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What is EDMS & Why Does Your Business Need One?

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EDMS software provides user-friendly centralized electronic document receiving, sending, storage, and sharing. The EDMS meaning is narrower than the definition of a more complete ECM software system. 

Businesses need an EDMS system in combination with a wider-functionality ECM (enterprise content management) software solution to:

  • organize and streamline document management processes, 
  • eliminate paper documents by converting them to electronic documents with OCR scanning, and
  • access the documents during their lifecycle or archive them. 

What is EDMS in Finance?

EDMS (electronic document management system) is a software platform for centralized records management, electronic document sending, storage, versioning, and retrieval for businesses and organizations. EDMS is used internally as an electronic document repository. Finance uses EDMS for electronic document exchange between the company and its vendors and document storage. 

The EDMS document management process relies on metadata document coding to organize, store, and retrieve documents. EDMS software can also use algorithmic rules to validate data for completeness and errors before document files are included in its central repository. 

Examples of EDMS and ECM Systems

An EDMS (electronic document management system) has many use cases in business. We present a few ECM and  EDMS examples, applying to vendor management, healthcare document management, and broader business use. 

Supplier Portal in AP Automation Software

SaaS add-on AP automation software includes a supplier portal with centralized document management software, an EDMS and ECM that integrates with your business management ERP system. Finance and accounts payable use the supplier portal for payments and AP workflow automation, including self-service vendor onboarding with tax compliance, three-way matching of electronic documents to vendor invoices, automated approvals, payment status, and two-way communication. 

Documents provided through the EDMS document management software include supplier electronic W-9 forms or data for tax compliance, purchase requisitions, purchase orders, vendor invoices, vendor packing slips, receiving reports, and relevant contracts. 

The Tipalti supplier portal can be either branded with your business logo or provided with a standard software system user interface. 

Medical Care Provider’s Documents Storage System

EDMS is different than an EMR software system. EDMS is the electronic document storage portion of an EMR (electronic medical records) system for medical care providers that may include OCR conversion of paper documents to electronic documents. Health insurance companies and Medicare also use EDMS systems. 

Box ECM system

Box is an enterprise content management system with ECM and EDMS features for document sharing and storage. Box ECM functionality includes:

  • Document capture
  • Process and workflow across systems
  • Information governance, including record retention and GDPR, HIPAA, and other privacy regulations
  • Metadata and classification
  • Integrations via existing integrations or custom API integrations
  • Content security, and
  • Collaboration.

How Do You Manage EDMS and ECM?

Businesses manage EDMS document management software and ECM systems by selecting the right software to automate and manage their electronic documents, data, and files. An EDMS cloud document management solution works well to protect and access your centralized repository of electronic documents. 

Tips to Manage EDMS and ECM in Your Business

When using an EDMS  and ECM in your business, consider the following tips: 

  1. Select the right EDMS and ECM software solution
    1. Established software product
    2. Excellent customer reviews
    3. Outstanding customer support 
    4. Needed validation, security, and privacy controls
    5. Meets your needs without extensive customization.
  2. Assign EDMS and ECM access authorization by roles or individuals to ensure that document access is restricted to authorized persons in your organization.
  3. Choose an EDMS and ECM that enables collaboration both within your business and external business partners like vendors. 
  4. Choose a system that integrates with your business management software, like ERP and AP automation software.

How to Solve for Common Problems with EDMS and ECM

When using an EDMS and ECM system that’s established, read customer reviews, search the online knowledge base, watch ECM and EMDS training videos, and read FAQs and user community resources. 

Why is EDMS Important in Business?

EDMS (combined with electronic content management, ECM) is important in business because the electronic document management system functionality provides authorized users access to the central repository of documents and status when needed, with document security. The EDMS document and data management software offers efficiency and automation of document-related business processes.  

A business receives electronic documents or automates scanning and converting paper documents to electronic documents with optical character recognition (OCR) for storage in the ECM and EDMS system. As a result, the business saves time and money as it can streamline workflows

For a natural or computer disaster event, the business with adequate offsite and cloud backups will be able to recover its EDMS centralized electronic documents and data for disaster recovery. 

The EDMS software system for digital document management helps businesses comply with record retention policies and IRS requirements by providing adequate document storage. EDMS systems help healthcare businesses achieve HIPAA regulatory compliance for patient privacy by protecting sensitive information within the EDMS and restricting document access to authorized users.  

The EDMS document management software and ECM system include audit trails to verify documents accessed by system users with timestamps. 

Conclusion – EDMS Software Combined with ECM

EDMS (electronic document management system) is the document storage, sharing, and retrieval system that a business needs for efficient electronic document storage and access. An ECM (electronic content management system) provides more functionality than an EDMS document system, including OCR scanning for document conversion from paper to an electronic format, access authorization, and data management. Choose the best established system that combines the functionality of EDMS and ECM software, provides excellent customer support and online resources and solves your business needs. 

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