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  1. #1
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    Database for Receipts Management (2002)

    I am considering to use either Excel or Access to manage all the receipts/invoice. Do you guys have any suggestion in how to set up this database? Or, is there a template or shareware I can start with?

    System: WinXP Home, Office XP Pro, HP 4400cxi scanner, Acrobat 5.0

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    Super Moderator jscher2000's Avatar
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    Re: Database for Receipts Management (2002)

    When you say manage them, what exactly do you need to do? Are you performing services and sending out invoices, or buying services and paying invoices? Or both?

    Do you need to connect this data with printing checks or tax forms, or just track it and print reports of it?

    How much experience do you have with these two programs, and how are you tracking the information now?

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    Re: Database for Receipts Management (2002)

    Just to add to Jefferson's comments.
    Do you want to marry receipts to invoices with a view to showing how much is outstanding on each invoice?
    Do you require a bank deposit listing of receipts received in a certain period of time?

    I would suggest that you steer towards Access as it's a relational Database, and the more complex the system gets should push you more to a database solution.
    Just my <img src=/S/2cents.gif border=0 alt=2cents width=15 height=15> worth.
    HTH
    Pat

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    Re: Database for Receipts Management (2002)

    I want to scan all the personal receipts and keep track of them. If I want to find a particular receipts, I can search it by date, vendor or other criteria. There is no potential to use this database to perform services, send out invoices, or buy services and pay invoices.

    The following was a section of the sample spread sheet I made for demonstration. You could tell that column D should be the place of receipt images. However, I did not know the proper way to do it, Hyperlink or OLE? Also, should I use Access instead of Excel?
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Re: Database for Receipts Management (2002)

    Believe me, you don't want to store images in an Access database, but there is no reason not to store a link to the image file. Over the long haul, Access will provide more flexibility and durability and can hold many more records than Excel. However, Access is not just a spreadsheet on steriods, and it takes time and effort to learn how to build well-designed databases. If you are still interested, post you question in the Access board and you'll get plenty of help and suggestions.
    Charlotte

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    Super Moderator jscher2000's Avatar
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    Re: Database for Receipts Management (2002)

    If you intend to collect lots of data, Access has many advantages for efficiency of entry and reporting. However, it also has a steeper learning curve. I personally haven't done anything with images in either program, but I would stay away from OLE storage in Excel to minimize the risk of document corruption.

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    Re: Database for Receipts Management (2002)

    Pictures as files occupy much more space in comparison with documents. To save space (even if you have VERY large hard drive) I would strongly recommend to use OCR program (as TextBridge, OmniPage and so on) and to save your receipts as text, not as pictures. With a good scanner (they are not expensive now) and OCR program it is not more difficult than to create a picture.

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    Re: Database for Receipts Management (2002)

    The purpose of this database is to store all the receipts for future warranty claim purpose. Since a copy of the receipt is required for warranty claim, scanned image is a must for my application. According to my experiments, the size of a scanned one page receipt, in 150 resolution of black and white, in PNG format is about 10KB. If I buy 300 items per year, the storage space is about 3MB which is not a high demand.

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    Re: Database for Receipts Management (2002)

    Dennis:

    While agreeing (as above) that Access is a better all-round tool for databases, given the nature of your requirements Excel would prove more than adequate. The table you create could always be imported into Access at a later date, if required. However, at your suggested rate of purchases, it will take you over 200 years to exceed Excel's maximum for records!

    I would suggest, for your 'Receipt Image' field you create hyperlinks to the image files stored on your system (INSERT/HYPERLINK/BROWSE FOR FILE).

    Tony.
    Regards,

    Tony
    [s] [/s]
    www.SylviArtist.com

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    Re: Database for Receipts Management (2002)

    Dennis:
    It seems that your needs are very simple. Whether you use Excel, or even a table in Word, you can create a few columns. Rather than keep all your scanned images in a document or spreadsheet, why not put them all in one place & have links to them in your spreadsheet/document? In fact, if you used Word e.g., you wouldn't even need an INCLUDEPICTURE field. You have the information that you need in your columns & a hyperlink to the actual image file would take you to the actual image. The same is true of Excel.

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    Re: Database for Receipts Management (2002)

    My consideration was that Access was more convenient in doing the searching and sorting. I had a Excel file in the size of 2.2MB with several thousand records before. The Excel became extreamly slow when conditional format, searching and sorting were involved.

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    Re: Database for Receipts Management (2002)

    You are correct that Access will be more adept at doing sorting, filtering and so on, but any of the suggested approaches will work pretty well as long as you don't try to embed the scanned images into the document or database. The problem with embedded images, especially with Access, is that they cause substantial bloat in the document size. For Word and Excel, that's a problem because when you open the document, it brings the whole thing into memory, and things get sluggish because it starts to use virtual memory and so on. In Access, only the currently visible records (and maybe some additional ones) are pulled in, but the problem is Access grows the database about !MB for every scanned image. Thus 2000 images would come close to exceeding the maximum size of an Access database. On the other hand, if you store a simple hyperlink or complete path to the scanned image, 2000 records would probably only take 200 to 300 KB. Of course there is the learning curve with Access which must be considered.
    Wendell

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