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

Spreadsheet bibliography

Title Increasing productivity and minimizing errors in operations research spreadsheet models
Authors Larry J. LeBlanc, Michael R. Bartolacci, & Thomas A. Grossman
Year 2017
Type Article
Publication Interfaces
Series Volume 47, Issue 3, May-June, pages 260-269
Abstract

Operations research practitioners often write spreadsheet software that is used, modified, and transferred to other people over time. They need techniques that enable them to quickly write error-free code whose accuracy can be easily verified and tested.

Practitioner spreadsheet models often must be suitable for transfer to others and be robust in the sense that inadvertently introducing errors during reuse and updating is difficult.

We examine some problem areas for spreadsheet design and programming and suggest techniques intended to increase productivity and reduce the risk of errors, especially in situations in which someone other than the original author is using or maintaining the spreadsheets.

Full version Available
Sample
Beastly formula
Beastly formula

This beastly formula contains 12 IF functions, 12 logical test formulas, and 12 result formulas.

It is difficult to verify because one must inspect 12 logical tests, 12 results, and the nesting of the IF functions, all embedded in a single long formula.

It is hard to test because the result value computed and displayed is state dependent.

Transfer is risky because any new user would find it challenging to comprehend, much less maintain, such a complex piece of code.

We recommend using a lookup function instead of complex nested-IF logic.

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