Just like every year…
… it’s the annual reports season at Leinhäuser. Experience shows that the most intensive period is the first few months of the New Year when several annual reports are all translated simultaneously and in a very short space of time. As soon as the first colorful fall foliage starts to appear, resource planning begins: capacities are coordinated and translators booked so that everything runs smoothly in the season.
Translating quarterly, semiannual and annual business reports is one of the most challenging jobs we take on. The work demands precision, speed and expertise. It’s a delicate task, because every work step, every word and every figure must be exactly right. The process also requires a high level of confidentiality and secure communications.
“You have to handle annual reports with very special care,” says Senior Account Manager Jessica Petritsch, one of our experts on financial communications. Working closely together with other colleagues, she coordinates the team of translators and editors specializing in financial publications and investor relations.
Well-versed in relevant accounting standards and legal regulations — such as the German Commercial Code, IFRS and CRR — our team translates texts for companies listed in Germany’s blue-chip DAX index as well as for small and medium-sized enterprises.
It’s all about timing
Aside from the subject matter being complex, the texts we receive for annual reports usually come in waves, making the overall project that much more complex. While portions of the management reports will arrive early, the figures-packed sections — such the balance sheet, the income statement and the notes to the financial statement — will frequently turn up just before the print deadline.
In short, this means that the process extending from the initial contact to the finished annual report has to be be well-organized. “The biggest problem we face is the lack of time we have to carry out the translations. If the annual report is supposed to be released in March, we should ideally have everything translated and edited by mid-February,” says Petritsch.
Faced with such tight deadlines, translators must be brought on board at an early stage. “During the peak period — from January to March — six account managers and 15 highly specialized translators and editors will be involved solely with the job of translating and editing annual reports.” Meanwhile, our account managers coordinate the multistep process in the background while serving as the client’s central contact partner throughout the process.
For Jessica Petritsch and her colleague Robert Röder, another Senior Account Manager specializing in financial communications, time is the toughest challenge they face. “Ideally, we will start planning the translation of an annual report six months before its release date. We’ll even hear from many customers as early as August,” says Röder.
With this information in hand, our account managers begin assembling their teams, estimating timeframes and coordinating schedules with customers. This leaves enough room for figuring out which texts or steps should eventually be given a higher priority, thereby preventing bottlenecks down the road, while also providing the time needed to ensure the total accuracy of the translation.
Standby service: the reserve force for the deadline phase
We’re also ready when deadlines grow tight. Our account managers set up a standby team that can handle any last-minute changes made to an annual report. Through this service, a standby manager and a native-speaking translator from the team are available after business hours to take care of any information or changes made shortly before the annual report is to be printed.
There can be many reasons for such changes: An important board meeting may be held to discuss the numbers on the evening before the print deadline, or a company will work over the weekend to hone the final versions of the texts that will then have to be translated and added to the annual report.
To make sure that the job is done quickly and smoothly, we use established file formats such as documents created with “FIRE.sys” software, an editorial system for financial publications. To ensure the confidentiality of sensitive information, our team takes a number of security steps, including protected discussion platforms, passwords and e-mail encryption. “Some companies have also given us insider status,” says Röder.
Additional financial communications services
The financial communications team does not just work on annual reports. It translates financial information and investor relations texts for customers year-round – from ad-hoc announcements and press releases to invitations to the next annual general meeting. You will find more information about our financial communications services here.
Our financial communications team will be happy to assist you: