Using FileHold Courier for internally-restricted documents

Stay paperless even when sending documents of a sensitive nature.

Document management software is designed to make electronic documents useful; whether indexing, searching, or compliance are your organization’s focus, FileHold offers many features to maximize document utility. Another critical feature is access control and document accountability. FileHold offers comprehensive solutions in these areas. First, it allows three different levels of organization for what users are allowed to see: the Cabinet, the Folder, and the type of document. Each of these can be easily configured to determine what each user is allowed to see or edit in the FileHold Library. This way, a user can have visibility in one area of the repository, but not another, or have some document types hidden. In addition to control over who can see documents, FileHold can track when and what they did. These audit trails are a fundamental part of FileHold, where all actions can be viewed in simple to use reporting tools.

There are times, however, when someone needs to see a document from which they would normally be restricted. The document access needs to be temporary and specific. Granting the user permission to see an entire Cabinet or document type may expose too many of the restricted documents, and creating specialized project folders may not be efficient. Document permission and access needs to be tightly controlled, and when a document needs to be given to someone without sufficient permissions, that process needs to be both simple and transparent. Simple because overly complex protocols will frustrate honest users and lead them to work-arounds; transparent because management needs to know who has seen the document. What is needed is a way to send a single document to a user that preserves the permissions and maintains the audit trail.

FileHold offers Courier as a solution. Courier is designed to send documents to recipients outside the organization via email. Rather than an attachment, Courier sends a secure link to the document, which can then be downloaded and reviewed via the recipient’s web-browser. This same feature can also be used for internal processes as well: instead of an external email to a non-user, Courier can send it to an internal FileHold user. Courier will keep track if the document has been viewed, so there is no guesswork and the audit trail is preserved. If the document is not opened, or if the project has finished, the document access can be rescinded. The user is granted their one-time permission to view the document, without compromising system security or encouraging work-arounds. 

Courier can do more than just give the recipient a look – it can also be used for sign-offs and approvals. This provides another vital link in the accountability chain. FileHold offers a workflow module for sending document to other users for their review and approval, but these approvals require the document be visible and shared in FileHold; if the user only needs to be part of the process once or twice a year, this can again cause administrative headaches. Courier resolves this by asking the recipient to approve the documents, and this approval becomes part of the document record. From e-form vacation request to purchase orders, approvals for document types not normally part of a FileHold user’s experience can be approved with a paperless process.

This can even extend to highly sensitive documents relating to an organization’s HR policy, such as quarterly reviews or reprimands. These are kept under confidence, and must be handled with care. It is not uncommon to require an acknowledgement of the document on the part of the subject. Common practice has been to print the document, have the subject sign it to signify they have read it, and then scan it back into the digital archive. Now, with FileHold Courier, the subject can be sent the sensitive document to the subject, and have them acknowledge the document as an “approval”. The document remains paperless, but a digital approval signature has been collected to satisfy the HR requirements. This ensures the document has been exposed to the least number of people in the system.

Courier is a standard feature available with all installations of FileHold. While there is a charge for a successful transmission when used with external users, there is no additional cost when used to send documents to internal FileHold users. To learn more about FileHold, Courier, and how your organization can move to a more secure and paperless document management process, contact

Chris Oliver

Chris Oliver brings his twenty years of experience in management in the entertainment industry to FileHold Systems as the Client Training and Retention Advocate. To learn more about how FileHold DMS can work for you, contact him at [email protected].