Spreadsheets are often hard, if not impossible, to understand.
Mireault & Gresham (2015)
Errors in spreadsheets... result in incorrect decisions being made and significant losses incurred.
Beaman, et al (2005)
Spreadsheet errors are still the rule rather than the exception.
Nixon & O'Hara (2010)
Spreadsheets are notoriously error-prone.
Cunha, et al (2011)
Spreadsheets are more fault-prone than other software.
Kulesz & Ostberg (2013)
The results given by spreadsheets are often just wrong.
Sajaniemi (1998)
...few incidents of spreadsheet errors are made public and these are usually not revealed by choice.
Kruck & Sheetz (2001)
Every study that has looked for errors has found them... in considerable abundance.
Panko & Halverson (1996)
1% of all formulas in operational spreadsheets are in error.
Powell, Baker, & Lawson (2009)
Spreadsheets are the most popular live programming environments, but they are also notoriously fault-prone.
Hermans & van der Storm (2015)
Studies have shown that there is a high incidence of errors in spreadsheets.
Csernoch & Biro (2013)
The quality and reliability of spreadsheets is known to be poor.
Bishop & McDaid (2007)
Programmers exhibit unwarranted confidence in the correctness of their spreadsheets.
Krishna, et al (2001)
Even obvious, elementary errors in very simple, clearly documented spreadsheets are... difficult to find.
Galletta, et al (1993)
People tend to believe their spreadsheets are more accurate than they really are.
Caulkins, Morrison, & Weidemann (2006)
Spreadsheet development must embrace extensive testing in order to be taken seriously as a profession.
Bock (2016)
Spreadsheets contain errors at an alarmingly high rate.
Abraham, et al (2005)
The untested spreadsheet is as dangerous and untrustworthy as an untested program.
Price (2006)
Spreadsheets can be viewed as a highly flexible programming environment for end users.
Abreu, et al (2015)
Research on spreadsheet errors is substantial, compelling, and unanimous.
Panko (2015)
The software that end users are creating... is riddled with errors.
Burnett & Myers (2014)
Despite being staggeringly error prone, spreadsheets are a highly flexible programming environment.
Abreu, et al (2015)
Never assume a spreadsheet is right, even your own.
Raffensperger (2001)
Your spreadsheets may be disasters in the making.
Caulkins, Morrison, & Weidemann (2006)
Spreadsheets are alarmingly error-prone to write.
Paine (2001)
A lot of decisions are being made on the basis of some bad numbers.
Ross (1996)
A significant proportion of spreadsheets have severe quality problems.
Ayalew (2007)
It is now widely accepted that errors in spreadsheets are both common and potentially dangerous.
Nixon & O'Hara (2010)
Spreadsheet shortcomings can significantly hamper an organization's business operation.
Reschenhofer & Matthes (2015)
Spreadsheet errors are pervasive, stubborn, ubiquitous and complex.
Irons (2003)
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)
60% of large companies feel 'Spreadsheet Hell' describes their reliance on spreadsheets.
Murphy (2007)
Errors in spreadsheets are as ubiquitous as spreadsheets themselves.
Colbenz (2005)
Spreadsheets... pose a greater threat to your business than almost anything you can imagine.
Howard (2005)
Spreadsheets are commonly used and commonly flawed.
Caulkins, Morrison, & Weidemann (2008)
Despite overwhelming and unanimous evidence... companies have continued to ignore spreadsheet error risks.
Panko (2014)
Most large spreadsheets have dozens or even hundreds of errors.
Panko & Ordway (2005)
Spreadsheets are easy to use and very hard to check.
Chen & Chan (2000)
Spreadsheets are extraordinarily and unacceptably prone to error.
Dunn (2010)
Most executives do not really check or verify the accuracy or validity of [their] spreadsheets...
Teo & Tan (1999)
It is irrational to expect large error-free spreadsheets.
Panko (2013)
94% of the 88 spreadsheets audited in 7 studies have contained errors.
Panko (2008)
Untested spreadsheets are riddled with errors.
Miller (2005)
Overconfidence is one of the most substantial causes of spreadsheet errors.
Sakal, et al (2015)
Spreadsheet errors have resulted in huge financial losses.
Abraham & Erwig (2007)
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)
The issue is not whether there is an error but how many errors there are and how serious they are.
Panko (2007)
Spreadsheet errors... a great, often unrecognised, risk to corporate decision making & financial integrity.
Chadwick (2002)

Spreadsheet bibliography

Title Investigating the potential of test-driven development for spreadsheet engineering
Authors Alan Rust, Brian Bishop, & Kevin McDaid
Year 2006
Type Proceedings
Publication EuSpRIG
Series  
Abstract

It is widely documented that the absence of a structured approach to spreadsheet engineering is a key factor in the high level of spreadsheet errors.

In this paper we propose and investigate the application of Test-Driven Development to the creation of spreadsheets. Test-Driven Development is an emerging development technique in software engineering that has been shown to result in better quality software code. It has also been shown that this code requires less testing and is easier to maintain.

Through a pair of case studies we demonstrate that Test-Driven Development can be applied to the development of spreadsheets. We present the detail of these studies preceded by a clear explanation of the technique and its application to spreadsheet engineering.

A supporting tool under development by the authors is also documented along with proposed research to determine the effectiveness of the methodology and the associated tool.

Full version Available
Sample
Screenshot of Test Driven Development tool
Screenshot of Test Driven Development tool

This figure shows a screenshot of the tool with details of a single test named "reordLvl_vers2.1".

When the test is run the tool substitutes 1900 into Cell C11 and 2900 into cell C10. The value in G11, based on the formula present, is then checked to make sure it is equal to 8100. In this case the value was correct and the test result is a green light.

If the value were incorrect a red light would be displayed and further changes would be made to the code until the test passes.

After the test is run, the original values in the input cells are reentered.

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