Chapter 10. Control Break Processing


Types of Reports: A Systems Overview

Printed reports fall into three major categories:

Detail or Transaction Reports

Detail or transaction reports are those that include one or more lines of output for each input record read. Customer bills generated from a master accounts receivable file would be an example of a transaction or detail report. Similarly, payroll checks generated from a master payroll file would be a detail report. Finally, a listing of each part number stocked by a company would be a detail report. Transaction or detail output is produced when information for each input record is required.

Because detail reports generate output for each input record read, they can take a relatively long time to produce. Printing 300,000 checks from a file of 300,000 records, for example, could take several hours.

Exception Reports

Sometimes users ask for detail reports when, in fact, other types of output would be more useful. Suppose an insurance agent, for example, has requested a listing of all clients and their last payment date. When asked by a systems analyst why the detail report is necessary, the agent responds that all clients who have not made a payment within the last 90 days must be contacted. An experienced computer professional would suggest an alternative type of output, one that lists only those clients who meet the criterion the insurance agent has set. A listing of only those clients who have ...

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