How to translate Annual Reports? 10 Expert Tips!

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One of the busiest times of the year for companies is when they start preparing their financial reports. An annual report contains a wealth of valuable information surrounding a company’s financial standing and performance. It is the cornerstone of any business and is usually shared not only among shareholders and employees, but also journalists all over the world. 

In recent years, globalisation has meant that more and more companies are partnering with employees and shareholders from various backgrounds. As a result, we are finding that an increasing number of businesses need to prepare their annual reports in two or more different languages. This is where financial report translation comes into play.

What are the challenges of creating an annual or quarterly report in multiple languages?

Annual reports are challenging in their own right due to the wide target audience. This means that the information in the report must be relevant to a variety of people with different levels of knowledge.

However, the audience for international businesses is even greater, crossing multiple cultural and linguistic borders. This makes these reports all the more complicated as they also need translating in order for them to remain accessible. As such, a high-quality translation can help your company better address the needs of your international audience.

Creating a multilingual annual report is always a challenge due to its importance. This is the first and foremost legal document for international companies, and so it must be translated with precision. If your financial report translation contains any mistakes, this will reflect poorly on the company and could even cause legal complications for the business.

If you need to translate your annual reports, then the most cost-effective way of doing this is to plan the translation process from the very beginning. Read on to learn our top 10 tips on how you can help make sure everything runs smoothly for a quality financial report translation.

Top 10 tips from our experts

1. Provide as much detail as possible

We suggest providing us with your project schedule and translation volume as early as possible. This will allow us to line up the best people for faster, on-time delivery. For even better results, try to send us some of your content as soon as it is ready. This will make the document easier to handle, giving our translators a chance to get a head start before crunch time.

2. Mind the deadlines

Annual report season is determined by the tax year with clear deadlines. Once you have picked your language service provider, discuss your requirements with them before the process starts.  An estimate of your expected word count and timeline will help us prepare for your project, making it easier to deliver according to your deadlines.

3. Figure out exactly what services you need

Specify which languages your annual report will be published in, including specific dialects. For example, will you need US or UK English? This will allow your translation agency to select translators with the appropriate local knowledge and cultural understanding for higher accuracy.

4. Send reference financial statements in the source and target languages

CAT tools have made life much easier for translators, especially translation memories. When editors review and approve a translated segment, both the source text and its corresponding translation are simultaneously saved into a translation memory. The software then recalls these saved segments whenever a new text contains similar content.

If you have previously translated documents, we can use this to your advantage. By using the alignment feature, we can copy over any unchanged words from previous years. This reduces the amount of new content you need translating, helping to save time, energy and costs.

5. Clarify your style and terminology requirements

A glossary and style guide will help make sure the translation is in line with your company’s house style. This will reduce the number of queries during the translation process, as well as the number of changes that need making during the review process.

6. Designate key people in your company

You should designate a point of contact within your company to help with the translations and make any final decisions on terminology. Working together produces the most effective results and having a system in place is crucial for managing communication between linguists and your project’s leader.

7. Check your confidentiality agreements

Translation of annual reports and financial statements is an important task that requires confidentiality. Your specialist language service provider will have access to sensitive information about your company, your business and your clients.

This means that you need to make sure this sensitive information is handled with care. Before sending any of your documents over, check your chosen agency’s security measures and ask them to sign an NDA to help further protect your data.

8. Choose a translation provider with high-quality standards

When searching for a reliable translation service, look for a reputable translation agency with ISO certification. This means the translation company has met rigorous standards, ensuring both the quality and security of your translated documents.

To help you make your decision, a reliable translation vendor should offer a sample translation prior to starting your project. This gives you an opportunity to see not only the quality of work their teams deliver, but also how they will work with you.

9. Review by editors

Once the first draft is complete, your translation should be reviewed by an editor. This should be someone who specialises in your field and is familiar with the nuances of your business. They should also be trained in accounting standards and in the intricacies of either British or American English depending on your target market.

Ask your chosen language service provider about their quality assurance process, paying careful attention to the review stage. This is an important part of the translation process and you need to be confident they will do it right.

10. Discuss any other concerns 

Carefully consider how your project will unfold and inform your chosen translation agency about any additional requirements you might have. This could be on-site cost monitoring, delivering the translation of your report in stages, or Desktop Publishing services for a professional finish.

The key to a successful translation lies in honest and open communication from both parties. No matter how small or obvious it might seem, make sure to discuss every detail of your project with your project manager. This helps keep everyone on the same page for a smooth process and a higher quality translation.

Why should you choose Intertranslations?

At Intertranslations, we use a range of processes and technology which allows us to deliver consistently high-quality financial report translations. Here are just some of the reasons why leading multinational companies regularly trust us with all their translation needs.

  • We work with you

We understand that annual reports are a representation of your company. By working closely together, we can help you recreate the right image across all languages while ensuring you get an accurate annual report translation.

You will be assigned your own Project Manager who will send you regular updates and act as a liaison between you and our translators. This helps make sure everything runs smoothly for timely delivery of a quality translation.

  • Cost-effective solutions

We also make sure you only pay for the work you need by using state-of-the-art translation software to create translation memories. This allows us to highlight new and repeated content so that we never need to translate the same content twice, saving you time and money.

  • A supportive team

Traditionally, multilingual annual reports are challenging to complete. A successful project requires a detailed plan and enough time for all of the people involved to communicate. To ensure that everything goes smoothly, our project managers take care of all the planning and coordination while our specialist translators focus on the texts.

  • Consistent quality

Quality is our top priority and the cutting-edge technology we use ensures consistent tone and terminology throughout your documents. From translation memories to industry-specific glossaries, we create bespoke resources for each individual customer. This allows us to ensure accuracy and consistency while following your unique specifications. 

  • Native speakers and specialist translators

Annual reports are important documents that require timely and accurate translations. That is why we employ native speakers, financial translators and reviewers to provide your company with the best quality translations.

With years of experience, they understand industry-specific jargon and financial terms across both languages. They are also fully aware of international standards and guidelines, ensuring that your company is compliant at all times.

  • Confidentiality guarantee

Last but not least, annual reports reveal a lot of information regarding your company’s financial standing and performance. Handling such sensitive information is a great responsibility and one that we do not take lightly.

We respect the trust you place in our agency by treating your information with the utmost care. Our teams are happy to sign NDAs and other confidentiality agreements, giving you peace of mind that your company’s information is in safe hands.

If you would like to learn more about our company or our financial report translation services, feel free to get in touch. Our project managers are always happy to answer any questions and will help make sure you get a high-quality translation in time for your deadlines.

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