Mounting errors make Excel best practices a must

A recent article from Economia features an interview with Richard Anning, the head of the ICAEW IT Faculty. The organization was founded in 1880 and providers members with knowledge and guidance based on the highest ethical and technical standards of its 142,000 chartered accountants. The group has launched a new publication to spread better spreadsheet thinking and practices.

This is important because spreadsheets are used in nearly all businesses, but data accuracy can still be improved. Common errors include incorrect models and poor formulae. These sorts of issues often occur because 65 percent of Excel users claim to be self-taught.

“Businesses of all shapes and sizes are very heavy users of spreadsheets, and in some cases key business decisions costing millions of pounds rest on spreadsheet modeling,” Anning said. “Yet studies suggest that 90 percent of them contain mistakes.”

These problems are more than the high profile ones that get reported. Small businesses can lose a lot of money because of errors and inefficiency caused by poorly-designed spreadsheets that lack such basics as integrity checks and documentation.

While spreadsheets are something that nearly every business is using, very few of have mastered it. Because of this, organizations are leaving a lot on the table if they are not able to use Excel to its full potential. With the help of an Excel consulting firm, any organization can improve the possibilities of mastering the basics and getting deeper into what is possible with more advanced features, while also helping to avoid mistakes.