The Background

Excel spreadsheets are essential in the accounting workflow. But, it is widely accepted that spreadsheets, although perfectly manageable when initially setup, in time, become highly labour-intensive, fragile and unmanageable.

The main reason for this is that spreadsheet creators use methodologies that prevent future manageability and scalability . Consequently, users either resort to manual techniques to compensate, or introduce needless complexity to force the spreadsheet to cope with requirements of the future. Both these remedies lead to more spreadsheet risk.

The Challenge

The Celebrity Chef Spreadsheet Challenge tests whether the candidate thinks about future-proofing and scalability when they setup a spreadsheet.

The Survey Results

The results show that, only 1% of those who took the challenge considered future-proofing and scalability as a design goal, and setup the spreadsheet accordingly. The 99% used an approach that made it difficult to cope with normal (even expected) changes.

99% of employers say they would prefer to recruit those from the 1% and also would work hard towards retaining these staff. And, given the choice, would avoid recruiting those from the 90%.

All of these employers said they did not know that there are different ways to how spreadsheets are setup, or that there is such a difference in the outcome.

Discussion Points

How would employers find the 1%?

How would candidates become part of the 1%?

How would candidates indicate that they are from the 1%?

Hiran de Silva

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