A post relating to this item from Finextra:
15 October, 2008
Excel error leaves Barclays with unwanted Lehman assets
Barclays Capital has been forced to file a legal relief motion relating to its acquisition of Lehman Brothers' US assets after a reformatting error with an Excel spreadsheet resulted in 179 contracts being mistakenly included in the purchase agreement.
Excel is a powerful tool. Like a chainsaw, in the hands of a skilled operator it is hugely effective – but in untrained or rushed hands and without the proper safety equipment it can be positively dangerous. This latest story of spreadsheet mayhem is just
another illustration of the power to get it wrong.
Microsoft themselves understand that for some business critical functions if you must use Excel, you should supplement it with additional tools such as those from Microsoft (and MPIE) alliance partner
Finsbury Solutions (there are other similar
tools, it is just that from our experience we think it is best for Financial Sector uses). For run of the mill spreadsheets the additional error checking, security, auditing and workflow, whilst preserving the majority of the power and flexibility of the
spreadsheet, may not be needed. However, from the analysis we have done with clients across a range of spreadsheet use, there are a significant percentage that would benefit. For business critical uses where these is significant money to be lost, these tools
and supporting processes and techniques can offer an important safety net.