I have had a world of trouble creating a report from invoice information that I download from a website. Because to perform a calculation in Access all fields must have a value, I was stumped.
Subtotalling and summmarizing the invoice data by a particular field and basing reports on that summarized data was very difficult. I had to build a report, export it to a csv, import it into a table, create a query based on that table, then create a table based on the query (in order to fill the null fields). WHEW!
Maybe someone else has done it differently and can offer suggestions on a simpler method.
Are you do most of your math in one field (columns) or are you combingin values from various fields in a record? (adding across rows).
The first is fairly easy in Access the second possible though harder.
Ideally you should be able to download your data, then at most run some macros to formulate it and then print reports. None of the CSV to Excel and back business - unless you've got some rather unusual data.
If this is a once-off report you're better doing the Excel route but if you do these reports frequently then you should be able to stay in Access,
Having someone help and/or learnign VB can be good. Also you can simply use passthrough queries if you can't do all your calculations in one query.
MonthlyInvoicesQry1of3 (builds off of Invoice table)
MonthlyInvoicesQry2of3 (builds off query1)
MonthlyInvoicesQry3of3 (builds off uery2)
YOu can also use action queries to move the data you download from that access table to another one. I have several tables that run daily and format various numbers and then append these to a "daily rollup table" Then the reports are run off of that table.
Unless you are ready to jump into VB yourself, you might find the action query method helpful if you get a lot of adhoc requests ... "can you tell us how many Black pens that attorneys with last names beginning with F, Q,R, and Y used while working on any of these 17 listed cases, during the last 12 months, on all days except tuesdays"
I get adhoc requests like this a lot and since I've not had time to master VB for such quick things the action and passthru queries are lifesavers, and thus I use Excel much less than in the past.
If you are only doing the same reports over and over and over, then you will find more benefit from hiring outside help to do something in VB.
PS from what I've seen most people doing low-moderate to heavy-hitting with Acces shouldn't expect much support from IT. Sometimes their advice is flat out wrong. Given their primary focus on hardware, networks and so on I guess it's understandable. Often they will be more knowledgeable with Excel, in part from often keeping their own databases of user ids, pc serial numbers, etc. there.