Why finance teams make mistakes in spreadsheets


“When was the last time you made a mistake in a spreadsheet? You might remember it clearly – it might even keep you awake at night. But there’s also a chance you won’t even have realized it happened.”

Much of the world’s most critical business data is still held in, or moves through, spreadsheets. But when busy people meet spreadsheets, mistakes get made.

Finance teams know this: they spend more time in spreadsheets than almost anyone else. We’ve surveyed 250 finance leaders – and Ledgy customers – to understand the risk spreadsheets can pose to business data. We even ask the unthinkable question: could the age of the spreadsheet be coming to an end?

Data entry errors are the most common…

31% of respondents said that data entry errors were the most common kind of mistake made in finance teams, a higher proportion than those who mentioned communication, security or strategic errors.

…and is multitasking to blame?

Focusing on too many things concurrently was the most frequently cited reason behind mistakes being made. Multitasking was more commonly cited than competing factors like tiredness and focusing on speed over precision.

Mistakes on spreadsheets are hurting businesses’ bottom lines…

60% of respondents said that a mistake made on spreadsheets had cost their business money.

…and more leaders prefer software to spreadsheets

48% of finance leaders think task-specific software will result in fewer data errors than spreadsheets, compared to 42% who think spreadsheets still reign supreme.

Dive deeper with the full report

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