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

Spreadsheet bibliography

Title The impact of training in financial modelling principles on the incidence of spreadsheet errors
Authors Ian Beaman, Erwin Waldmann, & Peter Krueger
Year 2005
Type Article
Publication Accounting Education: An International Journal
Series Volume 14, Number 2, June, pages 199-212
Abstract

Spreadsheet models are used extensively in business as an important aid in decision support particularly in areas like financial analysis, budgeting and forecasting. If these models were compromised through quantitative and qualitative errors, the resulting decision making would be based on fallacious information with potentially disastrous outcomes.

Consequently, it is imperative that accounting professionals receive adequate training in spreadsheet modelling, especially as past research has shown that these types of errors are common.

This paper reports on a survey and spreadsheet exercise given to a group of second-year undergraduate accounting students at an Australian university, both before and after a semester course aimed specifically at teaching spreadsheet design principles and problem-solving techniques.

The findings show that spreadsheet errors and, in particular, spreadsheet design errors are prolific even for a simple domain-free exercise. Results also show that the incidence of these errors (and again, particularly design errors) was reduced significantly after a semester of teaching spreadsheet design principles.

The results support the contention that accounting educators should include a course in spreadsheet design principles and problem-solving techniques as part of an undergraduate accounting program.

Full version Available
Sample
Errors before and after the exercise
Errors before and after the exercise

Paired sample t-tests were performed on the 'before' and 'after' results to determine the impact of the training the students received in the 'Financial Modelling' course on both 'Quantitative' and 'Qualitative' errors.

The total number of 'qualitative' errors dropped significantly from 10.08 per student to 2.64.

Unfortunately, the same was not true of 'quantitative' errors, which increased from a mean of 0.78 per student to 1.30.

Overall, however, the total number of errors (both quantitative and qualitative) reduced very significantly from a mean of 10.86 per student to 3.94.

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