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Translating annual reports

Astrid en Dave | Vertaalbureau Fiducia

Right tone of voice

Circumstances may require you to provide your company’s annual report in a language that’s not your own, for instance if you have cross-border operations or if your business is acquired by a foreign buyer. Did you know that splitting the translation of your annual report over two translators, each with their own expertise, produces the best results? An annual report is made up of two parts, i.e. the directors’ report and the financial statements, which are quite different from each other in terms of text type. The directors’ report is the narrative section. This calls for a translator who not only has extensive knowledge of financial terminology, the company’s operations and the sector in question, but can also hit a tone of voice that resonates with the company’s stakeholders. The required expertise varies from client to client, depending on whether they’re an accounting firm, an IT company or a shipbuilder, just to name a few examples. This section definitely requires a native speaker, who’ll translate the report fluently and with flair to capture the reader’s attention by telling a compelling story.

Financial terminology

The financial statements make up the second part of an annual report. They call for a translator with in-depth knowledge of finance and accounting, someone who knows which terminology to use (e.g. IFRS) and where to find the relevant information (e.g. on the websites of NBA, the Netherlands Institute of Chartered Accountants, SRA, a Dutch association of independent accounting firms, or AFM, the Dutch Authority for the Financial Markets). The two translators will of course be in constant dialogue with each other during the translation process to discuss word usage, terminology overlaps and translation problems, and to ensure consistency. After the two translators have finished the translation of their respective parts, the full annual report is submitted to an editor for proofreading. The editor will revise the translation, focusing on consistency, clarity and readability. In short, translating an annual report or financial statements requires thorough knowledge of the appropriate terminology and an in-depth understanding of financial reporting requirements. Financial translation agency Fiducia offers the complete package. Please feel free to contact us if you need a translation of your annual report or financial statements into Dutch, English, French, German or Spanish.

Preferred terminology in your annual report

We’re happy to use any of your or your client’s preferred terminology. Before we start the translation process, we’ll ask you about your preferences and your company jargon. Perhaps you’ve already compiled a glossary or a list of preferred terms, or you can provide reference materials for us to use as a terminology bank. At Fiducia, we store customer-specific terminology in our own databases, which we use during the translation process. We minimise the chance of errors and inconsistencies by performing an automated check of the translation against these databases at the end of the process.

‘Active support from a committed and experienced team. That’s what it felt like to have Fiducia translate an annual report into native English!’ Roger Visser, Financial Eagle

Trust and confidentiality

So, you’ve decided to engage a specialist language services provider to translate your annual report or financial statements. While this guarantees that you’ll get the quality you need, you’re well aware that, in the translation process, this provider will have access to important information about your company, your business or your clients. That’s why you need this potentially sensitive information to be handled with due care and integrity. At financial translation agency Fiducia, we guarantee confidentiality. That’s easy to say, of course, but we don’t make this claim lightly. We effectively ensure confidentiality by making ethical demands of everyone in our network, for instance by having them sign NDAs and other contracts. We also guarantee confidentiality by using smart technology in the form of a highly secure portal. That way, you can rest assured that the translation of your annual report or financial statements is in safe hands.

Sworn translation of your annual report or financial statements

You won’t always need a sworn translation of your annual report or financial statements. But if you do, we’re happy to provide a certified copy. Many of our translators have taken the professional oath and are listed in the official register.


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