Five Steps to Localization Success in the Financial Sector

Showing business and financial report

To deliver quality financial translations, requires solid linguistic expertise and good knowledge of the overall financial services sector with very specific financial subject matter expertise for the different types of financial content requiring translation. This is a big content area in the localization industry. In their 2014 report, The Top Industries for LSPs, independent research firm Common Sense Advisory states that localization and translation spend in the finance industry was more than $1.5 billion in 2013.

Many companies have to provide their financial results, statements and reports in more than one language for legal and auditing purposes, and also so they appeal to international stakeholders. The key challenge for translations in this sector is the importance of accuracy and quality. If a single zero is missed off an annual report, then this could seriously affect the position and standing of the company to its clients and on the relevant stock exchange.

Financial content is often very confidential; therefore, it is important to prioritize translation and the security of the translation workflow by working closely with a reputable language services provider (LSP) who has experience and resources specific to the finance sector. Here are five tips for success when translating financial information:

ONE: TERMINOLOGY AND GLOSSARY MANAGEMENT. The financial  sector contains many specific terms and phrases that can all be accurately and consistently translated using up to date glossaries. For example, financial statements should be drawn up and translated according to International Accounting Standards (IAS) and International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). These standards should be integrated with client specific micro-terminology to create a unique and dedicated glossary. Any reputable LSP should be able to offer terminology management services to ensure that terminology is kept fresh and any in context information in made available to the translators.

TWO: TRANSLATION MEMORY. Establishing a long-term cooperation with a language service provider will ensure clients gain the benefits of translation memory (TM). Content contained in annual, half-yearly and quarterly reports can be repetitive. Working with one trusted partner will ensure each translation retains knowledge and adds to the TM, enabling consistency and uniformity for all subsequent translations and optimizing costs.

THREE: QUALITY AND ISO CERTIFICATION. Make sure any LSP you work with has all the relevant ISO certifications and will perform all relevant quality checks on each translation. This will further ensure each translation project is accurate and that terminology is uniform and any internationalization is correct, for example date format and currency. Agostini Associati, a Welocalize company, was the first translation company in Italy to achieve UNI EN ISO 9001:2008 quality certification and also hold the UNI EN 15038 certification specific for translation services. This is an important factor in qualifying your LSP.

FOUR: SCHEDULING. Translation in the finance sector requires highly structured project management. If projects are scheduled, then this means project will be completed within the deadlines and translators can be booked from previous translation projects to further ensure uniformity and good use of translation assets.

FIVE: CONFIDENTIALITY.  Financial documents are highly confidential and quite often are translated before they are released publicly. Confidentiality is crucial at every stage within the translation workflow. Many companies require translators to be listed in the public register as “informed people” to protect from any legal problems or breach of confidentiality. Simply sending files via email is not secure enough. We recommend secure FTP to upload and download translation files. Confidentiality must apply to technology, as well to any translator or project manager working on individual projects.

It is so important to cooperate with the many companies in the financial sector, to share knowledge and best practice. Understanding specific audit companies needs and requirements will protect their clients in this industry sector and ensure their financial information is communicated accurately to all their stakeholders. It is the role of the LSP to comply with the various regulations and legislation, both in country and internationally, that surround this industry and provide experienced resources to meet sometimes tight deadlines.

guido paniniGuido

Based in Milan, Italy, Guido Panini is Agostini’s Marketing and Business Development Manager.

For more information about Welocalize financial translation language services, click here.

Agostini Associati, a Welocalize company based in Milan, Italy, provides highly specialized language services to global organizations in the financial sector.