I work in an office with about 8 users. I am considering creating an MS Access application to help us self-audit our department. I have begun an audit of documents that the manager wishes to eventually have each of the other 8 people do themselves. We are all responsible for geographic areas and she wants us to cover our own areas during the slow times of the month. The work is important as it will basically prevent heat from her boss when our department gets audited. She hasn't really had the time to have someone do this until lately so I see an opportunity for a real life IT project here, albeit a small one.

The process so far has entailed these steps:

1. Retrieve data from a master Excel file that the manager has stored on the network. The file represents monthly data for all local branches throughout the US. We all have equal network access by the way so we can share folders, etc, for whatever reason.

2. Save a revised, tapered down version of this file based on the individual branch we wish to audit.

3. Make modifications to the file by accessing another application via internet explorer, researching individual accounts, and verifying whether the original data was accurate or not.

4. Record and save the findings.

There will be accurate and inaccurate records of course. I have completed this process for one office and am working with another shortly. They are monthly records and for example, the month of January 2004 for the one office I completed had about 550 records before I de-duped it. There were 525 records left thereafter. The files have about 10-12 fields so they are relatively small. There won't be much deviation from these figures for the other offices.

I am considering creating a form for the user's to input the corrections into. Afterall, it is from the list of corrections where further investigation will be based on and that is the real issue. I believe all the data will be internal, at most be presented to my boss' boss so it doesn't have to be too fancy. If I proceed with this idea the users can enter data and sort it themselves from the form. All the data must be entered first and then sorted to make sense of it as there is no telling what readings they will get beforehand.

The other alternative would be to have them import their own data into MS Access and proceed from there. I think they could all do this but w/ some bumps in the road. It just doesn't seem to professional though if I made users import their own data. Also, there is the issue of linking tables to a form but the data will change every month and a new link will have to be created every month.

As for myself, I am comfortable with SQL. I passed the SQL and PL/SQL parts of the Oracle exams and worked as an SQL Developer for a brief three months. MS Access though is my weakest database technology of the three database engines mentioned.

Any suggestions will therefore be greatly appreciated.