Business News Daily | By Adam C. Uzialko, February 20, 2019
Our 2019 research and analysis of document management systems leads us to recommend eFileCabinet as the best low-cost document management system for small businesses. We chose eFileCabinet from the dozens of document management systems we considered.
To read our full methodology and a more comprehensive list of document management systems, visit our best picks page.
For small businesses on a budget, saving money is important. However, inexpensive doesn’t mean much if the software is cheap and lacks the essential features you need. For document management systems, small businesses need access to an easy-to-use platform, optical character recognition (OCR) for scanned documents, plus workflow automation and collaboration tools. These features are critical to the success of your document management system.
eFileCabinet offers a cost-effective solution that doesn’t cut corners on the most important features. Small businesses can still leverage eFileCabinet as a relatively comprehensive platform for document management without breaking the bank.
Ease of Use
eFileCabinet has a bit of a learning curve but is still relatively easy to use. The user interface resembles an email inbox, such as Microsoft Outlook, and can be navigated in much the same way. On the left side of the screen, eFileCabinet features a customizable folder tree that organizes all your documents. The software allows users to preview and annotate documents in a preview window.
The interface itself is sleek, modern and minimalist. However, there are multiple windows and icons that will take new users some time to learn. The learning curve isn’t very steep, but some users might require some minor training to grasp the less-intuitive aspects of the system. Still, implementing eFileCabinet shouldn’t slow down your day-to-day workflow once your staff becomes proficient with the system.
eFileCabinet Online offers several plans for small businesses, which differ according to storage space and features. (Each of these plans are billed annually.) Full details can be found on the company’s pricing page.
- Basic, $15 per user, per month: The Basic pricing package includes 25GB of storage space plus secure file-sharing. This plan is relatively thin compared to the others but offers a workable solution at a very competitive price point.
- Advantage, $30 per user, per month, 3-user minimum: The Advantage pricing package builds on the Basic plan’s offerings, expanding storage space to 1TB of data and including secure file-sharing, the sidekick workflow automation tool, custom and preset templates, user check-in and checkout, profile tagging, e-signature tools, audit trail features and mobile access.
- Business, $55 per user, per month: The Business package is marketed as eFileCabinet’s best value, and it offers the widest array of features among the pricing packages. In addition to the features available in the Advantage plan, the Business package offers 5TB of storage space, along with business process automation, zoned optical character recognition (OCR) capture, onboarding tools, manager/admin approvals and data-specific file routing.
For larger businesses, eFileCabinet offers an Enterprise plan that includes a site license and more than 5TB of storage depending on your needs. Pricing is customized for each business and requires a quote from the eFileCabinet sales department.
eFileCabinet boasts a strong permissions feature, which allows system administrators to restrict which users can access and edit files. Permissions can be assigned on both an individual and group basis, making it easy to set up general permissions, but one nice aspect of the software is that you can override these general permissions on a case-by-case basis as needed.
The software also maintains a customizable template-creation feature. Templates can be used to quickly generate common documents, like letters generated automatically on your company letterhead or invoices. Users can choose from and then customize a variety of templates to automate the routine aspects of document creation for your business.
Other features include a zonal OCR tool, which is used when you scan documents into the system; the Sidekick desktop app, which offers fast access to your files; and an e-signature tool, which makes signing documents or requesting signatures from clients and partners a seamless, built-in process.
eFileCabinet has partnered with SecureDrawer, which allows you to encrypt and electronically send confidential files as large as 1GB to co-workers or clients.
In addition to the software application, eFileCabinet offers a user-friendly mobile application. It’s fast and provides quick access to the documents you use most. The homepage displays files you have recently worked on and those you have marked as favorites. In addition, there is a menu tab that includes a search bar to quickly locate any document in the system and a link that allows you to view all your cabinets, drawers and folders.
For eFileCabinet’s cloud-based platform, it requires several security precautions to ensure files are always protected. All documents are stored in the company’s certified data centers that are Level 1 PCI-compliant. For maximum protection, documents are encrypted while being transmitted. These security measures are critical when trusting a third-party custodian to monitor and manage your documents.
eFileCabinet also integrates with Microsoft Office, QuickBooks, Salesforce, Sage and Foxit, and offers API integration at Advantage level and higher.
We were satisfied with the customer service we received from eFileCabinet. During our initial call, we spoke to a representative who took the time to ensure we had a clear understanding of the system. We discussed pricing, how the cloud-based solution is accessed, its features, how the mobile app works, the amount of included storage and the data center’s security measures.
Users of the system can contact the support team via live chat, phone or email from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. (MST), Monday through Friday. There is also a built-in user guide that answers common questions, such as how to create file cabinets and folders as well as how to share and store documents. In addition, the website features several videos on how to use the system and an extensive FAQs section.
While eFileCabinet offers a strong low-cost option, its Basic plan, the most comprehensive features are only available through its Business package, which is the costliest package the company offers. At $55 per user, per month, that plan is comparable to the costs of other document management companies we evaluated.
Still, for small businesses on a budget that need the most central features of a document management system, eFileCabinet delivers a comprehensive software application that will suit most small businesses’ needs and workflows. Further, the higher-priced plans provide a path for very small businesses to grow into as they scale and their budget expands, making eFileCabinet our best pick for a low-cost document management system.
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