Developing an error-free spreadsheet has been a problem since the beginning of end-user computing.
Mireault (2015)
Despite overwhelming and unanimous evidence... companies have continued to ignore spreadsheet error risks.
Panko (2014)
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)
Overconfidence is one of the most substantial causes of spreadsheet errors.
Sakal, et al (2015)
Spreadsheet shortcomings can significantly hamper an organization's business operation.
Reschenhofer & Matthes (2015)
The results given by spreadsheets are often just wrong.
Sajaniemi (1998)
Errors in spreadsheets... result in incorrect decisions being made and significant losses incurred.
Beaman, et al (2005)
Spreadsheets are often hard, if not impossible, to understand.
Mireault & Gresham (2015)
Errors in spreadsheets are as ubiquitous as spreadsheets themselves.
Colbenz (2005)
Programmers exhibit unwarranted confidence in the correctness of their spreadsheets.
Krishna, et al (2001)
A lot of decisions are being made on the basis of some bad numbers.
Ross (1996)
Most executives do not really check or verify the accuracy or validity of [their] spreadsheets...
Teo & Tan (1999)
Every study that has looked for errors has found them... in considerable abundance.
Panko & Halverson (1996)
Despite being staggeringly error prone, spreadsheets are a highly flexible programming environment.
Abreu, et al (2015)
Spreadsheet development must embrace extensive testing in order to be taken seriously as a profession.
Bock (2016)
94% of the 88 spreadsheets audited in 7 studies have contained errors.
Panko (2008)
Spreadsheets are the most popular live programming environments, but they are also notoriously fault-prone.
Hermans & van der Storm (2015)
Spreadsheets are commonly used and commonly flawed.
Caulkins, Morrison, & Weidemann (2008)
The issue is not whether there is an error but how many errors there are and how serious they are.
Panko (2007)
Spreadsheets are alarmingly error-prone to write.
Paine (2001)
Spreadsheets can be viewed as a highly flexible programming environment for end users.
Abreu, et al (2015)
Spreadsheets contain errors at an alarmingly high rate.
Abraham, et al (2005)
Spreadsheet errors... a great, often unrecognised, risk to corporate decision making & financial integrity.
Chadwick (2002)
Spreadsheet errors are pervasive, stubborn, ubiquitous and complex.
Irons (2003)
Research on spreadsheet errors is substantial, compelling, and unanimous.
Panko (2015)
Spreadsheets are dangerous to their authors and others.
Durusau & Hunting (2015)
Most large spreadsheets have dozens or even hundreds of errors.
Panko & Ordway (2005)
Your spreadsheets may be disasters in the making.
Caulkins, Morrison, & Weidemann (2006)
It is now widely accepted that errors in spreadsheets are both common and potentially dangerous.
Nixon & O'Hara (2010)
Spreadsheet errors are still the rule rather than the exception.
Nixon & O'Hara (2010)
Spreadsheets are extraordinarily and unacceptably prone to error.
Dunn (2010)
Spreadsheets are notoriously error-prone.
Cunha, et al (2011)
The untested spreadsheet is as dangerous and untrustworthy as an untested program.
Price (2006)
The software that end users are creating... is riddled with errors.
Burnett & Myers (2014)
Spreadsheet errors have resulted in huge financial losses.
Abraham & Erwig (2007)
Spreadsheets are easy to use and very hard to check.
Chen & Chan (2000)
A significant proportion of spreadsheets have severe quality problems.
Ayalew (2007)
...few incidents of spreadsheet errors are made public and these are usually not revealed by choice.
Kruck & Sheetz (2001)
60% of large companies feel 'Spreadsheet Hell' describes their reliance on spreadsheets.
Murphy (2007)
1% of all formulas in operational spreadsheets are in error.
Powell, Baker, & Lawson (2009)
Spreadsheets... pose a greater threat to your business than almost anything you can imagine.
Howard (2005)
Even obvious, elementary errors in very simple, clearly documented spreadsheets are... difficult to find.
Galletta, et al (1993)
The quality and reliability of spreadsheets is known to be poor.
Bishop & McDaid (2007)
Never assume a spreadsheet is right, even your own.
Raffensperger (2001)
Untested spreadsheets are riddled with errors.
Miller (2005)
Spreadsheets have a notoriously high number of faults.
Rust, et al (2006)
Every study, without exception, has found error rates much higher than organizations would wish to tolerate.
Panko (1999)
Spreadsheets are more fault-prone than other software.
Kulesz & Ostberg (2013)
Studies have shown that there is a high incidence of errors in spreadsheets.
Csernoch & Biro (2013)

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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