Monday, October 10, 2011

Growing A Quality Transcription Business With Express Scribe

Guest Post by Annalisa Holmes, Director of The Transcription People

We have been using Express Scribe transcription software in our Australian-based outsource transcription business for years and we love it. Why? I have a list, so here goes:

Cost Effective
You can't get more cost effective than free software. For as long as I can remember Express Scribe has been free. This continues to be the case with a free version still being offered alongside a new paid Pro version.

In my business I employ a mix of transcriptionists; we have some work onsite in our office but the majority are work-from-home micro-businesses. Included in that mix are a wealth of "old school" typists and "wannabe" transcriptionists. Old school typists are used to the cassette tape days of micro and mini cassette dictation and are very experienced at transcription. Wannabe typists have time on their hands, want to learn a new job skill and possibly work from home or for an employer.

Express Scribe is perfect for both these dynamics, experienced typists can very quickly switch their mindset to the digital way of doing things and with the option of a USB foot control, can make the transition very quickly from tape to digital transcription with a free download and a low-cost foot pedal. Those new to transcription can have the software installed in minutes and have the flexibility of training themselves using the configurable control keys. For a zero dollar outlay Express Scribe is a very attractive tool to those looking to start a career in transcription.

Multiple Use Scenario
Most people think of Express Scribe as just a tool for transcription typists. That is true for the majority of people, but in my business we also utilise Express Scribe for our proofreading team. My company is renowned for producing high quality, accurate transcription and the way that we do that is with a two-step quality assurance process. Step one is the traditional transcription typist who listens and transcribes. Step two is where the quality and consistency across clients is provided by our proof-reading team. The proofreaders do not transcribe, their role is to apply customer-specific formatting and act as a second set of eyes over the transcript, ensuring the highest quality.

My proofreading team use Express Scribe to play back audio whilst reading through the transcripts. Typically they prefer the control key functionality and love the variable speed playback, one of the many features in Express Scribe.

Very Easy To Set Up, Install and Use
Express Scribe can be installed and up and running in minutes. For users of all technical levels we have found Express Scribe to be a breeze to get working and get used to. People of all transcription abilities get used to Express Scribe very quickly. As we all use the same software throughout my business, we have a pool of experts within our own teams who can help each other out with any questions.

From a business point of view, all my staff are on the same page when it comes to transcription and proofreading software. We don't need to waste time supporting various vendors' software. Consistency across the team makes for a smoother transcription and proofreading workflow.

The Future
I really can't see my business moving away from Express Scribe, there is no need. It has served us well for years and will continue to do so for years to come. We are particularly excited about the new Pro version of Express Scribe which can now process the DSS Pro audio files created on the latest Olympus and Philips digital dictaphones. Before the Pro version came along we had to include an extra file conversion step from .ds2 to .dss. Now NCH has that covered.

Thank you NCH for your excellent software, which has helped my business get to where it is today.

Annalisa Holmes is the director of The Transcription People Pty Ltd, one of Australia's largest outsource transcription services. Annalisa started as a transcription typist in the early years of forming her business and now oversees a large team of transcription typists across Australia and New Zealand. The Transcription People service clients from across Australia, the USA and the UK and boasts AMP, Holden, Ernst & Young as some of her clients.


  1. Yup.. Using software these days is a lot easier and cost effective. Imagine doing financial management of your own business without accountant. That would certainly cut operating costs!

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