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

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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