As a database program, Microsoft Access has a number of applications in the business world. Managers can use Access to create a database of employees, allowing them to review salary information, demographic data and budget numbers at a glance. Accounting professionals often use Access databases as well to track invoices, review accounts receivable and keep track of company finances. Once the underlying information is entered into the Access tables, accountants can create custom queries and forms that make finding the needed information a lot easier.
Write down a list of the fields you want to include in your accounting database. Depending on your needs, those fields could include amount due, client name, due date, terms and a notes field for free-form text entry.
Open Microsoft Access and go to the tables section. Choose the option to create a new table in design view. This opens a grid that allows you to enter a name for each field, as well as a description of that field's content.
Click the drop-down box next to "Data Type" for each field in your database. You can format your fields as currency, numeric and text as need be. You can also use date and time fields for things like due dates.
Review the list of fields in your database and add any others you think you will need. It is easier to build all the fields you need from the start than to go back and add fields to a database that already contains hundreds or thousands of records.
Click the "Save" button to save your table. Type a name for the table and click "OK."
Go to the forms section of the Access window and choose the form wizard option. Use the form wizard to create a simple data entry form based on the fields in your table. You can then use that data entry form to add information to the table. When you type into the data entry form, the information is automatically transferred to the underlying Access table.
Move to the queries section and begin building the queries that will make your accounting database more useful. Use the query wizard to build the initial query and save it, then right-click the query and choose "Design View" to make any changes or set criteria. For instance, you can build a due date query and enter "Between [Enter Begin Date] and [Enter End Date]." This prompts the user to enter the start and end dates when running the query. That kind of query can be very useful for reviewing past due invoices and tracking accounts receivable.
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