When running a small business in 2021, learning to use document management software is practically inescapable. The reliance on technology by businesses to organize, access, and store important documents is increasing. This has led to a growing need for sole proprietors and small business owners to update and modernize their filing and paper organization systems.
When small business owners seek to select a new digital document management system, it can be confusing to know which one is best for their operation’s needs. There are multiple options on the market to choose from, and what works best for one business may not work for another.
It’s essential to use the best option for your business needs in order to save your company time, money, and the hassle of dealing with a poorly suited program.
Before picking a document management software program for your company, it’s best to know what your document management system needs are first. We’ve compiled the following questions to help small business owners to gain clarity when shopping for the right document management software.
What Are Your Company’s Document Management Needs?
Document management systems range in complexity and scope. Most software programs in this genre of information management systems are customizable to a business’s needs. Therefore, it’s essential to understand what specific features to focus on.
Know Your Document Management Needs
Which areas of your business would you like to streamline and optimize with a document management program?
- Document retrieval and storage
- Document creation
- Records management
- Security and privacy control
- Digitization of paper records
- Workflow management
- Accessibility – cloud storage, on-site storage, or a hybrid of the two
What Programs and Apps Must Integrate With a Document Management System?
The number of new software apps and programs available to help manage a business is astounding. Often, the key to how successful an app can be for a business’s operations depends on how well it integrates with your existing software programs and applications.
This is important to consider if you need to manage documents from multiple programs. For example, by having the ability to seamlessly track invoices in a document management system and in your accounting software program, your company will save precious time.
Examples of programs that can connect with several document management systems include:
Check to see if your top choice offers a free trial so you can ensure it has what you want before committing.
What Document Security Measures Do You Need?
How much personal information is stored within your company’s files? National and international regulations now exist for protecting personal information and breaching those laws can result in hefty fines for a business. Additionally, any proprietary types of files not kept in a secure location are at risk.
How your company secures its digital and paper assets should influence your document management software solution options. Data and information stored digitally can be easily safeguarded with a cloud-based information management system with hefty security features including access control. This is often a good option for small and medium sized businesses without a dedicated cyber-security program.
How Many Users Need Access to Documents?
Knowing how many employees will require access to documents will help you select a document management system compatible with your business’s needs. Evaluating how and where employees access, share and collaborate on files is essential when choosing a program best suited for your company.
For example, do you have several sales representatives who need to access, edit, and store documents during client meetings? A program that supports mobile devices, file sharing, and remote document storage would be a good option.
In-House Document Access
Or, do you only have one or two people who will have permission to access documents? In that case, a document management system designed for in-house document management may be optimal.
Do your outsourced service providers need access to your documents? If so, document access control should be prioritized. For example, if you rely on expert bookkeeping services to run and maintain the company bookkeeping system, they may need access to your businesses documents and files.
Is Scalability Important In a Document Management Software Product?
When your business is ready to grow, having an electronic document management solution that can grow alongside your company can help minimize corporate growing pains. Several document management products are available that can be customized and upgraded to the changing needs of your operation.
If you anticipate expanding your business in the near future, consider a document management system that has the ability to level up with you.
Find More Helpful Resources for Small Businesses
At Source Online Bookkeeping, we love helping Canadian small businesses find new ways to streamline and grow their business. Our blog is full of helpful resources business owners can use to improve their bookkeeping and document management processes. We also provide bookkeeping and tax filing services to our clients, to learn more about our services, contact our team.