Like office co-workers whose friendship ultimately evolves into something more permanent, document management and workflow have become inextricably linked because, like a couple, one influences the other.Ergo, we have hastily jumped on the DM-workflow evolution bandwagon and paired them together in a single category. Below is a list of this year's top entrants at their synergistic best.

* Archive Studio for Accounting (DocuLex Inc.): DocuLex ArchiveStudio is a simplified electronic document management system enabling small and midsized CPA firms and accounting departments ease of information organization and access. The software works with most accounting category function and workflow programs.

* FileCabinet CS (Thomson Creative Solutions): FileCabinet CS offers a digital document management system designed specifically for accounting firms. It enables firms to create electronic documents of files generated with CS Professional Suite applications and GoSystem Tax, virtually any Windows software, or scanned copies of source documents.

* GoFileRoom (Thomson Tax & Accounting): GoFileRoom is a Web-hosted document management and workflow solution specifically designed for CPA firms. The secure, online system allows firms to access files and manage e-mails instantly through an easy-to-use browser interface. The TaxFlow add-on module tracks the entire tax process, while the ClientFlow add-on module can be integrated to the CPA firm's Web site to securely share documents with clients via the Internet.

* Lacerte Document Management System (Intuit Inc.): Lacerte DMS allows users to associate files and documents with specific client folders and automatically import all clients from Lacerte tax programs into DMS all at once, eliminating extra set-up time. DMS has security features to help protect documents and enable or restrict each user's rights.

* Laserfiche 7.2 (Laserfiche): Laserfiche provides document management software for electronic records management, privacy protection, converting paper into digital format and facilitating rapid access to archives. Its intuitive user interface focuses around adapting to organizations' specific document management needs, rather than having firms adapt existing operations to a specific technology solution.

* ProSystem fx Document (CCH, a Wolters Kluwer business): Built specifically for CPA firms, ProSystem fx Document provides an electronic repository for documents, enabling streamlined workflows, enhanced customer service, automated document retention policies and lower costs for storing paper documents.

* SurePrep Express (SurePrep Inc.): SurePrep Express is a Web-based paperless workflow system that aims to cut tax preparation time by 50 percent or more. It enables tax preparers to automatically identify, organize and input data from scanned standard source documents (e.g., W-2s, 1099s, organizer pages, brokerage statements, etc.) into several leading tax software packages.

* XCM (XCM Solutions LLC): XCM is a workflow and information automation solution for the accounting profession. The Web-based application moves tasks (tax returns, financial statements, bookkeeping projects, etc.) through the office and electronically tracks each step of the process, providing remote, real-time access and control of the workflow process.

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