Customs & Excise computer audit consultant Ray Butler offers some basic spreadsheet safety tips based on analysis of thousands of spreadsheet mistakes.
"To err is human. To really foul things up requires a computer." Anon
Ever since spreadsheets were introduced, people have made mistakes as well as calculations with them. Even after debugging, 20-30% of spreadsheets contain mistakes. VAT inspectors find material errors in 70 - 80% of high-risk spreadsheets they test.
AccountingWEB's recent IT Zone survey showed over half of the respondents depended on spreadsheets for budgeting and a significant number used them for tax calculations. Are you sure your spreadsheets don't contain errors?
What mistakes do users make?
1. Design errors First, let's look at underlying busines...