Difference Between Access and Excel (With Table)

Access and Excel are the two Microsoft applications developed by the Microsoft Office Suite. The former is the database management system used to collect, store, and manage data whereas the latter is the spreadsheet to perform calculations and analysis.

Access vs Excel

The difference between Access and Excel is that of their usage. Access is the database management system that stores and manages data in the databases whereas Excel is the spreadsheet that makes use of graphs, charts, histograms to perform complex calculations.  

Excel helps to perform complicated calculations for the statistical analysis doing away with the idea of traditional paper-based calculations whereas Access largely stores and manages data in the databases.

The data storage capacity of Access is higher than that of Excel and therefore is capable to store data of the entire organization at a place. Excel has a lot of calculations/functions and is easily and quickly used for small scale projects.

Excel is beneficent in compiling the large scale calculations by using different formulas whereas Access stores and compiles data at the macro level.


Comparison Table Between Access and Excel (in Tabular Form)

Parameter of ComparisonAccessExcel
DefinitionAccess is the data management system that deals with the management and storage of detailed data.Excel is the spreadsheet program that helps in analysis and calculates complex numerical data with the help of significant formulas.
CapacityData storage capacity is higher than excel. It can manage data at the macro level.Data storing capacity is limited. It can’t manage the data on a large scale.
UsageIt is a data storage system, therefore is used by many organizations and businessmen.It analysis numerical data easily and is therefore used by financial analysts.
ComplexityAccess is a bit complex to use because of its macro-level operations.Excel is comparatively easier to use because of its compiling and analyzing techniques.
Comprises ofIt comprises of charts, tables, graphs, pivot table, etcIt comprises of forms, reports, queries, tables, etc


What is Access?

It is the database management system that analysis, stores and manages data using software developmental tools. It enables the entire corporation to work cohesively by sharing and managing details in one place which can be corrected by multiple people on a large scale.

Access is the complex application that can store data at the macro level and is therefore used by various organizations, businessmen, and corporations.


  1. It helps to create reports which can be edited and shared by various people in the hierarchical order of working.
  2. It is useful for architects, software developers, organizations to develop the desired software.
  3. It is useful to develop and organize the data of the entire company in one place.

What is Excel?

Excel is the spreadsheet application that analysis calculates, organizes, and stores numerical data effortlessly. It makes the accounting system comprehensive and easily accessible by providing a resolution to the complex calculations. It incorporates a series of cells that are arranged in rows and columns.

Excel doesn’t require any prerequisite programming knowledge and can be operated by anyone for multiple purposes.


  1. The complex calculations can be solved by the use of automatic mathematical formulas.
  2. Data can be displayed and analyzed virtually by incorporating graphs, histograms, tables, etc.
  3. Various tools are provided which makes the optimization of the statistical data easier and handy.

Main Differences Between Access and Excel

  1. Access is the application that manages and stores data for large scale documentation whereas Excel is the spreadsheet that calculates and analysis the numerical and statistical data.
  2. Excel is the single user program where only one person can edit and share files whereas Access can be shared and edited by the number of people in the task force.
  3. Excel does not require any predetermined learning of the process whereas Access is a fairly complex system that takes into account management of large files and queries therefore it is far more approachable to use Excel whenever required.
  4. Access is the program that incorporates reports, queries, data, tables, etc whereas Excel manages the numerical and statistical data only by visualizing the content using tables, graphs, charts, histograms, etc.
  5. Excel is useful for the short term data management by providing limited sharing of the given data whereas Access is useful for long term management of data to keep the record and store data.



Access and Excel are two Microsoft applications that largely deal with the data management system but in varied ways. Access is the program that manages data by storing, optimizing managing, and organizing data for any organization as a whole. The data stored through access requires a complex procedure and skill set.

The data storing capacity of Access is higher than that of Excel. The data stored can be modified and shared with a large number of people at the same time which makes it much more applicable for its use by any organization or businessmen.

Excel, on the other hand, is the spreadsheet which manages the numerical and statistical data by using varied and complex mathematical formulas. Excel makes the accounting process easier and hassles free.

It saves time and brings accuracy by analyzing data automatically. It includes graphs, tables, and charts to explain the data virtually. It can be shared and edited just by the single person which sometimes becomes the limitation of the application.

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