One year, as a science teacher of a small private school, I had to do report cards for 300+ students because the grading computer system in place was no longer accessible (a mini-crisis of sorts). With no budget for more actual grading software, I was left to use Excel and/or Access to make report cards. I decided to use both Excel and Access. Here is why:
1) Excel was already being used to store grades, and overall is much simpler to create tables with. Access is a real pain to work with in terms of table development.
2) We needed to be able to combine multiple records and create reports. Access is designed to create reports from multiple tables with linked variables.
3) Access can do a dynamic link to multiple Excel spreadsheets, which updates the database whenever the Excel files change. This meant we didn't have to load things more than once.
All in all it went pretty well, though I will say that the system was definitely on the fritz and crashed a few times with so many tables being linked (this was with Office 2003). The nice part of working with database software though is that the data is locked and even a software crash does not kill your database file. I think Excel now has a lot more capabilities... so you might not need Access at all, though I've never created reports with Excel.