Financial Reporting in Financial Times – Guest post by Richard O’Connor**
Financial Communication – “Driving the Brand”
First Impressions last and for Italian groups operating on the international arena their primary focus is to present themselves seamlessly to the outside world. A company’s image is something which must be consistently reflected across all communications released to a public which expects high levels of transparency. Financial communication is just another aspect of this and in fact encompasses a range of important documents sanctioned by the Board for a wide-ranging stakeholder base – from bankers and investors, clients and suppliers, overseas regulation, statutory and fiscal compliance etc..
The Annual Report is the principal communication document reporting on the Financial Year based on statutory, regulatory and accounting requirements, embracing the main operational and business aspects and enabling informed decision-making by the readers of the report. The Annual Report also includes additional material considered beneficial for various stakeholder groups and in recent years has been influenced by the concept of Integrated Reporting.
The International Integrated Reporting Council’s Framework (IIRC) was issued in December 2013 and provides companies with a starting point to drive integrated thinking and reporting. The objective of Integrated Reporting is to enhance the way organisations think, plan and report their business.
In addition, large and medium-sized multinationals widely promote Social Responsibility through the Annual Corporate Responsibility Report (CRS), mainly due to increasing consumer awareness and often driven by social media and in particular the “Millennial Generation”.
It’s clear that financial communication, reporting and brand image are intrinsically intertwined!!
Developing Corporate Identity – avoid the “Perception Gap” among an International Audience
Over the past few years, the volume of content produced and translated has dramatically increased, especially online. This is specifically true for the business and financial industry. Just think of all the comments written on Brexit, Trump and the US Election, and central bank policies in 2016. Almost every global asset management company has a blog, or an insights and research section in various languages on the website.
Commentaries and articles are written both by English natives and by professionals using English as a second language and lingua franca.
More often than not, authors seem to forget that their documents will serve as a base for content in other languages, and that they will be translated. Professional specialised translators do their best to convey the right message in the target language, though a quality translation depends also on how well the original text is written. A document full of spelling mistakes and cultural connotations, without structure or with ambiguous expressions does not help the translation and communication process. On the contrary, a well-written piece will convince your audience, increase conversions, and it may help avoiding litigation and costly mistakes. Moreover, you will not waste time and money with revisions, reduce turnaround time, as well as the chance of misunderstandings.
So, why not thinking global from the start, planning ahead and writing with your international reader in mind?
How to improve the quality of the source text
I translate many blog posts on market outlook, fund performance and the asset management industry into Italian. Some are very well written and easy to read, while others contain spelling mistakes, vague concepts and strong cultural connotations.
Easier to read means easier to translate. In simple terms, authors should simplify their English.
When I say I am an English>Italian financial translator, most people shudder. They imagine me at my desk translating annual reports and crunching numbers all the time. Actually, this is only a marginal part of my business. Financial translation comprises many different sub-sectors and areas that sometimes overlap, including insurance or legal concepts.
At the beginning of a new year, we all start with brilliant ideas and good intentions. To go regularly to the gym or yoga classes, to use that software in order to be productive, to travel more, and so on. However, year-end resolutions often fail after a few weeks because they do not emerge from a firm belief of change and innovation. They are often driven by calendar, not by deep motivation. To find inspiration, I went through my collection of articles, videos and podcasts on financial translation that I am sharing with you in this post. I am motivated to be special, what about you?
Can you distinguish an ETF from a CDS? And when would you use euro rather than EUR? These are some of the underlying questions behind the skills of a financial translator. How to acquire the skills to work in the field and… why bother?
I am starting a series of posts on financial glossaries and resources dedicated to translators and all those who need to understand financial concepts and terminology, or to keep up-to-date with the latest developments in the business world.
In the first post of the series, I collected useful links in English only.
Financial services are the products that consumers are least likely to buy if the website is not in their native language
Travelling is one of my passions. I have travelled extensively, alone, with friends, with groups of people. I have visited many places in Italy, in Europe, and “exotic” countries, from India to Vietnam, from Syria to South Africa. I like to meet people with different cultures and try to understand their language.
Anyway, from my own experience, when people – like my travel companions – have to buy something or choose what they are going to eat at the restaurant, they would rather read the product labels or the menu in their own language (and possibly see a picture!). The same goes when you buy a travel package on the web. It is a matter of trust.
When one of my friends asked me a couple of days ago – a bit puzzled – why I do not work at a bank, she confirmed me something I already suspected. People have no idea of what I do as a financial translator, and probably as a translator too. I have read many blog posts about the myths and misconceptions on translators, the difference between translators and interpreters, and freelance work in general. Most people, even our friends and acquaintances, often do not know anything about our job or have a weird idea about translation.
Hairdressers are a girl’s best friend. We need to change our look from time to time, to reinvent our image or simply to better express our identity. The same goes for our professional brand. Therefore, I decided to restyle my Website. I redesigned my on-line presence because I wished a more dynamic and fresh site, with a blog to share my ideas and show my clients and prospects how I could help them to achieve a successful presence in Italy by translating their financial and marketing material into Italian.
My logo is still the same, just a bit refreshed. I chose a new image (Fotolia and istockphoto are a useful source of photos and illustrations). Blue recalls something professional, authoritative and trustworthy, light blue is friendly and fresh. I chose a light blue background image showing the globe. I help my clients to communicate with foreign cultures, therefore it is perfect. The keyboard – number 1 tool for my job – represents translations. The charts on the right remind me of finance and capital markets. That’s what I do: professional and specialised financial translations. Continua la lettura di How I Designed my Business Cards and Brand Identity→