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One of the most frequent enquiries I receive in my practice is for transcription services  digital, microtape, standard tape  not just from potential clients but from new VAs wanting to get in on what seems to be a burgeoning niche in the Virtual Assistant industry. So, here are a few tips and facts to help clients understand the costs of providing online transcription services and newbies who want to add this service to their practice.  A Transcriptionist v Typist  There are varying typing speeds, varying levels of expertise  both with WP software and with PCbased player software  and as a result, varying charge out rates. 
If you are a client looking for transcription services who cares about the resulting product without having to do too much posttranscription checking, you need to find a professional service. The skills of a transcriptionist vary from a typist. According to the Industry Production Standards IPS Guide  Tape transcription services is a specialised service, very different from general text keyboarding which relies on visual processing and can be measured as words or characters per minute then corrected for accuracy. Transcriptionists however, must rely on aural processing, and the rhythm of the work depends on the person doing the original recording.
The keyboarding portion of the tape transcription process includes a certain amount of editing on the fly by the transcriptionist  ie paragraphing, insertion of punctuation, capitalisation, correction of grammar in nonverbatim online transcription and sometimes aural identification of speakers.  So what should you look for when assessing candidates  . Someone with at least  years of business, office or secretarial experience . Keyboarding speed of around  words per minute wpm . Good languagegrammar skills . The software skills to handle the project  PLUS  . 
Someone with a minimum of years basic transcription experience . Mastery of advanced language skills, including grammar, punctuation, spelling and sentence structure . Exceptional level of accuracy . Excellent independent judgment and decision making skills . Superior Spanish transcription onscreen proofreading and editing abilities . Ability to recognise errors and inconsistencies in dictated material while transcribing . Proficiency in clarification of dictation without altering meaning or style . Hearing acuity and language discrimination skills, including familiarity with and understanding of accents and dialects, and recognition of voice inflections within a document.  What I hear you say.
Indeed, these are the identified requirements of a professional transcriptionist. If you do not partner with an operator with this skill set then audio transcription you can be sure that not only will transcription time be longer, but your posttranscription proofing and editing of the document will defeat the purpose of outsourcing the job in the first place.  B Transcription Time Determinants  Understand that transcription time is determined by the quality of the audio  any noise, accents, multiple speakers, poor tape quality, or poorly positioned recording device, will increase transcription time.