FileHold Express is our pick for best document management system for small business because it is competitively priced, easy to use and scalable for growing businesses. The software is intended for 5-20 users, making it the perfect size for small businesses and startups. For growing businesses with more than 20 users, the software easily upgrades to FileHold Enterprise.
View all our recommendations for document management software on our best picks page.
One of FileHold Express' strongest points is the MyFileHold folder, which keeps recently and frequently used documents easily accessible to all users. It also contains any new documents, along with recent alerts and notifications for quick reference.
Pricing and Plans
FileHold Express varies in its cost per license depending on the size of your organization and the specific features you require. The company also offers several add-on features that enhance the system's core functions for an extra cost. A company representative told us that the cost of a server license starts at $3,750 and includes access for five users. However, to get a specialized quote based on your requirements, you'll have to contact FileHold's sales department.
Especially useful for small businesses are the multiple payment options that FileHold offers clients. These include 24 months of interest-free financing (longer periods are available depending on the number of users you need to access the system), a monthly subscription option for companies with seven or more users, or a one-time licensure payment for an on-premises server-based solution. For continued software updates and technical support, the on-premises solution requires an annual FileCare subscription, which costs 20 percent of your initial licensure cost.
FileHold offers a 10-day, full-featured free trial with no obligation or credit card information required. In addition, you can sign up for a free software demo to see the more nuanced capabilities of the system. FileHold Express is intended for 5-20 users – a perfect size for many small businesses. Larger companies or those planning to expand in the near future can easily upgrade FileHold Express to FileHold Enterprise; the system is scalable with your company and won't require you to deal with any costly or time-consuming migrations once you outgrow the Express version.
Pros and Cons
FileHold Express is our best choice for document management system for small business because it checks three major boxes: It's easy to use, cost-effective and scalable. However, given its inclination toward on-premises solutions, you should be certain you'd like to commit to FileHold both now and as your business grows. With a free trial and demo available, though, it shouldn't be hard to make that decision before buying.
- Easy to use: FileHold Express uses a familiar cabinet, drawer, folder approach that is neatly organized and intuitive. In addition, the software generates the quick-access MyFileHold folder, which contains your most frequently used documents, recently accessed documents, newly added documents, and notifications and alerts.
- Cost-effective: The starting price for a server and five licenses is, on average, competitive among leading document management systems. For the price, FileHold Express does not skimp on features and goes above and beyond the core functions of basic document management software.
- Scalable for businesses of all sizes: While FileHold Express only supports up to 20 users, licenses can convert to FileHold Enterprise licenses, meaning the system easily scales with your business.
- Collaboration tools: FileHold Express features useful collaboration tools, such as a function that allows users to check in to a document and edit it uninterrupted until they check out of it.
- Lack of transparent pricing: FileHold does not publish pricing on its website and requires you to access the company sales department to receive a quote. While document management system pricing frequently varies, some other vendors in our review did publish subscription rates or pricing tiers.
- Cloud-based version: FileHold Express' cloud version is not hosted by the company, but rather a third party selected by either the client or FileHold. This adds complexity to the procurement process, as well as another organization that must trust to safeguard your data.
FileHold Express is a strong choice for small businesses, as it's an effective document management system that won't break the bank. However, it pays to be aware that the cloud-based version has its limitations. Committing to an on-premises version means a significant upfront investment and an intention to scale with the system, or you might end up with an unnecessary data migration project down the line.
FileHold Express offers useful features that let you not only digitize, manage and organize your documents in a central location, but also assign and manage tasks for your team. Its collaboration tools make working on documents within the system a seamless process that keeps every team member in the loop. If you'd like to build on the core functions of the system, FileHold Express offers some premium add-on functions that improve workflow automation, establish read-only guest accounts and enable electronic signing of documents.
- Imaging and optical character recognition (OCR): FileHold Express works with your scanner to analyze documents that are scanned into the system. Its OCR feature identifies the text on documents to better classify them, and you can further improve classification with the manual entry of metadata.
- Search: The search function is the critical element that allows users to navigate the documents uploaded to the system. FileHold Express' search function can identify documents by file name, metadata such as tags, or both. Users can choose to either include or exclude archived documents that are no longer active. Search results can be set to include all versions of the queried document or just the current version.
- Collaboration tools: FileHold Express includes collaboration tools with the core system, such as a check-in and checkout feature, as well as an audit log that tracks which users access a document, the date and time of access, and any changes to the document.
- Task management tools: Complementing the collaboration tools are task management features, like a calendar that allows managers to assign tasks to team members and track whether the task has been completed. These features are useful for delineating responsibility and holding team members accountable for the work assigned to them.
- Permissions: FileHold's permission settings include 11 different security roles that allow various degrees of access, from read-only user to system administrator. These security roles can be used to automatically determine whether a user can see, access or edit certain documents in the system. Custom permission settings can be established for every level of the cabinet, drawer, folder system.
- Premium add-ons: FileHold Express offers certain features as premium add-ons, including workflow automation functions, guest accounts set to read-only status, and e-signing.
For the price, FileHold Express offers plenty of features that allow your team to collaborate on documents and effectively manage projects with task management tools. Additional workflow automation functions are available at an extra price as well, so you can price them into your licensure agreement if you need them.
FileHold's lack of transparency with its pricing is one limitation we encountered during our review. While document management systems' pricing does vary by customer, other vendors were willing to publicly post their monthly subscription rates. Still, FileHold's representatives did offer a starting price as a ballpark estimate, which appears to be reasonably affordable compared to competitors.
Another shortcoming is that FileHold is primarily an on-premises solution, which means it requires local servers that must be maintained by your own IT staff. A cloud-based version of FileHold Express is available, but it is not hosted by FileHold itself; instead, either you or the company have to locate a third-party partner to host your data. This creates an additional element in the procurement process and brings up concerns surrounding added legwork, trust and data privacy.
Finally, the on-premises system can only be configured for Windows computers. Mac and Linux users can still operate FileHold Express, but only through a cloud-based web version. This forces non-Windows users to find a trusted third-party host for their data before using FileHold Express.
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