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

Spreadsheet bibliography

Title Training gamble leads to corporate grumble
Authors David Chadwick
Year 2002
Type Proceedings
Publication EuSpRIG
Series  
Abstract

Fifteen years of research studies have concluded unanimously that spreadsheet errors are both common and non-trivial. Now we must seek ways to reduce spreadsheet errors.

Several approaches have been suggested, some of which are promising and others, while appealing because they are easy to do, are not likely to be effective. To date, only one technique, cell-by-cell code inspection, has been demonstrated to be effective.

We need to conduct further research to determine the degree to which other techniques can reduce spreadsheet errors.

Full version Available
Sample
Rationale for developing a research ethos
Rationale for developing a research ethos

There is no doubt that spreadsheet teaching at universities suffers from an image problem:

  • Spreadsheets are seen as trivial encompassing simple accounting models.
  • The packages are easy to learn therefore the intellectual content is limited.
  • Students learn basic skills prior to university and have developed bad habits.

But perhaps the major problem is that of convincing academics that spreadsheet teaching requires a complete re-think involving not only changes in teaching content but also changes in teaching method perhaps accompanied by the development of a research ethos to find appropriate and innovative solutions.

Go to top