As an accountant, you know how much havoc misplaced documents cause and how much time searching and sorting your documents eats up.
If you've decided it's time to take a paperless approach to document management, we've got you covered. Today we'll take a look at the best solutions for accounts, covering their vital ins and outs, while also answering some of the burning questions that you might have about making the switch.
FileCenter: The Best for Accountants
While building and improving FileCenter over the years we've taken feedback from hundreds of accountants and finance professionals to understand their problems and what they are looking for in a document system. We've also evaluated all alternatives to our software in order to produce the best document managementsoftware for CPAs. Our software is fully featured, easy to use, and integrates with other tax software like UltraTax and QuickBooks.
We've made sure that our software is an asset to your CPA firm's process and not software with a steep learning curve. What accountant has time to learn overly-complicated software?
Additionally, our software integrates with your workflow and doesn't require employees to re-learn new processes in order to digitize their documents.
Accounting Packages That Integrate with FileCenter
Lacerte and ProSeries
The beauty of Lacerte and ProSeries is that they do one thing exceptionally well. Now you need additional software to pick up where they leave off: document management. That's where FileCenter comes into play. FileCenter excels at other critical tasks for your practice, like the naming and storage of electronic files, scanning, and working with PDFs. While accounting practices excel at tax prep, there's an enormous document burden that follows that task. Integrating the right with ProSeries and Lacerte will make all the difference in how well that burden is managed.
QuickBooks was one of the first products to the game, providing an easy-to-use electronic ledger before most accounting professionals even knew they wanted one. But with electronic bookkeeping comes a bevvy of electronic reports, not to mention all of the supporting paper documents that get submitted by clients – receipts, statements, etc. While QuickBooks has some rudimentary features for storing all of these documents, scanning and storage are much better handled by a dedicated document management system like FileCenter. FileCenter integrates directly with the Save functions of QuickBooks so any reports you generate in QuickBooks can be directly captured by FileCenter. Further, FileCenter organizes documents by client, allowing it to parallel your work in QuickBooks.
TaxWise and UltraTax
TaxWise and UltraTax are two other heavy-hitters in the tax preparation bracket and both worthy of an equally capable to handle the other half of your practice. Besides handling document organization for both of these platforms, FileCenter meets another need that's often overlooked: PDF manipulation. Multple PDFs often need to be combined into a single PDF document or, conversely, split apart. FileCenter supports combining PDFs with drag-and-drop ease. FileCenter also features a built-in PDF editor for annotating and modifying returns and reports produced in TaxWise or UltraTax. And when you need to create a PDF outside of TaxWise or UltraTax, FileCenter provides a PDF printer to capture anything that can be printed.
Runners Up: Other Top Picks for the Best for Accountants This Year
AccountantsWorld Cloud Cabinet
Whether you're looking for a secure storage solution or an in-depth that is tailored around the needs of accounting firms, Cloud Cabinet is a favorable choice as an accountant-centric solution.
From an intuitive and customizable folder structure to secure file sharing, a robust customer portal, and flexible granular access and security policies – Cloud Cabinet boasts one of the most forward-thinking and modern feature offerings in the space.
And as an AccountantsWorld product, it integrates seamlessly with their other software solutions and applets. Though it can definitely be used as an entirely standalone solution and they also feature a good number of third-party integrations to get you on your way. All in all, Cloud Cabinet can help you streamline your organizational processes and securely keep all of your sensitive data in one place.
Thomson Reuters FileCabinet CS
Another proven and reliable document management and secure storage solution comes from Thomson Reuters.
Unlike Cloud Cabinet, FileCabinet CS is offered in three core flavors. You can make use of an on-premise setup, a virtual office environment, or a cloud-driven variant based on your firm's needs and requirements.
From a highly-customizable yet intuitive filing structure to an in-depth template system and powerful secure integrations with tools like Microsoft Office – FileCabinet CS has a very rich and robust feature kit that can help accounting firms eliminate their paper-based record-keeping to reduce mistakes and information gaps while simplifying and streamlining their information management as a whole.
One thing that really stands out about this solution is the fact that users are able to easily label each document for incredibly easy searchability, alongside a comprehensive secure archive to help you de-clutter your storage and focus on what matters at the moment.
In addition to this, unlike many other solutions, their seamless integration with Outlook allows for easy email communication and secure file sharing directly from inside of the FileCabinet CS system.
However, the reason it comes in second despite its stellar feature offering and capabilities is due to the fact that it's a bit more pricy when compared to Cloud Cabinet, depending on which set up you choose. Additionally, it's worth noting that they do feature a client portal, which is available for an added cost overtop of your license.
Drake Document Manager
If you're a smaller accounting firm that is in need of a single solution to take care of practice management, tax preparation, and in-depth document management, the Drake Document Manager is worth looking into.
This particular document management software is offered both as an on-premise solution, or a fully hosted cloud-based. However, unlike many other solutions, the document manager is not a standalone application, rather being integrated as part of the overall Drake practice management suite that contains Drake Tax, CWU, and Planner alongside it.
However, don't let that lead you into believing that it's in any way less powerful or capable than a more traditional standalone. First of all, Drake Document Manager boasts robust secure document storage which integrates with Secure File Pro to allow firms to securely store and share documents and vital information with clients and partners. And it also features an integrated client portal for an additional fee.
In addition to this, it also offers incredibly powerful encryption along with granular security and access policies and an incredibly intuitive filing structure and streamlined e-signature capabilities via the other modules in this software suite.
All in all, it's a fantastic solution if you're looking to opt into a streamlined all-in-one approach rather than have several different accounting software solutions that may or may not work well together. However, with this also comes the one big drawback – its price. As this is an entire accounting software suite as opposed to a standalone accounting solution, it's somewhat more costly, though the cost is entirely comparable to FileCabinet CS. But, on the flip side – you are getting a single platform where you can manage the entirety of your practice, which enables incredibly smooth streamlined workflows and a fantastic degree of data retention alongside a great boost in efficiency and accuracy for your firm.
Closing Thoughts – Choosing The Best Document Management Software For Yourself
Undeniably, dated processes, inefficient filing, and human error can cost organizations incredible amounts of money, especially when the organization is responsible for managing the accounts of a wide array of top-line businesses.
Thankfully, document management software built with accountants in mind exists to help you modernize your firm, improve accuracy, and implement a consistent and organized approach to managing vital information.
Today we've had a look at the top solutions that exist on the market in 2022. We've covered their core pros and cons, and we've had a look at the most frequently asked questions that we get from our readers that are trying to find the perfect document management system for their accounting firm.
After reading this article, we hope that you can walk away feeling confident about shopping for a, and maybe even with a new addition to your short-list in mind.
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