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

Spreadsheet bibliography

Title Practical challenges with spreadsheet auditing tools
Authors Daniel Kulesz & Jan-Peter Ostberg
Year 2013
Type Proceedings
Publication EuSpRIG
Series  
Abstract

Just like other software, spreadsheets can contain significant faults. Static analysis is an accepted and well-established technique in software engineering known for its capability to discover faults. In recent years, a growing number of tool vendors started offering tools that allow casual end-users to run various static analyses on spreadsheets as well.

We supervised a study where three undergraduate software engineering students examined a selection of 14 spreadsheet auditing tools, trying to give a concrete recommendation for an industry partner. Reflecting on the study's results, we found that most of these tools do provide useful aids in finding problems in spreadsheets, but we have also spotted several areas where tools had significant issues.

Some of these issues could be remedied if spreadsheet auditing tool vendors would pick up some ideas of static analysis tools for traditional software development and adopt some of their solution approaches.

Full version Available
Sample
Spreadsheet before and after coloring by an auditing tool
Spreadsheet before and after coloring by an auditing tool
Many auditing tools color cells to indicate findings. The use of colors is problematic, as colors are often already used as part of the original spreadsheet so users may not recognize their own spreadsheets and thus are unable to trace the findings.
Go to top