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Jess M.
Jess M., Computer Support Specialist
Category: Microsoft Office
Satisfied Customers: 5963
Experience:  Computer Software Specialist for more than 10 years
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I am a CPA and need to have secure client notes. Various staff

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I am a CPA and need to have secure client notes. Various staff may write new notes on a client but I don't want anyone deleting them after. This has happen in the past but I can't find out who it was. It is better to simply not allow alteration ( except by me ) after it is written
I think a time bar would work. I could keep up dating the lock date.

Is this possible and if so how
Hi, welcome and thank you for your question. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I am glad to assist you today.

Are you referring to an MS Word document? What version of Word are you using, 2003, 2007 or 2010?

Also, the INPUT from staffs that you mentioned are in the form of COMMENTS only?

Please let me know so that I can help you further.

Best regards,
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Jess,

MS Word 2010.


When client comes in we try to get to know them and write Notes about their business, their personal lives ( like sport , have three kids etc ).

As years go by they may buy a rental property or sell one, they want to buy a business or sell one etc. Various staff work on a job and are supposed to update the notes so me as the accounting Partner know what is going on.

We have had some one wipping notes. Staff still need to write further notes and read all past ones, but note completely delete all or part there of. I thought perhaps I could time bar the document so can read and write new notes but not delete past notes from a date set.

However you will probably have a better answer to my problem.



Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi again,

I just thought- I have 600 clients and I don't want to individually update time/date blocks on each of the 600 client Notes

perhaps an automatically sliding time/date block based on the computors time clock eg lagging by 2 days-after two days the document locks for alteration/edit to past comments but allows comments to be added


Thank you for writing back.

Since you are using MS Word 2010, there is a way to restrict or deploy restrictions in a document. However, this is only very limited since MS Word is not actually designed for complex restrictions.

The thing is, if the Word document is stored in ONE computer where Word 2010 is installed, there are two (2) scenarios possible:
  1. In that computer, users can have their personal user accounts. That is, Staff 1 can login to the computer and open the document. Staff 2 can do the same. And so on in that pattern.
  2. In that computer, users can be SHARING only one user account. That is, when Staff 1 is done or not in shift, Staff 2 uses the computer which Staff 1 left.

In scenario 1, there is a chance to impose restrictions on your MS Word file since MS Word 2010 can restrict editing by user accounts. For instance, Staff 1 logs in to the computer as staff1 and Staff 2 as staff2. When Staff 1 is done, she logs out and Staff 2 logs in to his staff2 account. In this case, you can set MS Word to restrict editing by user accounts.


In scenario 2, where a user account is shared among people, restrictions is almost impossible. Yes, you can restrict EDITING the document entirely by setting it as read-only by a password XXXXX But you mentioned that you allow them to enter their INPUT but you just don't allow them to delete data without your permission.


To protect a document in MS Word 2010, here are the steps but it is just limited: (This is MS Word's limitations)


A. Enable the Developer Tab of MS Word 2010


For the procedures, click on this link:


If the Developer tab is enabled, click on it then click on Restrict Editing button under "Protect" group. Here is my screen shot:



Then check option number 2 in the left panel, then click to select Everyone if you want to restrict all users.


Then click the Start Enforcing Protection button.


Screen shot here:


Another straightforward way is to password-protect the document. I can provide procedures if you want this approach.


Also, how about setting up a database-system in your office to hold your client's data? MS Word files are flat files that is why security and restrictions are so limited.


Please remember to rate my service positively (3-5 stars/faces) once you have all the
information you need.

If you have any other questions, please ask me more or reply to me – I’ll be happy to respond.

Thank you!

Best regards,

Jess M. and 6 other Microsoft Office Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

The accounting system we use has a "Client Notes" tab and is SQL data base. However they have locked it down so I can't alter it.


My son was suggesting writting macro's and said he could do it. I don't have enough years left to wait for him to remember lol.


I am happy for client notes to be in any sotware but I don't really want some other programme to learn that is complex-any suggestion would of an alternative software would help though


Thank you for writing back. I was thinking about the "Track Changes" feature in the Review tab under the Tracking group. Screen shot below:

However, it is not a restriction. Someone who intends to really delete something from your document can surely bypass the protection or restriction since he is able to open the document.

More information in this link:
Tracking Changes Info

A better solution for this, I believe is the use of a database-driven software where you can keep your customer info and history and can generate reports at any time.

I do not know the structure of your office or company but there is a free collaboration tool or software that you can use across your network. Yes, it is better if the tool is deployed across your office network so that you will get the most out of its features.

I am referring to Open Atrium. It is free and web-based so as long as you are connected to your network, you can access the system. It has a good Document Management feature that you can use.

Here is a link so that you may be able to try it:

Please remember to rate my service positively (3-5 stars/faces) once you have all the
information you need.

If you have any other questions, please ask me more or reply to me – I’ll be happy to respond.

Thank you!

Best regards,
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thanks Jess,

I don't really have a solution to my problem so how should I rate your service.

There is obviously no solution in word, so is that excellent still. I am serious and want to be fair.


I understand your concerns. Honestly, regarding the MS Word approach, the restrictions are limited so you can't prevent people from deleting a particular text and allowing only to add or modify the text. The basic restriction actually is to make the document read-only by prompting for a password XXXXX you want to modify the document. That is, the document can be opened but in Read-Only mode. People can add to the document but it must be SAVED AS as another file since the original is Read-Only.

MS Word has this limitations. If you want to know how to password-protect your document for modification, please let me know.

Best regards,
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Ok Jess,

i will give you an excellent but can you think of some thing on other software that will work on a simple time bar or something and email my gmail account.


Thanks Jess



Thank you for the rating. Sure, I will try to locate the software or a workaround for your Word document situation. I will let you know.

Thank you for using our service.

Best regards,