Managing your work documents can often be a pain. Learning how to implement a strong document management system is paramount to running a smoother business. A form here, a legal document there, all these documents you are using on a daily basis for your business operations can be better organized and utilized if you use a document management software.

What is document management software?

Document management software is like having your own business filing cabinet online. It’s an easily accessible resource that has all the features and tools you need to effectively manage your business documents online and on the go, with an internet connection. This software should enable and support you in the following ways:

  • Storing documents for easy retrieval
  • Editing and saving documents
  • Tagging and segmenting documents based on needs
  • Secure file sharing with employees or clients
  • File management and document tracking
  • Signing and approving documents
  • Sending and receiving documents

The ideal document management software will allow you to access your documents from any device. Though this method of managing documents has been around for a while, there is new software coming out that incorporates AI and machine learning and is evolving the way in which online document management is performed.

Why manage documents online?

In one word: convenience. By managing your documents online you are ensuring you can access them from anywhere and at any time. Managing your documents manually is costly and error-prone. Having your documents online means you always work on the latest version, can track your changes as you go, and save a lot of time on looking for information that you can’t readily find when working with manual processes.

Using a document management software increases efficiency, saves space on storage, implements standards for documentation, organizes documents across teams, allows for seamless collaboration and improves your employee and customer experience, since you’re not losing documents or spending precious time looking for them. In addition, you’ll be a more eco-friendly business now that you’ve gone paperless.

In addition to storing, sharing, and managing your documents digitally, it’s also vital for small businesses to be able to quickly turn bank statements into Excel, enabling a smoother financial management process. This function can significantly reduce manual data entry and aid in faster financial analysis and reporting.

Top features to look for in a document management system

Not all document management systems are created equal. When using a document management system you want to make sure you have all your bases covered.

A user-friendly interface

From generating the document to editing, saving, accessing, and sending, you want it all to be smooth sailing and simple to understand. There’s nothing worse than losing out on time that could be better spent making money for your business, simply because you are having a hard time uploading or accessing crucial documents. vcita’s document management software is extremely intuitive and user-friendly and allows you to get started quickly.

Electronic signature capabilities

This is an important feature, especially if your business requires clients to approve contracts, agreements or consent forms. In these cases, a good practice is to request your clients’ approval by asking them to sign these documents electronically. A good e-signature solution will also have a secure, easy-to-use interface for clients, as well as tracking capabilities that allow you to know when a document has been signed. 

Simple quick view of all documents

When implementing document management software, you want to make sure it allows you to see all your documents in one place and organize them using tags and descriptors that help you understand what each document’s purpose is. For example, with vcita’s document management system you can add a tag to any document and connect it to a client card in your powerful CRM, that way, your documents are connected to relevant clients and you can quickly see what documents are where. 

Easy sharing and collaboration

Your team needs to be able to view and access documents pertaining to certain clients in order to encourage more effective collaboration. Using document management software, like Google Docs, will help you clearly and successfully collaborate with team members when working on a document. Team members should be able to comment, tag other team members and assign tasks to them, and edit and save changes to documents all within the software. This feature will also allow you, as the business owner, to restrict and grant access to specific team members based on the need for their interaction on the document. With remote working being a new norm, features like this are imperative to successful collaboration.

Integrates with your CRM

A good document management platform will allow you to connect and add documents to client cards so that you can more efficiently manage and track the important documents pertaining to each client. This will enable you to use documents in their context and never have to put two and two together when it comes to clients and their documents. You can also use a feature like this to better organize your client notes and client information using your CRM.

Quick view document status

Another essential feature of good document management software is the ability to quickly view the status of a document, like with vcita’s green check marks that indicate whether a document has been received by a client. It’s important to know when a document has been sent, received, opened, and approved. You’ll also want notifications indicating when a document has changed status, and most importantly, you want it all to remain organized and easily accessible.

Cloud-based solution

Though it may seem trivial these days, it’s crucial that your document management software is cloud-based so that you can access your documents from anywhere and from any device. If you’ve sent a time-sensitive document or a document of significant importance to a client, you want to know that you can preview it, make changes, approve, and send/receive it no matter where you are. This will help you provide a level of professionalism and customer service that matches your business goals.

Strong security

Sensitive information is just that, sensitive. You want your clients to feel safe sharing their information, be it an intake form or their credit card information on a payment form, they’ll want to know that your document management software adheres to certain security measures. vcita’s personal client portal, for example, is password protected so that each client has to login securely and can view their own documents in a safe and protected environment.

If you’re in healthcare, for example, you want to make sure your document management software is HIPAA compliant so that you can work and share documents without having to worry about security or compliance issues.

Managing your documents couldn’t be easier

Using document management software eases the pain of chasing the last version of your document or losing sensitive edits or changes made. It can also be connected to your CRM allowing you to organize your documents better so that nothing falls through the cracks. Bottom line: managing your documents using software that is dedicated to just that is the smart, more efficient way to set yourself up for smoother business operations.