Access setting up database to keep track of money

I work for a non-profit and we have children in custody that receive allowances.  I need an easy way to track the money that goes into their account and money that they request out of their accounts. The funds for all the children are deposited in to one bank account and we keep track of each child's balance.  Currently they are using an Excel spreadsheet but I think we can do a better job of entering deposits, withdrawals and producing reports for the children with a database.  I have limited knowledge of Access but I believe I could create a database for this situation but wanted some expert advice to make sure someone else thinks this is feasible.


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Yes.  It is feasible.   You will need at least two tables to start with - tblChildren and tblTransactions.  
ChildID (autonumber, primary key)

TranID (autonumber, primary key)
ChildID (long integer, foreign key to tblChildren)
TranType (deposit, withdrawal, adjustment, interest payment, etc)

I'm sure you will come up with more as you refine the requirements. Then you can make forms and reports to do what you need to do.
Jeffrey CoachmanMIS LiasonCommented:
Just some notes...
The funds for all the children are deposited in to one bank account and we keep track of each child's balance.

This will become difficult to manage as the number of children increases.
It may also cause problems come tax or audit time.
(For example, US IRS needs Interest per account/per taxpayer)

With one account, may be possible for one Child to withdraw more than their fair share of the balance.

How is the interest divided?
The child with a balance of $20 surely should not get as much of a percentage of the interest as the child who has $500.

This would be much easier to manage if each child had their own account.
Pat's basic design there would only need some minor changes...


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I agree with Jeff.  If you need separate bank accounts or you need to pay interest, this is more complicated.
Jeffrey CoachmanMIS LiasonCommented:

I just want to be clear that I am not trying to change the focus of the question.
Again, Pat's basic design is still valid, and a great approach here.
I am sure no matter what the situation, she can get you sorted.

I only bring this up because my company does something similar, and we are "required" to maintain separate accounts.

So, while it may be "easier" to just have one account, ...It becomes a nightmare when a parent asks about how interest is divided, ...or the auditors start asking questions about who actually owns the account, and how the "separate" balances are maintained, and who can make withdraws, ..and for what reasons.

Suppose one child needs to "cash out", would you proportionally assign them their portion of any interest (or deduct proportionally, any penalties)

I guess my real question is:
Why aren't there separate accounts for each child?
If something goes awry with this one account, all the children are then affected.

With separate accounts the database will only be marginally more complex, ...but the potential administrative (and possibly, legal) concerns are minimized.

Perhaps I am overthinking this, I will step aside now to avoid confusion, so that Pat can continue on helping you through with this.


Jeff Coachman
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