PerfectXL Risk Eliminator

Spreadsheet Risks & Suggestions

To be able to trust a spreadsheet, a thorough check for errors and mistakes is essential. There are lots of different ways a simple mistake can destroy the validity of a spreadsheet. Our software checks for more than 75 of these risks to enable users to trust their spreadsheets by fixing mistakes and guaranteeing quality.

Analyse your Spreadsheet for Risks

Start with uploading and analysing your spreadsheet into PerfectXL Risk Eliminator. Then click the name of your file to see the full analysis and choose the tab ‘Risks & Suggestions’.

Summary of Detected Risks

Risks & Suggestions starts with a summary of all findings. The overview is divided into 6 subcategories of risks:

  1. Calculation doubts
  2. Structure issues
  3. Range issues
  4. Hidden info
  5. Complex formulas
  6. Vulnerable functions

For each possible risk the tool tells you how many incidents were detected and wether these incidents are considered high, medium or low risks.

Risks in spreadsheets and suggestions for improvement // PerfectXL Risk Eliminator

Risk details & location

Once you know that your spreadsheet contains risks, of course you want to inspect these incidents and solve them if necessary. PerfectXL helps you with these two steps as well. First you click on the risk category or a specific type of risk you want to inspect.

Select a risk that was found in your Excel file // PerfectXL Risk Eliminator

Next you will find an overview with specific details of all the incidents found: worksheet, cell, type of risk, level and formula.

Details of a risk that was found in a spreadsheet // PerfectXL Risk Eliminator

Use the filter options to find a specific incident or click on a column header to sort the table by this characteristic.

Suggestions for improvement

Click on a detected risk to find more information about what’s going on and suggestions to solve it. Note: PerfectXL won’t solve it for you: the final decision to modify your spreadsheet is always up to you.

Suggestions for spreadsheet improvement // PerfectXL Risk Eliminator

  • Avoid >70 types of risks
  • Improvement suggestions
  • Quality reports

Read more about risks in Excel files

On this page you will find a step-by-step walkthrough of the PerfectXL Risk Eliminator.

Here you will find information like system requirements, release notes, and answers to most questions about our software.

VLOOKUP and the combination of INDEX and MATCH are well known ways to search in Excel, and to our great frustration, VLOOKUP is used a lot more often.

Our software inspects spreadsheets on all kinds of spreadsheet risk. Read more about some of the risks we detect in spreadsheets here.

Excel horror stories are often related to accidentally changing, shifting or changing units or number formats.

Long ago, Excel was not as clever and advanced as today, but the so-called array functions have been around for a long time. However, most people do not know about them, and do not understand them.

(Hidden) circular references occur when Excel tries to compute a result of a cell that’s already been visited during the calculation round. Excel doesn’t warn us of conditional circular references.

Whenever possible, keep your Excel formulas short and simple. Avoid long formulas; they are harder to read, harder to understand, difficult to check and tough to improve.

The use of fixed numbers is a bad idea. A future user will not know where the number came from, and fixed numbers don’t change automatically, and thus might be overlooked when a change is made.

Do not hide anything except some sheets. Excel has too many attractive options that look good but may be risky in the long run.

Sometimes, you need to use the exact same formula, based on the same numbers, in several other formulas. You might be tempted to calculate this formula twice, but resist the temptation. Calculate your formulas only once!

It is so tempting to merge cells in Excel so that they form a header above two or more columns. Yes, we must admit, it looks nice, but resist the temptation because it can be dangerous!

It’s a bad idea to leave standard Excel errors in your workbook. Take the time to clean up, because after a while, you no longer know whether you left a mistake consciously or if there is something wrong with your spreadsheet.

Place a formula close to its input variables. You reduce the chance of mistakes, you make optimal use of Excel’s support, and your spreadsheet becomes easier to carry over to someone else.

Reporting is an integral part of Excel. Reports are generated in Excel, reports are built in Excel, and in many cases reports are a form of documentation required to properly use certain models in Excel.

Good, error-free spreadsheets are essential for using them reliably in business. This is why risk detection is an important aspect of spreadsheet validation.

Excel is a powerful tool. And when it can’t do what you need, VBA can fill the gap. Unfortunately, using VBA can lead to unpredictable behaviour, slow performance, and corrupt Excel files.

Do you wish to refine PerfectXL Risk Eliminator’s analysis to cater for your specific requirements? PerfectXL allows for full customization of your user interface.

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