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

Spreadsheet bibliography

Title Spreadsheet development and 'what-if' analysis - quantitative versus qualitative errors
Authors Thompson S. H. Teo & Margaret Tan
Year 1999
Type Article
Publication Accounting, Management and Information Technologies
Series Volume 9, Number 3, September, pages 141-160
Abstract

Past research has shown that errors are relatively common in all types of spreadsheets. As spreadsheets are used widely by executives in analyzing and supporting their decision making, especially in financial analysis, budgeting and forecasting applications, it is important for spreadsheets to be accurate.

Errors undetected in spreadsheets may have undesirable consequences. For example, errors may adversely impact the firm's competitiveness or profitability when the costing of projects is prone to incorrect computation.

For this purpose, we investigate the types of errors that may occur even for simple domain-free spreadsheet problems. In addition, we also show that spreadsheet errors are difficult to detect during 'what-if' analysis (i.e. when some design parameters are changed) when spreadsheets are not properly designed.

The results show that most students do not take due care in designing spreadsheets. It appears that the techniques in teaching spreadsheets should really focus on how to design a comprehensive spreadsheet that is both easy to maintain and debug rather than just demonstrating the many features of spreadsheets.

Full version Available
Sample
Results of spreadsheet errors
Results of spreadsheet errors

Of the 168 spreadsheets developed, 70 spreadsheets had errors in the first exercise and 84 had errors in the second exercise, giving an error rate of 41.7% and 50%, respectively. These error rates are generally consistent with previous studies.

Although the fraction of spreadsheets with errors was high, there were actually very few errors, i.e. only 0.5 and 0.8 errors per model for the first and second spreadsheet exercises, respectively.

It appears that the problem with spreadsheet development is not the absolute number of errors. Rather, it is that minor errors can cascade down into errors in bottom-line values. This can be quite serious as managers do not verify or validate the values and often rely on bottom-line values in the model to make decisions.

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