Spreadsheet bibliography

Title A review of spreadsheet error reduction techniques
Authors Simon Thorne & David Ball
Year 2009
Type Article
Publication Communications of the Association for Information Systems
Series Volume 25, Article 34, November, pages 413-424

Academic and practitioner research shows that spreadsheet errors are prevalent in spreadsheet models and that occasionally these errors cause organisations significant financial loss. A considerable body of research literature now exists on spreadsheet errors and methods to reduce the impact of these errors through technical or organisational approaches.

This paper critically examines the literature on spreadsheet error reduction methods and suggests areas and directions of research that would benefit the development of the specific spreadsheet research projects and assist in the mitigation of spreadsheet error.

Full version Available
Conclusions on error reduction methods
  • The most effective means of reducing errors in spreadsheets is manual auditing.
  • Application of software engineering principles and establishing a "spreadsheet engineering" discipline has the potential to reduce spreadsheet errors.
  • Auditing software has an unknown impact on reducing spreadsheet errors, though visualisation tools may help.
  • Spreadsheet control software offers a means of controlling spreadsheet development rather than directly reducing errors.
  • Alternative spreadsheet programming environments have the potential to reduce error, but there has not been a substantial field study to see if the approach is effective.