What is a Document Management System?


A document management system enables an organization to digitally track, store, and retrieve information. It can also be used to generate reports and to comply with document retention requirements.

Types of Document Management Systems

Document management systems vary in user-friendliness and effectiveness based on their specificity to a particular industry:

General repository – General repositories are often free or low-cost solutions, such as a shared folder on a network server. The drawback is a lack of consistent file naming and document placement, which makes it difficult to locate and retrieve documents. With general repositories, IT departments need to proactively establish strict naming conventions along with clear guidelines for proper use.

General purpose document management system – This type of solution is optimized for document storage and sharing, but it lacks features that are specific to any industry or market. To make a general purpose system work, a company would need to spend considerable time up front and map out numerous customizations. In the banking industry, for example, this may include adjusting the data structure (i.e., connecting customer records to loans and accounts). Complying with industry-specific document retention requirements may be a challenge, too.

Industry-specific document management system – Tailored to a specific use case, such as healthcare or banking, an industry-specific document system will be the most ready solution for an organization to use as-is (or with minimal customization). In addition, these types of solutions are more likely to integrate with mission-critical apps, such as a bank’s core banking system.

Advantages of Document Management Systems

Whether you’re considering an industry-specific product or a more general solution, implementing a document management system of any type should provide a clear ROI by, at a minimum, reducing:

  • Cost of paper and ink/toner
  • Cost of new printing equipment and ongoing support contracts
  • Cost of physical file storage and management
  • Office space required for storage
  • Risk of information loss

Advantages of Industry-Specific Document Management Systems

A document management system like AccuAccount—that is designed specifically for financial institutions—saves time and reduces risk by delivering a document structure that mirrors a traditional loan file. AccuAccount overcomes the challenges of general purpose document management systems by delivering:

  • Integration with 30+ core systems
  • Consistency in document naming and filing
  • Document structure that’s intuitive to bankers
  • Built-in exception management
  • Alignment with your bank’s compliance and document retention requirements

Document Management System Resources

For more information about document management system best practices, be sure to check out our extensive resource library with free spreadsheets, whitepapers, and ebooks.

Browse our banking definitions page for more terminology.

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