6 reasons to care about spreadsheet errors

FINANCIAL MODELLING EXPERTS

Author:

Kenny Whitelaw-Jones

Published:

26 Aug 2014

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Last year we published our popular ebook “The Dirty Dozen – 12 modelling horror stories”. The ebook provides an idea of some of the things that can go wrong with spreadsheets and how to prevent these errors.

It received good coverage on radio and TV and raised the profile of spreadsheet errors to a wide audience.

Within the ebook we mention 6 reasons to care about spreadsheet errors, if you haven’t read our ebook yet, these reasons may perk your interest. A link to download the ebook is at the end of this blog post.

6 reasons to care about spreadsheet errors

1. Your business relies on information in spreadsheets and financial models to make key business decisions.

2. These problems are widespread.

It is reported that close to 90% of spreadsheets contain errors and that approximately 50% of spreadsheet models in use operationally in large businesses have material defects.

3. The impact can be huge: into £billions.

Errors are not just costly in terms of time and money wasted but also lead to damaged reputations, lost jobs and disrupted careers.

4. Errors happen easily.

Spreadsheeting software, and for most people this currently means Microsoft Excel, is flexible and easy to use. But dangers lie in this freedom, particularly if spreadsheets are large and complex; more so if a business is not using standards and procedural controls.

5. Forewarned is forearmed.

If you are responsible for financial control in your organisation, it is your responsibility to take action to avoid these sorts of problems. By reading our ebook you can learn what happens when things go wrong and receive advice on how to avoid this happening.

6. These are only the reported horror stories.

Imagine how many problems there are that receive no publicity at all. We hope that by exposing these issues that it will encourage businesses to be more open about these problems and take prompt action to avoid them.

Our ebook may help you put the case to your boss that your business needs to invest in better spreadsheeting control through use of standards and procedures.


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Kenny Whitelaw-Jones
Kenny Whitelaw-Jones is no longer with F1F9 but we really like this blog so we've kept it.