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When to Use a Transcriptionist Vs. When to Use a Court Reporter

You may wonder, “When do I need a transcriptionist and when do I need a court reporter?”  The simple rule of thumb is as follows:  If an audio or video recording needs to be transcribed into a text document, use a transcriptionist.  A court reporter is used if someone needs to be present at a deposition, hearing, arbitration, trial, or other legal proceeding to record live and read back if necessary.

The Cost Factor

Transcription service providers specialize in audio-to-text and video-to-text services, and charge substantially less than court reporting firms.  Most transcription companies charge by the audio minute (total minutes of the recording) with no additional fees.  Court reporting firms typically charge appearance fees, listening fees, per page fees, and upcharges for expedited turnaround times.

See the price comparison below for two 30-minute recordings that need to be converted to text with a deadline of three days.

Transcription Company
Listening Fee for 1st Recording: None
Listening Fee for 2nd Recording: None
60 x $1.50 per audio minute: $90
Upcharge for t-a-t within 72 hours: None
Total: $90

Court Reporting Agency
Listening Fee for 1st Recording: $30
Listening Fee for 2nd Recording: $30
Page per fee: 40 pages x $5.00 = $200
Upcharge for t-a-t- within 72 hours $72
Total: $332

The Bottom Line

 As you can see from the prices described above, there is a significant difference in cost between a court reporting agency and a transcription service.  If you are a lawyer or represent yourself pro se, you can benefit from court reporting services.  For recordings of meetings, interviews, focus groups, speaker presentations, voicemails, lectures, recorded statements, or legal proceedings, the expertise of a transcription company would serve you best.

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If you are interested in learning more about what Transcription Experts can do for your business, contact us today.