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The Best Document Management Software of 2023

By
Adam Uzialko
,
business.com Staff
| Updated
Dec 19, 2022

Our experts have compared the best document management software for 2023. See up-to-date comparisons, reviews and costs for the top-rated programs.

Best for Ease of Use
M-Files
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Four pricing options
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Flexible storage capacity
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Automated tag organization
Best Scalable DMS
FileHold Express
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Offers up to 4TB of storage
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Customizable features
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Supports remote collaboration
Best for Storage Capacity
Rubex by eFileCabinet
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Unlimited storage capacity option
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Three available pricing tiers
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Useful mobile app
Best for Integration
DocuWare
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500+ integration options
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Offers up to 250GB of storage
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Effective automation features
Best for Productivity
DocuPhase
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Advanced search and tagging features
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Automatic file routing
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Offers lower-priced guest accounts
Our experts have compared the best document management software for 2023. See up-to-date comparisons, reviews and costs for the top-rated programs.

Document management software digitizes and organizes all of your documents. To help you find the solution that’s right for your business, we examined more than 70 applications. We considered several factors – including cost, ease of use and storage capacity – to determine the software we think is best for different businesses and uses. Read more about our recommendations below, and scroll down further to read our guide on what features you should look for when choosing document management software and how much you should expect to pay.

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How We Decided
Our team spends weeks evaluating dozens of business solutions to identify the best options. To stay current, our research is regularly updated.
72
Considered
10
Researched
4
Selected

Compare Our Best Picks

Company Editor’s Score Use Case Free Trial Demo Available Pricing Storage OCR Customer Support Options
Rubex by eFileCabinet 9.7/10 Storage Capacity No Yes Requires a quote 20TB Yes Customer service form, chat, phone number, email
Docuware 9.6/10 Integration 30-day free trial Yes Requires a quote 20GB-250GB for cloud storage Yes Support request form, community forums, educational articles
M-Files 9.4/10 Ease of Use 30-day free trial Yes Four tiers; requires a quote Dependent on server-side storage capacity Yes FAQ page, video channel, solution catalogue, M-Files community, e-mail
FileHold 9.4/10 Scalable 30-day free trial Yes Requires a quote 32GB-4TB Yes email, form, FAQ, Knowledge Base
Docuphase 9.2/10 Productivity No Yes Requires a quote Not listed Yes Phone, email, FAQ, videos
isoTracker 8.5/10 Customer support 60-day free trial No Based on users, subscription period, and add-ons. Up to 103 GB No Email, chat, help engine with user manuals and video tutorials, phone
Canon USA Doc Management 8.3/10 Security No Yes Requires a quote 10GB / user Yes Virtual presence support, field support, FAQ, phone
Kyocera Doc Management 8.3/10 Automation No Yes Requires a quote Not listed Yes FAQ, manuals, brochures, Phone, contact form
Dropbox Business 8.7/10 Mobility 30-day free trial Yes Starts at $15/user/month for teams. Basic plan available for free. Up to 5TB Yes Phone, Help Center, Live chat agents

Our Reviews

M-Files: Best Document Management Software for Ease of Use

pro
M-Files works well for businesses in numerous specialized industries.
pro
This solution utilizes machine learning document retrieval, which allows for greater automation and time savings.
con
The company doesn't publish pricing. You'll need to contact M-Files for a price quote.

M-Files is our choice as the easiest-to-use document management software solution. Users can quickly and seamlessly organize and manage electronic documents. Its sleek and intuitive user interface offers the familiar feel of Windows File Explorer, reducing the learning curve for new users. M-Files boasts that its customers see a 250 percent ROI when using its document management services. M-Files attributes this to its Metadata technology that helps users find the information they need quickly and automate business processes.

Editor’s Score: 9.4/10

M-Files comes in both a cloud and on-premises version. The cloud-based option works on any of the major web browsers, including Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and Safari. The on-premises version is only available on Windows operating systems. No matter what browser you use, collaborating with colleagues and clients is easy with M-Files. Users are able to install co-authoring capabilities and other integrations to ensure work is done efficiently.

Read M-Files Review

FileHold Express: Best Scalable Document Management Solution

pro
FileHold is a flexible document management solution with several tiers of features. |
pro
FileHold is a flexible document management solution with several tiers of features. | The FileHold Cloud makes this a convenient document management solution for remote teams.
con
FileHold’s on-premises solution is not compatible with Mac computers.

We found FileHold to be the best scalable document management software, as it offers numerous service plans, features and pricing options that make it easy to scale up or down depending on your business’s specific needs. Standard features include Google-like or advanced search methods, version control, scanning and imaging, OCR and indexing, electronic forms, and Microsoft Office integration. As your business’s needs become more sophisticated, you can add on tools such as document workflow, print-to-FileHold and automatic document importation. You can also get custom features, including those for multiple languages, auto-filling, and rebranding the look and feel of the software.

Editor’s Score: 9.4/10

FileHold allows users to choose between a cloud or on-premise version. Both can be accessed from anywhere, but the on-premises version is installed on your own server or preferred cloud site. FileHold offers free trials for both programs and hosts Workshop Wednesdays twice per month to answer any questions users may have. In addition, the FileHold website includes a comprehensive knowledge base that helps users get the most out of the software.

Read FileHold Express Review

Rubex by eFileCabinet: Best Document Management System for Storage Capacity

pro
Since it is cloud-based and can be accessed from anywhere, Rubex by eFileCabinet is excellent for remote workforces.
pro
Files can easily be accessed on Rubex’s mobile app.
con
Rubex can have a slight learning curve for some users.

Rubex by eFileCabinet Online is an excellent option for businesses concerned about having enough storage space. In fact, it’s the only choice on our list that offers a 20TB storage option (most of its competitors max out at 5TB). Rubex is ideal for large teams that handle and store a lot of information. This cloud-based solution also favors remote work, allowing employees to connect from anywhere through its mobile or desktop app. There are multiple service plans to choose from that vary by price, storage options and included features. For specific pricing information, you need to contact the company for a customized quote for specific pricing information.

Editor’s Score: 9.7/10

Rubex has a number of valuable features and tools that help make work more efficient, including automated workflows, quick search functionality, and customization options. Users can find what they need quickly and easily share it with others by creating a list of predefined document names. Electronic signature capabilities speed the process along as well and are protected by knowledge-based authentication or one-time passwords. The storage space Rubex offers can also benefit your inbox. Users can easily import emails and attachments directly into folders. Rubex integrates with Google Drive and Microsoft OneDrive to streamline the importing process.

Read Rubex by eFileCabinet Review

DocuWare: Best Document Management for Integration

pro
DocuWare works well for larger businesses with multiple types of software in their tech stack.
pro
This software offers more than 500 integrations.
con
The highest plan provides only up to 250GB of storage, which may not be sufficient for data-heavy businesses.

DocuWare is document management software that excels in integration. The software integrates with more than 500 applications, including popular financial software Sage and QuickBooks, as well as Microsoft Outlook, Microsoft Dynamics, SAP and Oracle. DocuWare offers easy integration options, which ensures you have numerous ways to connect the software to the programs you use most. This level of integration helps ensure there will be more consistency, organization and real-time updated data for your business. DocuWare also offers a free trial, so your team can test out the software and integrations before making a commitment.

Editor’s Score: 9.6/10

DocuWare’s secure storage works hand-in-hand with integration: Business emails can be archived directly and safely with native Microsoft Outlook integration. Secure content can also be accessed from your CRM, ERP and other applications through integrations.

This program also helps increase productivity, as DocuWare is equally well known for its workflow automation capability. This saves teams time and helps them stay on task to meet deadlines by streamlining business processes companywide. Using this cloud solution, you can automate all incoming invoices and categorize them to store in a secure archive. All documents are AES encrypted, and triple data mirroring ensures that there will always be a backup of your work.

Read DocuWare Review

DocuPhase: Best Document Management System for Productivity

pro
DocuPhase offers helpful features for companies that process a large volume of documents.
pro
This solution provides advanced search and automation options to keep your files organized.
con
DocuPhase does not offer live chat customer support, which can be a challenge for companies that need a quick resolution.

We found DocuPhase to be the best document management solution to foster productivity. This cloud-based system has many tools and features to help your team stay organized, remain on-task and finish projects faster. We especially like the auto-indexing tool, which allows users to create preset tags that can be automatically assigned to incoming files. Custom workflows support automatic file routing, ensuring everyone is on the same page. Plus, OCR technology replaces manual data entry, giving team members more time to hit deadlines.

Editor’s Score: 9.2/10

DocuPhase enables businesses to go completely paperless with its electronic web forms. Its easy drag-and-drop form builder lets your team design forms to fit your needs and then automatically route, track and manage results. Web forms can be integrated with Salesforce, NetSuite and more. Any data collected can be automatically saved as a dynamic PDF. Putting this process entirely online helps save time and increases team productivity. Pricing is customized for each business and is based on the number of licenses needed and which features and tools are required.

Read DocuPhase Review

isoTracker: Best Document Management Software for Customer Support

pro
isoTracker offers numerous customer support options, including live chat, phone and an email contact form.
pro
Unlike many other solutions, isoTracker allows prospective customers to get a rough estimate of the cost before speaking with an agent.
con
Some users may find the layout and menu options to be lacking.

isoTracker is our pick for best customer support because of its variety of support options and the ease with which you can access help when needed.  Not only does this document management company clearly provide a contact number, but customers also have the option to fill in a form describing their issue or question to help support agents clearly understand the issues they are facing. Additionally, for those needing quick answers, there is a live chat tool to discuss any immediate concerns. We were also impressed with the video guides, which give users step-by-step instructions on how to use the software. They cover topics like how to add new documents and check in a new document version.

Editor’s Score: 8.5/10

The software uses a Windows-based file structure, which makes it easy to navigate. It utilizes a number of drop-down menus that make inserting and categorizing documents a simple process. The cloud-hosted software provides users with a centralized document repository, valuable workflow tools and automated notifications. It also includes integrated analytics and reports.

Pricing is completely customized and based on the number of users, how long of a commitment you want to make, and which tools and services you want. However, unlike other vendors that require you to contact them directly for a quote, you can instantly learn how much the software will cost by completing an online form. This is extremely valuable for businesses that want to know quickly whether the software will fit within their budget.

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Canon USA: Best for Security

pro
Canon’s document management system puts an emphasis on security, making it ideal for businesses that handle sensitive documents.
pro
Cloud Remote Monitoring allows admins to track which devices are accessing documents in real time.
con
Canon has limited support options for its document management solution.

Canon USA has a stacked set of security features, making it the most secure solution for document management on our list. The management software uses the imageRUNNER ADVANCE DX platform, which helps maintain the confidentiality, accessibility and availability of your information. There are also several authentication software solutions offered, such as One Login, Azure Active Directory, OKTA and Open ID. Built-in Intrusion Detection Systems provide additional security for email backup services by monitoring for malicious activity or policy violations. This helps with both security and compliance.

Editor’s Score: 8.3/10

Devices that use imageRUNNER ADVANCE DX allow organizations to designate authorized users, reserving certain material for security professionals. McAfee Embedded Control also comes as a standard feature on imageRUNNER ADVANCE DX and imagePRESS Lite models. Canon USA offers an additional level of security through uniFLOW Online Express, integrated software that acts as an extension of imageRUNNER ADVANCE. This extension adds access control, integrated cost tracking and cloud scanning technology.

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Kyocera: Best Document Management Solution for Automation

pro
Kyocera offers an easy-to-use system for labeling and tracking documents.
pro
This solution offers a standout optical character recognition (OCR) tool plus convenient one-click indexing.
con
There is no online pricing information, so you are required to call for a custom quote.

Kyocera offers two document management solutions: Cloud Information Manager and Enterprise Information Manager. Both are designed to support the digitization and organization of physical documents in an easy-to-use system, and each offers valuable automation tools to help teams organize documents in the proper place and keep track of document activity once it’s added to the cloud.

Editor’s Score: 8.3/10

Kyocera Cloud Information Manager (KCIM) is a browser-based solution that uses OCR to extract characters from scanned documents with one-click indexing. Team leaders can also manage document access by assigning documents to certain team members. Permissions can be set to automatically decide who can “read,” “write” or “delete” content, so access is limited to only those who actually need it. KCIM then labels these documents and keeps track of any changes made within them. Any comments made within a document will be automatically sent to others collaborating on the document, streamlining approval processes.

Kyocera Enterprise Information Manager (KEIM) uses REST API that integrates with many third-party platforms to help best organize your files and increase business productivity. This full-scale enterprise content management solution also uses an intelligent search engine to help users find files even faster. Within KEIM, you can create automated structured workflows so your team never misses a deadline.

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Dropbox: Best Document Management Solution for Mobility

pro
Dropbox offers affordable and user-friendly solutions for teams of all sizes.
pro
The built-in eSignature tool makes Dropbox an ideal solution for businesses that process a lot of contracts.
con
Some of Dropbox’s features, such as collaboration and versioning, are not as robust as those of other document management solutions we reviewed.

Dropbox is our choice as the best document management software for mobility because of how easy it is to access, share, track and sign documents. The management software offers mobile offline folders and the option of a remote account wipe, both of which can be completed from anywhere. One of the best features is the eSignature tool, which allows users to sign legal documents with just a few clicks. Users are able to sync devices so that files are accessible at all times. We especially like how newly saved and updated files automatically sync to all users and devices. The mobility of Dropbox keeps documents moving and ensures they don’t get lost in the shuffle.

Editor’s Score: 8.7/10

Dropbox, one of the most well-known document management solutions, offers a popular free version, in addition to multiple paid plans that support anyone from a solopreneur to large teams. For individuals, paid plans start at $9.99 per month with unlimited device linking, 30-day file history and three free eSignatures per month. For enterprises interested in Dropbox, custom pricing is available upon request.

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Document Management Software Pricing

Pricing for document management systems varies greatly depending on several factors. For example, the hosting method you choose can impact the pricing significantly.

Cloud-based document management software is generally based on a monthly subscription rate, while on-premises solutions require a one-time fee upfront, plus an annual subscription for software updates and technical support. Some companies offer a hybrid model that blends on-premises and cloud-based solutions.

  • Cloud-based solutions typically cost $15 to $200 per user per month.
  • On-premises solutions generally average $1,000 per user. In addition, you’ll pay setup fees and an annual service subscription for software updates and technical support, which is generally about 20 percent of the initial cost.

Monthly subscriptions are based on a per-user-per-month model, so the number of users you need greatly influences the total cost.

FYIFYI: Many document management systems offer multiple tiers with different features for organizations with differing levels of need.

Buying Guide

Document Management Software Features

Here’s a closer look at some of the core document management software features we looked for in our best picks:

Search

A search tool lets you quickly and easily filter documents stored in the software. Most search functions include the ability to sort by date created, date edited and a variety of metadata tags, which can be applied to a document upon upload or any time thereafter.

OCR

OCR automates the process of metadata selection and streamlines searchability even further. OCR turns text from paper documents into searchable text once a file is digitized. Software with an effective OCR tool makes it even easier to organize and sort your documents.

File upload

Most document management software offers multiple ways to upload files, including importing them from another database or scanning them in from a compatible scanner or printer. Once uploaded, documents can be affixed with unique metadata to help organize them for easy search and retrieval later on.

File cabinet navigation

Many document management software employs a file cabinet style navigation. This includes an organization structure that follows a cabinet/folder/file system, similar to the one employed by Windows File Explorer. This system makes it easy to organize documents and locate them quickly, even without using the search function.

Versioning

Version control, or versioning, is critical to safeguarding and tracking editable documents within a document management system. When documents are regularly updated or changed, versioning allows you to keep track of old versions and quickly identify new ones. Minor changes, such as light proofreading, can often be identified by a minor version update (often displayed as “v 1.1”). More significant changes will be denoted by a major version update (which could be displayed as “v 2.0”).

Did you know?Did you know? In most systems, version control limits editing access of a given file to a single person at a time, forcing other users into read-only status until editing is completed, which prevents confusion. In some systems, you can set a notification to alert specific users when a file has been edited.

Workflow automation

Workflow automation allows users to assign tasks related to specific documents to other users of the system. Users are then notified that action is needed from them on a particular document. They can then pass off the document to another user once their task is complete. Workflow automation tools can be set up to automatically trigger notifications for documents that follow a routine step-by-step workflow.

Security

Security features are essential to preventing an organizational data breach, especially for businesses that store sensitive customer data or trade secrets. Security features, such as encryption, vary depending on the document management solution. One common security feature, though, is an audit log, which keeps tabs on every single activity performed in the software.

Mobile accessibility

Many applications come with a mobile access component. As remote work increases, mobile apps or mobile web browser access is an important element of document management software for many companies.

How to Choose Document Management Software

Conduct market research

Document management software is a crowded field, so choosing a vendor can be difficult. The most basic software serves as digitization software and centralized document storage, while more complex systems allow for built-in collaboration and task management among team members. Research the market and read through customer reviews to identify market leaders.

Assess your needs

When choosing a document management system, it’s important to know what you need. Are you looking for a digital archive that can be periodically updated, or do you require software that enables daily creation and editing of new documents? Do you prefer a locally hosted, on-premises solution, or do you prefer a cloud-based solution managed by your vendor partner or a third party?

Regulatory compliance

Many businesses operating in regulated industries are required by law to track, maintain and audit business documents.

Among the document management solutions we reviewed, many comply with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), Sarbanes-Oxley, Good Manufacturing Practices required by the Food and Drug Administration, or ISO 9000/9001 regulatory compliance requirements.

This is a critical capability that many businesses cannot afford to do without. If your business is required to comply with federal regulations, it is critical to know which applications offer regulatory compliance support.

Integrations

If your business utilizes a top CRM application or an ERP database, limit your search to document management software that integrates seamlessly with the programs you use daily. While you can use software that doesn’t integrate with your CRM or ERP program, choosing compatible software allows you to access, edit, back up and monitor digital files and documents created within your CRM or ERP program, further increasing the efficiency of your office.

FYIFYI: Most document control systems integrate with popular email clients, such as Microsoft Outlook, as well as business software suites like Microsoft Office.

Vet your options

Pinpointing what you’re looking for is half the battle, and asking the right questions will help you determine which system is right for your business.

Some questions to ask software providers include the following:

  • What operating systems support this software?
  • Is document imaging and digitization included?
  • Are there any collaboration tools, workflow automation options or project management tools?
  • How many file types does the software support?
  • Is there a versioning feature for tracking changes to documents?
  • How many users can access a document at once?
  • What third-party software does the system integrate with?
  • What level of technical support can I expect to receive?

Put everything in writing

As always, closely read any legal documents, including contracts, before signing. The vendor should put everything you’ve discussed in writing and specify which features you are getting for your money.

Always have an exit strategy in writing as well in case things don’t go as expected. If the service you’re considering won’t allow you to cut ties without paying cancellation fees, consider it a red flag.

Benefits of Document Management Software

  • Increased security: Not only does document management software offer a better way to store, sort, search and access records, but it also allows administrators to restrict certain files by permissions, ensuring only those who require access to those documents have it.
  • Ability to make and track changes from anywhere: Files can be repeatedly edited and updated from anywhere in the world. Most applications have a versioning feature, so users can track the changes that have occurred throughout the life cycle of a document.
  • Improved collaboration and workflow automation: With most applications, you scan paper documents into digital versions, which are then stored on the platform. The best programs improve your team’s ability to collaborate remotely and around the clock. They also offer workflow automation tools that make it easy to create, edit, review and approve any and all documents necessary to keep your business running smoothly
  • Eco-friendliness: Document management systems offer tools to help you create and manage a paperless office. Rather than using multiple programs to handle the various stages of a paperless workflow, the software delivers all the functionality you need in a single interface.
  • Easy importation: Most applications include imaging tools that interface with your scanner, enabling you to scan and import documents directly into a central document repository. In addition to scanning paper documents, many systems let you import most types of digital documents: PDFs, word processing files, spreadsheets, image files and many other file formats. Once a document is imported into the system, it’s stored in a data repository that can be made accessible to others in your office and, in many cases, individuals outside your office.

Document Management Software FAQs

What is document control software?

Document control software helps you streamline document management processes like review, approval, distribution, retrieval and disposal. Additionally, it automates records management policies to help monitor access and ensure compliance with standards such as ISO, FDA, Sarbanes-Oxley and HIPAA.

How do you manage files on your computer?

When managing files on your computer, create main groups and subfolders within those groups. Apply a single file-naming system to all your files so everyone in your organization can easily navigate them.

What are the benefits of record management?

Record (or document) management has several benefits, including increased security, centralized location for easy navigation and collaboration, and eco-friendliness

What are document management systems used for?

Document management systems are used for securely storing documents and sensitive data, tracking edits and updates to said documents, and easily sharing them between members of an organization. Additionally, these systems help companies ensure compliance with necessary standards.

How do document management systems work?

A document management system scans in the physical document or downloads a digital version via email or using other applications. Then, the document is classified with tags, keywords and metadata so it’s easy to find by those within an organization. From there, the document is organized into a centralized location/folder. Since many document management systems are cloud-based, members of an organization can access files from anywhere with an internet connection.

What to Expect in 2023

In 2023, document management software will continue moving to the cloud and away from the on-premises model. While the on-premises model, which allows companies to maintain the software and data on-site in local servers, grants additional control to businesses, it requires a significant upfront capital investment and a team of experienced IT professionals to maintain.

Cloud-based models are more affordable and require little maintenance, putting the burden of ensuring uptime and security on the software provider. For this reason, many businesses have opted for a cloud-based model, and software companies offer several types of subscription-based document management plans. Look for this trend to continue in 2023.

In addition, the expansion of document management software within mobile platforms will continue. As more workers do their jobs remotely, they need to access shared documents on their smartphones, tablets and laptops. Software vendors are increasingly launching apps or enabling usage of their solutions via mobile web browsers.

The document management software industry is experiencing modest growth. Fortune Business Insights’ market research suggests the industry will grow from $5.55 billion in 2022 to $16.42 billion by 2029.

Much of this increase in value is driven by the rise in solutions such as AI, cloud computing and real-time tracking systems.

Adam Uzialko
Adam Uzialko
business.com Staff
business.comb.
Adam Uzialko is a writer and editor at business.com and Business News Daily. He has 7 years of professional experience with a focus on small businesses and startups. He has covered topics including digital marketing, SEO, business communications, and public policy. He has also written about emerging technologies and their intersection with business, including artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, and blockchain.
Image Credit: LanaStock / Getty Images
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