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Spreadsheet errors could cost companies billions

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Spreadsheet errors could cost companies billions

We all know the problems that can arise when a corporate document contains an error. If this is in a spreadsheet, it could have far-reaching consequences.

A recent article from CNBC featured an interview with Kenny Whitelaw-Jones, managing director at London-based F1F9. He told the news source that an estimated 88 percent of business spreadsheets contain an error. This has led to not only a loss of time and resources, but also damaged the company’s reputation, cost people jobs and sidelined careers. For larger companies, the financial ramifications can total in the billions of dollars.

A higher standard

Whitelaw-Jones said that because spreadsheets are used as part of the decision-making process, it is critical that organizations examine how they use them. This examination becomes increasingly important in industries that lack industry-wide modeling standards, as the risk of error is greater when industry guidelines do not exist. Examining reliance on spreadsheets is one of many steps that a company should take to reduce miscues. Unfortunately, human error is part of the problem and can never be fully eliminated.

“We think that’s really just the tip of a much bigger iceberg – spreadsheets are used ubiquitously, and there are some real significant problems with the way they are used and that leads to real risk of error, and we’re seeing that time and again,” Whitelaw-Jones said.

Creating a better workflow

However, with the right Excel consulting service and/or Excel training, even the most complicated spreadsheets can be streamlined and automated. With the help of an experienced business support agency that understands MS Excel technology and error free spreadsheets and workflow, any company can take the steps to deploying these solutions successfully.