Review: PaperSave Plus Documentation Management for QuickBooks

| August 22, 2009 | 30 Comments

A Documentation Management System (DMS) is a program that is used to store electronic documents and/or images of paper documents. In this article I’ll talk about PaperSave Plus, a QuickBooks Compatible documentation management system.

If you are working with QuickBooks you may find that you have various documents that you want to associate with transactions. For example, a customer PO to associate with your invoice. A written contract to associate with an estimate. A statement or bill to associate with a check.

(Update 9/30/2009: see a review of the QuickBooks 2010 DMS product at http://qbblog.ccrsoftware.info/2009/09/quickbooks-2010-document-management/)

With a documentation management system like PaperSave Plus you can easily store these kinds of documents in a secure database and quickly locate the documents with just a few keystrokes. In addition, since these important documents are stored in a file, you can easily make an offsite backup for security. That is a lot easier than copying an entire file cabinet of paper documents!

PaperSave Plus is a relatively low cost product that integrates both with QuickBooks as well as Microsoft Office. It stores its data in a Microsoft SQL Server Express database that you would locate on your computer or office server.

Fees are per user, starting with $199 for a single user, up to $699 for five users. You can add more users by combining licenses.

It is compatible with U.S. versions of QuickBooks Enterprise v6, v7, v8, and v9; QuickBooks Premier 2006-2009 and QuickBooks Pro 2006-2009. In addition, it is compatible with the following international version of QuickBooks: UK Pro and Premier 2008; Canada Pro, Premier and Enterprise 2009; Australia Pro, Premier and Enterprise 2009/10 QBi series.

My opinion of this product varied as I went through the installation process and began using it. To tell the truth, my initial impressions were not very good. However, after I got over some initial hurdles, the product performed very well.

Installation

Installation instructions were confusing and poorly written. The documents provided online had you jumping back and forth between different pages rather than leading you through a sequential process. Some pages had broken links and missing graphics. The grammar on some pages was terrible, looking like it was poorly translated to English from a foreign document. For example:

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In addition, some components of the program did not have proper certification, which is a very poor programming practice.

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When I see errors like this I become concerned about the quality of the program itself

Proper installation was very complicated, and in fact I was not able to get the product to work successfully on my own. It is a very complex process with many steps and options. The documentation was not clear. The process took a very long time, longer than I had anticipated.

I ended up having to call their technical support line to get the program to work. Good point – the support staff was available quickly and they worked with me until the program was working correctly. Support is free for the first 90 days.

Another good point – over the next week after purchasing the program I received a series of tutorial emails that highlighted different aspects of the program. This information was all in the documentation, but I found it very helpful to receive these notes about how to use various features.

Integration with QuickBooks

When you install the program you can select the type of QuickBooks transactions that you would like to work with.

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When you save a document, such as an invoice, a window pops up to ask you what you want to do.

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Simply select Yes and a window opens that lets you select a number of options for the document.

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  • Attach File will open a file dialog so you can attach an existing document on your computer.
  • Scan Now will connect to your scanner and scan the document (make sure that the document is already in the scanner!).

You will also find several menu choices for PaperSave Plus in your QuickBooks File menu. This is the only place that Intuit officially allows a third party program to modify the user interface in QuickBooks.

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Ctrl F2 will let you add a document to a transaction.

If you want to see the attachment, simply press ctrl-F1, and the attached document will be opened. Very simple! However, I’m not sure if there is a way to know that there IS an attached document. You just have to try.

Integration with Microsoft Office

PaperSave Plus adds an icon in many Microsoft Office products. For example, Microsoft Word:

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If you have multiple QuickBooks company files, you will be asked which to post information to:

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Then the type of document to attach to:

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And finally, the specific document to work with:

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I would like some better searching capability in this window. You can “filter” the display by the various columns, but that isn’t as good as a true “search” feature.

You can also save Outlook email messages – but you have to actually open the message to be able to see the PaperSave Plus icon.

Viewing the Documents

A separate record browser program is provided that will let you select records from the database and view the attachments.

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Problems

The program does have a number of issues:

  • As I mentioned earlier, setup is complicated and confusing.
  • If you delete a record in QuickBooks when you are logged in with multi-user mode, you must “synchronize” the QuickBooks company file with PaperSave Plus with an option from the File menu. This is annoying, and can take a fair amount of time. I found that I didn’t do this often, just once in awhile. If you don’t, you have QB documents in the PaperSave file – that isn’t necessarily a bad thing, at least it isn’t losing information, it is just keeping it around longer than it should.
  • The program does have bugs and problems. On occasion I would receive an error message in a popup window. The problem is, these messages never told me what the result of the error was. Is my document saved or not? Is the database corrupted? Should I ignore this message? What should I do? Sometimes it gave you some additional information, more often it did not.

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  • In my computer system I have many different QuickBooks company files set up. I would only like this program to work with certain ones. However, it wants to post information to each file. If I don’t “register” a company file with PaperSave Plus, every time I open that company file I get a warning:

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I haven’t come up with a way to tell it “no, and don’t ask me again” for a particular company file. This is annoying.

Good Points

  • The management console has a button that will make a backup copy of your database. This is very good, and it is very important that you do this on a regular basis. Microsoft SQL Server databases can become corrupted and can sometimes be difficult to recover if you aren’t a computer expert. I was very happy to see that they made this a very simple procedure.
  • You can store documents that are not connected to a QuickBooks transaction. You can use this for any other document that your company manages. Note that setting up database records for non-QuickBooks items can be a bit tricky and technical, but once you get it set up things are simple.
  • The user interface is consistent throughout the program.
  • Integration with QuickBooks works very well.
  • Integration with Microsoft Office works very well.
  • Technical support was knowledgeable and readily accessible.

Final Word

Did it work? Yes! The product provides good value for the price. The ability to extend out beyond just QuickBooks, to both work with Microsoft Office as well as to be able to add non-QuickBooks related records, is a real plus.

This kind of product can be very important to your business. Note, though, that I expect there to be a lot of changes in this area in the next few months.

Tags: ,

Category: Import/Export, Product Reviews

About the Author (Author Profile)

Charlie Russell is the founder of CCRSoftware. He’s been involved with the small business software industry since the mid 70’s, focusing on inventory and accounting software for small businesses. Charlie is a Certified Advanced QuickBooks ProAdvisor. Look for Charlie’s articles in the Accountex Report blog, as well as his California Wildflower Hikes blog.

Comments (30)

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  1. Dave D says:

    Great review. Very detailed and useful. Can you elaborate a little more on your last sentence:
    “that I expect there to be a lot of changes in this area in the next few months”

    Are you saying that QB will have features like this integrated in a future update? Should I spend the money on this add-on or hold off for a free version that is in the pipeline???

    -Thanks

    • Charlie says:

      Dave: Due to non-disclosure agreements that I have signed I cannot talk about any features of QuickBooks 2010 until Intuit makes the official release. The best I can say is that (1) I will be releasing a review of another document management system next week (not from Intuit) so you might want to look at that, and probably another DMS review in a few weeks after that, (2) don’t ever expect Intuit to release any significant new service of any type for free, they will always charge for new services, (3) I generally wouldn’t recommend using ANY Intuit product when it is first released, as they always shake out a lot of bugs in a first release (which is why I usually recommend to people that they wait before installing a new year’s release of QuickBooks).

  2. Dave D. says:

    Charlie,

    Thanks for your help with this review and the integrated QuickBooks 2010 Document management. After using the QB 2010 DMS I think I may give Papersave Plus a try. Thanks again.

    -Dave

  3. JeffT says:

    My experience with Papersave was very bad. It was slow, bogging down my machine while it decided to offer to save a document. It was even worse when in multi-user mode. I would often find myself waiting 30 seconds for it to finish thinking. Then I had to tell it to scan. I had to wait till the scan was done before I could move on to the next task. Perhaps it was quicker than walking to a filing cabinet, but not much.

    The folks at Papersave were far less than helpful. I never got the call back I was promised when I complained about my issues. I now have a year’s worth of documents tied up in a program I will never use again. Think long and hard before going with this program.

    • Charlie says:

      Thank you, Jeff. Several people have commented on problems with installation and customer service issues. I also have talked to several other people who had no problems with installation and were happy with customer service. I’ll note that my customer service experience was quite good.

      A question would be – how long ago did you try it? The latest release (which I reviewed) apparently had a number of technical problems that were corrected, and customer service apparently has gotten better. Also I’ll note that the kind of system you install on is critical – a low memory system will not do as well.

  4. Your comments are from Sept 2009, so by now I’d assume you’ve got more information on the subject, and that now that 2010 is fully released, perhaps you coul dshed some light on Intuit’s plans to offer a “Notes” feature to Enterprise (Manufacturing)….also would be nice to mirror what SAP offers which is the ability to turn on/off the notes (and other related features) when generating work orders for the shop floor….

    Thanks for your comments!

    • Charlie says:

      Brian: When you say “Intuit’s plans”, are you hoping that they have some, or do you know something? Currently they don’t have a “notes” feature. If they were testing such a feature in a beta test that I was involved with, I wouldn’t be able to say anything due to non-disclosure agreements. I’m not aware of a plan to add that feature currently.

      My CCRQBOM manufacturing addon to QuickBooks will support a feature like that later this year.

  5. Kirsty says:

    Hi Charlie

    I am considering using this program for our office. Could you please tell me if there is anyone in the UK that stock this product or do i get it straight from America. Also do you know if they do a trial.

    Kind regards

    Kirsty

    • Charlie says:

      Kirsty, you can download the product from their web site after you purchase it from them, so you don’t need a local dealer. They say that the support UK Pro and Premier 2008.

      They don’t have a demo copy as far as I am aware, but they do have a 30 day refund policy.

  6. kirsty says:

    I have been trying to install this progranm for nearlya day now. the problem i have is that when i am installing the simple mode it keep telling me that i have a SQL server called Papersave on my computer. But i do not. I have then gone through all the computer add/remove software, the program files. there are no SQl servers on there. can anyone assist.

    The problem i have is that they are based in Miami, so by the time i get through to them, it is nearly time for me to go home.
    Kind regards

    • Charlie says:

      Kirsty, I don’t have a good answer for you, but they should be able to help you via email as well as by phone. I can’t give you a good answer as I don’t know what Windows version you are running, etc. Papersave needs to install a SQL Server database to hold your data. You won’t see that in your add/remove programs, you have to use other tools. The ones I have probably won’t be on your system, since I administer several SQL Server databases on my system and I have a variety of mangement tools (I’m a programmer). One thought – if you aren’t logged in as the administrative user in Windows you might have problems.

  7. ESI says:

    paper save on my machine is clunky and slow. the support is the worst ive ever encountered. phones ring unanswered, emails dont get answered. installation is a nightmare. i would not recommend this product to anyone. im going back to paper until i find a suitable replacement.

  8. Stephanie says:

    I ABSOLUTELY DO NOT RECOMMEND THIS PROGRAM TO ANYONE! My business has been using PaperSave for about a year and a half now with a lot of problems, many of them stemming from the PaperSave support team themselves. I had to upgrade our company’s version of PaperSave in Oct. 2009, and required a lot of their support. Our company has our own IT people who bridged this gap between PaperSave and our company. Ultimately PaperSave was upgraded WRONG by their support people, but this did not become a problem until April of 2010. I have been without this program for the last 6 weeks mainly because my IT people are absolutely unable to reach PaperSave tech support. Appointments have been made and blown off by PaperSave too many times to even count. Finally, when I requested my money back for the program because it was obvious that they were unwillingly to help us, I received a phone call from one of PaperSave’s techs telling me that if I needed anymore help, it would now be a BILLABLE issue! They have absolutely no respect for the customer, and don’t even pretend to. If you need document storage software, do not use PaperSave. They will screw you. Guaranteed.

  9. All of us at PaperSave take any complaint very seriously. We are always looking at how we can improve our support and provide better customer service. As a result, we have recently added additional customer support staff to ensure more timely and effective service.

    It is our policy to gladly refund the selling price within 30 days of purchase – for any reason. We vigorously try to reach any customer with a complaint and do our best to resolve any issues they encounter. There are instances where we do ask for a support fee if the customer is out of the free service period or if the issue relates to an issue outside of our control – such as moving the program to a new server or replacing a personal computer.

    I sincerely apologize for any inconvenience that we have caused any customer. I encourage our customers to contact me directly at (877) 727 3799, extension 2261, to discuss any concerns or ideas they have to enhance our support or improve product features.

    We deeply value our customers and are committed to servicing their document management needs.

    Stuart Rosenberg, President

  10. jim says:

    Have there been any recent updates to this product? Have the bugs been worked out? I’m deciding between intuit DMS and paperplus.

    • Charlie says:

      Jim: The best I can say is to try the product- you have a 30 day return policy, I believe. I have not used it since the test I show above. I know that they are working on changes since then, I don’t know if that has been released. Note that there are big differences between this product and Intuit’s. Do you want storage to be local and secure? Do you need the ability to back up files enmass? Or do you need ontline access? There are big differences. And pricing differences. Note that I expect changes in the Intuit offering later this year (I’ll announce it when I’m allowed to say anything about it) but the changes won’t resolve all the questions…

  11. Berky says:

    I used the program (and returned it) and had a horrible time with them. Fist I found that it took about 25 seconds for the papersave box to come up. Also in Papersave you cant see from the QB record whether there is a file attached, you need to activate the function in order to see. All in all the program did not work for me, which leads me to the next point. When I emailed and called to return the program I got no where. for two weeks I called and emailed and not one response. good thing it was on my amex and disputed it no problem.

    • Charlie says:

      Thank you for your comment, Berky. It is odd, some people have no problems, others seem to, as far as customer service. As far as the interface, different people expect different things. Intuit’s app is faster and more integrated, but is terrible when it comes to local storage.

  12. Sherri Winslow says:

    I have had a few pre-purchase questions about papersave pro for use with quickbooks. I have sent emails through customer support, I have tried calling several times, left messages, over a several month period. I still have not gotten a response. I still have not bought the product!

    • Charlie says:

      Sherri, I’m really puzzled about these kinds of comments, as that isn’t my experience. I’ve pointed this out to the president of the company, who is also surprised and is following up on things.

  13. Kris says:

    I purchased papersave 12/3/10, and have only been able to use it for a few days. I had to have one of the papersave techs remotely install it, which took 10 hours. Now, I am told that I have SQL issues, that is going to require a two hour tech install at $150.00 an hour. The “2nd tech” I have been dealing with asured me that there would be no charge for this, I did keep all the e-mails. What is the deal, I shouldn’t have to pay for something that should already be up and running. If this can’t be resolved I would like a refund, how much should I be charging for all the time I have invested in a program that won’t work?

  14. Wendy says:

    RUN, RUN VERY FAST FROM THIS PRODUCT. IT DOES NOT WORK AND THE COMPANY WILL NOT REFUND YOUR MONEY.

    Our company purchased this application on September 1, 2010. Our experience is very much like Kris and Stephanie’s.

    We have been trying to get our money back from them because the program does not work…. lots and lots of bugs. Even our inhouse IT people could not make it work.

    Six months later, we still do not have our money back and every time we call to inquire when we will receive it, we get a different excuse.

    Latest excuse today (02/23/11), “We are sorry, our refunds got closed for the month and yours was not in there. The “person” that handles refunds is not at her desk right now.”

    Beginning to believe it is just a scam.

  15. Charlie says:

    Wendy, and others – all I can say is that this wasn’t my experience with them. And I do know of clients who are happy with the product. However, thank you for your feedback.

    If you go up a few comments in the list you will see a comment from Stuart Rosenberg, president of the company, and he lists his personal contact info for people who are having problems like this.

  16. Tim says:

    Wish I would have found these posts earlier. I bought one user license to try out the product. I spoke with someone at the company prior to purchase to make sure I understood the refund policy.

    I called to get a refund today because we decided to go with a different solution. They said they would be happy issue a refund….and that it would take 4-6 WEEKS! I find that interesting since you can purchase online in about 3 minutes.

    They gave me some story about how the credit card processor takes that long. I have created websites with credit card processing that use authorize.net and you can login to their site and issue a refund directly and takes no more than a couple days to post to an account.

    If these guys can’t process a refund in a timely manner it’s no wonder people have so much trouble with the application….IDIOTS

  17. Gregory says:

    I must say I am rather surprised, we are a long time customer (2yrs+) running on two platforms (Dynamics and QB) and have experienced few problems. The few bugs we did run into were resolved in a efficient and speedy manner. We’ve also communicated Feature Requests and guess what, they listen!

    The issues I read after the article mostly sound like a user environment problem. This is to be expected as not everyone can maintain a proper and healthy system. (cant hammer a nail through glass)

    I highly suggest you give Paper Save a trial run, your accounting folks will love it once they have the proper training.

  18. Michael MacDonald says:

    I have been in the Dynamics Channel for about 12 years now. I think PaperSave is a decent solution, but its NOT a complete or versatile ECM or DMS, if you’re looking for this, and better integration to Dynamics, QB, SharePoint and Office (any ODBC platform really)…M-Files is the way to go hands down….Granted, They are relatively new to Dynamics, but have 15,000-16,000 deployments globally.

  19. Valarie says:

    I know this message board is quite old, but I thought perhaps someone might be able to help me with this product. I’m using Papersave primarily for Quickbooks. But it doesn’t seem to give me an option to scan both sides of a document. How can I go about doing this?

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