Spreadsheet Horror Stories

C&C Group admit to mistake in revenue results

Shares in C&C fell 15 per cent after it said total revenue in the four months to end-June had not risen 3 per cent as reported, but had dropped 5 per cent. C&C said cider revenues in the UK had fallen 12 per cent, not 1 per cent, while cider revenues in Ireland were flat instead of up 7 per cent as reported last week. C&C’s group finance director and COO said the error in last week’s announcement occurred after data were incorrectly transferred from an accounting system used for internal guidance to a spreadsheet used to produce the trading statement. “It was basically human error… there’s nothing wrong with our accounting systems,” View source article

 

FSA fines Credit Suisse £5.6m

“2.33.3. The booking structure relied upon by the UK operations of Credit Suisse for the CDO trading business was complex and overly reliant on large spreadsheets with multiple entries. This resulted in a lack of transparency and inhibited the effective supervision, risk management and control of the SCG {Structured Credit Group}”View source article

 

Kodak severance error

SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) - The hefty $11 million severance error was traced to a faulty spreadsheet. Kodak spokesman Gerard Meuchner said "There were too many zeros added to the employee's accrued severance. But it was an accrual. There was never a payment," he said. Robert Brust, Kodak's chief financial officer, called it ” an internal control deficiency that constitutes a material weakness that impacted the accounting for restructurings."

 

Westpac jumps the gun on profit

Westpac was forced to halt trading on its shares and deliver its annual profit briefing a day early after it accidentally sent its results by email to research analysts. Details of the $2.818 billion record profit result for the 12 months to September 30, were embedded in a template of last year's results and were accessible with minor manipulation of the spreadsheet. (Some reports indicated an employee had thought that a black cell background fill would hide black text.) Mr Chronican said "It is not just one error, it is a compounding of two or three errors … We will obviously be conducting a full inquiry to make sure it doesn't happen again."View source article

 

To see how we can help you to manage your spreadsheet risk click here to download our Managing Spreadsheet Risk overview.

 

Articles sourced from Eusprig Spreadsheet mistakes - news stories collated by the European Spreadsheet Risks Interest Group. They illustrate common problems and errors that occur with the uncontrolled use of spreadsheets, with comments on the risk and possible avoidance action.