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

Spreadsheet bibliography

Title Spreadsheets on trial: A survey of research on spreadsheet risks
Authors Raymond R. Panko & Richard P. Halverson
Year 1996
Type Proceedings
Publication 29th Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences
Series January, pages 326-335
Abstract

Even the earliest writers in end user computing remarked on the potential dangers of end user spreadsheet development. Until recently, there was only anecdotal evidence to support their concerns. Now, there is considerable evidence from experiments, field audits, and surveys of end users and organizations that early concerns were well-founded.

This paper presents a framework for risks in spreadsheeting and organizes selected research findings in terms of this framework.

Full version Available
Sample
Spreadsheet research risks cube
Spreadsheet research risks cube

This paper offers a taxonomy for understanding issues in spreadsheet risks.

The risks are represented in three dimensions:

  • Dependent variables. These are the issues to be addressed by research.
  • Stages in the systems development life cycle. Error rates vary considerably by stage. Some stages have not been studied at all in experiments and field audits, notably the requirements and design stages.
  • Research methodology. Each methodology has strengths and weaknesses. Unfortunately, research in most areas is dominated by a single methodology.
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