AccountEdge Network Edition Speed Issues on Macs
Macintosh Multi-User Speed Issues
- Operating System Issues
- AccountEdge Pro
- Software Version Consistency Issues
- Information Hosted on Local Machines
- AccountEdge Data Issues
- Network Factors
- Hardware Factors
Operating System Issues
AccountEdge Network Edition relies on the Apple Bonjour protocol which is sometimes updated with new releases of macOS. For this reason, it is especially important that all workstations running AccountEdge Network Edition are on the same version and build of macOS to prevent any updates to Bonjour from impacting AccountEdge.
AccountEdge Pro vs. AccountEdge Network Edition
We have two distinct software products for macOS: AccountEdge Pro (our single-user software) and AccountEdge Network Edition. If you are using AccountEdge Pro, you should always be storing your data on a local machine -- not on a different server or in iCloud, DropBox, or any other type of cloud service.
AccountEdge Network Edition is designed for simultaneous multi-user access on Macs. With AccountEdge Network Edition, one Mac acts as the host and the other computers (clients) connect to that host machine through a local area network.
Software Version Consistency Issues
As with the operating system, the same is true for your AccountEdge software. We publish new versions of our FileConnect protocol from time to time with updates to AccountEdge Network Edition. FileConnect can only communicate with the exact same version across a network. So if client computers and the host Mac get out of sync in terms of being updated, it can prevent AccountEdge Network Edition from functioning. Example: If your host Mac is running FileConnect 26.0.1 but your client Macs have FileConnect 26.0.0 installed, the client Macs will not be able to see the AccountEdge file(s) on the host Mac.
To prevent this from becoming an issue, you can set your AccountEdge to automatically check for updates. To do this:
- With your AccountEdge Software open at the top of your screen open the "Preferences" menu
- From that dropdown, select "Preferences"
- Navigate to the "System" tab of the Preferences window
- The first option in that window will be "Automatically Check for Updates"
Check this option off on all AccountEdge Network Edition workstations including the host to ensure they remain on the latest version.
You can also check for updates manually at any time.
- With your AccountEdge Software open at the top left of your screen open the "AccountEdge NE" menu
- From that dropdown, select "Check For Updates"
Information Hosted on Local Machines
The host machine for AccountEdge Network Edition requires a distinct static file hierarchy that is configured during AccountEdge's installation to be able to consistently access and serve data to client machines on the network. However, only the data file should be stored remotely on the host machine. Everything else should be installed and run locally on client machines. AccountEdge asset files (such as custom forms, invoices, and checks) should be copied onto all client machines to be locally accessible on each computer.
AccountEdge Network Edition achieves its networking ability through FileConnect which uses a Macintosh routing protocol known as Bonjour. This greatly simplifies the process of establishing a TCP/IP connection. A computer running FileConnect acts as the host (aka center point aka server) of the AccountEdge network. Thus, the host computer for AccountEdge Network Edition should be the strongest and fastest computer on your network. The host Mac is the computer where your data file will be hosted and broadcast across the network to all client workstations.
FileConnect works by constantly sending and receiving data packets across the network to confirm connectivity with client workstations. To prevent this data from overwhelming the network and consuming valuable resources, ensure that only one machine is actively running FileConnect and broadcasting on the network. What this means is that you should only have one host Mac. We do not advise running AccountEdge Network Edition with more than one host Mac. AccountEdge's technical support staff cannot assist with any issues that may arise from the software being used in ways for which it was not designed.
AccountEdge Company File Factors
Data File Size
Many of AccountEdge's processes (running reports, bringing up lists, running payroll, etc.) need to sort through vast portions of your data or even the entirety of your file. The size of your data file directly impacts how long it takes to run these processes.
A normal file size is between 80-200 MBs. While it is possible to use AccountEdge with a much larger file, if your file exceeds 200 MBs, its larger size can contribute to a drop in network performance. To address this issue, there are several tools in AccountEdge to reduce the size of your company file.
Optimizing the Company File
As AccountEdge is used day-to-day, information is constantly being written and rewritten to various parts of your data file. Sometimes that information is not recorded optimally due to the extant circumstances within your operating environment. This situation doesn't threaten the integrity of your data, but if your file's information is not recorded optimally, it can result in a speed performance drop while the program searches within your file for the information you need.
To combat any slowdown issues that may be caused by non-optimal data organization, AccountEdge includes a tool (the Company File Optimizer) that operates in a similar way to defragmenting a hard drive by rebuilding a fresh copy of your AccountEdge database file and streamlining your data so that it can be accessed more efficiently. The optimization process can help reduce file size and increase performance with large company files. Pro Tip: The Company File Optimizer should always be run after purging data or starting a new fiscal year.
AccountEdge is accounting software designed for small- to medium-sized businesses. As your company grows, it is possible to outgrow AccountEdge for your business' accounting needs. If you run into speed issues with AccountEdge, you may want to make certain considerations:
- How many users are accessing AccountEdge? Up to 10 users is generally a reasonable amount, but any more than that might mean it's time to look toward enterprise-level accounting software.
- How many entries are in your transaction journal? How many items do you inventory? How many customer cards do you keep active? How many jobs do you track? Why do you still have checks from 2003 in your current data file? The sheer volume of the data you keep in your current company file is an important consideration. Generally, AccountEdge's efficiency will decline beyond a limit of about 6,500 of any of the aforementioned data points. If your company file has more than 6,500 cards, jobs, items, etc., that will most likely cause AccountEdge's speed to drop.
- How many transactions do you handle in the course of the day? If you are recording hundreds of transactions every single day, then you may need to look for a software package designed to manage this sort of volume. Again: AccountEdge is designed for small- to medium-sized businesses.
If you feel you have outgrown AccountEdge, click here for additional software options.
Multiple Network Connections (Ethernet and Wi-Fi)
If you are using an Ethernet connection to access your network, you should disable your Wi-Fi connection. If both connection types are available on your computer, having both types enabled at the same time can cause problems; you may actually be using your slower Wi-Fi connection instead of your faster Ethernet connection. You can disable your Wi-Fi by going to Apple > System Preferences > Network and then choosing to "Turn Wi-Fi Off."
Wired vs. Wireless
We recommend using a wired network for office environments planning to utilize AccountEdge's networking capabilities. Wired networks perform orders of magnitude faster than wireless setups. Wired networks are also far more stable and can help minimize network speed drops while keeping your business running more reliably.
If you are using AccountEdge in a wireless network environment and experience latency or reliability issues, we advise switching to a wired network configuration.
Several factors -- some beyond the scope of this article -- can contribute to how fast AccountEdge runs in a networked environment. Everything from the quality of the cables you use in your network to the hardware in each individual computer can affect AccountEdge's network performance for all users. Oftentimes, a network can only run as fast as its slowest link. For example, you can designate the latest and greatest Mac as your host computer, but if you continue to use AccountEdge Network Edition on a 10-year-old Mac client, that old Mac is going to negatively impact AccountEdge's speed across your entire network -- even on your lightning-fast new Mac.
Generally, hardware factors should be the last thing you consider because hardware upgrades are expensive. While you do need to meet the minimum system requirements to use AccountEdge, we suggest tackling the problems addressed earlier in this article before buying an expensive server.
File Storage: HDDs vs. SSDs
Computers have been using magnetic platter-type hard disk drives for data storage for the past several decades. But SSDs (Solid State Drives) have become more prevalent in recent years. Solid state drives can access and write data much faster than almost all platter-type hard disk drives.
Upgrading your computer's storage from an HDD to an SSD, or moving your company file to an SSD, can provide a big boost toward speeding up AccountEdge in a network environment.
If using a wired network to run AccountEdge in a network configuration, the actual cables you use will play a large role in performance. If almost all the wires in a network are brand-new CAT6 cables but just one isolated segment still utilizes an old CAT5 cable, the entire network can be bottlenecked by that outdated cable.
If you recently upgraded your network hardware but are not seeing any increase in performance, ensure there are no bottlenecks holding you back.