•           Home
  • Getting Started
  • Working at Home
  • Productivity
  • Grammar & Spelling
  • Research
  • Text Expanders
  • Earnings Calls
  • Product Reviews
  • Podcasts
  • About

Friday, July 11, 2008

Proofing & The Importance of Accuracy when Transcribing Financial Earnings Calls

While we always strive to provide quality transcripts, the importance of accurate transcripts when transcribing financial earnings calls cannot be overstated.

Because these calls are the method that corporations use to communicate with their investors, a transposed number ($13 million versus $31 million) or a missing phrase ("profits for the quarter were $2 million" versus "profits for the quarter were $2 million per day") can make all of the difference. These transcripts are also published or sold to investors and analysts, and as such, they need to be perfect.

Most companies that transcribe financial earnings calls have separate proofreaders to double check the final transcripts (and in fact, many even have a third level to do a final check). However, it's important to keep in mind that these proofreaders are only checking your transcript to catch any small mistakes that may have slipped by; they should not have to make any significant changes. Most of the companies have sliding pay scales set up to deduct pay from transcriptionists who consistently turn in work that needs significant changes.

Here are a few tips to help you proof your transcripts:

  • Some people prefer to proof the entire transcript once they've finished transcribing the audio. Others find that stopping at the end of every page or other set interval helps them to focus more as they proof. Try both a few times to see which works best for you.

  • If you're proofing at the end of the transcript, take a break before you begin. It doesn't have to be very long, but stretching your legs, eating a snack and getting away from the audio for a few minutes will help you focus.

  • Run your spellcheck before you begin proofing. All of those squiggly lines can be distracting! You can always go to Tools->Options->Spelling & Grammar and click Recheck Document if you want to see the names and other words that are not in the spell check dictionary during your final proof.

  • If your audio is clear, you can set your player to replay the audio at a higher speed. This not only allows you to proof faster, but hearing it at a different speed often helps you to focus and to pick up things you may have missed before.

  • Make sure you're paying special attention to numbers, inaudibles or terms you're unfamiliar with to ensure that you've transcribed the audio accurately.

  • If you're having to make a lot of changes on your first proof, you may want to go ahead and proof it one more time before sending it.

Any other tips you've found that help you proof your transcripts?