Spreadsheet errors... a great, often unrecognised, risk to corporate decision making & financial integrity.
Chadwick (2002)
The quality and reliability of spreadsheets is known to be poor.
Bishop & McDaid (2007)
Spreadsheet development must embrace extensive testing in order to be taken seriously as a profession.
Bock (2016)
...few incidents of spreadsheet errors are made public and these are usually not revealed by choice.
Kruck & Sheetz (2001)
Spreadsheets are dangerous to their authors and others.
Durusau & Hunting (2015)
Developing an error-free spreadsheet has been a problem since the beginning of end-user computing.
Mireault (2015)
People tend to believe their spreadsheets are more accurate than they really are.
Caulkins, Morrison, & Weidemann (2006)
Spreadsheets are easy to use and very hard to check.
Chen & Chan (2000)
Never assume a spreadsheet is right, even your own.
Raffensperger (2001)
Your spreadsheets may be disasters in the making.
Caulkins, Morrison, & Weidemann (2006)
60% of large companies feel 'Spreadsheet Hell' describes their reliance on spreadsheets.
Murphy (2007)
Spreadsheet errors are pervasive, stubborn, ubiquitous and complex.
Irons (2003)
Most large spreadsheets have dozens or even hundreds of errors.
Panko & Ordway (2005)
Errors in spreadsheets are as ubiquitous as spreadsheets themselves.
Colbenz (2005)
Spreadsheets are often hard, if not impossible, to understand.
Mireault & Gresham (2015)
Spreadsheets... pose a greater threat to your business than almost anything you can imagine.
Howard (2005)
The software that end users are creating... is riddled with errors.
Burnett & Myers (2014)
Spreadsheets are more fault-prone than other software.
Kulesz & Ostberg (2013)
Spreadsheet errors have resulted in huge financial losses.
Abraham & Erwig (2007)
Despite overwhelming and unanimous evidence... companies have continued to ignore spreadsheet error risks.
Panko (2014)
Despite being staggeringly error prone, spreadsheets are a highly flexible programming environment.
Abreu, et al (2015)
The issue is not whether there is an error but how many errors there are and how serious they are.
Panko (2007)
Most executives do not really check or verify the accuracy or validity of [their] spreadsheets...
Teo & Tan (1999)
Spreadsheets contain errors at an alarmingly high rate.
Abraham, et al (2005)
Errors in spreadsheets... result in incorrect decisions being made and significant losses incurred.
Beaman, et al (2005)
Untested spreadsheets are riddled with errors.
Miller (2005)
1% of all formulas in operational spreadsheets are in error.
Powell, Baker, & Lawson (2009)
Spreadsheet errors are still the rule rather than the exception.
Nixon & O'Hara (2010)
Even obvious, elementary errors in very simple, clearly documented spreadsheets are... difficult to find.
Galletta, et al (1993)
Spreadsheets can be viewed as a highly flexible programming environment for end users.
Abreu, et al (2015)
Programmers exhibit unwarranted confidence in the correctness of their spreadsheets.
Krishna, et al (2001)
Spreadsheets are commonly used and commonly flawed.
Caulkins, Morrison, & Weidemann (2008)
It is now widely accepted that errors in spreadsheets are both common and potentially dangerous.
Nixon & O'Hara (2010)
The results given by spreadsheets are often just wrong.
Sajaniemi (1998)
Spreadsheets are alarmingly error-prone to write.
Paine (2001)
94% of the 88 spreadsheets audited in 7 studies have contained errors.
Panko (2008)
Spreadsheets are extraordinarily and unacceptably prone to error.
Dunn (2010)
Every study, without exception, has found error rates much higher than organizations would wish to tolerate.
Panko (1999)
Spreadsheets have a notoriously high number of faults.
Rust, et al (2006)
Overconfidence is one of the most substantial causes of spreadsheet errors.
Sakal, et al (2015)
It is irrational to expect large error-free spreadsheets.
Panko (2013)
Every study that has looked for errors has found them... in considerable abundance.
Panko & Halverson (1996)
Studies have shown that there is a high incidence of errors in spreadsheets.
Csernoch & Biro (2013)
The untested spreadsheet is as dangerous and untrustworthy as an untested program.
Price (2006)
Spreadsheets are notoriously error-prone.
Cunha, et al (2011)
A significant proportion of spreadsheets have severe quality problems.
Ayalew (2007)
A lot of decisions are being made on the basis of some bad numbers.
Ross (1996)
Spreadsheets are the most popular live programming environments, but they are also notoriously fault-prone.
Hermans & van der Storm (2015)
Spreadsheet shortcomings can significantly hamper an organization's business operation.
Reschenhofer & Matthes (2015)
Research on spreadsheet errors is substantial, compelling, and unanimous.
Panko (2015)

Spreadsheet bibliography

Title Spreadsheet testing in practice
Authors Sohon Roy, Felienne Hermans, & Arie van Deursen
Year 2017
Type Proceedings
Publication Software Analysis, Evolution and Reengineering (SANER)
Series March
Abstract

Despite being popular end-user tools, spreadsheets suffer from the vulnerability of error-proneness.

In software engineering, testing has been proposed as a way to address errors. It is important therefore to know whether spreadsheet users also test, or how do they test and to what extent, especially since most spreadsheet users do not have the training, or experience, of software engineering principles.

Towards this end, we conduct a two-phase mixed methods study. First, a qualitative phase, in which we interview 12 spreadsheet users, and second, a quantitative phase, in which we conduct an online survey completed by 72 users.

The outcome of the interviews, organized into four different categories, consists of an overview of test practices, perceptions of spreadsheet users about testing, a set of preventive measures for avoiding errors, and an overview of maintenance practices for ensuring correctness of spreadsheets over time.

The survey adds to the findings by providing quantitative estimates indicating that ensuring correctness is an important concern, and a major fraction of users do test their spreadsheets. However, their techniques are largely manual and lack formalism. Tools and automated supports are rarely used.

Full version Available
Sample
Respondents vs. satisfaction with quality of testing
Respondents vs. satisfaction with quality of testing

We observe that 43% of the respondents state that non-critical errors still remain in their spreadsheets, even after whatever testing practice they follow.

A further 17% of the respondents paint a graver picture by stating that even critical errors remain in their spreadsheets after they perform testing.

In the interviews, only 3 out of 12 participants mentioned that they were satisfied with their testing activities.

These results imply that although testing is common among the spreadsheet users, the quality of their tests is not satisfactory leaving ample scope of improvement.

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