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An empirical study of spreadsheet error-finding performance

Galletta, DF and Abraham, D and El Louadi, M and Lekse, W and Pollalis, YA and Sampler, JL (1993) An empirical study of spreadsheet error-finding performance. Accounting, Management and Information Technologies, 3 (2). 79 - 95. ISSN 0959-8022

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Several well-founded concerns exist about the integrity and validity of electronic spreadsheets. Thirty CPAs and 30 MBA students volunteered to seek up to two errors planted in each of six spread-sheets to discover if expertise in the domain of accounting and the spreadsheet program would facilitate error-finding performance. Subjects only found, on average, about 55% of the simple, conspicuous errors on the small spreadsheets. As expected, both accounting and spreadsheeting expertise contributed to the subjects' error-finding rate, and those who performed this task with both types of expertise found the largest number of errors in the shortest time. Interestingly, while CPAs were more accurate than non-CPAs in finding accounting-related errors, spreadsheet experts did not outperform novices in finding spreadsheet formula errors. Also, while spreadsheet expertise contributed to greater speed, accounting expertise did not. Future research would further investigate the contribution of spreadsheet expertise to the error-finding task. Practitioners should be aware of the difficulties in finding even simple errors, and develop training programs to facilitate spreadsheet auditors' performance. © 1993.


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Item Type: Article
Status: Published
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Abraham, D
El Louadi, M
Lekse, W
Pollalis, YA
Sampler, JL
Date: 1 January 1993
Date Type: Publication
Journal or Publication Title: Accounting, Management and Information Technologies
Volume: 3
Number: 2
Page Range: 79 - 95
DOI or Unique Handle: 10.1016/0959-8022(93)90001-m
Schools and Programs: Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business > Business Administration
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 0959-8022
Date Deposited: 20 Sep 2012 20:27
Last Modified: 02 Feb 2019 15:55


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