With audio transcription becoming something of a lost art amongst even the most experienced administration and secretarial staff, it makes perfect sense to outsource material to specialist external contractor.Not only will a dedicated transcription company be able to deal with most audio formats, they will also have software to clean up poor quality recordings, and even enhance recordings that are already very clear.
Since you're not adding to the workload of existing staff in house, productivity levels are raised as they can concentrate on your business rather than your paperwork.
For Your Eyes Only
Any outsourcing of sensitive material brings about security issues - this cannot be avoided. Whilst you may have confidentiality agreements and protocols in place, your contractor may not be so diligent.
Security issues may not even be as immediately serious as deliberate dissemination of company secrets to rival businesses, or customer data.
Unsuitable computer security could mean that sensitive information finds its way into the wrong hands by itself.
Email is not a terribly safe way of sending material.
Loading files to a cloud area with access for both you and your transcription business is a good start, and your contractor having a website with decent encryption for you both to load files is even better.
Appropriate anti-virus and other malware removal programs are essential to make sure that information isn't leaked from your contractor unwittingly.
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One Man Band or Outsourcing Business?
If you have a relatively small amount of transcription work to outsource, a slightly better way to keep an eye on security is to use a small business, or even a sole trader. In such a working relationship, you're both aware that there's only one way any leaked information could get out.
If you have particularly sensitive information, you may wish to limit what is released to your outsourced business transcription service. For instance, you may wish to avoid stating names in legal material, or use aliases, such a "Patient A" and so forth in medical documents.