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

Spreadsheet bibliography

Title Spreadsheet misconceptions, spreadsheet errors
Authors Maria Csernoch & Piroska Biro
Year 2013
Type Proceedings
Publication Hungarian Conference on Educational Research
Series 13-14 June
Abstract

Spreadsheet programs appeared on the market around 30 years ago, and they are now among the most widely used programming systems. Studies have shown that there is a high incidence of errors in spreadsheets; up to 90% in some cases. Studies have also been attempting to find an explanation for this failure. However, most research has been carried out on completed and saved spreadsheets documents.

With a sample of 730 students and 134 teachers, we conducted paper-based testing to document in-execution-errors. It was found that the in-execution-errors of spreadsheet formulas are as frequent as any other types of errors. The results of analyzing the sources of in-execution-errors lead us to recommend guidelines for teachers. The teachers' results show that they are in need of these guidelines.

It will be shown in this paper that a previously unknown metacognitive approach, which can be categorized as a surface approach, has emerged in the spreadsheet environment; the trial-and-error wizard-based approach (TAEW-based). We prove that the TAEW-based approach is not sufficient to create correct spreadsheet formulas, and consequently to solve spreadsheet problems.

Full version Available
Sample
Percentage of correct answers
Percentage of correct answers
Given common spreadsheet tasks, using a paper-based testing method, both students and teachers achieved very low percentages of correct answers.
Go to top