Three Epic Spreadsheet Fails

October 8, 2020

Most of the mortgage branch managers who are actually tracking their loan data, use a very manual process in spreadsheets that takes hours, even days, to compile to make semi-accurate forecast on production. By the time data is extracted and all of the necessary parties have provided input, there’s a chance that three more business days have gone by and the information being used to make critical business decisions is now aged and inaccurate. Unfortunately, most branch managers have their highest-paid staff members spend hours every week building reports to track and forecast their data.

And that is only part of the problem with using a system so reliant on spreadsheets to track your business. One of the biggest things mortgage branch managers risk when relying strictly on spreadsheets is errors.

Here are three epic spreadsheet fails.

Goldman Sachs/Tibco

In 2014, Goldman Sachs utilized a spreadsheet with faulty numbers that inflated the share count, an error that cost Tibco $100 million, according to The Wall Street Journal. The error came when Tibco was in the middle of its sale to Vista Equity Partners. It was never revealed who was responsible for the mishap but yikes, that is what you call a serious spreadsheet fail.

2012 Olympics

Imagine you bought tickets to watch synchronized swimming at the Olympics only to find out you didn’t actually get a ticket. That is what happened to some people who purchased tickets to the 2012 London Olympics, according to The Telegraph. The organizing committee for the Olympics explained that the error was made because a staff member inputted “20,000” instead of “10,000” remaining tickets for the event. Those who were affected were offered tickets to other events. Talk about not being in sync.


Mouchel, an infrastructure and business services company in the United Kingdom, utilized an outside firm of actuaries in 2011 and that firm made a crucial spreadsheet error, according to The error resulted in a wrong valuation of the pension fund deficit and forced the company to reduce full-year profits by millions. The chief executive also resigned over the error.

We are only human so errors are going to happen in a lot of areas of our lives, but we should do everything we can as branch managers to make sure that we are not only tracking business data, but doing it correctly. Nothing can take a mortgage branch off the rails like a faulty forecast.

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