Patrick O'Beirne



Patrick is Managing Director of Systems Modelling Limited (  His current focus is spreadsheet data analysis and auditing services as well as training and development.  He is chair of the European Spreadsheet Risks Interest Group (EuSpRIG), previously a committee member of SoftTest Ireland, and a Fellow of the Irish Computer Society.  He has advised two certification bodies on the content of a syllabus for a new certification in good spreadsheet practices.  He is the author of the “Spreadsheet Check and Control” book and the developer of the XLTest spreadsheet auditing Excel addin.

In terms of spreadsheets, I’m the poacher-turned-gamekeeper.  From a previous job in financial modelling and Operations Research, I went out on my own in decision support analytics, and on to training and quality assessment.  I’ve made all the mistakes and have seen so many more bizarre ones I would never have thought of making.  So I’ve a pretty good nose for what could be a problem and how most effectively to give people a hand out of it.  That’s why I was one of the first members of EuSpRIG – the European Spreadsheet Risk Interest Group, and also of SoftTest Ireland, and professionally as a Fellow of the Irish Computer Society.  My personal interests are as a musical amateur – a member of two choirs.



Quest4Quality 2019, Dublin “IT Under The Radar; Are Your Company’s Spreadsheets Tested As They Should?”

Agile Tour 2019, Dublin “Testing the user’s own Agile Applications”

ISACA EuroCACS 2018, Edinburgh “Excel – the Dark Matter of IT”

Unicom Agile Showcase 24 May 2017, Dublin “Testing Spreadsheets”

ISACA EuroCACS 2016, Dublin “Auditing Spreadsheets”

ISACA EuroCACS 2011, Manchester “Controlling Spreadsheets: Motivation & Methodology”

ISACA EuroCACS 2010, Budapest “Spreadsheet Auditing workshop” with Ray Butler CISA

And similar in 2008, 2008, 2007, papers at Eusprig conferences, and various in-company presentations, training courses, and spreadsheet audit engagements.

You can search for my Eusprig papers eg



Better & safer ways to read text files in VBA.
This presentation describes different ways in VBA to read text files into Excel, either as plain text, or as structured records, depending on the kind of data it is.
The legacy Open As/Input VBA methods  to read text files only work for ANSI pathnames and contents, and today we need to be able to read text from the rest of the Unicode world.
Simply opening a CSV file in Excel is commonly a poor way to do it, because Excel guesses the data types, and often guesses badly. We need to be able to handle different character encodings (Windows-1252, UTF-8, UTF-16), different delimiters (comma and tab) and data with embedded newline characters. I’ll describe three ways to programmatically import record-structured  data safely: Query Tables, ADO Streams, and Power Query.

Excel Virtually Global is an independent conference and is neither sponsored nor approved by Microsoft.


Any Questions?