Types of user

A spreadsheet may have the following types of user: A Viewer looks at the results, but makes no changes. A Viewer may never see the actual spreadsheet, but only printouts of selected parts, but they are still using the spreadsheet. A Player changes input cell values, but doesn’t change formulae and layouts. They may execute […]

What documentation does

Spreadsheet documentation may do any of the following: Specify the intended working of the spreadsheet Record what was done Explain how the spreadsheet works Instruct the user how to use or update the spreadsheet Ideally, a spreadsheet would have documentation serving all four purposes. A specification may be anything from a single sentence to a […]

Who benefits from documentation

Just about everybody benefits from clear, accurate documentation. The benefits of out of date documentation written without a specific purpose in mind are less obvious, and indeed are often non-existent. To get the most out of documentation, the following should be true: It should be written specifically as specification, record, explanation or instruction. That way […]

Forms of documentation

Documentation may take many different forms: A separate document is often used for long, formal specifications that are themselves subject to review and sign-off. Records of changes and versions may also be kept in a separate document or database. The potential disadvantage of a separate document is that it may be difficult to maintain consistency […]

SunTrust earnings restatement

In late 2004 one of the big US banks, SunTrust Banks, announced a restatement of earnings for the first two quarters. This followed problems they had found with their loan loss allowances, or more specifically, with the model they were using for their loan loss allowances. Part of their press release says: “There were numerous […]

Kodak earnings restatement

In November 2005 Kodak restated its Q3 results by $9 million. The restatement was attributed to restructuring and severance costs, plus a real estate gain. The restructuring costs were apparently because they got the accounting treatment wrong; we were told that “the magnitude of the worldwide restructuring program the company is undertaking imposes significant challenges […]