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General question about Access

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Hello. I work for a small company and we currently use an intricate
system of spreadsheets to manage multiple contracts, people and
billing rates. Our main goals are to project cash flow and Profit/
Loss. We keep running into problems - ie. adding new people, new
projects, new bill rates, etc, and everytime we do, it can be a real
headache to make sure the changes propgate throughout all of the
sheets. In general wondering... we are considering switching to
Access, but we would need some education - do you have any opinions on
whether it is work it? That is - do you consider it a "step up" from
Excel? Thank you -- Katie

Feb 22 '07 #1
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<kl*****@gmail.comwrote in message
news:11**********************@q2g2000cwa.googlegro ups.com...
Hello. I work for a small company and we currently use an intricate
system of spreadsheets to manage multiple contracts, people and
billing rates. Our main goals are to project cash flow and Profit/
Loss. We keep running into problems - ie. adding new people, new
projects, new bill rates, etc, and everytime we do, it can be a real
headache to make sure the changes propgate throughout all of the
sheets. In general wondering... we are considering switching to
Access, but we would need some education - do you have any opinions on
whether it is work it? That is - do you consider it a "step up" from
Excel? Thank you -- Katie
I think if you approach Access as some type of super Excel, it will be a
step back. If you get help from a qualified Access developer and know what
you want, it will be a step up.

You can't find some small business software, like Quick Books or Peach Tree,
that will do what you want? Some of the other members could point you to
Access applications that can be modified for your needs.
Feb 22 '07 #2

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On Feb 22, 9:14 am, "klfh...@gmail.com" <klfh...@gmail.comwrote:
we are considering switching to
Access, but we would need some education - do you have any opinions on
whether it is work it? That is - do you consider it a "step up" from
Excel? Thank you -- Katie
Especially if you have multiple spreadsheets containing most of the
same information, you would use a database as the repository of the
ONE information and if you need to put it in a chart you can link the
data to Excel.

You can also use Access' pivot tables which are sometimes easier to
deal with.

Theoretically you can also link Excel data from one sheet to multiple
spreadsheets but if you need to do any moderately complex query on
your data quickly, Access is the way to go currently.
Christian

Feb 22 '07 #3

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<kl*****@gmail.comwrote in message
news:11**********************@q2g2000cwa.googlegro ups.com...
Hello. I work for a small company and we currently use an intricate
system of spreadsheets to manage multiple contracts, people and
billing rates. Our main goals are to project cash flow and Profit/
Loss. We keep running into problems - ie. adding new people, new
projects, new bill rates, etc, and everytime we do, it can be a real
headache to make sure the changes propgate throughout all of the
sheets. In general wondering... we are considering switching to
Access, but we would need some education - do you have any opinions on
whether it is work it? That is - do you consider it a "step up" from
Excel? Thank you -- Katie
Access is an application that allows a developer to provide solutions to
specific issues, it will do little for the casual user. The scenario you
describe would likely take a skilled developer many manhours to complete.
Having said that, you may be able to tailor one of the template databases
that ship with Access but I wouldn't expect an instant result.

Regards,
Keith.
www.keithwilby.com
Feb 22 '07 #4

P: n/a
Katie,
Welcome to Access, it's a great system, that some people love, and
other's loathe.

Having worked with systems where people have moved from MS Excel into
MS Access, I can say that for running a business that MS Access is a
smarter choice, however, as previously stated, it would pay to have
someone with some knowledge of MS Access assist you with setting up
your database, and converting your business flow into a system that
everyone can use.

One of MS Access great strength's is that it can leaverage the power
from all the other office applications, and exporting data to an Excel
spreadsheet, so that your formulea, and other processes that you have
in place can be run on your current system, (This would be for
summation purposes only) and have the data stored in MS Access is
quite a feasable system.

Adding a new customer and billing rate would then be a simple matter
of adding a record in a table (whether that be the billing table or
the customer table)

One of the biggest mistakes users make when importing from excel, is
not understanding what a relational database is, and how best to use
it.
(i.e. if you where to import straight from excel, no doubt you would
face similar issues to what you are facing now, the only difference is
that it would be in a system you wheren't familiar with.)

A Good developer will discuss with you how a relational database
works, and how it can best work for your business.

Excel is great at what it does, (which is a spreadsheet system) but
when it comes to working with multiple records, (be they customers,
pricing structures etc) then it is definantly a step up to move to
access.

I hope I haven't rambled on to much, and have answered your question
in a way that is helpful and concise.
Regards
Anthony.
Feb 22 '07 #5

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On Feb 22, 10:14 am, "klfh...@gmail.com" <klfh...@gmail.comwrote:
Thank you to everyone for your input - it is all very helpful!

Katie

Feb 23 '07 #6

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