Before considering SharePoint, it’s important to understand that it is not a single product, per se. Rather, it’s the basis for building
content management systems that can vary
from simple to complex.
The free versions of SharePoint provide
extensive collaboration features, such as
shared document libraries and wikis, and
can be used to create an entity-wide intranet.
SharePoint Designer is a Web site creator, and
other add-ons and ancillary apps allow it to
be evolved into a complex and comprehensive document/content management system.
SharePoint is also frequently used with document capture and routing systems such as
those from Notable Solutions and eCopy.
Because of SharePoint’s complexity of installation, you or your client may well need
the assistance of a reseller to get the best use
from the application.
Notable Solutions Inc.
For documents to be managed, they first
have to enter the system somehow. Much of
the time, they are a paper form, or reside on
different PCs or servers and possibly on different networks. Getting them together and
indexed in a searchable, findable format is
what a capture-and-routing system like NSi’s
AutoStore does. It gathers documents from
varied sources, including scanners and multi-function printers, as well as electronic documents from various devices, and sends them
to designated locations. These can be e-mail
and fax servers, individual or departmental
staffers, or a document or content management application such as SharePoint.
AutoStore, and similar capture-and-routing apps such as Nuance’s eCopy, can reside
on servers and be accessed through clients
installed on PCs or directly on a device such
as an MFP. Managing the routing on the other
side of the process, such as integration with
DM systems, is accomplished through a
piece of software called a Connector, which
is specific to the application AutoStore is being integrated with. NSi currently has over
30 connectors available. In many cases, NSi
has partnered with MFP vendors like Canon
and Ricoh so that the application client can
be run directly from the MFP’s control panel.
This allows you to preview the capture and, in
some cases, perform editing on the captured
document before sending it on.
Not every practice or client requires a com-
plex and expensive document management
system. Sole practitioners or a small business
might just need some better way of organiz-
ing, storing and retrieving documents and
other content. PaperPort Professional 14
might just be the affordable answer.
Office Tools Pro
Office Tools Pro.
Generally, practice management applications are more or less an enhanced version
of time and billing. The emphasis is on revenue, and use of staff resources to effectively
provide it. Office Tools Professional takes a
somewhat different approach. It does have
the ability to track employee time and time
spent on tasks and projects, though it isn’t
actually a time and billing system.
Practice Management 2012 also provides a
basic DMS, using file folders. In this respect,
it’s similar to several of the other applications
in this roundup. Other capabilities include
due date monitoring, calendaring and collaboration tools, and a basic CRM system.
Office Tools Professional also has some add-ons available to provide or enhance features
in the system. These include client portals
and tools to sync with QuickBooks, Microsoft
Outlook, Lacerte, and an Excel importer.
Office Tools Pro isn’t a workflow or DMS
per se. But for a small practice or partnership it might be a workable solution that’s
relatively inexpensive and simple to install,
configure and use.
The Tax & Accounting business of Thomson
Thomson Reuters’ suite offering is the CS
Professional Suite, and Filing Cabinet CS is
the electronic document component. Filing
Cabinet CS is not a full-blown document
management system, but as its name implies, it provides a way to centralize files and
documents produced by the other modules
in the CS Professional Suite. This is actually a
sensible addition. While the CS Professional
Suite uses the same underlying databases,
the client files are not stored in a single place,
so consolidating them for easier access and
retrieval can save staff time and effort.
Thomson Reuters also offers a Source
Document Processing service. You can scan
documents, but you have to send them to
Thomson Reuters (and pay) for them to be
run through OCR. Once that’s done, FileCabinet CS can store those documents as well. Of
course, if you have a fair amount of this type
of document, most stand-alone scanners,
and many MFPs, come with OCR capability,
so you may want to do it yourself, rather than
scan and send.
XCM Solutions Inc.
While many of the products detailed in this
roundup address one or more aspects of
workflow and/or document management,
XCM is strictly focused on being a comprehensive, firm-wide workflow manager.
Its capabilities include establishing routing
priorities and assigning responsibilities for
specific tasks, mapping process workflows
and integrating them with Windows Explorer,
and tracking the specific location of tasks in
If a DMS is in place, XCM can link to it to
store and retrieve documents as needed in
the workflow, and provide due date management if an application does not already have
XCM is not intended to replace already-in-stalled apps, but provides a way to track data
when information is shared, such as when
write-up is tied to tax preparation. The system is Web-based, which allows traveling and
remote staff members to actively update and
check the status of projects and tasks even
when on the road or at another office.
There are several versions of XCM. The
standard version is for larger firms and practices, while XCMessential is for practices with
one to five users, and XCMessential Plus is
designed for five to 10 users. If you have clients that would benefit from a workflow management solution, XCM is also available in a
corporate version. AT
Ted Needleman writes frequently on
software, hardware, and technology-related
subjects, and was previously the editor-in-chief of Accounting Technology.
BAAS BUYS CA-PLUS
THORNHILL, ONT. — BAAS Business Solutions, one of the largest Canadian-based
Sage North America VARs, has acquired
Toronto-based Sage partner CA-Plus
Inc. The move further adds to BAAS’s
customer base, effectively growing its
staff, offices and expanding its product
line. Specifically, the firm will now have
approximately 70 staff and eight offices,
including an additional presence in Edmonton, Alberta. BAASS represents Sage
300 ERP, BusinessVision and Sage CRM.
3 BLYTHECO PRINCIPALS DEPART
LAGUNA HILLS, CALIF. — Three minority
shareholders and principals at major
Sage North America partner Blytheco departed at the end of May. The firm’s chief
executive, Stephen Blythe, described the
departure as “amicable” and “part of an
18-month plan.” Blytheco purchased the
shares of Blytheco president and chief
operating office Ruth Menter, executive
vice president of technology solutions
Nicholas Hoad, and vice president of
consulting Judy Enders. The three are
under a consulting contract that is effective until the end of 2012 and will work
in such a capacity until that time. The
move also effectively buys out all minority
shareholders’ stakes, with the exception
of Phil Sim, who now heads up Blytheco’s
professional services group.
JOINS INTACCT CHANNEL
PORTLAND, MAINE — Technology consulting
firm Gilchrist Scott has joined the Intacct
Business Partner Program, allowing them
to sell, implement, support and develop
enhancements for Intacct’s cloud financial
applications. The firm plans to initially
focus its Intacct practice on not-for-profit
and professional services organizations
before expanding into new markets.
Gilchrist Scott has been in business since
1988 and traditionally sold and represented Microsoft Dynamics GP.
VANCOUVER, B.C. — Small-business-foc-used cloud accounting software vendor
Kashoo has launched the Kashoo Most
Valuable Professional Program specifically
for professional accountants and bookkeepers. With the program, accountants
and bookkeepers get an Accountants
Edition of Kashoo’s cloud-based accounting software in which they can manage
the business records of up to 20 clients in
real time, as well as other resources.