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2010 Review of Document Storage Systems

Document Storage: 12 Products To Help Shortcut Your Search

From the July 2010 Issue

Are you thinking about going paperless? If so, you will find this review of
electronic document storage solutions for accounting and tax practices to be
a helpful resource to shortcut your process of researching potential solutions.
In last month’s issue, we reviewed a series of document management systems
So your first question is likely to be, “What’s the difference between
document management and document storage?” And that’s a good question!

The primary distinction between document management and document storage solutions
is the breadth and depth of functionality. Document management systems are designed
as comprehensive enterprise solutions for automating the capture, storage and
dissemination of all electronic documents and files in an organization. I recommend
that you go back to last month’s issue of The CPA Technology Advisor
and read about the specific features and functions of document management
systems and the individual product reviews so you can compare and contrast the
two groups.

The document storage solutions that we are reviewing in this issue typically
have a more focused set of features and functions, which are often targeted
to a specific niche such as direct integration with a particular tax prep package,
integration with QuickBooks, or providing a secure file sharing solution. So
you should read each of the individual product reviews carefully to help you
gain a better understanding of the core strengths that each has to offer.

The specific attributes that we have evaluated for each product are organized
into three fundamental categories: core functionality, integration and advanced
functionality. The core functionality focuses on the overall user experience,
based upon the interface and the ease of navigation, as well as the ability
to publish documents directly to the system via a PDF print driver, and the
nature of how the files are organized. In the integration category, our focus
is on what options are available for an integrated scanning solution, integration
with Outlook or other e-mail platforms, and the ability to support multiple
file formats such as MS Word, Excel, etc. In the advanced functionality category,
we look at what type of reporting is available, security features, document
indexing and retrieval capabilities, and file archival features. We will also
use this category to identify any unique features the vendor offers that distinguishes
its solution from the rest of the crowd.

I hope you find these reviews helpful and encourage your feedback. I have
been writing these reviews for The CPA Technology Advisor for the
past four years, and I am always interested in learning what information you
find helpful. We have revised our review process this year in a way that we
believe helps us to compare the products more consistently, with the realization
that every product is unique.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

AccountantsWorld – Cyber Cabinet
The AccountantsWorld (AW) CyberCabinet application
is an integral component in the AW strategy to provide a complete accounting
practice portal of online applications.
CCH Small Firm Services – ATX
& TaxWise Scan&Fill
As the name implies, ATX and TaxWise Scan&Fill
is a scanning and document storage system that is designed as in integral
extension of the ATX and TaxWise tax prep software.
Computhink, Inc. – ViewWise
ViewWise is a horizontal document storage solution
that is designed to be deployed in many different industries. The interface
uses a common design, with a toolbar along the top and a Windows Explorer-like
folder display for organizing the files.
Drake Software – Drake Document
The Drake DMS application has been offered free
to Drake customers since 2005. It can be used on a stand-alone basis,
but from a practical perspective its inherent value is in its tight integration
with the Drake tax preparation, tax planning and client write-up applications.
eFileCabinet, Inc. – eFileCabinet
As the name implies, eFileCabinet is designed to
emulate a traditional paper file cabinet. The initial view displays a
list of client names as a link to their respective folders. The client’s
contact information is also displayed on this screen and can be used to
search for the client’s drawer.

Intuit – Lacerte DMS & ProSeries
The Lacerte DMS and ProSeries DMS are essentially
the same application with minor differences to accommodate their respective
tax prep packages.
Office Tools Professional – Office
Tools Professional 2009
Office Tools Pro (OTP) distinguishes itself in this
market by offering an integrated solution that includes document storage,
contact management, time tracking, billing, project tracking and more.
Personable, Inc. – Workflow DMS
+ Sourcelink 2010
The SourceLink document storage solution is a niche
application designed to integrate directly with QuickBooks to store and
tag supporting documents with individual QB transactions.
RedGear Technologies – ArkWorks
ArkWorks is designed to serve as an integrated document
storage solution for the TaxWorks tax prep software. ArkWorks is also
marketed as a standalone product, which is compatible with all tax and
other software programs.
SmartVault – SmartVault 3.0
SmartVault was originally designed as a doc-ument
storage system for QuickBooks, but has moved towards a generic platform
to store and share files, whether or not they are related to QB.

— Related Articles —
ImagineTime Software
ImagineTime, which offers practice management, CRM,
due-date monitoring and time and billing systems to professional accountants,
recently introduced its new Document Management system. As with the other
programs the company offers, the document management program is designed
specifically for professional practices.
Solutions@MBAF, LLC
PaperSave approaches document management from a unique
perspective compared to the other solutions in our document storage review,
which makes it more difficult to assign a comparable rating to PaperSave.
It is designed primarily to be a document management system that is linked
to accounting systems such as QuickBooks, Microsoft Dynamics (GP, SL, AX,
CRM) and Blackbaud.

2010 Review of Document Storage Systems — Comparison Chart

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