Updated: Mar 10
That is according to Forbes, the business magazine, it says that various studies have shown that 9 out of 10 spread sheets contain errors. Most as a result of human error!
“Fat finger” errors happen in all organisations of all sizes.
It is said that one in five large businesses have suffered financial loss as a result of spreadsheet errors. Usually that company sucks up the loss, but what happens when it can’t or when you are too small to absorb it?
To start with, why are there so many errors? One, because spreadsheets are created by people, people make mistakes. Two, as the spreadsheet grows, so it becomes more complex, creating more opportunities for mistakes.
Just a few expensive examples:
TransAlta. Canada's largest clean electricity provider made a cut and paste error on a spreadsheet, that cost it $24 million!
MI5. In 2010, MI5 bugged more than one thousand wrong phones! A formatting error on a spreadsheet caused the agency to apply for the wrong data.
London Olympics. Someone accidentally inserted “20,000” into a cell instead of “10,000, with the result that they sold 10,000 tickets for non-existent seats at synchronized swimming. The consequence was that the committee had to upgrade ticket holders to tickets for major events - at a loss!
Why am I telling you this? Because too many people are still using spreadsheets for their accounts when a simple online accounting package, like QuickBooks, if used properly, will give them more information and accurate figures, while, most importantly, saving you money.