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

Spreadsheet bibliography

Title Spreadsheet auditing software
Authors David Nixon & Mike O'Hara
Year 2001
Type Proceedings
Publication EuSpRIG
Series  
Abstract

It is now widely accepted that errors in spreadsheets are both common and potentially dangerous.

Further research has taken place to investigate how frequently these errors occur, what impact they have, how the risk of spreadsheet errors can be reduced by following spreadsheet design guidelines and methodologies, and how effective auditing of a spreadsheet is in the detection of these errors. However, little research exists to establish the usefulness of software tools in the auditing of spreadsheets.

This paper documents and tests office software tools designed to assist in the audit of spreadsheets. The test was designed to identify the success of software tools in detecting different types of errors, to identify how the software tools assist the auditor and to determine the usefulness of the tools.

Full version Available
Sample
Test results for testing tools
Test results for testing tools

The tests proved conclusively that spreadsheet auditing software tools can be useful. The more successful software achieved detection rates of over 80%.

The built in Excel functions scored the worst, which suggests that all is not well and that the need to go beyond the built in auditing functions exists.

However it must be remembered that software tools do not detect and correct errors, they merely point the user in the right direction.

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