In businesses that produce a lot of documents, it is important to have an efficient, useable system in place for storing, preserving, and organizing all of the information passing through the company. 2 of the primary ways in which modern companies organize all of the documents created within their organization are document control software and document management software.
While these terms may sound similar and are sometimes erroneously used interchangeably, the two systems have crucial differences that will affect how they interact with your business. To clear up some of the confusion, let’s take a closer look at what exactly document control software does in contrast to document management software so that you can better understand which one will be better for your business.
Document Management Software
The primary function of document management software is to provide a system for organizing large groups of documents across an entire organization. Document management software lets you store, access, index, search, retrieve, archive, and delete documents quickly inside of a single system. Many document management systems are built with the ability to convert documents that normally would be stored physically with paper copies and manual filing systems into digital versions so that they can be stored and accessed quickly and more affordably.
Some of the key benefits of a document management system are:
- Quicker search and retrieval: Document management software lets you use the processing power of your computer network to search through any and all documents that might be relevant to whatever an employee needs to access. As the documents are stored electronically, they can then be accessed from any computer or other device with access to the network.
- Centralized Storage: Document management systems can be broken down into sections, with a master document storage system pulling all of the components together. This means that documents from different departments can have their own unique organization but still be accessed by anyone in the company who might need them.
- Easier Collaboration: Since everyone who needs to access a document can reach whatever documents they need quickly, networked collaboration becomes streamlined and simplified. Team members and departments can quickly send and access all documents necessary to complete projects faster and more efficiently.
Document Control Software
All of the above listed functions are also integrated into document control software; however, document control software is specifically designed to help businesses manage their documents in a way that will help them meet regulations within their industry. Document control software is designed to ensure much higher levels of security, visibility, and version control to achieve higher levels of transparency should the company need to produce those documents and any related documents in order to satisfy government regulations. The ultimate goal of document control software is to create a controlled and reliable series of documents that provides a complete audit trail.
This is an important part of many different industries and is often the result of specific government regulations. Accounting businesses need to keep files outlining the financial records of the individuals and businesses whom they represent to avoid any accusations of embezzlement or other wrongdoing. Businesses in the construction industry are required to keep project documentation on record for warranty periods that range from 5 to 10 years. These are just a couple of examples—many other industries, such as healthcare, food safety and insurance, all must meet equally strict document storage regulations.
To meet these standards, document control systems must integrate all of the document management features described above, in addition to the following systems:
- Version Control: A document control system must be able to track previous versions and identify the most current live version, and also make that version accessible to anyone who might need to modify or view the document. A successful document control system should prevent users from accidentally working on an old version of a document.
- Security: A document control system must offer increased security measures, as documents may need to be shared outside of a company’s internal network. A document control system should prevent unwanted users from accessing any files but the ones specifically being shown to them, even if they are moving through the software.
- Audit Trail: Document control software should provide a complete audit trail. Anyone who needs to should be able to view the entire life cycle of a document to ensure that it was created following the correct regulations.
If your business needs the solutions that only powerful document control software can provide, then consider eFileCabinet. eFileCabinet began as a tool built for the accounting community that was built with compliance focus in mind. Now it’s providing critical document control solutions across a broad range of industries, including the healthcare and insurance industries, even the government.
If you’re ready to learn how eFileCabinet can help your business organize all of its documents in a way that will both save you money and meet all government regulations, visit eFileCabinet online and fill out the lead form on the page to see a quick and informative 15-minute demonstration.