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

Spreadsheet bibliography

Title Investigating the potential of test-driven development for spreadsheet engineering
Authors Alan Rust, Brian Bishop, & Kevin McDaid
Year 2006
Type Proceedings
Publication EuSpRIG
Series  
Abstract

It is widely documented that the absence of a structured approach to spreadsheet engineering is a key factor in the high level of spreadsheet errors.

In this paper we propose and investigate the application of Test-Driven Development to the creation of spreadsheets. Test-Driven Development is an emerging development technique in software engineering that has been shown to result in better quality software code. It has also been shown that this code requires less testing and is easier to maintain.

Through a pair of case studies we demonstrate that Test-Driven Development can be applied to the development of spreadsheets. We present the detail of these studies preceded by a clear explanation of the technique and its application to spreadsheet engineering.

A supporting tool under development by the authors is also documented along with proposed research to determine the effectiveness of the methodology and the associated tool.

Full version Available
Sample
Screenshot of Test Driven Development tool
Screenshot of Test Driven Development tool

This figure shows a screenshot of the tool with details of a single test named "reordLvl_vers2.1".

When the test is run the tool substitutes 1900 into Cell C11 and 2900 into cell C10. The value in G11, based on the formula present, is then checked to make sure it is equal to 8100. In this case the value was correct and the test result is a green light.

If the value were incorrect a red light would be displayed and further changes would be made to the code until the test passes.

After the test is run, the original values in the input cells are reentered.

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