Document Management System: What It Is and Why You Need One

Published: August 11, 2022
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A document management system (DMS)—also known as document management software—allows businesses to quickly and securely store, organize, access, and share documents. 

What is a Document Management System? 

Your DMS can be as simple as file cabinets or portable hard drives. Or it can be more sophisticated, like centralized local servers or cloud-based software. There are three primary approaches to having a DMS.  

  • On-Premise Document Management Systems are hosted by a physical device or a piece of equipment that you own, like a USB, portable hard drives, personal computers, and even file cabinets.  
  • Cloud-Based Management Systems are accessible over the internet via a web browser or mobile app. A third party is responsible for maintaining the physical storage facilities and ensuring the safety and security of the data. As a user, you just upload your documents and files to the cloud, and the software provider takes care of the rest.  
  • A mix of On-Premise and Cloud Document Management Systems is when companies use both solutions to manage and share documents. You might have a local server, individual computers, and file cabinets to store your operational documents, but you might also use an online platform such as DropBox to manage and share files with colleagues and clients.   

All document management systems fulfill basic needs of document storage and organization. But when it comes how they support your business needs, not all systems are created equal. 

How to Choose a Document Management Systems (DMS) for Your Business

“Most of what’s out there is not made to withstand or support all that the typical tax preparation process requires,” Certified Public Accountant & Certified Fraud Examiner Dawn W. Brolin, CPA, CFE, says.  

These processes include customizable tax-specific workflows, bank-level security, e-signature capabilities, and integration with other practice management and tax solutions. “This is why the selection of a DMS that is built for your firm is critically important,” she says.  

A strong DMS keeps your team and clients in sync, supports productivity, increases profitability, and empowers you to grow your business. Download our latest white paper, How to Simplify Your Accounting Workflow and Increase Success with a Document Management Systemto learn what your DMS should help you accomplish, as well as how you can ensure you’re choosing the right system for your business.

To learn more about SmartVault, contact us today for a 15-minute personalized demo.