On July 20, 2016 CaseWare Working Papers users started to receive email notifications that Working Papers 2016 was released and available for download. The annual release is much-anticipated, and for those of us who have been around the CaseWare world for a few years, perhaps somewhat routine.
But the latest release email has some very important technical information that could have implications for your use of the software. If you ignore this and fail to take action, you could find yourself with a significant technical problem next year. We summarize the issues into two categories.
1) Today you WANT to be on 64-bit Windows
Contained in CaseWare International's announcement was the fact that within a few months we will have a 64-bit version of Working Papers 2016 available to us!!!
Not excited by that? It's a technical matter that your I.T. department will appreciate. For many years now we've all been using computer hardware that can hold and manage very large chunks of memory, but we've been using software that can't take advantage of it. With the replacement of our older 32-bit software with the newer generation 64-bit software, we'll be able to hold a lot more information in our computer's RAM. More RAM on your computer likely means more RAM for CaseWare which translates to better performance in certain scenarios and ability to store and process much larger data sets.
To utilize the new 64-bit release of Working Papers you need to be running a 64-bit version of Microsoft Windows. If you are still on a 32-bit version of Windows, you will not be able to realize the benefits.
2) Next year you MUST be on 64-bit Windows
In the email announcing the Working Papers 2016 version, CaseWare made an important statement that is especially important to people currently using a 32-bit version of Microsoft Windows.
Starting with the 2017 release of Working Papers, CaseWare International will only offer a 64-bit version. No 32-bit version of the software will be available. If CaseWare International follows through with their currently-stated position, some of you may find yourself unable to upgrade to Working Papers 2017 until you get a 64-bit version of Windows.
Start the Conversation with I.T. NOW
In some organizations, especially large ones with dedicated I.T. departments, the decision to upgrade Microsoft Windows is a major one, and does not happen quickly. There is usually an extensive review, testing and deployment project that you should discuss with them NOW. Don't leave this conversation until you get that 2017 release email telling you that you cannot install the new version on your computer. A good way to start is to forward this blog post to your I.T. department right now.
Want to provide I.T. with our recommended hardware configuration so you can use the 64-bit version of CaseWare? We wrote an article for just this purpose!
F.H. Black & Company Incorporated will continue to follow this important development in the Working Papers ecosystem and update as we learn of changes.