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Frequently Asked Questions - County Reporting System version 5 (CRS5)



About CRS5

Getting Started


Using the Software



Should a problem or question arise that you are unable to find the solution to on our Web site, please contact the NEERS5 Help Desk.

Getting Started

Where can I find the User Manual for CRS5?

A comprehensive CRS5 User Manual for new users is available under CRS5 Resources - Getting Started on the NEERS5 webpage. The manual includes detailed explanations and steps to get started using the software as well as information for users transitioning from ERS4 to CRS5. The CRS5 User Manual is approximately 400 pages long so it is recommended that you bookmark its location and access it electronically rather than printing it off. Hint: use the "Bookmarks" tab on the left-hand side of the PDF document to quickly navigate to sections of interest.

Have there been updates to CRS5?

Yes, we are currently running CRS5 version 5.03 dated 01/31/2007. It is very important to install all updates and run all fixes on each computer which uses CRS5. To ensure that you are running the most up-to-date version of CRS5 check the version number and date in information box on the top right of the Main Switchboard. If you discover you are not running version 5.03 dated 01/31/2007 visit the NEERS5 Installations and Upgrades Web page. It includes the update history as well as important instructions for installing updates and running fixes to CRS5.

Should I trust files from this publisher and block unsafe expressions?

CRS5 is digitally signed by Acorn Data Systems. If you are asked to accept a digital signature from Acorn Data Systems, check the 'Always Trust Files from this Publisher and Open them Automatically' box and click 'Open'. When asked, it is important to always respond 'Yes' you would like to block unsafe expressions. Making these selections will prevent these messages from popping up each time you enter the software.

Why have race code requirements changed?

The race code requirements have changed in CRS5 due to changes to the Federal Standards on data collection on race and ethnicity. Detailed information on this can be found through the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), the Federal Register ( Federal Register, 62 FR 58781 - 58790), and the U.S. Census Bureau.

To summarize some key points - "racial and ethnic makeup of the country has changed since 1977, giving rise to the question of whether [the 1977] standards still reflected the diversity of the country's present population" (U.S. Census Bureau). This led to the "Federal Government's decision in October 1997 to provide an opportunity for individuals to select one or more races when responding to agency requests for data on race and ethnicity" (OMB, p.5).  "Under the 1997 standards, "Hispanic or Latino" is clearly designated as an ethnicity and not as a race. Whether or not an individual is Hispanic or Latino, every effort should be made to ascertain the race or races with which an individual identifies." (OMB, p.11).  In other words, due to the federal statistical system's conceptual differentiation between Hispanic origin and race, "People of Hispanic origin may be of any race and [therefore] should answer the question on race by marking one or more race categories" (see U.S. Census Bureau).  It should also be noted that "self-identification is the preferred means of obtaining information about an individual's race and ethnicity" (Federal Register, p. 58785). 

To view detailed racial category and ethnicity descriptions please visit the OMB webpage (pp.6-7). Please note collecting additional information on race subcategories is optional for states - race subcategory info is not transmitted to the Federal Office.

Is the Address Verification Service secure?

NIFA has a contract with Melissa Data Corp to provide a Data Quality Web Service for EFNEP. Melissa Data assures that using this service has absolutely no security concerns. The actual data entered by the counties is not being transferred or stored anywhere. A data string is being sent via a secure https:/ server (not a website) and is 'bounced' against Melissa Data Corp's USPS dataset. This allows CRS5 to instantly verify the address entered and to have standard and correct addresses (e.g., misspellings and incorrect zip codes are fixed). This functionality was written into the CRS5 software and therefore all of this is going on behind the scenes. If you have additional questions or concerns please visit Melissa Data Corp's website and view their Web Service Privacy Policy. Note: this capability is only available for EFNEP users.

What if I need additional copies of CRS5?

EFNEP coordinators received sufficient copies to provide one CD per EFNEP county and one for each institution's primary EFNEP office. You may make additional copies as needed or contact Stephanie Blake to inquire as to whether additional CDs are available for distribution.


Using the Software

How do I restore a CRS back-up file onto a new or different computer?

The instructions to restore a CRS back-up file are found in the CRS5 User Manual in Section 12.4, but if you are restoring to a new or different computer you need to complete a few extra steps.  Before you can restore the back-up file you need to create a new database within CRS (Section 3.4.1).  This will establish a folder within which your data can be saved.  It also points the software to the location of this folder so you can access the data.  Then you need to complete the steps to restore the data (Section 12.4).  Finally, in order to access the data within CRS you need to attach the database (Section 3.4.2).  Given that these instructions are in several different sections of the manual you may prefer to use the consolidated instructions we put together.

Is it possible to network computers using CRS5?

Yes, networking is possible. County staff will need to install copies of CRS5 on each computer which will be used and make sure the software is updated to version 5.03 dated 01/31/07 (see Instructions on Updating the Software).

After the software is installed and updated on each computer, the database will need to be created/stored on the network drive. To do this follow the steps starting on page 44 of the CRS5 User Manual, to create a new database on one of the computers. Be sure to create the folder on the shared drive rather than on the local drive as suggested in the manual. Complete all steps in this section of the manual.

Once you have the database created you will need to attach the database to the other computers. To do this:

  • Click on System Administration (from the Main Switchboard)
  • Click on DataDB
  • Click on the Add New DataDB icon
  • Enter a Nickname for the for the Database (this does not need to be the same on each computer, although using the same naming convention may be helpful in identifying the correct file year to year)
  • Click Browse
  • Locate the folder you created on the first computer
  • Click OK and click Save
  • From the Attach DataDB screen, highlight the Database you just added and click Attach.

After attaching the database to each computer, each staff person should be able to enter his/her data on his/her own computer. As long as the computers are all attached to the same database the data entered from the different computer stations should combine into the one networked database. It is recommended that some testing is conducted to ensure that each computer is attached properly before entering a large amount of data.

One note of caution – only one person can access the networked database at a time. This means that data entry can only be done on one computer at any given time. Currently this is the only networking option available.

Is CRS5 compatible with Vista or Windows 7 operating systems? What about Office 2007 and Office 2010?

Unfortunately CRS5 is not compatible with the Microsoft Vista operating system and there is no patch.  If you are unable to maintain a computer with Microsoft XP, CRS5 can be set-up on a Windows 7 computer using a virtual XP environment.  This is not something NIFA is able to provide tech support for, but if you have a strong IT person to assist you, he/she should be able to set this up for you and the software should work flawlessly.  Additional information is available on Microsoft’s website.  If your IT person gets stuck, send a message to the CRS-Help Desk and we will do our best to help.

According to our beta testers, CRS5 is completely compatible with Office 2010.

How do you load additional behavior checklist questions into CRS5?

In order to load Additional Behavior Checklist Question sets into CRS5 you will need an export file from your state/territory office.  If you receive a file named "" you will need to delete ".RemoveIt" from the file name and unzip the file. CRS5 will only import Additional Behavior Checklist questions with the file name "CKQSET40.mdb".  For detailed instructions on how to rename and unzip the file see the Instructions for Additional Behavior Checklist Questions.

When will the Participant Diagnostic Report be available?

At this time there are no plans in place to add a participant diagnostic report to CRS5. This will be addressed as we move to a web-based system.

How do I add a new food to the Foods Database?

The new foods database in CRS5 comes from the Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion's (CNPP) MyPyramid Foods Database. CNPP will be continually updating the food list and associated databases in the MyPyramid Tracker and welcomes your contributions of new foods. If you are unable to find a food in the MyPyramid Tracker and are interested in adding the food to the food and nutrient databases please compile the following information:

  • Food descriptor
  • Nutrients (visit the USDA National Nutrient Database for the required format and the current food listing)
  • Recipe
  • Moisture loss or gain due to cooking or preparation Pyramid serving equivalent

Once you have complete information for each of the items above, send a message to the NEERS5 Help Desk and request instructions for submission.

How can I update the Poverty Tables in CRS5?

CRS5 was designed to allow you to import new Poverty Guideline Tables rather than entering them manually. However, CRS5 does not have the capability to do this. The result of not being able to update the poverty tables is counties may have inaccurate data on #5 of the Adult Summary Report. This has been corrected in SRS5, but will not be addressed in CRS5. So, when CRS5 users receive an error message indicating the poverty tables need to be updated, please click "ok" and continue working.

Where can I find definitions for the Youth Delivery Modes?

The Youth Delivery Modes definitions can be viewed on the Youth Delivery Mode Table. This table will be will be included in the Full Manual, due to be released this fall. Strong efforts were made to align EFNEP youth delivery modes with 4-H youth delivery modes. It is hoped that using comparable terminology for data collection will increase consistency and enhance reporting capabilities between the two programs.

What is the status of the Youth Evaluation Project?

The Youth Question Development (YQD) sub-system has been put on hold. Even though the YQD is not available, the Wisconsin site for Youth Evaluation Tools is operational and can be utilized. For background information on the project as well as how to use these tools to report in NEERS5 review the Frequently Asked Questions about the Youth Impact Evaluation Project for EFNEP and FSNE and the Development Documentation.



When I log into CRS5 I receive a security warning – “This file has been digitally signed by Acorn Data Systems. A certificate (signing or issuer) has expired.”  What should I do?

The digital signature in CRS5 is an added layer of security which verifies the authenticity and legitimacy of the software, but the fact that it has expired is nothing to be concerned about.  Acorn Data Systems was administered by our late NEERS programmer which means the digital signature cannot be updated, but there are a few workarounds.

  1. You can click “open” and continue using the program. You will be prompted with the security warning every time you log into CRS5, but the software itself will be fully functional.

  2. If you feel comfortable doing so, you can reduce the security level of Microsoft Access to “Low” (Instructions). This will allow you to bypass the security warning when you open CRS5.  Be advised, Microsoft does not recommend setting your security level to “Low”, but if you only use Access for CRS5 it may not be an issue. We recommend consulting with your IT department before making any changes to your security settings.  

What should I do if not all participants are showing up on the Diet Summary Report or the Behavior Checklist Summary Report?

If you believe some participants are missing from either the Diet Summary Report or the Behavior Checklist Summary Report please confirm that each of the following conditions is met:

  • Participants have both entry and exit recalls/checklists.
  • Participants are exited from the program.
  • The Reporting Period has been adjusted on the Diet Summary Report or the Behavior Checklist Summary Report Screen to appropriately capture participants.


If each of these conditions is met and participants are still missing try clicking on the "Refresh Adult/Checklist Info" button on the Behavior Checklist Switchboard or the "Refresh Adult/Recall Info" button on the Nutrition Switchboard. If this works you should also click on the "Recalculate Recalls" button on the Nutrition Switchboard. 

If you find that you do not have the buttons listed above you are probably running an old version of the software. Please follow the Update Instructions to update the software to the current version.

What should I do if I receive the following error message — “This action can't be carried out while processing a form or report event”?

This error may be caused by someone double clicking rather than single clicking a blue explode button; double clicking seems to lock up the system. If you receive this error message try single clicking buttons within the software and waiting until the action is completed (e.g., the new screen opens) before clicking again.

Is there a resource available documenting commonly reported issues with CRS5?

Yes, a CRS5 Error Log has been developed to document commonly reported issues with the software. If you experience an issue which is not listed on this web-page or on the CRS5 Error log please send an email to the NEERS5 Help Desk.




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