Office Tools Pro is a unique entry in this field of products reviewed in that
the document storage functionality is a component of a more comprehensive collection
of office automation tools that includes contact management, project management,
time and billing, as well as document management.
Usability — 5 Stars
The user interface for Office Tools Pro is very comprehensive. It may take a
little time to get familiar with all of the functionality, but, once you do,
the program offers a lot of functionality from a single screen. The design of
the main application screen lists the basic client contact information at the
top, followed by a series of tabs to access all of the various applications
built into Office Tools Pro. The center of the display provides a hit list of
the documents and files associated with the selected client. The bottom section
of the screen displays a personal work list for each staff of all uncompleted
Document Organization — 4 Stars
Files are organized into folders and categories. What makes Office Tools Pro
a little different in this regard is that the relationship between the folders
and the categories is not hierarchical, therefore you can search for documents
at the folder or category level.
Annotation — 3 Stars
Annotation is handled at the application level, i.e. Adobe Acrobat.
Integration — 4 Stars
Integration with the other Office Tools Pro applications is seamless as a result
of the integrated design of the system. Accessing a document related to a particular
client is only a click away at any time. Unfortunately, there is no direct integration
with tax preparation software. However, PDF tax returns can be saved directly
to Office Tools Pro using a feature that assigns a “drop folder”
location to which files can be saved. Any files that are stored in this directory
will trigger a dialogue window to establish the indexing values for the file
and move it into the document storage system automatically. You can create a
new MS office, WordPerfect or scanned document from within Office Tools Pro.
For MS Word, data integration can be automatic using any of the 17 Word templates
built into Office Tools Pro.
Records Management — 4 Stars
The Office Tools Pro system maintains a history of all the activity associated
with a document. You can mark a document for archive or for deletion. Documents
can be archived to an alternative media and/or destroyed based upon a set of
data values (i.e., document category and document date). The system can generate
a document retention report that will list all files that are scheduled for
deletion based upon your defined criteria.
Relative Value — 4.5 Stars
Office Tools Pro is uniquely positioned to be a complete practice management
and document storage solution for sole practitioners and small firms. As described
in the review, it has a wide range of features that cover client contact information,
task management, time and billing, document storage, and more. The depth of
functionality in each of these applications can be sufficient for the small
firm. So if you’re looking for something that offers more, Office Tools
Pro is worth a serious look. Pricing starts at $550 for the first user and $175
for each additional user. If you want to purchase the document storage features
only, the cost is $350 for a single user ($100 for each additional user). The
annual maintenance fee is 35 percent of the license fee and includes free technical
support as well as updates and upgrades to the program.
2007 Overall Rating: 4 Stars