Global vs. Local Provider: Which Is Best for Financial Translation?

welocalize November 24, 2022

The financial services industry is one of the most highly regulated sectors. Companies must adhere to strict compliance with regulatory requirements. Every country’s regulatory agency has specific reporting rules and translation guidelines, with each country following a particular financial reporting standard.

For global corporations operating in multiple countries, this means submitting financial reports in different formats and multiple languages. Translating and localizing numerous financial documents can be a long and complex process, especially when these documents must adhere to strict submission deadlines. Instead of relying on an in-house translation team, global companies turn to language services providers (LSPs) to partner with for financial localization. The question is whether to work with a local or global provider.

With thousands of local and global LSPs coexisting worldwide, there’s a demand for both kinds. But which is the best for financial translation? Here are the pros and cons of using local and global LSPs in the finance industry.

Local LSPs

Local LSPs are typically smaller companies specializing in the local language or languages of the country they operate in.

PROS

Working with a local provider has some advantages:

  • If your company has a local office in your target market, it could be easier for your local team to collaborate closely with a local LSP.
  • In-market knowledge. A local vendor may know better the ins and outs of dealing with regulatory agencies overseeing financial reporting compliance.
  • Shared culture. Native speakers have a better understanding of cultural nuances and local insights.
  • A local LSP can be more flexible in meeting your budget and other requirements.

CONS

While partnering with a local LSP makes sense for niche or highly specialized translation projects, it may not be the best option for high-volume financial localization projects.

  • Smaller scale. With a limited market and operations, a local vendor has a smaller workforce. This could limit its availability, speed, and ability to scale.
  • Limited capabilities. A local LSP is less likely to offer various services or deep expertise in regulatory specialties.
  • Technology limitations. Most local vendors have limited budgets for their tech stack. They may not have access to translation management systems (TMS), computer-assisted translation (CAT) tools, or emerging AI-enabled tech that increase workflow automation and efficiency.
  • Lack of standards. Given their size, local LSPs may not have ISO certifications in quality management, information security management, translation services, and post-editing of machine translation.

Global LSPs

Global LSPs are larger companies with an international reach and can localize multiple language pairs.

PROS

Size, scale, and reach give global LSPs distinct advantages over local vendors. For any multinational company operating in multiple countries, an international strategy for financial localization is highly advisable.

  • 24/7 coverage. Global LSPs often have a distributed workforce and a network of linguists across multiple time zones. This follow-the-sun approach allows them to provide nonstop operations and customer service. This is critical for financial reporting, where strict deadlines are the norm.
  • Bigger workforce. A global vendor has a network of linguists, QA specialists, in-market reviewers, and subject matter experts that can handle larger volumes of localization projects without sacrificing speed and quality.
  • More language options. Instead of working with multiple local agencies, it’s better to partner with one main provider that can work with lots of language pairs.
  • More services. A global agency can offer services beyond localization, such as AI services, e-learning, and digital marketing.
  • Simpler audits. It’s easier to audit a single global provider than multiple local vendors in different countries. And global LSPs, with dedicated internal quality assurance teams, are better equipped to handle audits.
  • International standards. Global LSPs follow ISO standards, often required by global clients. For example, Welocalize has been ISO 9001 certified for 14 years and has recently achieved our first virtual-site certification for ISO 9001 and ISO 13485, two of our five ISO frameworks, a quality portfolio found at only 2.14% of LSPs. The new ISO virtual-site certification model certifies that our cloud-based quality process and systems are adhered to and executed regardless of location.
  • Advanced tech stack and automation. Aside from access to CAT tools and TMS that make the localization process more efficient, some global vendors have experience in more advanced AI technologies, such as natural language processing (NLP) and neural machine translation (NMT). For Welocalize clients, our Power BI capabilities provide your procurement office with access to key data including spend, TMS savings, data volumes, selected language pairs, quality KPIs, and more.
  • Proprietary technologies. Global vendors also can develop proprietary technologies, such as specialist machine translation engines, trained to handle financial
  • Higher security standards. Sensitive financial documents require the utmost confidentiality and data security. A global LSP has better security protocols and infrastructure to guarantee this.

CONS

Local providers do have proximity in their favor and a shared culture of a local company. Also consider:

  • Foreign invoicing. Global LSPs have offices worldwide; however, they are based in only a few countries overseeing larger regions. Invoicing complexities, tax requirements, and exchange rates could add to the cost for clients.
  • Perceived higher pricing. Despite the advantages of scale and technology, global vendors can’t always match the sometimes ‘bargain’ prices quoted by local service providers but sometimes that cost gap closes once the cost of language quality assurance (LQA) is factored in and the technology that will save costs in the long term.

Work With Welocalize, a Global LSP with Local Reach

Welocalize is one of the largest LSPs in the world, offering all the advantages of a global vendor. We also provide the reach of local vendors, with the in-market expertise of a worldwide team knowledgeable of local regulatory standards for financial reporting.

We also can work with smaller local vendors using a global multi-vendor TMS. This allows you to centralize all your localization projects under one roof.

Learn more about how we can help you with your global financial localization requirements.