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

Spreadsheet bibliography

Title Combining smells and fault localization in spreadsheets
Authors Rui Abreu, Jacome Cunha, Joao Paulo Fernandes, Pedro Martins, Alexandre Perez, & Joao Saraiva
Year 2016
Type Article
Publication Submitted
Series Pages 1-29
Abstract

Despite being staggeringly error prone, spreadsheets are a highly flexible programming environment that is widely used in industry. In fact, spreadsheets are widely adopted for decision making, and decisions taken upon wrong (spreadsheet-based) assumptions may have serious economical impacts on businesses, among other consequences.

This paper proposes a technique to automatically pinpoint potential faults in spreadsheets. It combines a catalog of spreadsheet smells that provide a first indication of a potential fault, with a generic spectrum-based fault localization strategy in order to improve (in terms of accuracy and false positive rate) on these initial results.

Our technique has been implemented in a tool which helps users detecting faults. To validate the proposed technique, we consider a well-known and well-documented catalog of faulty spreadsheets.

Our experiments yield two main results:

  • We were able to distinguish between smells that can point to faulty cells from smells and those that are not capable of doing so.
  • We provide a technique capable of detecting a significant number of errors: two thirds of the cells labeled as faulty are in fact (documented) errors.
Full version Available
Sample
Spreadsheet analysis framework
Spreadsheet analysis framework
Overview of spreadsheet analysis framework used to automatically locate potential faults in spreadsheets by combining a catalog of smells with a spectrum-based fault localization strategy.
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