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

Spreadsheet bibliography

Title Managing spreadsheets
Authors Philip Howard
Year 2005
Type White paper
Publication Bloor Research
Series April, pages 1-18
Abstract

There are five major problems with spreadsheets:

  • The potential for errors.
  • Lack of security.
  • The absence of an audit trail.
  • The misperception that spreadsheets are not an enterprise resource.
  • Productivity issues.

We will consider each of these in turn, before considering some other management issues related to spreadsheets.

Full version Available
Sample
Spreadsheet management solutions
Spreadsheet management solutions

This table lists the major features that we would like to see vendors provide in spreadsheet management solutions.

We have divided these into 'must have' and 'advanced' facilities, where the former are essential and the latter would be nice to have.

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