What has been your experience with document management systems?

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For my practice, I am trying out document management again. I think it has come of age now. I was so surprised and happy to discover that my new multi-paper, flat-bed scanner allowed me to name each scanned documents either as a group or a separate name for each page: a very important feature. One of my largest clients is making document management its largest and highest priority for capital budgeting this year. They are discovering that the cost to do a DMS is lower and the functionality has increased dramatically in just the past 12 to 18 months. Bruce Andersen, CPA

BTA Consulting and Training

Los Angeles

Partner Insights

Frustrating. I have been looking for a very simple document management system to have hooks that I can attach things to and order them in groups like my hardcopy files with a visual graphic interface that looks like our three-ring binders. And, I want to be able to easily create an archive of linked files by year with the same groups as in the current-year groups. I do not need every word in every document noted so that I can do a word search across the entire database, an integrated contact management facility, or a company-wide fax management system. I have a staff of two and expect to grow to 10 in two years. And my budget for a five-user system installed with us trained in its use is no more than $2,000. So my bottom line is; keep it simple and make it effective, not fancy.

Greg A. Coughenour

Chicago North Associates

Bannockburn, Ill.

We have had a good experience with our chosen document management system to date. The product has met my expectations, as it does what it is advertised to do. Documents are easy to save and easy to find, as there are several index fields, any or all of which may be the basis of a document search. The most difficult part has been changing the mindset of partners and employees to use the system in the way we have trained them.

Zvi Gold, CPA

Goldstein Schechter Price Lucas

Horwitz & Co.

Coral Gables, Fla.

Olsen Thielen Accounting has been using Panagon Content Services from FileNet for several years to archive tax returns, and that project has been very successful. I have used the same EDM product for years to store and manage sales-related documents, and have used it successfully to retrieve in a minute any customer-related document I had received or produced in the last five years. OTT is currently experimenting with Microsoft SharePoint to see if it is capable of delivering the equivalent functionality and ease of use we have enjoyed with FileNet.

Robert Thomson

Olsen Thielen Technologies

St. Paul, Minn.

We are using Creative Solutions FileCabinet Solution. We are pleased for the most part. There are issues with functionality when working with embedded files and we have had concerns about performance. However, we are very pleased with the responsiveness of CSI to our concerns.

We are very pleased with the efficiencies of having the availability of electronic documents.

K. Tim Larsen, CPA

Squire & Company

Orem, Utah

We have implemented Immediatech's GoFileRoom. I believe the key to the long-term success of a good document management system is taking the time and spending the dollars up front on education and training. You'll need to transform your existing workflow practices and systems to conform to the electronic storage environment. In addition, I believe that the all-or-nothing approach is also critical to the success of the system. Don't make exceptions! Once you implement the document management solution, stick to your guns. The key is not to allow your fellow partners to deviate from the plan. If your staff detects a mixed message from the top, your rollout and success of the program will be jeopardized. At WS+B, we took the top-down approach, with complete buy-in from the top. That to me has been a critical element in the success of our program.

James C. Bourke, CPA, CITP

WithumSmith+Brown

Red Bank, N.J.

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