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Rick Hesse


On the 25th anniversary of the development of electronic spreadsheets, the good news is that spreadsheets have had a positive impact on the way businesses operate behind the scenes—from finance and accounting to operations and marketing and human resources—and they save time.

The bad news is that training is woefully inadequate and haphazard.

The ugly news is that spreadsheets are full of errors, with a majority of firms using them in some way for financial reporting that falls under the Sarbanes Oxley act.


Seek out the best of your company's spreadsheet developers to form an ad hoc committee and appoint them to do the following:

  • Design training materials that are specific to your business to illustrate functions and commands in Excel.
  • Set standards for developing, documenting, and changing spreadsheets.
  • Require at least two people to check spreadsheets for errors of omission, commission, and transmission.
  • Use the each one/teach one method (Make sure that each person who is taught passes on the knowledge to at least one coworker).
  • Take spreadsheets seriously - when spreadsheets are used effectively, they offer tremendous efficiencies to your workforce.


2007, Graziadio Business Report, Volume 10, Issue 2

Full article

Electronic spreadsheets: The good, the bad & the ugly