Work With Data Monitors

Updated: 2020-09-29

Data monitors appear in a grey bar at the bottom of the TaxCycle window. They allow you to monitor information in the open tax return without jumping to a specific form.

Screen Capture: Data Monitor

The colours and font help you know at a glance what's going on:

  • Negative amounts appear in red and with parentheses around the number.
  • Positive amounts are in green.
  • Any whose value has just changed shows in bold text. So, it's easy to spot updated information.

Default Data Monitors

Each TaxCycle module starts with default data monitors for you to use. You can add your own (see below), remove the default monitors, and/or edit the expressions within them to change their behaviour. (See the Data Monitor Expressions help topic for advanced editing of expressions.)

If you've added or modified data monitors and you want to revert to the default data monitors, right-click on the data monitor bar and click Default data monitors.

Screen Capture: Default Data Monitors

Preset Data Monitors

Use these presets to learn how to create your own data monitors with conditional colours and descriptions. (See the Data Monitor Expressions help topic for advanced editing of expressions.) You can enter other colours into the field, without a condition, to always show that monitor in a particular colour.

  1. Right-click on a data monitor cell.
  2. Select Presets.
  3. Under this menu, you can choose from a list of preset expressions. (See the Data Monitor Expressions help topic for what each preset does.)

Screen Capture: Data Monitor Presets

Add Data Monitors

To add a field to a data monitor cell

  1. Place your cursor in the field you want to monitor.
  2. Click the plus sign on the bottom right, or right-click on a blank field and select Monitor current field, or drag and drop the field onto an empty cell.
  3. When you click the plus sign or right-click option, TaxCycle drops the new monitor in the first empty space on the left. And, when there are no more empty cells, it adds a new row.

Screen Captures: Add Data Monitors

Drag and Drop a Data Monitor

To move a data monitor to a different spot, drag it and drop it onto a blank cell.

Screen Capture: Drag and Drop and Data Monitor

Show Field Code in the Data Monitor

The field code for the currently-active field always shows in the blue bar at bottom left of the TaxCycle windows. (Click on this also copies it to your clipboard.)

If you prefer, you can add a data monitor to show the current field code. Right click on a cell in the data monitor and select Show field code. Unlike the link in the blue bar at the bottom of the window, clicking on the data monitor cell when showing the current field code does nothing. It does not copy it to your clipboard and it does not take you to the related field.

Edit a Data Monitor

  1. Right click on a data monitor cell and select Edit data monitor.
  2. At the top of the dialog box, choose the type of monitor to use.
    • Expression allows you create a calculation or to test an assumption. To learn more, read the Data Monitor Expressions help topic.
    • Field code shows the field code of the current field where your cursor is.
    • Spouse value shows the value in the same field where your cursor is on the spouse's return.
    • Prior year value shows the value of the same field in the prior year.
    • Blank leaves the data monitor cell blank.
  3. Click OK to save your changes.

Screen Capture: Edit Data Monitor

Carry Forward Data Monitors from the Prior Year

  1. Open a current-year tax return.
  2. Right-click on a data monitor and select Carry forward data monitors from prior year to bring the data monitors forward from the prior year.

Delete a Data Monitor

Right-click on a data monitor cell and select Delete data monitor.

Share the Data Monitors

Once you have created a set of data monitors you like, you can share them with others in your office, or copy and paste them to a new machine. Learn how in the Share Data Monitors help topic.