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Spreadsheet Errors

Spreadsheet Error Causes a $10.5m Mistake

November 8, 2022

The use of spreadsheets has become a standard in most business processes across the globe. Between the ease of use and flexibility of spreadsheets, they’re often used to store, manipulate and analyze data across an entire organization.
Whether the software is being used to forecast revenue, manage expenses or track payroll, it’s vital that the data is accurate and secure for business success. However, research suggests that 70% of spreadsheets contain errors. When those errors are found in financial spreadsheets, the results can be costly.

Only Human

This post is part of our Only Human series where we highlight human error in spreadsheets and other end user computing (EUC) tools that negatively impact organizations.

Flying Money

The 10.5m Mistake

In May of 2021, a single excel spreadsheet error caused a $10.5 million mistake for Crypto.com. An employee in Bulgaria intended to refund an Australian customer $100, but made a typo in one cell resulting in a refund of $10.47m. To make matters worse, the error was not detected until an audit was conducted seven months later.

During those seven months, the customer and her partner used the funds to purchase multiple homes, vehicles, furniture and gifts. A lump sum of $4 million was sent to an offshore bank account in Malaysia.
The customers were under the impression that they had won a contest hosted by Crypto.com. However, such contest did not exist according to a Crypto.com compliance officer. Now the two stand trial for theft, negligence and other charges

 The Impact of Spreadsheet Errors

Spreadsheet errors, or even one significant error, can be detrimental to a business. Billions of dollars are lost every year due to human error in a spreadsheet. In addition to financial impacts, reputational impacts are felt across organizations involved in spreadsheet scandals. Customers quickly lose trust in organizations where data is not securely stored.
Although Microsoft Excel provides users with flexibility and power to manage data, the software lacks built in controls to guarantee data accuracy and integrity. Eliminating spreadsheet use is simply not feasible, so implementing a spreadsheet policy is a must. With the correct people, process and technology in place, an organization can be successful in mitigating spreadsheet risk.
Next Steps

Next Steps

Apparity’s data governance software provides company wide visibility of all EUC activity, like spreadsheets, databases, scripts and more. All EUCs managed by Apparity are tracked with patented fingerprinting technology to ensure the file is controlled regardless of movement or a name change. Change logs ensure all tweaks are tracked and version control allows for simple revert or export to previous file versions. With Apparity’s integrity check, common formula and data errors are detected to avoid costly mistakes and protect your organization from disaster.
Take the first step to protect your organization by downloading our spreadsheet risk management policy guide.
Apparity Spreadsheet Policy Guide cover image

Take Control

Apparity’s spreadsheet risk management policy guide will give you a strong starting point to defining your organization’s spreadsheet management program.


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Apparity Staff

Apparity provides the smartest platform for banks and insurers looking to efficiently manage mission-critical end user computing application risk. Apparity helps control the entire lifecycle of applications like spreadsheets, databases and scripts.

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