Spreadsheet Check and Control

Patrick O'Beirne

Publisher Systems Publishing
ISBN 978-1-905404-00-1
RRP 29.99 euros
Reviewed by Graham Clayton
Score 8 out of 10

SpreadsheetCandC Spreadsheets are one of the most powerful, common and superficially simple pieces of end-user software. These features lead to widespread use, over-confidence on the part of a few users and occasionally serious and embarrassing errors, examples of which are highlighted in this book.

The author, a software consultant with a special interest in spreadsheets, has two aims: avoiding common errors and making development easier. The book, which is closely tied in to the European Computer Driving Licence Spreadsheet Check + Control Module, begins with specification and design.

The next three sections cover input, calculation and output. Each topic in all the sections is carefully explained and illustrated, with frequent tests to help the reader assess comprehension and progress. The downloadable spreadsheets are a very valuable bonus enabling the author to test the reader with large amounts of data which often include ingenious errors and omissions.

The final section of the book deals with testing and data integrity, some of the latter perhaps belonging more naturally with the input section. The appendix has a list of websites, some of which provide tips while others offer spreadsheet-checking software.

The book assumes knowledge of spreadsheets up to at least European Computer Driving Licence Module 4 and is mainly aimed at the finance professional. However, it is full of tips and exercises which would benefit most spreadsheet users.