Earnings conference call transcripts are typically structured as three components; “Transcript Header”, “Presentation Summary” and “Questions & Answers Session.”
Any conference call transcript begins with a transcript header. A transcript header is where the event title is displayed followed by the list of people who participate in the conference call. Event title specifies the period and type of conference call (example; “3Q17 Earnings Results.)
Participant list starts with the corporate participant names and their designations displayed against their names. As a rule of thumb, transcriptionists fetch these names and designations specifically from the company website so that they are absolutely sure of names and current designations of the corporate executives who participate in the conference call. Following the list of corporate participants, the analysts who participate in the earnings conference call are listed out. Analysts’ names will also have the name of institutions they represent displayed against their names.
Presentation summary is the actual body of a conference call transcript. This is the verbatim transcript of company’s actual performance, for the specific time frame, presented by the company executives during the conference call. A typical presentation summary will have the transcript of CEO’s presentation of overall performance of the company for whatever time-frame the conference call is conducted. This would be typically followed by the verbatim script of CFO’s comments in which he or she presents the financial summary and forecast. The presentation summary usually ends with the script of IR (Investor Relations) representative comments, and eventually opening the conference call for questions.
Questions & Answers (Q&A) Session:
A typical Q&A session in a conference call transcript is the verbatim textual representation of questions asked by analysts and answers provided by corporate executives. This session typically follows the question and answer pattern. While transcribing this session, it is very important for transcriptionists to keep in mind that they need to identify all the speakers; both analysts and company representatives.
Public listed companies share critical financial data during their conference calls. This makes it all the more important and vital for conference call transcripts to be completely free of financial errors. Let us look at how critical these financial data are for conference call transcripts and how financial errors impact the transcripts. If you are a transcription solution provider delivering conference call transcripts for financial institutions, then you should ensure that you don’t have a single financial error in your transcripts.
Financial errors are basically numerical errors that are considered as the most severe ones as far as conference call transcripts are concerned. You can just imagine what impact it makes if the revenue of a company is wrongly published in your transcript. Assume you transcribe “$18 million” for “$80 million”; this one error can kill your whole transcript. Normally, these types of financial errors happen when machine-generated transcripts are not properly proofread. It is important to proofread conference call transcripts by qualified transcription professionals who specifically look for these types of errors. Professionals specialized in doing conference call transcripts do thorough research before they actually go ahead and start proofreading or editing these machine-generated transcripts. Most of the cases, companies publish financial data before they conduct conference calls. A person, who does a proper research, easily identifies and corrects the financial errors that appear on raw transcripts.
Then you have non-numerical financial errors, which are as bad as numerical financial errors. Non-numerical financial errors meaning; it is not wrongly transcribed numerical figures that spoil the transcripts, but wrongly transcribed words. Say for example, “expenses increased by 20% versus last year” is what is transcribed for “expenses decreased by 20% versus last year”. If you look at this, the number “20%” is perfectly alright, but what have gone wrong here are the words “increased” and “decreased”. This error is also considered as a financial error because this error directly impacts the financial data. Like numerical financial errors, these errors can also be avoided by thorough research and proper proofreading.