What Is Document Processing Software?

Many businesses see their document processing software as a foundational part of their technology suite. Without it, they would struggle to undertake even the most basic document-related tasks. 

What Is Document Processing Software?

If you’re thinking about leveraging document processing software in your organization or planning a transition to a new provider, several factors must be considered. For example, it’s essential to determine which features you require before making a decision. Your long-term budget and number of users are two more key factors.

In this post, you’ll learn everything you need to know to pick a document processing solution that is an ideal fit for your business.  

Document Processing Software: A Quick Definition 

Document processing software—a term often used interchangeably with document management software, contract management software, contract lifecycle management (CLM) software, and workflow automation software—streamlines an organization’s document workflow. 

It brings greater efficiency to all stages of a document’s lifecycle, including creation, delivery, tracking, approval, storage, and, if applicable, renewal. 

Modern apps have large feature sets and automation tools. In addition, they integrate with other business platforms to allow for the seamless flow of information, eliminating the need for manual data entry

Most document processing software is offered as browser-based software and priced on a subscription basis, with packages catering to a wide variety of clients, from individuals to multinational enterprises. 

Workflow Automation Software: Core Features

Practically all document management applications have the following features:

  • E-sign functionality - Electronic signatures allow for the fast, secure approval of documents without the need for printing and scanning. It has become common practice for both senders and recipients to use electronic signatures. 
  • Document editing - Most platforms include an online document editor where it’s possible to access templates and draft documents from scratch. Alternatively, pre-written documents, such as PDFs, can be uploaded and edited. 
  • Analytics and tracking - An app’s analytics dashboard provides information about recipient behavior, including when they receive, read, and approve a document. This makes it easy to send follow-up emails, such as reminders. 
  • Secure online storage - Most platforms provide secure online storage for signed documents. Signing certificates, which record the date and time a client approves a document, may also be provided. 
  • Integrations - Many organizations need to integrate their document processing software with their existing tech suite. Integration libraries are usually available, although the number of integrations varies between providers. 

Reviews of Document Processing Software

Ready to purchase a subscription to a contract management solution? Here are reviews of four of the top providers:

  • PandaDoc - PandaDoc is one of the market leaders and offers an extensive suite of features, including an intuitive document editor, automation settings, an in-depth analytics dashboard, and secure online storage. A long-term free plan with unlimited electronic signatures is available. 
  • DocuSign - DocuSign is a well-known name in the workflow automation space. While electronic signature features form the core of the platform’s offerings, several document management features are also included. 
  • ContractWorks - ContractWorks offers subscription plans for large organizations that allow for unlimited users. The platform includes a comprehensive set of document management features. 
  • Proposify - Proposify is a popular solution aimed at medium and large businesses. It has a clean document editor and several advanced features for managing larger teams, including employee permissions and a Salesforce integration.