Spreadsheets Revisited

Although it is now a little old, the work that we did back in 2015 on spreadsheets is always worth a revisit and still relevant. With so many new people coming into the business, they may be unaware of some of the historical issues caused by spreadsheet use in the industry. The research and report was sponsored by Gen10. What the research found, I think, would be as valid today as it was back then and that was that the often predicted demise of the Excel spreadsheet in commodity trading has never occurred. At the time, we looked at the reasons why spreadsheets should be used only with caution. The survey asked for examples of the sorts of issues that had arisen with the use of spreadsheets at trading firms and the result was a real horror show of issues like these, / A $2 million trading error was traced to the replacement of a cell formula with a fixed value, / Numbers were transposed on data entry into a master spreadsheet and downstream spreadsheets had no visibility of that error in the master spreadsheet, / An added row or column didn’t get included in the calculations, / Lack of… continue reading

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