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QA Documents Introduction

QA Documents™ is an easy-to-use, low cost, automated, collaborative, document and records management system.

The system facilitates and enables ISO®/TS certification by providing rich document control, records management, and quick access to shared information.

Flexible, automated workflow rules and email notifications help ensure timely review and completion of any document.

Clear, concise, accurate communication is enabled as QA Documents is multilingual capable. Each system user can choose from a list of available languages. You determine which alternate languages, if any, are available. Unlike other systems, even your own master table data is multilingual capable.

QA Documents has been designed to be highly configurable in order to help ensure that the system supports your business processes and best practices.

Unlike other systems, QA Documents helps ensure that the system actually gets used beyond the initial rollout phase. It does this by providing quick and easy access to all documents and by keeping people engaged through automated workflow notifications.

Our goal is to keep the system simple and easy to use. Complex systems seem to become unused after a few months.

No Per-User Charge

Unlike other systems, QA Documents does not charge per-user.

Everyone knows that the only way for a system to be effective is for it to enable all people of the organization to have access should they need access. There is no temptation to reduce costs by sharing user credentials. Since there is no per-user charge, each person should have their own credentials.

When a person has their own credentials, it makes it easy to identify the person who created or changed a document. It also makes it easier to implement security. Since each user is uniquely identified, it makes it easy to block the access of person who has left the organization to pursue other interests.

Records Management

  • Security

    Records are documents, forms, or files. Records are grouped into topics. Topics are grouped into Teams. Teams and Topics are similar to folders.

    A Team or Topic can be secured to ensure that its contents are only updated by an authorized group of persons. Likewise a Team or Topic can also be secured to prevent unauthorized people from reading its contents.

  • Classification

    Documents can be grouped into categories, topics, subjects, etc. You determine how you would like your documents classified. In addition to a title, each document record has a create date, last change date, and indicates who performed the action.

  • Metadata

    Documents can have metadata for document status such as “Editing”, “Pending Approval”, “Approved”, and “Published”. Metadata can also be used to capture other data such as the recurring document review/audit date. Documents can have virtually any metadata that you would like, including selecting a value from a list such as a building or department to which the document pertains.

  • Versioning, retention, and disposal

    Optionally, previous versions of documents can be preserved by automatically saving the current copy of a document before it is replaced. You determine whether previous versions of documents in a topic are retained or not. You can determine the length of time to keep old revisions, and/or the number of revisions to keep before the oldest is permanently deleted. A hold can be placed on any historical record to prevent it from being automatically deleted.

  • Collaboration

    The system enables a team of people to work together to accomplish a task. Through workflow and automated emails, each member of the team can work on their portion of a document until it is complete.

  • Conflict Resolution

    When two people open the same form, fill in the blanks, and save the document, whose data gets saved. The first person's data or the second person's data? Does the last person to save the form erase all of the changes of the first person?

    QA Documents provides field level collision detection to help resolve conflicts that can occur when more than one person saves conflicting information into the same field at the same time. Try testing what happens on other systems.

  • Audit Monitoring

    You can subscribe to and monitor entire topic lists of documents using your favorite RSS utility or subscribe to be automatically notified whenever a single document has been changed.

  • Files

    Virtually any file can be saved as a “document”. Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Portable Document Format (PDF), photographs, image scans, video, audio recordings, etc.

    New documents can quickly be created by using a document template. The use of document templates helps ensure a consistent look and feel to all of your documents. Document templates provide a foundation and starting point by presenting the editor with a document in the desired format. For example, the document template may contain lines, shading, drop-down selection lists, boiler plate text, fill-in form, etc. When utilizing a document template, the new document editor need only provide additional content to the template.

    A document may reference other documents. Quick access to the referenced documents is provided using hyperlinks. For the person reading the document, there is no need to search for and find these referenced documents. In fact, most people would simply give up and not read the referenced document. Fortunately, through hyperlinks, the other documents are only a click away no matter where they are stored.

    QAD also enables you to create a custom web page as a document. By utilizing custom web pages as documents, you eliminate the need to purchase products such as Microsoft Office. All your team needs is a web browser.

    The site administrators can define and publish document templates as needed.

    It is important to note that each system user that intends to interact with the file must have the necessary software to edit or view the file. For example, Adobe Reader, or Microsoft Office Reader software may need to be installed on the system user's computer. Fortunately, Forms do not have this requirement.

  • Forms

    Forms are web pages. Forms have a layout with fields into which system users can type information. Forms also have special areas where any type of file can be attached. Forms can have advanced workflows that require certain fields be completed before advancing in the workflow. Unlike Documents, Forms do not require the system user to have any software other than a browser.


Documents can advance or retreat along a defined workflow path. At each stage of the workflow, certain document fields may become required or optional.

As a document transitions through the workflow, email messages can be automatically sent to the next person or people in the workflow making them aware of the pending task.

Alarms are configured to help ensure timely completion of a document. If a document resides at a workflow step for too long of a period of time or a certain date on the document is approaching or past, an alarm email message can be sent.

Alarms support a snooze feature whereby the alarm will reoccur at a future interval if necessary. For example, notify the person and then, if work has not been complete, notify the person again every 7 days.

Alarms support escalation. If the work has not been completed by a certain date, the person’s manager can be automatically emailed making them aware of the issue.

Workflow definitions are configurable. Valid workflow step transitions, who get notified after a transition, and detailed alarms, are all settings that can be reconfigured at any time.

As required by certain governments, an email recipient can opt-out or unsubscribe from future email messages simply by clicking a link that appears at the bottom of each email message.

In order to help ensure smooth progress through the workflow, visual indicators are presented next to each person on the form in order to help prevent the selection of people who do not have an active email address or are not authorized to edit the document.

Search and Filter

The text of documents and forms is fully searchable making it easy to find virtually any document.

Many uploaded file types can also be searched. The content of files such as Portable Document Format (PDF) and Microsoft Office 2007, 2010, etc. may also be searchable.

QA Documents goes even further by enabling filtering by specific fields in a form or document metadata. In other words, search for words that appear in a specific field of the document. For example, filter the list of documents to show only those where the Audit Date is between January 1st 2014 and July 31st 2014.


Advanced business analysis is enabled for all topics. Dynamic charts provide a unique statistical view of the content of all documents in the topic. Pie, area, and bar are just a few of the many charts available.

The forms being charted may contain very diverse data. Some may contain kilograms while others are contain pounds. Charting can bring them all together. For example, when charting monetary values, you can choose the currency such as U.S. Dollar or Mexican Peso. Likewise, when charting quantity values, you can choose the unit of measure such as kilograms, pounds, or tons.

When charting forms, they may contain very diverse data. Some may contain kilograms while others are contain pounds. Charting can bring them all together. For example, when charting monetary values, you can choose the currency such as U.S. Dollar or Mexican Peso. Likewise, when charting quantity values, you can choose the unit of measure such as kilograms, pounds, or tons.

You can present the data in the unit of measure that you need.


In this example, the system user is presented with a list of valid choices for an observed defect. The screen label, as well as each of the choices must be translated to ensure accurate interpretation.

  • Poor
    • Most systems present using only one language. Misinterpretation can easily occur when this language is not the person's primary language.
      • Observed defect: White rust
  • Better
    • Other systems only translate the label leaving your master table value un-translated thus increasing possibility of misinterpretation.
      • Defecto observado: White rust
  • Best
    • QA Documents translates both label and master table data in order to help ensure an accurate interpretation by all people.
      • Defecto observado: El óxido blanco
Use Your Terminology

You have control of all master file tables and the supported languages. This enables you to change the terminology to match your organization’s needs. This flexibility greatly increases the ability to communicate effectively, increase productivity, reduce training costs, and ultimately reduce errors.

World Time Zone Aware

Certain date and time data is stored using the current Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). This ensures that locations around the world are all working from the same world clock. These dates and times are adjusted to the time zone of the system user before they are presented. For example, your business computer system goes down and gets reported at 7:00AM in Boston and is also reported at 10:00 AM in Los Angeles. Both of these events actually occurred at the exact same time.

Master Tables

Master tables contain lists of people, places, and things. You choose the people who are authorized to maintain master table data. Authorized master table editors have quick access to manage the master table content even while they are in the middle of filling out a document. For example, if a new person does not appear in the list of people, simply click and add. Other systems may require you to navigate through a cumbersome menu system to reach the desired master table before being able to add the record. Your master table data can be provided in more than one language to ensure effective communication to all people.

Training and Certification

People of certain business roles may be required to have specialized training or certification. These requirements can be a one-time requirement or a recurring requirement. Recurring training or certification must again be completed after an elapsed period of time. A history of successful completion of these events is maintained for each person. Email reminders are automatically sent about those who need to complete training or certification due to their membership in a certain business role.

Custom Forms

Custom forms are nicely formatted web pages. The page is designed to resemble a form. A person simply fills in the blanks and then routes the form to the next person. A notification email containing a link to the form is then sent to the next person.

Many forms enable file attachments. Attachments may be photographs, scans, documents, or other files that provide supporting documentation for the respective section of the form. Many attachment file types are also searchable when performing a full text search for a document.

We will work with you to design and create custom forms. Each form can have a custom layout, validation, and advanced workflow that includes notifications and alarms. The cost of a custom form can be paid using a single payment or through a small increase in the monthly subscription fee.

The following generic custom forms have already been created for you and are ready for your use today.


Incident recording is handled from the initial report through closure. Investigate incidents, near-misses, and dangerous areas across your organization. An accident recording form has been created for you and is ready for your use. If this form does not meet your needs, we can create a custom form for you.

Action Request

This form can be used to track any type of general request such as washing the office windows. This form has a formal workflow and enables anybody in the organization to request that a certain action be performed. The workflow has an approver, a record of the actual action taken, and then a final review to ensure that the action was effective. If this form does not meet your needs, we can create a custom form for you.

Corrective and Preventive Action (CAPA)

Forms for corrective and preventive action recording have been created for you and are ready for your use. Corrective actions may have impacted the customer while internal corrective actions most likely did not impact the customer. A form is provided for each. Both have an advanced workflow to help ensure timely and correct completion of each. If these forms do not meet your needs, we can create a custom form for you.

Advanced Product Quality Planning (APQP)

A form has been provided to guide you through the advance product quality planning process. This form is most often used with automotive customers but it is a best practice to use it with all customers to help ensure that their products can be produced correctly and efficiently. If this form does not meet your needs, we can create a custom form for you.

Production Part Approval Process (PPAP)

A form exists to guide you through the production part approval process is provided. This form is most often used with automotive customers but it is a best practice to use it with all customers to help ensure that their products can be produced correctly and efficiently. If this form does not meet your needs, we can create a custom form for you.

Customer Quality Requirement (CQR)

The Customer Quality Requirement form enables recording of all critical information pertaining to a customer's part, engineering drawing, stocking unit, etc. Use this form to determine whether the raw materials can be sourced, manufacturing can occur, and that the desired result can be produced while meeting the customer's specification. This form can be used as a detailed template to gather customer requirements and then later used to enter the data into your ERP system. More importantly, it serves as a permanent record as to the original agreed upon requirements in the unlikely event that the ERP system contains inaccurate information that was later determined to be the root cause of a quality issue.

First Article Inspection (FAI)

First Article Inspection is an important step the Production Part Approval Process as it provides a formal permanent record and evidence of the ability to accurately produce the customers product.

Failure Mode Effects Analysis (FMEA)

Failure Mode Effects Analysis is an important step in the production part approval process. Use this form to calculate the likelihood of product or service failure and the adverse effect of such a failure. This form helps rank potential risk and assists in prioritization when addressing those risks.

Part Submission Warrant

The Part Submission Warrant summarizes the entire Production Part Approval Process package. This form shows the reason for submission (design change, annual revalidation, etc.) and the level of documents submitted to the customer. If there are any deviations, the supplier should make note on the warrant or inform as to why the Production Part Approval Process cannot be submitted.


To help ensure privacy, certain data is automatically encrypted before it is stored in the database. All email addresses are encrypted as well as the entire content of certain confidential forms such as those used to record an accident.

In addition, the database as a whole is encrypted to help ensure that all backup copies are protected no matter where they are stored.

For additional security, you can also encrypt or password protect your file before storing it in the site.


You have full control of the content of the master tables that are presented as selection lists throughout the system.

In addition, the system behaviors, workflows and notifications are highly configurable.

You can easily organize, classify, and group your documents.

You can control security and access to documents.

You can design your own documents, document templates, and workflows for those documents.

You can request us to create professionally developed forms, each with an advanced workflow.


If offered by your organization, each system user can choose and alternate language for their sessions.

Each user can customize their toolbar to best fit on the device they are using whether it be a phone, tablet or desktop computer.

The system user is also empowered to change their own password, time-zone, name and email address.

Help and Support

Communication directly with the support team is built into QA Documents. Simply press the Help button and then the Request Support button.

Introducing QA Documents

An In Depth Look at QA Documents