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

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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