Thomson Reuters - GoFileRoom CS
From the June 2011 Review of Document Management Systems
Best Firm Fit:
GoFileRoom was initially targeted to mid-size and large firms, with GoFileRoom CS offered to smaller firms. As a SaaS application with no infrastructure to deal with, GoFileRoom is an attractive option for smaller firms. Since the GoFileRoom solution offers document management, workflow and an integrated portal, it can become a complete paperless solution for firms of all sizes.
Core Product Functions/Features:
I continue to appreciate the intuitive interface offered by Thomson Reuters’ GoFileRoom. The visual file cabinet interface is easy to understand for first-time users of an electronic content management application. The document/file organization model is based on file cabinets/drawers/index fields. Firms have complete control over the design of the metadata tags. Each drawer can have a completely unique metadata setup, i.e. the client draw can index documents by client name, engagement type, document type, year, etc.
The HR drawer metadata can be organized by employee name, number and document type. This flexibility in the configuration positions GoFileRoom to be deployed in many different types of organizations.
File uploads can be done from within GoFileRoom, or firms can set up document “profiles” that sit as buttons on the desktop. Users can drag files onto the button to assign pre-established metadata tags and upload the file directly to GoFileRoom. For example, a user could set up a metadata profile/upload shortcut for tax returns, and a separate metadata profile and shortcut for financial statements.
Both GoFileRoom and its companion FirmFlow workflow application have a number of useful management reports. FirmFlow makes it possible to track and immediately report on the status and location of every engagement in the firm. Various reports to track activity history, documents pending scanning as well as checked-out documents are just some of the reports available.
GoFileRoom was originally designed as a “best of breed” solution before it was acquired by Thomson Reuters. In order to compete in the accounting firm market, GoFileRoom was designed to have integrations with most of the popular tax, audit and practice management software applications. The most direct integration today is with GoSystem Tax, but documents from almost any application can be managed using this tool. Users can also import the client list from most of the popular practice management applications.
Integration with Microsoft Office is handled by a GoFileRoom add-in to Outlook, Excel and Word. In each of these applications, users can save and retrieve files directly to/from GoFileRoom. The Outlook integration also allows staff to selectively choose which file attachments to save.
The FirmFlow workflow module is a robust application for managing the flow of engagements and projects throughout a firm. Management can define unique workflows for each process in the organization, and track the status of each engagement using this tool. For each engagement tracked in FirmFlow, the scheduler can assign individual staff or groups to be responsible for each step in the process, as well as set deadlines for completion and configure alert messages for exceptions. A virtual folder accompanies each engagement that provides comprehensive review note tracking, routing history, engagement checklist and direct access to all documents specifically related to the engagement.
GoFileRoom provides comprehensive document security through permissions that can be assigned at the staff, client and/or metadata level. The document retention functionality allows firms to establish retention dates based on the metadata values and the document date. Administrators have the opportunity to preview a list of documents to be archived or purged before executing the purge process. GoFileRoom is a SaaS application and provides enhanced security by limiting access to pre-defined IP addresses. Detailed login history and document activity logs are also available so practitioners know whether or not a document has been altered.
Version control is available as an option in the program, and the system works well with or without this feature activated. When users save files from Word or Excel, they will have the option to maintain the prior version(s) in the document archive. Check out of documents is also available, and the document hit list identifies the user who has any files checked out for editing and the date and time that it was checked back in.
An integrated portal module provides for one-click publishing of files to the portal. Portal access can be setup for individual users at a client, with different document access permissions. The document history log will report on client activity on the portal.
GoFileRoom supports bar code scanning to facilitate separating the role of document organization from document scanning. You can insert pre-printed bookmark bar codes to create bookmarks in the PDF file, i.e. W-2s, 1099s, etc.
GoFileRoom is only available in as a SaaS application and is 100% browser-based.
Executive Summary & Pricing
GoFileRoom was one of the pioneers in cloud computing applications for accounting firms. The intuitive interface and highly configurable metadata provide a system that can be deployed in nearly any type of business, and the document organization model can be as simple or complex as you choose.
GoFileRoom bundled with FirmFlow starts at $3,950 per year for a five-user firm. Certain features, such as portals and tax document automation, are priced separately. Since this is a 100% cloud solution and there is no software to own, this price includes storage, maintenance, hosting and technical support, and must be paid annually to continue to store and access data on the GoFileRoom servers.
2011 Overall Rating: