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Kenneth R. Baker, Lynn Foster-Johnson, Barry Lawson, & Stephen G. Powell


Using data from a survey of MBA graduates, we developed a simple diagnostic tool to help assess the level of spreadsheet risk in an organization.

We also found that in firms where spreadsheets pose a high risk, users are more aware of this risk.

We review the best practices they employ at various stages of spreadsheet use, and we describe the steps that managers can take to control spreadsheet risk.


Types of standards offered by firms in the survey
Types of standards offered by firms in the survey

In our field interviews, we encountered organizations that have promulgated a set of required standards for spreadsheets.

These requirements may be largely cosmetic, such as the use of a corporate logo and a common font size, or they may be much more detailed, such as the use of a specific template for analyzing uncertainties in a client's decision-making environment.

However, in our experience, such initiatives are rare.


2007, Working paper, Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth, Spreadsheet Engineering Research Project

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Spreadsheet risk, awareness, and control