Why Some Document Management Systems Fail

When companies spend money on a new solution, like document management, they expect it to work right out of the gate. Unfortunately, this sometimes leads to system failure, dissatisfied customers, and abandonment of the very solution that could have made their jobs easier. Here are some of the reasons why some document management systems fail and how to avoid them:


It is essential to have a plan for implementing the tax document management system. Here are some considerations before introducing a new system:


  • What is our business’s preferred way to store documents?
  • Does the system save them in that format?
  • Can the software handle multiple formats? It can get confusing if some files are stored on a computer as a PDF, sent as a JPG from a client’s phone, or on a paper document.
  • Can all information be captured on the new system, or must files be converted to new formats?


When dealing with a long-time client, chances are there are notes in the file that aren’t needed anymore, such as appointment reminders, a list of concerns to bring up at a specific meeting, etc. Employees shouldn’t waste time converting unnecessary documents to digital format.

  • What documents do you need to convert from old files?


  • Where will the files be stored?
  • Is the new program digital with cloud-based storage, or is the company using an external hard drive or other physical storage solutions? Read more about storage solutions here.
  • Is there a system in place for migrating data from old devices before time corrupts it?
  • What information will you need to use in the filing system so information is retrievable? This could mean digital tags or labels or specific file name formats that allow employees to find the same information in the same place in any file.


  • Who will capture the documents?
  • Is there a team to get all of the old files into the new system?
  • If it’s a small office, is everyone involved in the process?
  • How do day-to-day business functions continue while the company transitions to the new system?


  • What kind of security does the system have? All digital systems should have industry-specific security standards preventing cybercrime.
  • How will you make information available to everyone who should have access to the files while restricting access to those who shouldn’t?
  • For online systems, can clients upload documents? Are there alerts when a client uploads information?

Understanding the features of document management software for accounting firms before you purchase it and having a clear plan on how to put it to use will go a long way toward its success.


It’s a fact that any project will stretch to fill the allotted time. Procrastination is human nature, especially when facing a huge project like migrating data from one system to another. To get the job done, they need to break down the project into manageable chunks and set time limits for completion. It also helps to recognize those who meet a benchmark of project completion, thus encouraging them before they start the next project. A sense of accomplishment can be a great motivator and prevent the project from stalling before completion.


You need to ensure consistency for any paperless document management software for accountants to work. Data can get lost if some employees use the system and others save information on a desktop but not the document management system. The file becomes fragmented and unusable. Everyone with access to the file should be able to see the whole picture. It saves employees and customers frustration, time, and effort when they don’t have to hunt for necessary information or ask the customer more than once to provide the same information.


Employees need time to train in using new software. Let the employees work out the bugs and figure out a workable system before going live. This can prevent chaos and overwhelm and encourage employee compliance.

Training also makes implementation uniform, so all files are inputted the same way. Employees can quickly retrieve needed information with uniform files without hunting through the whole file. The system works if everyone works the system.


You must get document solutions with good support. If there’s a gap in the training or a glitch in the system, then access to a technical support team to help them find a solution is essential. Support should be given for any software. The company that sold the software should be interested in its successful implementation. Employers shouldn’t have to pay extra for support or feel that they are inconveniencing the support team by needing help using the software. Employers should verify the level of support they will receive before purchasing the document management system.

To Sum Up

Implementing a new system to securely store documents and making them readily accessible to employees for day-to-day workability is essential for modern business. Doing so with a comprehensive plan for success will make the investment of time and money worth it.