Report rapport!

When the criticism from investors, the accounting firm and even the company’s own management board grows louder, it is clear that something has to change. For the investor relations department of a DAX-listed company, such feedback prompted it to look around for a new proofreading and translation service provider. Since it is essential for facts and figures to be precise, the company initially commissioned us with the task of proofreading its texts. And precisely because we do ‘precise’ really well, we now also take care of the translations.

1 The Initial Situation

Due to the fact that the individual articles for the annual reports came from different departments, confusion often reigned in terms of the grammar and content. What’s more, the texts contained all kinds of spelling mistakes – both in the German and English versions. No wonder the general feedback was anything but complimentary.
Here are some of the reasons for this:

  • The German source text had not been proofread
  • Various translators were used, each with different qualifications and their own style
  • There were no style guides – the basis for corporate glossaries and consistent terminology
  • The quality assurance was patchy
  • The language service provider was too inflexible to be able to implement changes on an ad hoc basis

2 Aims

An annual report is not unlike the Tour de France: first and foremost, it requires a lot of teamwork, especially internally on the part of the relevant departments. Yet, for better or worse, the final metres before the report is completed are decisive. The company thus initially entrusted us with the task of proofreading the English and German versions. This led to a vast improvement in the frequently criticised quality of its publications, including:

  • Error-free spelling, grammar and punctuation, combined with a comprehensible linguistic style and perfect phrasing
  • Consistent use of spellings and terminology
  • Correspondence between the German and English versions of the report

3 Approach

Our approach was clear from the outset and consisted of tailored processes, a solid team of solely native speakers with a firm grasp of IFRS and the German Commercial Code, a corporate glossary and state-of-the-art technology.
We started by analysing the existing texts. Using these as a basis, the latest translation management software and a terminology database make it possible to establish clear and consistent technical terms and specific wordings, even if someone else from the proofreading and translation team has to step in – when someone happens to be ill, for example.
Our language professionals, who are perfectly at home working on business and finance texts and think in IFRS terms, always keep the database up to date.

For even greater efficiency, we slot seamlessly into the client’s internal process chain, via a link to the publishing solution ns.publish, for example. It goes without saying that we also assist the client in other areas, such as DTP.

Like all of our clients, the company benefits from the short communication channels with named contacts and the ability of the language companions to go the distance until the project is completed.

4 Outcome

Text quality: The texts lack nothing, because the German and English versions are now terminologically consistent and linguistically perfect.

Reliable quality: Investors, rating agencies and analysts – not to mention the company’s own management board – are all satisfied, because different levels of quality assurance guarantee the consistency of the content.

Total solution: The collaborators on the company’s side save resources, because they get proofreading, translation and project management services from one single source.

Partnership: Our name has spread throughout the company – we are delighted to receive jobs from other departments, while the client is delighted with the flawless texts and the consistent translations across the entire company.

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