Our 2018 research and analysis of document management systems leads us to again recommend eFileCabinet Online as the best document management system for businesses with a remote workforce. We chose eFileCabinet from a pool of the dozens of document management systems we considered. To read our full methodology and for a more comprehensive list of document management systems, visit our best picks roundup page.
Why eFileCabinet Online?
eFileCabinet Online allows users to log in to the system from any computer or mobile device connected to the internet. In addition, the system offers nearly all the features small businesses want from a document management system.
What makes eFileCabinet Online an ideal document management solution for small businesses with a remote workforce is that you can access it from anywhere. Unlike on-premises systems that need to be specially configured for you to log in to them from outside the office, this cloud-based solution is easy to tap into from any computer or mobile device with an internet connection. This gives employees full access to the system, whether they're working from your office, home or any other location.
Remote employees have total use of the system, not just pieces of it. While most of the other systems we analyzed offer remote access, not all of them provide full functionality from outside the office. This system works the same regardless of where you're working.eFileCabinet Online can be accessed from any computer with an Internet connection.
This system also has an impressive mobile app for iOS or Android devices. With the app, you can preview files before downloading them, download and open documents in other apps, upload documents from other apps, share files via email, print documents, and view the file size for each downloaded item. You can also photograph documents with a mobile camera and upload them directly to the system. This is a tool most of the other document management systems' mobile apps we analyzed don't offer.
We also found the mobile app very easy to use. It's fast and provides quick access to the documents you use most. The homepage shows you the 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.
Since this is a cloud-based system, eFileCabinet takes several security precautions to ensure files are protected at all times. All documents are stored in the company's security-certified data centers that are Level 1 PCI-compliant. For maximum protection, documents are encrypted while being transmitted.
Editor’s Note: Looking for a document-management system for your business? If you’re looking for information to help you choose the one that’s right for you, use the questionnaire below to have our sister site, BuyerZone, provide you with information from a variety of vendors for free:
Easy to Use
Small businesses will love how simple eFileCabinet Online is to use. Since it's a cloud-based solution, you don't need specially configured servers, and there's no software to install or files to back up. Not having to deal with any technical aspects, like you do with self-hosted systems, is a plus for small businesses without an IT staff.
eFileCabinet uses a traditional cabinet and folder structure. You can create as many cabinets, and drawers and folders within them, as you like. This gives you the ability to arrange your filing structure in any way you like.
When storing documents, you can import them from your computer or scan them directly into the system. To make it even easier, you can add files by dragging and dropping.
There are numerous ways to search for saved files. One option is to conduct a quick search by typing in a word or phrase from your documents. If that's too broad, you can conduct advanced searches based on the document name, who added the file and when they were added into the system. You can also save searches you conduct on a regular basis.
eFileCabinet Online has two view options: a new HTML 5 view and the classic view. The HTML5 version, which was released in 2016, has an extremely clean interface, functions without a Silverlight plugin – which was recently discontinued by Google Chrome – and has a responsive design that scales the system to fit whatever screen you're using. In addition, the system's scanning interface and print driver are compatible with Mac computers in the new view.eFileCabinet unveiled a new view option this year. It functions without a Silverlight plugin and has a responsive design.
Those who don't like the HTML5 interface have the option of using the classic view. This option, which does require the Silverlight plugin, is just as user-friendly and easy to navigate. Regardless of which option you use, how you store and search for files remains the same.Users who don't like the new view option still have the ability to use the Classic version.
eFileCabinet Online offers several pricing plans for small businesses, which differ in the amount of included storage and features:
- Cost: $9.95 per user, per month
- Storage: 100 GB
- Implementation: None
- Features: Among the features are profiles, notification and branding; basic templates; file expiration, passwords, comments and audit trails; view PDF/images; and simple and secure file sharing. Available add-ons include full previewer, advanced templates, check in/out, Sidekick and guest users.
- Cost: $50 per month, per user
- Storage: 250 GB
- Implementation: Starts at $500 for three users; $100 for each additional user
- Features: Among the features are drag-and-drop file storage, SecureDrawer sharing portal, and Microsoft Office, QuickBooks and eSignature integration.
- Cost: $65 per month, per user
- Storage: 500 GB.
- Implementation: Starts at $750 for three users; $150 for each additional user.
- Features: All the Performance plan features plus document retention, role-based security, audit trail, file versioning, workflow and guest auditor access.
More storage for any plan is $10 per month for each additional 100GB.
For larger businesses, there is an Enterprise plan that also includes advanced workflow, full API access, data migration, consulting services and a workflow planner. Pricing is customized for each business. Add-ons available for any plan include Salesforce integration, zonal OCR and data conversion.
What we found appealing about eFileCabinet's pricing is that it's all clearly outlined on its website. Rather than calling for a price quote, which most of the other providers we examined made us do, we could see how all of the costs break down by simply visiting the company online.
eFileCabinet Online has just about everything small businesses need from a document management solution. One of the most valuable features is the permission function, which lets you restrict who can view and edit certain files. Permissions can be assigned by individual employees or groups of users, such as managers or sales teams. This allows you to ensure that only those workers with permission can access certain documents.
One feature eFileCabinet Online offers that some other systems don't is the ability to create templates within the system. These templates serve as a frame for documents you commonly use, such as invoices or letterhead. The templates can be generated with some information already filled in, such as your business's name and address, while leaving the body of the document empty.
The system also includes a zonal OCR tool, which is used when you scan documents into the system. Zonal OCR gives users the ability to select certain fields in regularly used documents, and then use those fields to automatically recognize and route the files into the proper cabinets, drawers and folders when they are scanned in.
The Sidekick feature is an icon that sits on your desktop and basically serves as a quick way to access your system. Instead of going into the system, you can simply click on the icon for easy access to all your cabinets, drawers and folders. With this tool, you can quickly check out and open any of your files. You can also add files into the system by simply dragging the file into the icon.
eFileCabinet also provides access to SecureDrawer and eSignature, which aren't available in the other systems we looked into. SecureDrawer allows you to electronically send confidential files as large as 1GB to co-workers or clients, while eSignature lets you send documents to others to be digitally signed and stores all your digitally signed files in one secure location.
We like how many popular programs eFileCabinet Online integrates with. While most of the document management systems we looked at integrate with Microsoft Office, this is one of the few that also connects with QuickBooks, Salesforce, Sage and Foxit.
We were very pleased with the customer service we received from eFileCabinet. To judge what customers can expect from the support team, we called the company multiple times posing as a new business owner interested in document management systems. During our initial call, we spoke to a representative who took the time to make sure we had a clear understanding of the system. We discussed pricing, how the cloud solution is accessed, its features, how the mobile app works, the amount of included storage and the data center's security measures.
What impressed us most during this call was the representative's honesty. One of the first things he said was that he was new to the company. He wanted us to understand that there was a reason he might not be able to answer all our inquiries off the top of his head. When we did pose a question he didn't know the answer to, he briefly put us on hold and got it. During some of our calls to other document management companies, we had representatives who, instead of asking for help, avoided answering our question or provided wrong answers. While our call may have taken a little longer, the rep's transparency was a positive sign that, if we do have a problem and the person we're speaking with can't answer our question, they will find someone who can.
We were just as pleased when we called back several months later to ensure the customer service still met our expectations. This time, we spoke to a more seasoned representative who explained in detail some of the new features, as well as the new interface. We also discussed pricing, support options and the mobile app. Overall, we found the service to be just as impressive as when we initially contacted the company.
We also tested the company's live chat tool. We asked several questions on different days to see what kind of response we would get. Each time, we received quick and detailed answers. We like that a live chat tool is available, as many of the other providers we investigated don't offer it.
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's a built-in user guide that answers 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 FAQ section.
While eFileCabinet Online includes nearly all of what you would want from a document management system, it does come with a high price tag. In addition to the monthly costs, which can be substantial depending on how many employees you have and the plan you choose, there's also a sizable implementation fee. This cloud-based system is one of only a few we found that charges a setup fee. If eFileCabinet is too expensive for you, we encourage you to consider our pick for the best document management system for businesses on a budget, which is also a cloud-based solution. While it's significantly cheaper, it doesn't have nearly as many features and tools as eFileCabinet Online does.
Ready to choose a document management system? Here's a breakdown of our complete coverage:
- Document Management Systems: A Buyer's Guide
- Best Document Management Software and Systems 2018
- Best Document Management for Business
- Best Low-Cost Document Management
- Best Document Management for Mac
- Best Document Management for Windows
Editor's Note: Looking for a document management system for your business? If you’re looking for information to help you choose the one that’s right for you, use the questionnaire below to have our sister site, BuyerZone, provide you with information from a variety of vendors for free:
Additional reporting by Chad Brooks.