Every study, without exception, has found error rates much higher than organizations would wish to tolerate.
Panko (1999)
Spreadsheet errors are still the rule rather than the exception.
Nixon & O'Hara (2010)
Spreadsheets contain errors at an alarmingly high rate.
Abraham, et al (2005)
Spreadsheets are more fault-prone than other software.
Kulesz & Ostberg (2013)
Spreadsheets are commonly used and commonly flawed.
Caulkins, Morrison, & Weidemann (2008)
A lot of decisions are being made on the basis of some bad numbers.
Ross (1996)
Spreadsheet shortcomings can significantly hamper an organization's business operation.
Reschenhofer & Matthes (2015)
Spreadsheets... pose a greater threat to your business than almost anything you can imagine.
Howard (2005)
Studies have shown that there is a high incidence of errors in spreadsheets.
Csernoch & Biro (2013)
Spreadsheets are notoriously error-prone.
Cunha, et al (2011)
Spreadsheet errors have resulted in huge financial losses.
Abraham & Erwig (2007)
Research on spreadsheet errors is substantial, compelling, and unanimous.
Panko (2015)
94% of the 88 spreadsheets audited in 7 studies have contained errors.
Panko (2008)
Spreadsheets are often hard, if not impossible, to understand.
Mireault & Gresham (2015)
60% of large companies feel 'Spreadsheet Hell' describes their reliance on spreadsheets.
Murphy (2007)
Spreadsheets can be viewed as a highly flexible programming environment for end users.
Abreu, et al (2015)
Your spreadsheets may be disasters in the making.
Caulkins, Morrison, & Weidemann (2006)
Spreadsheets are alarmingly error-prone to write.
Paine (2001)
The software that end users are creating... is riddled with errors.
Burnett & Myers (2014)
Spreadsheets are the most popular live programming environments, but they are also notoriously fault-prone.
Hermans & van der Storm (2015)
Most executives do not really check or verify the accuracy or validity of [their] spreadsheets...
Teo & Tan (1999)
Programmers exhibit unwarranted confidence in the correctness of their spreadsheets.
Krishna, et al (2001)
The quality and reliability of spreadsheets is known to be poor.
Bishop & McDaid (2007)
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)
Every study that has looked for errors has found them... in considerable abundance.
Panko & Halverson (1996)
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)
1% of all formulas in operational spreadsheets are in error.
Powell, Baker, & Lawson (2009)
Errors in spreadsheets are as ubiquitous as spreadsheets themselves.
Colbenz (2005)
Spreadsheets are easy to use and very hard to check.
Chen & Chan (2000)
It is irrational to expect large error-free spreadsheets.
Panko (2013)
Spreadsheets have a notoriously high number of faults.
Rust, et al (2006)
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)
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)
...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)
Overconfidence is one of the most substantial causes of spreadsheet errors.
Sakal, et al (2015)
Despite overwhelming and unanimous evidence... companies have continued to ignore spreadsheet error risks.
Panko (2014)
It is now widely accepted that errors in spreadsheets are both common and potentially dangerous.
Nixon & O'Hara (2010)
Spreadsheets are extraordinarily and unacceptably prone to error.
Dunn (2010)
Spreadsheets are dangerous to their authors and others.
Durusau & Hunting (2015)
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)
Spreadsheet errors are pervasive, stubborn, ubiquitous and complex.
Irons (2003)
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)
Most large spreadsheets have dozens or even hundreds of errors.
Panko & Ordway (2005)

Spreadsheet bibliography

Title Incorporating incremental validation and impact analysis into spreadsheet maintenance: An empirical study
Authors Vijay B. Krishna, Curtis Cook, Daniel Keller, Joshua Cantrell, Chris Wallace, & Margaret Burnett
Year 2001
Type Proceedings
Publication IEEE International Conference on Software Maintenance
Series November, pages 72-81

Spreadsheets are among the most common form of software in use today. Unlike more traditional forms of software however, spreadsheets are created and maintained by end users with little or no programming experience. As a result, a high percentage of these "programs" contain errors. Unfortunately, software engineering research has for the most part ignored this problem.

We have developed a methodology that is designed to aid end users in developing, testing, and maintaining spreadsheets. The methodology communicates testing information and information about the impact of cell changes to users in a manner that does not require an understanding of formal testing theory or the behind the scenes mechanisms.

This paper presents the results of an empirical study that shows that, during maintenance, end users using our methodology were more accurate in making changes and did a significantly better job of validating their spreadsheets than end users without the methodology.

Full version Available
Average testing self-rating
Average testing self-rating

The post session questionnaires asked subjects to rate "on a familiar A-F scale" how well they tested their spreadsheet.

In spite of the fact that 12 of the 17 Ad Hoc subjects did not execute a single test and that 17 of the 19 WYSIWYT subjects executed at least one test case, the Ad Hoc subjects' average testing self-rating was considerably higher than the WYSIWYT subjects' average self-rating.

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