In a previous article, I wrote about how a simple checksum structure can greatly improve the auditability and robustness of financial models, and indeed Excel workbooks in general.
The focus of much current spreadsheet research centres on methods to reduce and identify errors. While checksums will not guarantee an error-free workbook, they will certainly perform a very useful ‘triage’ role for spreadsheet authors.
Checksums are particularly effective for large spreadsheets containing multiple worksheets because they alert users to real-time errors – so if a change to a single input cell produces an error elsewhere in the workbook this will be highlighted immediately.
As a result, checksums are especially useful during the construction phase of financial models, as well as for monitoring of workbook integrity when inputs and assumptions are changed later by users.
I was pleased to see readers liked the idea of using checksums in their Excel workbooks, but the feedback suggested that many accountants simply didn’t have the time to build a checksum structure into each of their workbooks.
This article sets out to respond to that issue by offering an automated way to create checksum structures...