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

Spreadsheet bibliography

Title UCheck: A spreadsheet type checker for end users
Authors Robin Abraham & Martin Erwig
Year 2007
Type Article
Publication Journal of Visual Languages and Computing
Series Volume 18, Issue 1, February, pages 71-95
Abstract

Spreadsheets are widely used, and studies have shown that most end-user spreadsheets contain non-trivial errors. Most of the currently available tools that try to mitigate this problem require varying levels of user intervention.

This paper presents a system, called UCheck, that detects errors in spreadsheets automatically. UCheck carries out automatic header and unit inference, and reports unit errors to the users. UCheck is based on two static analyses phases that infer header and unit information for all cells in a spreadsheet.

We have tested UCheck on a wide variety of spreadsheets and found that it works accurately and reliably. The system was also used in a continuing education course for high school teachers, conducted through Oregon State University, aimed at making the participants aware of the need for quality control in the creation of spreadsheets.

Full version Available
Sample
Fault localization feedback
Fault localization feedback

The system uses cell shading to communicate fault localization information, and also listed the references from a cell.

The users should direct their debugging efforts to the cells that have been shaded orange. For example, in this sheet correcting the reference to cell C3 in cell B5, would remove all the unit errors.

Go to top