Document Workflow — The flow of documents throughout an engagement has emerged as the more important aspect of DMS in recent years. This decade is shaping up to be the decade of business process optimization. In this section, we evaluate the integration with core tax and accounting applications, as well as the primary MS Office 2010 applications: Excel, Word and Outlook. Strong integration is critical to achieving true workflow automation. We also take into account any features that enable the automatic routing of individual documents or binders with engagement management features such as scheduling, checklists, review note management and more.
Document Control — This category gets a little more technical in nature. Specifically, we evaluate the document security features to control who has access to which documents and what they can do with them. This includes retention management tools that automate the archiving and purging process, version control to keep track of the various versions of documents and files as they evolve through their life cycle and, finally, check-in/check-out features that manage the integrity of documents as various people throughout the organization are viewing and editing them.
Special Features — Here, we identify the features that help extend the system beyond document management. We evaluate whether or not the vendor provides an integrated scanning solution and/or an integrated client portal application. We also determine whether or not the system is browser-enabled, which can provide for a more consistent interface across multiple infrastructure platforms with a better likelihood of being compatible with all the various appliances like smartphones, iPads, etc. The availability to purchase the solution in a SaaS model is evaluated, as more and more accounting and tax applications make the move to the proverbial cloud.
We have simplified the presentation of these reviews, with a snapshot of each product that highlights key factors you’ll want to consider when looking for a DMS product. Comprehensive reviews of each product are available at the designated URLs and support the ratings provided here.
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