The financial services sector is facing rising pressure to modernize and adapt to new ways of working. This includes embracing technologies such as natural language processing, artificial intelligence, and machine learning. Firms are also working hard to digitize existing information assets to become more data-driven.
Document transcription is one of the many time-consuming tasks associated with the digital transformation of finance, followed by operations like data cleansing and enrichment. As the term suggests, financial transcription is the process of transcribing audio or video content into written text or structured data.
Examples of financial transcription include earnings calls, recorded customer service phone calls, and annual meetings with shareholders and investors. Transcriptions of these events are beneficial to any business in finance, as well as finance departments in other sectors of the economy.
Why Transcribe Financial Documents?
Most importantly, an accurate and timely financial transcript delivers the full message in a form that is easily searchable and auditable. Having recordings transcribed by a skilled team with specialized domain knowledge reduces confusion and ambiguity to help organizations get the most out of their data.
Transcription is a powerful way to repurpose audio content to provide data-driven insights and maximize their value to an organization. For example, transcribed financial reports might be used for compiling print publications or putting together the latest press releases. Transcription is also important for digitizing printed documents, such as bank and revenue statements, for easier analysis and archiving.
How Does Financial Transcription Work?
Financial transcription usually involves a combination of automation and manual work, with an emphasis on the latter due to the high need for accuracy. For transcribing printed documents, the bulk of the work might be carried out by optical character recognition (OCR) software. For audio and video files, natural language processing (NLP) techniques might automate a large part of the process.
However, while OCR and NLP have come a long way in recent years, they cannot be relied on entirely. They might save time, but they do not replace the need for a human workforce to oversee quality assurance and control. This remains a time-consuming process that is difficult to scale when relying on an in-house team, which is why it is one of the most popular projects to outsource.
How Does Outsourcing Help with Financial Transcription?
Financial transcription requires all the core skills of general transcriptionists, such as close attention to detail and excellent typing skills. However, given the large amount of industry-specific terminology in finance, domain knowledge is also important. Furthermore, financial information is highly sensitive, so any outsourcing partner you work with must have the skills and resources necessary to adhere to the confidentiality clauses in their contracts. A managed workforce can provide these guarantees by serving as an extension of your team, rather than working in the capacity of an entirely separate entity over which you have no control.
Here are four ways partnering with a managed workforce optimizes financial transcription:
1. Reduced turnaround times
Many companies in the financial services sector still have huge amounts of legacy data in the form of printed statements and other documents. On top of that, they’re generating audio and other data every day, most of which needs transcribing into text to unlock its true value. These requirements place a massive burden on in-house teams due to the laborious, time-consuming nature of the work involved.
Working with a scalable managed workforce can greatly reduce turnaround times by allowing you to tap into cloud workforce capacity on demand. Given that transcription is often time-sensitive, it is often necessary to keep delivery times to a minimum to maintain a competitive advantage.
2. Minimized operational costs
Hiring in-house transcriptionists is only really a suitable option in cases where the workloads are highly predictable and ongoing. Even then, there are still the high costs of employing a full-time member of the team to consider. Some financial services firms might try to work around this by having an existing employee take care of transcription, but if this involves taking them away from their regular roles, the costs associated with loss of productivity can be enormous.
Outsourcing allows businesses to replace the fixed costs of hiring in-house transcriptionists with a flexible pricing structure that allows them to pay only for the capacity they need during a given time.
3. Avoiding costly inaccuracies
As many as one in five large businesses suffer financial losses due to spreadsheet errors. An inaccurate transcript can cause a raft of problems with everything from communications to tax compliance. This is also why financial transcription should never rely on automation alone, but neither should it be managed by inexperienced team members or those whose core skills lie elsewhere.
Given the necessity for close attention to detail, financial transcriptionists must have domain-specific knowledge. A dependable outsourcing partner who specializes in the space will bring a thorough understanding of financial vernacular and compliance requirements.
4. Unlocked hidden value
Financial services firms and departments generate enormous amounts of data across a wide variety of different formats. Aside from printed and digital statements and reports, there are recorded customer service calls, earnings call teleconferences, and meetings with executives and stakeholders. All of these records contain valuable data, but to derive value from that data, you need to have it transcribed and organized into a searchable and structured form.
Document transcription and related work can help financial organizations do more with their information assets, such as preparing them for advanced analytics or using them to train AI models that automate routine workflows or enhance customer service. Working with the right partner can help you realize these benefits at scale and in a timely manner that ensures you do not end up missing the window of opportunity during which your data is most valuable.
Our managed workforce ensures complete transparency and confidentiality by working closely with your team to transcribe financial documents at scale. Learn more about finding the best data entry and transcription services with our handy guide.