Network Performance Tips Windows
Please Note: AccountEdge was not designed to run on Windows Small Business Server. Users running Small Business Server may experience speed issues. Please see this article contains further information regarding problems with using Small Business Server.
When running in multi-user mode, the software relies heavily on your network to accomplish its tasks. It's important that your network is set up to run as efficiently as possible to get the most out of sharing your company file with multiple users across a Windows network. Even the slightest drag on your network's resources can slow down the processing of the tasks you perform in the program.
Your Computer's Hard Disk
Be sure all of your computers meet or exceed the minimum system requirements. You can find the system requirements here: http://www.accountedge.com/system-requirements/
We highly recommend using a SSD (solid state drive) for storing the data file. Solid State Drives are much faster than disc based hard drives.
Warning: most likely you have PCs with different speed processors. Because AccountEdge runs as a peer-to-peer network in multi-user mode, having one older, slower computer may reduce the performance of the software for all users.
Having everyone on the same operating system can also make a positive impact on performance. Having one older PC running Windows 2000 and the rest of your computers on Windows 7 may cause issues and degrade performance.
If possible, try to keep a substantial amount of free hard disk space on your computers. We recommend that at least 5 to 10 percent of the size of your hard disk should be unused. The more free hard disk space on a computer, the faster its performance.
On the computer that will be used to store your company file, check to see that only the folder which contains the company files are shared. Do not share the entire hard drive.
Check for additional shared files or databases on that computer that might be accessed by the computers on the network. If such files do exist, keep in mind that the increased activity on the network will slow the performance down. You might want to consider moving the files to other computers on the network. In other words, if you are sharing various folders and files including your company file, you will see a dip in performance because of all of the network traffic to that PC.
Your Computer's Memory
Although AccountEdge for Windows can run on 2GB of RAM (as of 2018, again check the latest system requirements) you'll find that increased amounts of memory will improve your system's performance. If possible, upgrade your computers to at least 4GB of RAM or more.
Simply put, the faster your network, the faster AccountEdge will send and receive messages across the network. If you currently use an ethernet network that runs at 100MBps and you're not satisfied with the speed of your network, you may wish to upgrade to a 1000MBps fast ethernet network. Gigabit hubs and ethernet cards are very affordable these days and are now standard in new PCs. A gigabit network will be significantly faster than a 10/100BaseT hub.
Also consider upgrading each of your computer's ethernet cards to be as fast as possible. One older computer running a 10BaseT ethernet card on a network with a gigabit hub/switch and all Gigabit PCs will slow down everyone else's performance. In other words, the slowest computer on your network may effect everyone's performance.
Be sure your network uses high-quality twisted pair cable. Category 5 (CAT-5) cable is recommended.
If you're running a wireless network, be aware that depending on your wireless router, you may be running at half the speed of a wired ethernet network. As an example, a router that can run at a theoretical speed (without any interference, no walls, etc) of 54Mbs, is half the speed of a 100BaseT wired network and 20 times slower than 1000BaseT. If you are going to share an AccountEdge company file across a wired network, be sure to install the fastest router that you can and be sure to locate it in a place where little interference is found. Loosing a connection to your company file while recording financial transactions is not healthy for the company file and will cause network errors.
We recommend that you keep your network as free of traffic as possible when the AccountEdge company file is in use. The program requires a significant amount of attention from the network when it's recording and processing your company's financial data; if other programs are requesting network resources at the same time, you'll probably experience slower performance.
- Unchecking the 'Automatically Refresh Lists When Information Changes' option under the System tab in the Preferences menu will reduce the amount of network traffic AccountEdge will send.
- Be aware that if you check for duplicate transaction ID numbers (checks, invoices, bills), that it may take longer to record transactions. Writing contact log entries for all your recorded transactions also causes additional writing to the file, and therefor, takes more time.
- Use Easy-Fill when entering card names and account and item numbers. When you're entering a name or number in a transaction entry window, use the Easy-Fill technology to select the name or number quickly. To use Easy-Fill, simply begin typing the name or number of the card, account or item you want; the program will fill in the rest of the text for you. If you use the other method for making a selection—using the search icon to display a list of available cards, accounts or items—it will take you much longer to make the choice you want.
- Mark the 'Prevent Data Changes During Report Generation' selection in the Finishing tab of the report's Customize window. When others are using the company file, they could be making changes to the information you're trying to print. When this happens, the program must recalculate and reorganize the information you're attempting to print while the report is being generated; this can cause the report-printing process to slow down considerably. When you enable this option, other users won't be allowed to make changes to the data you're trying to print until the report is generated. This option is available in AccountEdge Network Edition and AccountEdge for Windows (multi-user environments).
- Avoid leaving list windows open on your computer screen. The Transaction Journal window and all Register windows are affected by the transactions that others make. If these windows are open while you're working, you may be forced to wait while the information in these windows is updated.
- Use only a few linked accounts for inventory items. The more accounts you use to link to your inventory items, the longer it takes to record transactions that include items. If it's possible, try to limit the number of accounts you assign to your items to a few specific accounts.
- Combine line item quantities on invoices and purchase orders. If you're including the same inventory item on more than one line item of a transaction, try to combine the line items instead. It can calculate costs and inventory counts much more quickly when an inventory item appears on only one line item in a transaction.
- Generate large reports when you're the only person using the company file. Even when the 'Prevent Data Changes During Report Generation' option in the Preferences window is selected, large reports may take more time to be created when other users are using the company file. For best results, wait until other users are not using the company file to print large reports.
- Print reports by a specific month instead of by a date range. Some reports allow you to select a month or range of months to print. These reports can be generated more quickly if you select a month to print instead of a specific range of dates.
Further Troubleshooting Tips
- The software itself needs to be installed on the computer you are running it on. Make sure that your shortcut is pointing to software that is installed on your machine—not software that is installed on another workstation or server (you can do this by right-clicking on the AccountEdge icon and choosing "Properties." You want the Target: to be pointing to C:\AccountEdgePro*Year*
- Make sure that your custom forms are stored locally. They should not be stored on a networked drive—but on each individual user's machine. You can double check the location of this by opening your company file and going to Accounts > Company Data Auditor. The line that reads Custom Forms, etc., should point to your own machine.
- Consider how many users you have as well as the size of the data file. If you have more then 3-4 users consider using terminal server—while we do not support or test the implementation of this (and cannot troubleshoot network errors due to this) we have seen many companies who experience significant performance increases as the information is no longer being pulled back and forth across the network but instead each user is operating locally on the server.
- File size is often an issue. One of the major culprits can be the reminder log. If you do not use the reminder log—consider purging it. You can do this by going to the card file and choosing File > Purge Reminder Logs. Make sure do this locally and not across the network.
AccountEdge Multi User Network Tips & TricksClick here to view our consultant made PDF about Network Tips & Tricks
The above PDF was created by Len Levin of Business Systems Consulting. He is an AccountEdge Elite Certified Consultant.