Accuracy, compliance and consistency are crucial for a successful financial translation. Find out how you can save time and be assured of the correct financial translation every time.
Whether you need to translate key investment information (KIIDs) or full annual reports with the management statement, auditors’ report, financial statements and all the rest of it, it’s important to choose a trusted language service provider with the experience and expertise to provide you with a translation that’s accurate, consistent, compliant and turned around fast.
Like any other sector, finance and accounting has its own jargon, with the crucial difference being that the terminology used in finance and accounting often has specific legal and regulatory definitions, and refers to specific things in the context of business and commerce.
It is for example crucial, but far from enough, to know the difference between stocks, shares and equity, you also need to know when to use which term. Interest and interests can denote very different things (respectively the cost of borrowing and ownership holdings) and security is not necessarily singular of securities (the former may refer to safety – financial or otherwise – the latter to traded papers such as bonds). It’s also useful to know when to use amortisation and when depreciation is appropriate.
These examples are merely scratching the surface of a jungle of financial terminology, accounting expressions and business jargon that need to be understood as well as translated correctly, using the equivalent financial terminology of the target language.
One of our most senior financial translators, Danielle Davis, has been working with financial terminology for over a decade. She says, “I started keeping a record of the names for IFRS and related standards that appeared in our source material and matched these up to the correct official English titles. I then added the French, German and Finnish titles when I found them in a new term base just for the IFRS titles so that everyone who works for Sandberg, in-housers and freelancers, could benefit from them.”
Only a conscientious financial translation expert would understand and undertake such an excavation to ensure the terminology is up-to-date and compliant with relevant regulations and industry standards. A generalist translator may find terms in dictionaries, even financial ones, that were once correct but are no longer used. Danielle goes on to say, “I realised that some of the generic terms used for financial jobs, e.g. ‘turnover’, ‘book value’, ‘long-term assets’, etc. had been superseded in IFRS. So it took a while to work out which terms to use instead, especially as the standards were not available in our source languages.”
The result of this approach is an accumulated store of terminology that is made available to all translators at Sandberg. Of course, accurate terminology isn’t just important for financial translation – it applies to all kinds of jobs. One of our Project Coordinators, Elizabeth, talked about the importance of term bases in ensuring the correct application of specialised terminology in her recent blog post.
Time pressure brought about by seasonal peaks can lead to error, especially if the translator who’s able to do the job fast is not the one with the greatest expertise or experience. We’ve developed models for working with you that fit your specific needs for speedy turnaround. This may involve the use of Account Linguists™ – our dedicated expert translators who you can send work to directly – cutting down red tape and speeding up turnaround time, or it may involve the use of one of our carefully selected family of expert freelancers.
But importantly: the work mentioned above, of accumulating treasure troves of terminology, may also greatly benefit you when it comes to fast delivery. Danielle again, “I would say that generally there are two reasons why it’s essential to use term bases in financial jobs: 1) compliance with the correct names and terminology, and 2) consistency within the file/job/client’s past documents.”
Her second point refers to what is known in the language services trade as translation memory (TM). When we produce a translation for you, the text is stored (anonymised in compliance with GDPR) in our system. The next time you send us a similar text, the TMs, together with the above-mentioned term lists and term bases, will help us to produce a correct translation faster.
All of our systems and procedures are designed and built with your needs in mind. For example, we can develop a private translation memory just for you to ensure consistency year after year.
Another of our senior financial translation experts, Tom McNeillie, highlights another important aspect to consider in financial translation, namely that the target audience of the text may not all be accountants and finance experts:
“Key investor information documents (KIID) are regulated documents that must comply with a number of requirements in order to create a standardised document that cuts out a lot of the financial jargon and can be more easily understood by retail investors, i.e. ordinary people who are not necessarily professional investors.”
In addition to certain legal and regulatory requirements, investor information must also be easy to understand for non-professionals, and combining these needs takes considerable skills, which Tom and his colleagues thankfully have in spades. He’s already getting ready for a new document category, KID, that is due to come into use in January 2022.
The sorts of financial texts that we handle regularly, in addition to above-mentioned key investor information documents, include International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) documents, prospectuses, annual reports (including income statements, cash flow statements, balance sheets, auditor’s reports, etc), as well as business plans, insurance documents, public and private offerings and many more. Tax reports, benefit plans, retirement schemes and information related to equities, bonds, commodities and foreign exchange are all categories of financial texts that a trustworthy translation partner should be able to deal with in a competent and timely manner.
Tom goes on to explain, “Annual reports can take two main forms: visually impressive corporate documents which large listed companies produce for their investors and shareholders, or plain annual reports that investment funds are required to publish as part of their reporting obligations – these are more likely to just show core balance-sheet information in a plain format.”
Whatever your requirements, you should select a translation partner who’ll ensure the work is handled by experienced experts, supported by term bases, term lists, translation memories and knowledgeable colleagues, which enables them to turn the work around both fast and accurately.
When you partner with Sandberg, you can be assured that your translations are never liabilities – only assets.