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TaxWorks — ArkWorks

the August 2007 Review of Document Storage Systems

ArkWorks was initially released in January 2006, making it one of the newest
products in this review. It is designed primarily to work with the TaxWorks
tax preparation software, but can also be used as a stand-alone document storage

Usability — 5 Stars
The ArkWorks interface is designed as a series of window panes. On the left
side of the screen, the selected drawer is listed (i.e., 1040-Individual). Below
the drawer is a list of search values (i.e., clients). On the right-hand side
of the display, a window pane reveals the folder structure for the currently
selected drawer. To the right is a window that displays the currently selected
document, and the bottom window pane displays a list of the documents that meet
the user’s search criteria. The end result of all these window panes is
that you can navigate the entire database of documents through the hierarchy
all from one screen, including viewing the selected document.

Document Organization — 5 Stars
The document organization model begins with a cabinet that typically contains
a group of clients, customers, employees, etc. Each cabinet is made up of a
series of drawers for each record in the cabinet (i.e., specific clients). Each
client drawer includes a series of folders (i.e., Permanent, YYYY). The folder
structure can be uniquely defined for each client. Additional cabinets can be
established with pre-defined drawer and folder templates.

Annotation — 5 Stars
The system supports both proprietary annotations and Adobe Acrobat annotations.
The proprietary annotations include redactions, whiteout, highlighting, comments
and text entry tools. These proprietary annotations actually convert to Adobe
Acrobat annotations. Additionally, users can attach notes and searchable keywords
to each document

Integration — 4 Stars
Integration with TaxWorks comes in the form of the ability to publish a PDF
copy of the tax form in TaxWorks directly to the ArkWorks document storage system.
Integration with Windows Explorer is pretty strong. An import button allows
files to be uploaded directly from Windows Explorer, or files can be dragged
and dropped from the desktop into ArkWorks. These actions can be done in the
form of a move or a copy. Integration with Outlook allows users to drag and
drop e-mails directly into ArkWorks in native format. A print driver allows
forms to be printed from any Windows application directly into ArkWorks.

Records Management — 5 Stars
Security features include functionality to control documents that are distributed
via e-mail. Users can control the recipient’s ability to access, modify
or extract the document and limit the ability to print annotations. Document
retention features include the ability to establish a document maturity date,
which facilitates generating a hit list of expired documents that can be purged
individually or as a batch. These expired documents can also be burned to a
CD for permanent off-line storage. A built-in recycle bin allows users to recover
deleted files or delete them permanently. The document properties feature maintains
an audit trail of all activity to monitor who did what to the document and when,
including viewing, printing, e-mailing and deleting the document.

Relative Value — 4.5 Stars
ArkWorks offers a pretty comprehensive set of features for the small office,
with an intuitive design at an attractive price point. Pricing starts at $995
for a five-user license with an annual renewal fee of $395. Toll-free technical
support is included at no additional charge. Training is provided through a
demonstration CD and web-based demonstrations.

2007 Overall Rating: 5 Stars