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Freelance or a transcription company

Freelance or a transcription company

By: Kevin

24 Nov 2011

A transcriptionist is a person who converts audio into text. Transcribers may work independently from home or within an office environment. Transcribers working independently from home are known as freelance transcribers.

COST: Freelance transcribers provide their services at a lower cost as compared to companies providing the same services. Companies obviously will be charging higher due to their additional overhead costs.

QUALITY: Generally, transcribers who go the freelance route are people who have worked in transcription for some time and are confident of their ability to deliver the goods. Most freelance transcribers produce excellent quality transcripts. Transcription companies produce error free transcripts. The companies have an advantage of being able to provide a multi-level checking process of transcription, editing, proof reading, and a final quality check. With numerous people working in the same environment, interaction between people to produce the best possible results enhances the quality of the final transcript in a transcription company.

RESEARCH BACKUP: Freelance transcribers do need to invest in reference material especially when they are specializing in specific fields of transcription, for example, medical, legal etc. These reference materials are expensive and freelancers are limited in their ability to invest. Professional transcription companies have a higher budget for investing in reference material and this obviously impacts on the quality of transcripts produced by them.

QUANTITY: One of the main constraints of a freelance transcriber is the amount of work that can be produced by them in a single day. In general transcription, taking into account the need to transcribe and proof read as well as the time needed to research information while transcribing, a fast and accurate transcriptionist will be able to transcribe anywhere between 10 to 15 minutes of audio in one hour. The quality of the audio will also have an impact on this. Therefore, the amount of work processed by a single individual is limited by the above constraints as well as the number of hours they are able to work. Obviously transcription companies too are faced with the same constraint by the number of employees they have on board, but obviously this is going to be a much, much higher number. Companies can also easily ramp up their capacity to produce by hiring more people, while capacity is going to be static with a freelancer.

TURN AROUND: One of the most important aspects of transcription is having the transcripts delivered back on time. As stated above a freelancer has restrictions in the amount of work that can be produced in a day. Take into account illness and other personal problems encroaching into this and turn around may become a little iffy in the case of freelancers. Most freelancers are professionals who deliver on time, but they are still individuals and when a problem arises there is no backup. Transcription companies have numerous employees and this is a problem which is not very significant with them.

RANGE OF SERVICES: A freelancer usually specializes in one type of transcription. A transcription company will have numerous employees and will be able to offer a wide range of transcription services.

CHOOSING TO GO THE FREELANCER OR TRANSCRIPTION SERVICE COMPANY ROUTE: While choosing whether to go the freelancer or the transcription service company route, you will need to keep in mind your requirements in terms of cost, quality, the quantity of work that needs to be produced and the timeframe for the same.