10 January 2023

The benefits of professional translation of corporate financial statements

Categoria: Linguistic Services

Translation of corporate financial statements provides significant benefits when done by industry professionals.

Financial statements are strategic documents from both an economic and reputational standpoint, which is why most companies choose to entrust their translation to the best experts in the field.

Translating corporate financial statements is an important driver for strengthening stakeholder relationships, attracting new funding and expanding into foreign markets.

However, you can only be sure of these benefits if you carefully select the translation agency to which you entrust the job. Translation entails specialized knowledge and a perfect command of the two languages involved: the source language, in which the statement was originally written, and the target language, that of the final document.

There is therefore only one watchword for perfect translation: professionalism.

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Professionalism

The surest way to translate a statement with optimal results is to turn to a professional translation agency that  specializes in financial translations.

This is the only form of organization that encompasses a complete array of professionals working in synergy, including:

  • translators;
  • reviewers;
  • proofreaders;
  • project managers;

Within a professional agency, all of the above professionals operate in accordance with the requirements outlined in ISO17100:2015, the specific standard for Language Service Providers.

A distinction must be made regarding the translator. To translate corporate financial statements, it is not enough to have native knowledge of the languages involved and a solid educational and work background. Financial statements can only be entrusted to translators who have a thorough knowledge of the economic and financial subject matter, who know how to employ the specialized jargon used, and who take constant, ongoing refresher courses.

As is the case in many other industries, the financial world is also affected by constant change. Consider, for example, the prominent role gained by sustainable finance and the changes that this paradigm shift is also bringing about at a document level.

Translation of financial statements and financial reporting has thus been joined by social reports, environmental reports and sustainability reports, documents that provide a comprehensive view of the state of the company and its value. This evolution has led to the emergence of new concepts, methodologies and terms that financial translation professionals are expected to be familiar with.

However, training of the professionals involved in such translation is not enough to ensure professionalism, which also depends on the process implemented to produce a translation of corporate financial statements. At Way2Global, for example, once we have received the customer’s request and done a thorough feasibility check, we confirm acceptance of the quote and proceed with a work cycle comprising the following steps:

  • designating most suitable project manager (PM) to run the project;
  • selecting language professionals (translators, proofreaders);
  • creating the translation by a team of native-language translators specializing in corporate financial statements;
  • multiple checks by reviewers and proofreaders on the form and content of the final document.

In some cases, it is also necessary to adjust the layout of the statement. Translation can result in variations in the length of the final text, with major changes in the layout, an issue that can be easily resolved by an experienced graphic designer.

In structured agencies like ours, the in-house DTP department oversees all changes of this nature, perfectly recreating the customer’s original layout.

At this stage, we might ask why a company would set such a complex and multifaceted process in motion, rather than handling it in-house. This is a legitimate question that can only be answered, however, by the considerable advantages of outsourcing to a translation agency.

Benefits

There are two main benefits to professional translation of corporate financial statements: quality and time.

Translation quality is related to several factors, primarily the network of translators and professionals with whom the agency works. We have seen that translating a financial document such as a budget requires highly specialized skills that only financial translators possess.

With the help of the sophisticated technologies used in the language industry, the translation agency also ensures the financial statements’ terminological consistency with any other client documents. The corporate financial statement is therefore one of the communication channels that defines the company’s brand identity, so it is essential that in all languages it is aligned with the style and tone of voice of other communication tools.

Translation quality is also ensured by the work cycle adopted by agencies certified according to ISO 17100:2015, which includes an elaborate series of translation checks performed by linguists distinct from the professional who writes the first draft.

The second benefit of outsourcing statement translation to an agency rather than handling it in-house concerns time, or rather, time savings.

Although easily accessible databases for financial translators can be found online, selecting these resources is not as straightforward as it might seem, especially for those unfamiliar with the language industry.

Normally, in order to check that the translator genuinely possesses the skills they have declared on paper, it is customary to commission a test translation, which is not exhaustive, however. Indeed, at Way2Global, the process of pre-hiring a new recruit is accompanied by a thorough skills check and an initial period of intensive monitoring with a scrupulous review by senior translators. This is the only way that we can assess whether the collaboration is sustainable.

Engaging the services of a professional translation agency brings enormous time savings in terms of finding the most suitable translator and, consequently, the certainty of entrusting the translation of corporate financial statements to a true expert with the necessary professionalism.

Time savings also relate to checks that must be made on the translation. Even when contracting an accredited professional, it is good practice to organize one or more downstream reviews of the translation through other professionals so as to ensure total compliance.

Conversely, proceeding independently means that a company would be wasting valuable time looking for professionals who can do the work or – worse still – attempting to check the text themselves. Those who turn to a translation agency, on the other hand, know that they can rely on reviewers and proofreaders specifically selected for the job at hand, and, if they have any doubts, they can easily contact the relevant project manager.

Having a corporate balance sheet translated into English or other languages is a major competitive advantage for companies that want to present themselves in the market as solid, reliable, transparent organizations.

Way2Global is a professional translation agency specializing in the financial sector. Every year we translate over 200 statements of all types into any language combination.

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    Laura Gori is the Founder and CEO of Way2Global, a women-led translation agency startup with a Benefit ethos. After 30 years at the helm of a small multinational localization company, Laura decided to make a fresh start and founded Way2Global to conduct business in a way that benefits society and the environment, while promoting corporate growth. A fervent advocate of Benefit Corporations and women’s empowerment, Laura takes every opportunity to spread awareness on these issues and contribute to a fairer, more egalitarian and sustainable economy for all.
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