Windows 7: Record Steps to Reproduce a Problem

It seems that busy season never ends for CPA firm IT department help desks. Issues regularly arise as our multitude of software applications are regularly updated/upgraded – which can easily upset desktop configurations and cause conflicts on the local machine. Applications that need to share resources are often at odds and when it comes time to diagnose - more information is always better to get the end user back to work.

Inevitably, much of the information needed is either lost in translation or never mentioned by the end user. Following is a way for the end user to go beyond a simple screen shot and actually record onscreen actions to help IT get them back to being chargeable. While these "movies" will never win an Academy award, they should save everyone some time.

Here is how the process works from the end user standpoint:

  1. Using the Search feature in Windows 7, type in "Record Steps to Reproduce a Problem"
  2. Clicking the link that shows up will launch the application and put the control panel window for it on screen.
  3. Click "Start Record" and then click through the process to recreate the error.
  4. When finished, hit "Stop Record" and a Save As window will open.
  5. Save the file (MHTL format i.e. web page) and then send as email attachment to helpdesk.

Helpdesk will now be able to see exactly what the user sees. Now, it is just a question of getting your end users to take advantage of this tool.

You can always watch the movie of how this works too!

This blog

Jim Fahey is COO of Apple Growth Partners, a regional CPA firm in Ohio. His focus is on the effective and efficient use of technology within the firm by all team members.  He is also in charge of talent management and retention at his firm.  A background of IT and Human Resources helps Jim bridge the gap of technology complexities with end users who just want their computer to work so they can be chargeable.  Being a very cheap (frugal sounds better) person himself, he is always looking for ways to save dollars at his firm.  He is Director of Education for the Association for Accounting Administration and past Technology Committee member of the Ohio Society of CPA's.  He often leads industry CPE events on the topics of Information Technology, CPA firm practice management and human resources/recruiting. Find out more about Jim on LinkedIn.

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