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Hi, I’m Brad Feld, a managing director at the Foundry Group who lives in Boulder, Colorado. I invest in software and Internet companies around the US, run marathons and read a lot.

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The Spreadsheet Ate My Homework

Comments (3)

Have you ever made an error as a result of a formula problem in a spreadsheet.  Nope – I haven’t either <g>.  A long time friend and uber-accounting-dude Frank Lincks sent me this somewhat painful story of Eastman Kodak’s recent SEC non-reliance 8–K filing due to a spreadsheet error.  Quoting from the 8–K:

 “…the Company has concluded that the severance error that occurred in the second quarter, as described above, was primarily the result of a failure in the operation of … the existing preventive and detective controls surrounding the preparation and review of spreadsheets that include new or changed formulas. The Company has concluded that this situation constitutes a “material weakness,” as defined by the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board’s Auditing Standard No. 2. The Company believes that this material weakness will be remediated by December 31, 2005.”

Oops.

  • http://www.intuitive.com/blog/ Dave Taylor

    Fabulous story, Brad. Sheesh, it’s like Kodak has just completely lost any sort of clue they ever had, and, really, double-checking your spreadsheets is pretty darn basic. Even in B-school we learned that one. :-)

  • http://www.adwido.com Adwido

    Doesn't surprise me. I never did like those darn spreadsheet formulas. Why can't they make them easier to implement. You have to be a rocket scientist to set up a simple formula.

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