the account numbers will not be present. Then you can use Rules to help you allocate the account number to each of the transactions.
  5. When all the transactions have been linked to the appropriate accounts, the file can be imported by clicking on the Transfer button.

Ledger Assistant will save the profile in the client's folder and if the next import file has the same accounts - Ledger Assistant will import it right away without prompting to setup the account link. If more than one profile is used for the client, Ledger Assistant will ask you to select the profile name every time you import the file. If the new accounts have been detected in the import file, Ledger Assistant will prompt you to set the link.

I am unable to change the status of returns or forms

Make sure that the return has been saved first and that there are no validation errors present. Also make sure that your user account has access rights to sign returns.

I cannot get my company logo to show in various letter templates

To insert your company logo into a letter template:

  1. Locate the graphic, right-click on the file and select Edit
  2. Select the image and select 'Edit | Copy'.
  3. Open the Assistant Letter Editor and open the desired template you would like to edit
  4. Place your mouse cursor in the place where you wish to insert the image (it should not be the very first line on the template; insert a blank line with before you insert your logo).
  5. Press 'Shift-Insert' or 'CTRL+V' to paste the image.

I receive the error 'Assistant’s registry items have been detected in virtual store'

Please contact us for assistance with this issue. 

Individual 2019 – HECS – HELP Estimate

The HECS/HELP percentage was perviously calculating incorrectly for the 2019 IITR (20% rather than 2%). This issue has been rectified in the latest Assistant update.

Individual 2019 – LMITO July 2019 changes

The Federal government announced on Thurs 4th July that the Low Middle Income Tax Offset (LMITO) increase had been passed by the Lower House and the Senate.

The ATO have provided software developers with final guidelines for the LMITO changes. These changes have been included in the latest Assistant update.

Installation error – 'All licenses used'

If you are receiving an error stating "All Licenses used" upon registering Software Assistant on various machines, it could mean that Software Assistant is registered on more computers than what was purchased I renewed for 2019 or there could be an error upon registration.

If you have exceeded the license number you paid for, please call our sales staff who will be happy to discuss the discounted pricing structure of an extra license. 1800 074 333 (select sales) or contact your client manager directly.

If you have not exceeded the license number, please call or email support who will work through the issue with you.

Installation error – 'Common 1722'

If you are installing or upgrading Software Assistant and encounter an error stating 'common 1722' that is typically caused by anti virus software erroneously intervening during the install/upgrade process, resulting in a failure to correctly install.

We recommend you affirm Software Assistant as a trusted source within your anti virus software's "safe software listing" (located within your anti virus software). Please call your anti virus software supplier if help is required to complete this task, not Thomson Reuters support as we do not provide support for your anti virus software.

An alternative method would be to turn off your anti virus software whilst installing/upgrading. Remember to turn it back on, once the process is complete. This is not recommended as it may Leave your practice vulnerable for a short period.

If you are still receiving the error after amending your anti virus software's "safe" listing, please contact Thomson Reuters support.

Partnership/Trust 2019 – Validation Error Code 004/ 005

This error previously occurred when no values were distributed at item 55 - Statement of Distribution, label A "Share of Income - PP" and/or B "Share of Income - NPP".

This issue has now been resolved in the latest Assistant update. 

Random characters appearing on letters/ financial notes templates

The random characters will appear when you use MS word to edit the RTF templates. You should open the file with notepad or wordpad; otherwise go to File > Maintain templates > Notes to financial report and open the relevant template and click on the save button to re-save the file, which will remove the random characters.

Returns are not shown in the lodgment queue even after setting the return status to ‘signed’.

If you have set the return status to signed and it is still not showing up when you click on the PLS button, then the agent reference number in the Options form does not match the agent number in the tax return, or it is missing. Software Assistant will only include tax returns in the lodgment process if their agent reference number matches the one entered in the User section of Software Assistant’s Options.

  1. Open Software Assistant’s Options.
  2. Make sure the agent reference number in the tax return (at the bottom of the ‘consent’ page) matches the one used in Software Assistant’s Options.

The 'HP liability' account appears as an asset in the financial report.

Negative “Interest bearing liability” accounts (accounts 3200 – 3299) will be displayed as assets in the financial report. To force an account to stay in liability section, edit the account (“HP liability” in this case) in the accounts page by activating “Persistent category” option.

V2885 - Subtotal 2 must equal subtotal less Non-refundable carry forward tax offsets

Restart the software to resolve the validation error.

What happens when subscription ends

When the Tax Assistant license ends, you will have read-only access to all the years of the tax returns.

But with Ledger Assistant, you will only have read-only access for the last viewed financial period. Therefore, we recommend printing financial reports for all years.

What to do if you receive error $2501 upon opening Report Designer.

Please restart your machine and retry. If the problem persists, contact Software Assistant.

When printing reports, the date format is incorrect.

  1. Open the Windows Control Panel.
  2. Select Region and Language (or Regional language and settings).
  3. Under 'Format' change to any other language and press Apply
  4. Change the 'Format' back to your preferred format.
  5. Re-open Tax Assistant

When trying to print a report, you receive the '1722 RPC server unavailable' error.

This error is caused by your Firewall blocking access from Software Assistant to print. You must allow Assistant.exe permission through your Firewall or add this executable to your firewalls trusted list. es displayed are missing from Software Assistant’s Data folder. Restore the missing files.

When trying to register Software Assistant, no activation codes appear, or 'Cannot find server' is shown.

If no activation codes appear when you click try to register Assistant, check to make sure no firewall programs are blocking the registration form from accessing our server. This is common with CA, Norton, BitDefender, Trend and Avast Anti-virus. Either disable the firewall completely or add an exception to allow “register.exe” to access the internet. This file can be found in the following location:  C:\Program Files (x86)\Software Assistant\Assistant

If you receive a “Cannot find server” error message, check that your Internet connection is active and try again.

If you are still unable to register, you may be able to register the software manually.

When trying to view help by pressing the ‘F1’ key, nothing is displayed.

You may be missing certain Software Assistant help files, or your keyboard is configured incorrectly.

  1. If you have a Microsoft keyboard, make sure the ‘F-Lock’ key is turned ‘OFF’. Try to re-open the help files.
  2. If you still cannot access the help files, navigate to 'C:\Program Files\Software Assistant\Assistant\Help'. If you are using 64 bit Windows, this directory will be 'C:\Program Files (x86)\Software Assistant\Assistant\Help'.
  3. Check to see whether you have help files for the year you are working on. These will be indicated by the return name followed by the year. E.g. ITR20XX, FTR20XX, Forms20XX.
  4. If you do not have these files, please re-install Software Assistant or download the full-install from our website.

Where can I find the Software Assistant End User Licence Agreement?

The Software Assistant End User Licence Agreement can be found here.

‘The client with the same TFN has been detected’ is shown when signing returns for lodgment

There are two or more records created with the same client’s TFN. The records have to be merged or deleted.

To delete a redundant client record:

  1. Untick the 'Active' checkbox on left-hand-side navigator.
  2. Click on TFN column header to sort clients by TFN.
  3. Locate client by TFN and find below another client record with the same TFN.
  4. Delete the redundant client by selecting the client record and then selecting 'File | Delete client'.

To merge client records A and B:

  1. Export client A record to the file by right-clicking on the client’s record and selecting 'Export client to file (with docs)' menu.
  2. Delete client’s A record by selecting 'File | Delete client”.
  3. Right-click on client’s B record and select 'Change client code to…'
  4. Change client’s B code to client’s A code.
  5. Import client A from the export file by selecting 'File | Import data | Import exported clients'.
  6. Mark the records you wish to import (merge) in to client A (ex B).

How do I lodge Taxable payments annual report

Taxable payments annual report is not available on Software Assistant.

As per ATO's instructions, you can lodge online through:

  • ATO online services for individuals and sole traders – select ‘Tax’ then ‘Lodgments’ then ‘Taxable payments annual report’.
  • the ATO Business Portal – select ‘Online forms’ from the menu then ‘Taxable

Communication Exception occurred connecting to Vanguard STS

Error: Communication Exception occurred connecting to Vanguard STS
Affects: Can affect all forms
Resolution: Usually shown if the Windows date/time is set incorrectly. Check to ensure your date and time is set correctly via the Windows clock at the bottom right corner of your screen. This error can additionally be shown if a Firewall is active and is blocking the connection between yourself and the ATO. Try disabling your Anti-virus or Firewall and attempt to re-lodge.

How to change the form's name shown in the client's folder

  1. Open the form
  2. Click on the Status button
  3. Enter the new name in the Caption field
  4. Click on OK
  5. Press F5 to refresh

How to mark tax return as Final

Press the space bar on the keyboard to mark the tax return as Final

Update error - MS17EBF.tmp being detected by antivirus

If the MS17EBF.tmp is being detected by the antivirus software then you will need to add it to exceptions or pause the antivirus before running the update.

Individual 2019 – HECS – HELP Estimate

The HECS/HELP percentage was perviously calculating incorrectly for the 2019 IITR (20% rather than 2%). This issue has been rectified in the latest Assistant update.

Individual 2019 – LMITO July 2019 changes

The Federal government announced on Thurs 4th July that the Low Middle Income Tax Offset (LMITO) increase had been passed by the Lower House and the Senate.

The ATO have provided software developers with final guidelines for the LMITO changes. These changes have been included in the latest Assistant update.

Installation error – 'All licenses used'

If you are receiving an error stating "All Licenses used" upon registering Software Assistant on various machines, it could mean that Software Assistant is registered on more computers than what was purchased I renewed for 2019 or there could be an error upon registration.

If you have exceeded the license number you paid for, please call our sales staff who will be happy to discuss the discounted pricing structure of an extra license. 1800 074 333 (select sales) or contact your client manager directly.

If you have not exceeded the license number, please call or email support who will work through the issue with you.

Installation error – 'Common 1722'

If you are installing or upgrading Software Assistant and encounter an error stating 'common 1722' that is typically caused by anti virus software erroneously intervening during the install/upgrade process, resulting in a failure to correctly install.

We recommend you affirm Software Assistant as a trusted source within your anti virus software's "safe software listing" (located within your anti virus software). Please call your anti virus software supplier if help is required to complete this task, not Thomson Reuters support as we do not provide support for your anti virus software.

An alternative method would be to turn off your anti virus software whilst installing/upgrading. Remember to turn it back on, once the process is complete. This is not recommended as it may Leave your practice vulnerable for a short period.

If you are still receiving the error after amending your anti virus software's "safe" listing, please contact Thomson Reuters support.

Partnership/Trust 2019 – Validation Error Code 004/ 005

This error previously occurred when no values were distributed at item 55 - Statement of Distribution, label A "Share of Income - PP" and/or B "Share of Income - NPP".

This issue has now been resolved in the latest Assistant update. 

CMN.ATO.AS.EM060 - X was reported as XXXX and will be corrected to XXXX

Most likely the ATO records do not have the reported amounts so their system expects the item should be another amount. You will need to contact the ATO to get them to update their records for any variations before lodging the BAS/IAS form again.

CMN.ATO.GEN.001001 Mandatory field not supplied - Report TypeVariation Code

When the PLS Activity Statement form is created, the software will prefill from the ATO's server to get the document ID and type variation code. Refer to the ATO website for the list of type variations.
Type variation code field
If the PLS Activity Statements form does not prefill and you get the message, "no activity statement available" then the taxpayer has an ABN branch number, which you need to enter in the client details (next to the ABN) then create the form again.
ABN branch number field

The tax payer's ABN branch is shown on the tax agent portal > activity statement page. Next to the Activity Statement text, you may see 00#.

How do I create a BAS form or an IAS form for a client?

You must have a client record present before you can create an Activity Statement or other forms for the client.

  1. Click on the down arrow next to the 'New' button.
  2. Select 'PLS Activity Statement'
  3. Select the desired form.

How do I create a BAS/IAS form for other periods/ annual GST/ monthly period?

After a certain period, you will not be able to lodge BAS forms for a previous year using that year’s module (i.e. GA, GB, GI and GR forms). To lodge a previous year’s BAS form, create the form in a year that has PLS Activity Statement menu.

  1. Change the year period in the top right-hand corner of Assistant. Starting from 2014 and onwards will have the PLS Activity Statement.
  2. Select the client.
  3. Click on the down arrow next to the 'New' button and select 'PLS Activity Statement' and then the Activity Statement form required. 
  4. Enter the reporting period (located on the top right-hand corner of the form).
  5. Enter the ABN branch number, if required
  6. Go to tools > load values from PLS. This will force the software to prefill the form for the reporting period.

Please note, the ATO has removed 1H from the electronic BAS form. They have advised tax agents will need to lodge the form on the tax agent portal to report for the GST instalments

How to change the form's name shown in the client's folder

  1. Open the form
  2. Click on the Status button
  3. Enter the new name in the Caption field
  4. Click on OK
  5. Press F5 to refresh

Where can I find the Software Assistant End User Licence Agreement?

The Software Assistant End User Licence Agreement can be found here.

'Network initialization failed: Path not found' is shown when trying to open or upgrade Software Assistant.

You may need to 'Configure BDE' if your database is on a server or network drive.

  1. Open Register Assistant via the Windows Start Menu (run a search for the application)
  2. Click on Advanced
  3. Ensure the Data directory path is correct
  4. Click on Configure BDE
  5. Close the form
  6. Re-run the update or upgrade

How do I download Software Assistant’s complete installation or upgrades?

  1. Login to your user account from this link. If you have forgotten these details you can reset your password
  2. Click on ‘Update Centre’ from the left hand navigator
  3. You will be taken to the download page which will list all available downloads.

How do I download updates for Software Assistant?

There are numerous ways of downloading updates for Software Assistant.

    1. When a new update is released, we will send notification emails to all existing clients. The email will contain a download link to the update.
    2. When a new update is released, you will be automatically notified within Software Assistant via a popup message
    3. You can download updates directly from our website. Click here for latest updates

How do I uninstall Software Assistant?

  1. Open the Windows Control Panel
  2. Locate the application named 'Assistant'
  3. Uninstall the application. 

*Warning* Removing the Assistant application before taking a backup of your files may result in data loss. 

Installation error – 'All licenses used'

If you are receiving an error stating "All Licenses used" upon registering Software Assistant on various machines, it could mean that Software Assistant is registered on more computers than what was purchased I renewed for 2019 or there could be an error upon registration.

If you have exceeded the license number you paid for, please call our sales staff who will be happy to discuss the discounted pricing structure of an extra license. 1800 074 333 (select sales) or contact your client manager directly.

If you have not exceeded the license number, please call or email support who will work through the issue with you.

Installation error – 'Common 1722'

If you are installing or upgrading Software Assistant and encounter an error stating 'common 1722' that is typically caused by anti virus software erroneously intervening during the install/upgrade process, resulting in a failure to correctly install.

We recommend you affirm Software Assistant as a trusted source within your anti virus software's "safe software listing" (located within your anti virus software). Please call your anti virus software supplier if help is required to complete this task, not Thomson Reuters support as we do not provide support for your anti virus software.

An alternative method would be to turn off your anti virus software whilst installing/upgrading. Remember to turn it back on, once the process is complete. This is not recommended as it may Leave your practice vulnerable for a short period.

If you are still receiving the error after amending your anti virus software's "safe" listing, please contact Thomson Reuters support.

Update error - MS17EBF.tmp being detected by antivirus

If the MS17EBF.tmp is being detected by the antivirus software then you will need to add it to exceptions or pause the antivirus before running the update.

'Index is out of date' is shown when trying to open a return or ledger

If this occurs when you are trying to open Ledger:

  1. Close the Ledger.
  2. Select 'Tools > Repair ledger files'.
  3. Try to re-open the Ledger.

If this occurs when you are trying to open a tax form:

  1. Close Software Assistant.
  2. Open Verify and backup data via the Windows Start Menu
  3. Tick only the first three boxes.
  4. Click 'Proceed'.
  5. Re-open Software Assistant.

Bank feeds: How do they work?

Bank feeds are available at $22 per bank account annually with no ongoing fees or restrictions on number of downloaded transactions.

Order bank feeds on our order form. Bank feeds management will be added to your user portal, under the registrations section.

Use bank feeds management to register bank details. Net banking credentials will be required. Check with your client that the net banking account has an SMS code confirmation or any other security measure to prevent unauthorized transactions before registering the net banking details.

The bank feeds ID will be generated for each registered bank account and all available transactions will be downloaded to your user portal (usually three months of transactions). We use third-party services from Yodlee to retrieve the transactions.

The transactions will be refreshed automatically every night and stored in your user portal.

  1. Open ledger in Ledger Assistant and edit the appropriate bank account.
  2. Enter the bank feeds ID as generated in the user portal to associate the ledger account with the bank feeds connection.
  3. Select 'File > Import data > Import bank feeds' when ready to download bank transactions.
  4. Select the bank account from the accounts associated with the bank feeds and a period for which you wish to retrieve transactions.
  5. Transactions will be imported to the transaction import screen where Rules can be used to automatically allocate the account numbers to the transactions based on keywords in the transaction description, date, reference and other criteria.

How do I allocate profits to beneficiaries/members

Check you have setup beneficiaries/members accounts correctly. Refer to "How do I set up beneficiary/member accounts"

  1. Go to the Posting tab
  2. Click on Transaction Journal Wizard
  3.  Click on profit distribution/member accounts allocation
  4. Complete the profit distribution window
  5. Click on Transfer to post the transactions for the profit distribution to the beneficiaries/members

How do I create rental property accounts?

  1. Go to Posting tab
  2. Click on Transaction Journal Wizard Transaction Journal Wizard.PNG
  3. Select Setup Rental or Member Accounts
  4. Enter the name of the property (maximum character length with spaces is 42)
  5. Click on OK

If you have another rental property then repeat the steps and increase the Property ID number.

If you have more than 9 rental properties then you will need to increase the account length to 5 by going to client details > ledger tab.

How do I enter previous years transaction entries in the Ledger?

To create entries for a past financial year in the present year, you’ll need to configure that client’s ledger for a previous year.

  1. Open the Client Details form.
  2. Click on the Ledger tab.
  3. In the 'Year ends' field, enter a previous financial year.
  4. Click on the Ledger button. A general ledger will be created for the client with the current period being the year you specified.
  5. To create transactions for a later year, you have to double click on the 'Close Year' command.

How do I manually post to GST account

Post to 3529 GST payments/refunds account; otherwise, "G18 - Adjustments" will not calculate correctly in the GST report.

How do I post for closing inventory / livestock?

Make sure to transfer the inventory account or livestock account from the master chart of accounts before posting to them then follow the instructions below.

  1. Go to Posting tab
  2. Click on Transaction Journal Wizard Transaction Journal Wizard.PNG
  3. Select Closing Stock Adjustment
  4. Enter the inventory/ livestock details
  5. Click on the Transfer button to post the transactions

How do I set up beneficiary/member accounts

  1. Open client details panel
  2. Go to the Ledger tab
  3. Enter the number of beneficiaries/members
  4. Go to the Other tab
  5. Enter a number (starting from 1, not 01) and name (optional - percentage of income to be split)
  6. Go to the ledger > Postings tab > Transaction Journal Wizard > Setup Rental or Member Accounts
  7. Select the member then click on OK

Repeat the steps based on the number of beneficiaries/members listed for the entity.

If you have more than 9 beneficiaries/members then make sure to increase the account length to 5 or 6 by going to client details > ledger tab.

How to import transactions from a CSV file

  1. Select "File | Import data | Import ledger transactions" menu item in order to import comma-delimited or Tab-delimited file of transactions.
  2. You will have to set up the link between the accounts in the other package and accounts you use in Ledger Assistant. Therefore if the account link for the client has not been created, Ledger Assistant will suggest you set up this link prior to importing the file.
  3. First of all Ledger Assistant will display the columns of the selected import file. You will have to select the column type for each of the columns you wish to use. The following mandatory columns you must always nominate: Date, Account number, Amount (or Debit and Credit). The Balance category can be used for account balances without natural sign such as the export file of MYOB account balances.
    Since the QuickBooks export files usually do not have the account numbers, it is important to nominate QB Account Type and QB Account Name columns. These columns will then be used to match the QuickBooks accounts with the Ledger Assistant's accounts.
    Once the type of the columns has been selected and accepted by clicking on the button with the green tick image, Ledger Assistant will display the Import Transactions form that will show all transactions from the selected file.
  4. Now you will have to select the appropriate account for every transaction in the import file. When you select one match, Ledger Assistant will scan all the transactions and assign the same match for other transactions with the same account number. Header accounts can be indicated by using the account number "-1". Transactions with the account number "-1" will not be imported.
    When importing transactions from the internet banking system, the account numbers will not be present. Then you can use Rules to help you allocate the account number to each of the transactions.
  5. When all the transactions have been linked to the appropriate accounts, the file can be imported by clicking on the Transfer button.

Ledger Assistant will save the profile in the client's folder and if the next import file has the same accounts - Ledger Assistant will import it right away without prompting to setup the account link. If more than one profile is used for the client, Ledger Assistant will ask you to select the profile name every time you import the file. If the new accounts have been detected in the import file, Ledger Assistant will prompt you to set the link.

Random characters appearing on letters/ financial notes templates

The random characters will appear when you use MS word to edit the RTF templates. You should open the file with notepad or wordpad; otherwise go to File > Maintain templates > Notes to financial report and open the relevant template and click on the save button to re-save the file, which will remove the random characters.

The 'HP liability' account appears as an asset in the financial report.

Negative “Interest bearing liability” accounts (accounts 3200 – 3299) will be displayed as assets in the financial report. To force an account to stay in liability section, edit the account (“HP liability” in this case) in the accounts page by activating “Persistent category” option.

What happens when subscription ends

When the Tax Assistant license ends, you will have read-only access to all the years of the tax returns.

But with Ledger Assistant, you will only have read-only access for the last viewed financial period. Therefore, we recommend printing financial reports for all years.

What to do if you receive error $2501 upon opening Report Designer.

Please restart your machine and retry. If the problem persists, contact Software Assistant.

ATO Access Manager and your AUSKEY

What's changed?
The ATO has changed the process of how an AUSkey is used for PLS (SBR) lodgment. As a result, Tax Professionals may be required to make changes to their AUSkey permissions to control access to ATO online services.

When will I have to make these changes?
All users must make these changes before they attempt to lodge forms via PLS (when lodging via SBR). Failing to do so may result in rejection of tax forms when Lodging via PLS.

Why are we changing from the current system?
Tax Assistant has moved towards PLS, providing a digital way of interacting with the ATO. This is part of an initiative to simplify the process of engaging with multiple government agencies; one of which being the ATO.

How do I make these changes? 
For more information on how to make these changes, CLICK HERE

Error calling SBR Core Services/ Send Request Failed error

Most likely the ATO's PLS server is experiencing technical issues or under maintenance. You can check the ATO's status tracking website.

If the status is operational then contact the support team to troubleshoot the issue further.

How do I lodge an amendment for an Individual Return?

In order to lodge an Individual amendment form, you must have already lodged the original form and it must be in an ‘Accepted’ state.

  1. Open the original tax return.
  2. Make sure the status is marked as ‘Accepted’.
  3. Click on the arrow next to the ‘New’ button.
  4. Select ‘Tax forms’ and then ‘AR – Amend return or activity statement’ for 2011 and newer returns or ‘AI – Amendment of individual return’ for 2010 and earlier returns.
  5. Complete the amendment details, save and lodge the amendment return.

How do I lodge the Work-Related Expenses Schedule?

To lodge the Work Related Expenses Schedule (D1 to D5), click on the ‘Other’ tab and then mark the “Lodge Work-Related Expenses Schedule” checkbox.

Please note, the ATO has restricted the maximum character length of the schedule to 30 characters, starting from 2019 tax return.

Cannot load driver' is shown when opening the Assistant Diary.

This error is related to your printer drivers. This usually occurs when your printer is using a “Universal Print Driver” rather than the individual driver for your printer. Please download the individual printer driver for your printer from the manufactures website rather than using a Universal Print Driver.

'Assistant has NOT been registered’ is shown when trying to open Software Assistant.

  1. Open Register Assistant via the Windows Start Menu (run a search for this application)
  2. Ensure the software is showing as registered. Complete the registration process otherwise.

'DATA directory is blank or does not contain 'Clients.DB'' is shown when trying to Configure BDE

This error occurs when there is no Clients.DB file in the folder you are trying to link Assistant with. Verify that your data directory is correct. You must have a Clients.DB file in your data directory. If not, you are either pointing to the wrong directory, or you may have a corrupt DB file.

How can I de-register Software Assistant?

Follow the steps below to de-register Software Assistant from your computer.

  1. Open Register Assistant (run a search for this application via your Windows Start Menu)
  2. Un-tick the modules that you wish to de-register.
  3. A message will appear asking if you would like to de-register the module, click 'Yes'.
  4. Click on the 'Register' button.
  5. The registration form will connect to our server and de-register the selected modules from your computer.

You can now register Software Assistant on another computer.

How do I manually register Software Assistant?

If you are having firewall problems when trying to register then you can register Software Assistant manually by following these steps.

  1. Open Register Assistant via your Windows Start Menu (run a search for this application). 
  2. Tick the modules you wish to register. Do not close this form yet.
  3. On our website, Login to your user account 
  4. Select 'My Registrations' from the navigator.
  5. Click on the '+ Register' button
  6. Enter your Computer Name, Computer User and Serial Number in the boxes provided, then click on the green tick to generate an Activation code. You can find this information from the Register Assistant form you opened earlier. 
  7. Under the selected module you will now have an Activation code listed. Copy this code into the Activation code box of the Register Assistant form to register each module.

I receive the error 'Assistant’s registry items have been detected in virtual store'

Please contact us for assistance with this issue. 

What happens when subscription ends

When the Tax Assistant license ends, you will have read-only access to all the years of the tax returns.

But with Ledger Assistant, you will only have read-only access for the last viewed financial period. Therefore, we recommend printing financial reports for all years.

When trying to register Software Assistant, no activation codes appear, or 'Cannot find server' is shown.

If no activation codes appear when you click try to register Assistant, check to make sure no firewall programs are blocking the registration form from accessing our server. This is common with CA, Norton, BitDefender, Trend and Avast Anti-virus. Either disable the firewall completely or add an exception to allow “register.exe” to access the internet. This file can be found in the following location:  C:\Program Files (x86)\Software Assistant\Assistant

If you receive a “Cannot find server” error message, check that your Internet connection is active and try again.

If you are still unable to register, you may be able to register the software manually.

Does Software Assistant have Single Touch Payroll (STP) reporting capabilities?

We are not implementing STP reporting (Single Touch Payroll) in Software Assistant at this stage. 

'Index is out of date' is shown when trying to open a return or ledger

If this occurs when you are trying to open Ledger:

  1. Close the Ledger.
  2. Select 'Tools > Repair ledger files'.
  3. Try to re-open the Ledger.

If this occurs when you are trying to open a tax form:

  1. Close Software Assistant.
  2. Open Verify and backup data via the Windows Start Menu
  3. Tick only the first three boxes.
  4. Click 'Proceed'.
  5. Re-open Software Assistant.

'Invalid date format' is shown when opening a return or worksheet.

To rectify this issue:

  1. Open the Windows Control Panel.
  2. Select Region and Language (or regional language and settings).
  3. Under 'Format' change to any other language.
  4. Press Apply
  5. Change language back to your preferred format
  6. Re-open the tax form.

'The directory is being controlled by another .net user' is shown when trying to open Assistant.

This problem can be caused by the computers on the network having a different database path to one another.

  1. Make sure everyone on the network has logged out of Software Assistant.
  2. Go to Assistant’s Data folder, usually 'C:\ProgramData\Software Assistant\Assistant\Data', unless your data is on a network drive.
  3. Locate the following files 'PDOXUSRS.NET' and 'PROXUSRS.LCK' and delete these files if present.
  4. Open Register Assistant via the Windows Start Menu (search for this application)
  5. Click on Advanced
  6. Check that the data directory is correct in the registration form then click on the 'Configure BDE' button.
  7. Repeat the above step on all computers. Make sure all computers have the same data path (the drive letter can be different but the rest of the path to Software Assistant’s data has to be identical on all computers).
  8. Open Verify and backup data via the Windows Start Menu (search for this application). 
  9. Tick the first three boxes only and click on ‘Proceed.’
  10. Attempt to run Software Assistant on all computers.

CMN.ATO.GEN.500054 - Intermediary declarer Australian Business Number has failed the algorithm check

Enter the tax agent's ABN in Options as the intermediary declarer refers to the tax agent.

CMN.ATO.IITR.200001 - Questions relating to the full individual return form must be answered

Items 18G, 19I, 19W and 20P are required to be answered to pass the validation error.

CMN.ATO.IITR.310066 - Capital Gains Tax schedule required

When the net capital gain is in excess of $10,000 a Capital Gains Tax schedule must be attached. The capital gains tax schedule and all other schedules are located on the navigator panel as shown.

 Capital gains tax schedule

Error calling SBR Core Services/ Send Request Failed error

Most likely the ATO's PLS server is experiencing technical issues or under maintenance. You can check the ATO's status tracking website.

If the status is operational then contact the support team to troubleshoot the issue further.

ERROR_ITEM_VALUE_INVALID_PATTERN : "XXXX" does not match the pattern "[0-9]{2}"

The telephone area code on the cover page and/or declaration page of the tax return can only be two digits long. You will need to delete and retype the telephone area code so the fields are correctly updated.

Fonts are not displayed correctly, are condensed or unreadable

Microsoft update KB3013455 breaks the way Arial font is displayed across certain applications. This only affects users running Windows Vista SP2 or Windows Server 2003 SP2. Users are advised to uninstall the update and restart the computer to resolve the problem until Microsoft can correct this issue.

How do I create a BAS form or an IAS form for a client?

You must have a client record present before you can create an Activity Statement or other forms for the client.

  1. Click on the down arrow next to the 'New' button.
  2. Select 'PLS Activity Statement'
  3. Select the desired form.

How do I create a BAS/IAS form for other periods/ annual GST/ monthly period?

After a certain period, you will not be able to lodge BAS forms for a previous year using that year’s module (i.e. GA, GB, GI and GR forms). To lodge a previous year’s BAS form, create the form in a year that has PLS Activity Statement menu.

  1. Change the year period in the top right-hand corner of Assistant. Starting from 2014 and onwards will have the PLS Activity Statement.
  2. Select the client.
  3. Click on the down arrow next to the 'New' button and select 'PLS Activity Statement' and then the Activity Statement form required. 
  4. Enter the reporting period (located on the top right-hand corner of the form).
  5. Enter the ABN branch number, if required
  6. Go to tools > load values from PLS. This will force the software to prefill the form for the reporting period.

Please note, the ATO has removed 1H from the electronic BAS form. They have advised tax agents will need to lodge the form on the tax agent portal to report for the GST instalments

How do I lodge an early tax return

The early year of the tax return is not available. You can use the software to enter the data and print the tax return to mail it to the ATO. Make sure to cross out the year and mark the correct year on the tax return. Refer to the ATO website for more information.

Post your completed tax return to:
Australian Taxation Office
GPO Box 9845
[insert the name and postcode of your capital city]

How do I recover lost or forgotten client record passwords?

If you have lost or forgotten a client record password, please contact support for assistance.

How do I reset the Software Assistant layout?

  1. Click on the 'View' tab in Assistant.
  2. Select 'Default layout'.

How do I restore from a backup file?

To fully utilise Software Assistant’s restore facility, you should set the backup feature to backup the database every day. This way you will have a wide range of backups to choose from. Assistant backup files are located in the Backup folder in Assistant’s Data folder.

To restore from a backup:

  1. Select 'File > Restore from backup…' to open the Restore data form.
  2. The Restore Data form will list all the backup files available to restore from, sorted from earliest to latest. Select the backup file from the list and click Next.
  3. The Restore Data form will now show contents of the backup file. From here you can choose to earlier restore all data for a particular client or restore only the selected documents.
  4. To restore all data for a client: select the client from the list, mark the 'Restore all client data' option and then click on Restore. Repeat this if you wish to restore data for another client.
  5. To restore only the selected document: select the client from the list, then in the Client’s folder window, select the document that you wish to restore, mark the 'Restore selected document' option and then click on Restore. Repeat this if you wish to restore another document.
  6. Click on the Close button to exit the Restore Data form.

How is a client activated or deactivated?

To deactivate a client:

  1. Select the client from the client list.
  2. Select 'File > Deactivate client'. The deactivated client will not be shown in the client list unless the 'Active' filter is disabled.

To activate an inactive client:

  1. Remove the tick from the 'Active' filter on the left-hand navigation bar.
  2. Find the inactive client from the list. Inactive clients are indicated by their pale colour.
  3. Select 'File > Activate client'. This command will only be available when an inactive client is selected.

How is the Software Assistant database transferred between computers?

There are a few ways of doing this. The easiest way would be to copy and paste the entire data folder from the current computer to the same location on the new computer. Alternatively, you can also mark and export the clients and then import them into the new computer.

To copy the data folder:

  1. Locate the data folder on the current computer. The default path is 'C:\ProgramData\Software Assistant\Assistant\Data'. You can check your location via Options > Directories in Assistant. 
  2. Connect a USB flash drive.
  3. Right click on the data folder and select 'Copy'.
  4. Navigate to the flash drive, right click and select 'Paste'.
  5. Insert the flash drive into the new computer.
  6. Copy the data folder from the USB flash drive to Assistant’s existing data folder on the new computer. Click 'Yes' when asked to overwrite the existing files.

To transfer the clients using export/import:

  1. Right click on the client list and select 'Mark/Unmark clients …' .
  2. Click on mark 'All clients' and click 'Execute'.
  3. Select 'File > Export data > Marked clients'.
  4. Save the zip file to a USB flash drive.
  5. Connect the flash drive to the new computer.
  6. In Assistant, select 'File > Import data > Import exported clients'.
  7. Locate the zip file that you saved onto the USB drive, and click 'Open'.
  8. The clients will be automatically transferred into the client list.

I am unable to change the status of returns or forms

Make sure that the return has been saved first and that there are no validation errors present. Also make sure that your user account has access rights to sign returns.

I cannot get my company logo to show in various letter templates

To insert your company logo into a letter template:

  1. Locate the graphic, right-click on the file and select Edit
  2. Select the image and select 'Edit | Copy'.
  3. Open the Assistant Letter Editor and open the desired template you would like to edit
  4. Place your mouse cursor in the place where you wish to insert the image (it should not be the very first line on the template; insert a blank line with before you insert your logo).
  5. Press 'Shift-Insert' or 'CTRL+V' to paste the image.

Random characters appearing on letters/ financial notes templates

The random characters will appear when you use MS word to edit the RTF templates. You should open the file with notepad or wordpad; otherwise go to File > Maintain templates > Notes to financial report and open the relevant template and click on the save button to re-save the file, which will remove the random characters.

Returns are not shown in the lodgment queue even after setting the return status to ‘signed’.

If you have set the return status to signed and it is still not showing up when you click on the PLS button, then the agent reference number in the Options form does not match the agent number in the tax return, or it is missing. Software Assistant will only include tax returns in the lodgment process if their agent reference number matches the one entered in the User section of Software Assistant’s Options.

  1. Open Software Assistant’s Options.
  2. Make sure the agent reference number in the tax return (at the bottom of the ‘consent’ page) matches the one used in Software Assistant’s Options.

What happens when subscription ends

When the Tax Assistant license ends, you will have read-only access to all the years of the tax returns.

But with Ledger Assistant, you will only have read-only access for the last viewed financial period. Therefore, we recommend printing financial reports for all years.

When printing reports, the date format is incorrect.

  1. Open the Windows Control Panel.
  2. Select Region and Language (or Regional language and settings).
  3. Under 'Format' change to any other language and press Apply
  4. Change the 'Format' back to your preferred format.
  5. Re-open Tax Assistant

When trying to print a report, you receive the '1722 RPC server unavailable' error.

This error is caused by your Firewall blocking access from Software Assistant to print. You must allow Assistant.exe permission through your Firewall or add this executable to your firewalls trusted list. es displayed are missing from Software Assistant’s Data folder. Restore the missing files.

When trying to view help by pressing the ‘F1’ key, nothing is displayed.

You may be missing certain Software Assistant help files, or your keyboard is configured incorrectly.

  1. If you have a Microsoft keyboard, make sure the ‘F-Lock’ key is turned ‘OFF’. Try to re-open the help files.
  2. If you still cannot access the help files, navigate to 'C:\Program Files\Software Assistant\Assistant\Help'. If you are using 64 bit Windows, this directory will be 'C:\Program Files (x86)\Software Assistant\Assistant\Help'.
  3. Check to see whether you have help files for the year you are working on. These will be indicated by the return name followed by the year. E.g. ITR20XX, FTR20XX, Forms20XX.
  4. If you do not have these files, please re-install Software Assistant or download the full-install from our website.

‘The client with the same TFN has been detected’ is shown when signing returns for lodgment

There are two or more records created with the same client’s TFN. The records have to be merged or deleted.

To delete a redundant client record:

  1. Untick the 'Active' checkbox on left-hand-side navigator.
  2. Click on TFN column header to sort clients by TFN.
  3. Locate client by TFN and find below another client record with the same TFN.
  4. Delete the redundant client by selecting the client record and then selecting 'File | Delete client'.

To merge client records A and B:

  1. Export client A record to the file by right-clicking on the client’s record and selecting 'Export client to file (with docs)' menu.
  2. Delete client’s A record by selecting 'File | Delete client”.
  3. Right-click on client’s B record and select 'Change client code to…'
  4. Change client’s B code to client’s A code.
  5. Import client A from the export file by selecting 'File | Import data | Import exported clients'.
  6. Mark the records you wish to import (merge) in to client A (ex B).

How do I lodge Taxable payments annual report

Taxable payments annual report is not available on Software Assistant.

As per ATO's instructions, you can lodge online through:

  • ATO online services for individuals and sole traders – select ‘Tax’ then ‘Lodgments’ then ‘Taxable payments annual report’.
  • the ATO Business Portal – select ‘Online forms’ from the menu then ‘Taxable

How to change the form's name shown in the client's folder

  1. Open the form
  2. Click on the Status button
  3. Enter the new name in the Caption field
  4. Click on OK
  5. Press F5 to refresh

How to mark tax return as Final

Press the space bar on the keyboard to mark the tax return as Final

CMN.ATO.AS.EM060 - X was reported as XXXX and will be corrected to XXXX

Most likely the ATO records do not have the reported amounts so their system expects the item should be another amount. You will need to contact the ATO to get them to update their records for any variations before lodging the BAS/IAS form again.

CMN.ATO.GEN.001001 Mandatory field not supplied - Report TypeVariation Code

When the PLS Activity Statement form is created, the software will prefill from the ATO's server to get the document ID and type variation code. Refer to the ATO website for the list of type variations.
Type variation code field
If the PLS Activity Statements form does not prefill and you get the message, "no activity statement available" then the taxpayer has an ABN branch number, which you need to enter in the client details (next to the ABN) then create the form again.
ABN branch number field

The tax payer's ABN branch is shown on the tax agent portal > activity statement page. Next to the Activity Statement text, you may see 00#.

CMN.ATO.GEN.500054 - Intermediary declarer Australian Business Number has failed the algorithm check

Enter the tax agent's ABN in Options as the intermediary declarer refers to the tax agent.

CMN.ATO.IITR.200001 - Questions relating to the full individual return form must be answered

Items 18G, 19I, 19W and 20P are required to be answered to pass the validation error.

CMN.ATO.IITR.210016 - Spouse Details Required

Make sure you have completed item IT8 Number of Dependent Children on the Test tab.

CMN.ATO.IITR.310066 - Capital Gains Tax schedule required

When the net capital gain is in excess of $10,000 a Capital Gains Tax schedule must be attached. The capital gains tax schedule and all other schedules are located on the navigator panel as shown.

 Capital gains tax schedule

ERROR_ITEM_VALUE_INVALID_PATTERN : "XXXX" does not match the pattern "[0-9]{2}"

The telephone area code on the cover page and/or declaration page of the tax return can only be two digits long. You will need to delete and retype the telephone area code so the fields are correctly updated.

ERROR_ITEM_VALUE_MAX_LENGTH_INVALID : Invalid length XX, where maximum length expected was 30

Due to the implementation of the Granular Data Reporting, the ATO has restricted the description length to a maximum of 30 characters (includes spacing) per line. Therefore check the description that the validation error has identified is no longer than 30 characters. If all the descriptions are fine then refer to the steps below.

The work related expenses schedule description is rolling forward from a prior-year tax return. If it is no longer needed then you should delete it or shorten the text to a maximum of 30 characters as per ATO requirements.

  1. Go to the Other tab
  2. Tick the work related expenses schedule box
  3. Go to the item worksheet the validation error is referring to
  4. Remove the text in the top box or shorten it to only 30 characters
  5. Click on the save button on the worksheet
  6. Go back to the Other tab and remove the work related expenses schedule tick box.

Partnership/Trust 2019 – Validation Error Code 004/ 005

This error previously occurred when no values were distributed at item 55 - Statement of Distribution, label A "Share of Income - PP" and/or B "Share of Income - NPP".

This issue has now been resolved in the latest Assistant update. 

V2885 - Subtotal 2 must equal subtotal less Non-refundable carry forward tax offsets

Restart the software to resolve the validation error.

Communication Exception occurred connecting to Vanguard STS

Error: Communication Exception occurred connecting to Vanguard STS
Affects: Can affect all forms
Resolution: Usually shown if the Windows date/time is set incorrectly. Check to ensure your date and time is set correctly via the Windows clock at the bottom right corner of your screen. This error can additionally be shown if a Firewall is active and is blocking the connection between yourself and the ATO. Try disabling your Anti-virus or Firewall and attempt to re-lodge.