Errors in quantitative electron microprobe analysis arise from many sources including those associated with sampling, specimen preparation, instrument operation, data collection, and analysis. The relative magnitudes of some of these factors are assessed for a sample of NiAl used to demonstrate important concerns in the analysis of even a relatively simple system measured under standard operating conditions. The results presented are intended to serve more as a guideline for developing an analytical strategy than as a detailed error propagation model that includes all possible sources of variability and inaccuracy. The use of a variety of tools to assess errors is demonstrated. It is also shown that, as sample characteristics depart from those under which many of the quantitative methods were developed, errors can increase significantly.