Proofreaders for annual reports
When you consider that your public facing or important stakeholder documents are going to be closely examined by stakeholders, such as by your staff, investors, the media, public or your board, you undoubtedly want to be confident that they are free of errors.
It’s easy for mistakes to slip through
Preparing major documents calls for input from different people from within an organisation. There would be no annual reporting suite, sustainability report or reconciliation action plan without teamwork.
Yet, when different people are involved in contributing to the same document, it’s very easy for mistakes and inconsistencies to slip through the internal checking process. Although internal reviews and spell-checking programs tackle the obvious issues, they don’t catch everything.
And the typos that are missed can potentially be costly mistakes.
What are the typical errors in annual reports?
Typos are rare in annual reports. We know – we are proofreaders for annual reports, financial statements and other important documents for listed companies and government agencies.
Typos are mostly picked up by spell-checking software. What’s much more common is inconsistency in how phrases and terms are presented. We see this too in lengthy white papers, reports, tenders and proposals, especially where content has been copied and pasted from other documents.
Just for example, “Non-controlling Interests” or “Company” may be used in the first sections of a document, but the initial capitals can change to lower case as the document progresses.
Along the same lines, job titles and positions can be treated inconsistently. We will find “director” with a lower case initial on one page, yet “Director” 50 pages later.
This might seem trivial in the scheme of things. Yet, it’s always that case that an eagle-eyed shareholder or board member will pick up such inconsistencies, which can be awkward for the person responsible for preparing the document.
Misuse and inconsistent use of hyphens are also frequent features in complex documents. In annual reports, for instance, it’s common to see a mix of “Black-Scholes” and “Black Scholes” in the same annual report.
Other examples are:
- Long-term / long term
- Non-executive director / Non executive director / Non-Executive Director / Non Executive Director / Non-executive Director / Non executive Director
Equally, hyphens are used where en dashes need to be used. En dashes show a range of numbers, as in a sequence of dates. Examples are:
- David Foster Wallace (1962–2008)
It’s also common to have mix ups where a change has been made on one page, but not updated elsewhere such as in the table of contents.
With numerous changes to the copy and design, it’s easy to forget to double check that the section headings and page numbers match the table of contents. Likewise, people forget to check that all the fonts, colours, heading hierarchy, titles and numbered sequences are consistent.
How do you avoid mistakes and protect your organisation’s reputation?
To avoid errors in your major documents, thorough proofreading by a professional proofreader is invaluable.
A proofreader gives a confidence boost – their skill ensures that your documents are supremely professional.
That’s to say, your documents are not only typo-free but they are also consistent in tone, style, punctuation, terms and tenses as well as being grammatically correct.
Experienced annual reports proofreaders are adept at handling lengthy, complex content. They know what to look for.
As professional proofreaders with 20 plus years’ experience as annual report proofreaders, Proof Communications knows the typical mistakes and oversights in stakeholder documents.
We pay attention to even the smallest of details. We check every word, punctuation mark and sentence for accuracy. For instance, we mark-up typos, missing words, inconsistencies in headings and titles, grammatical errors, and we query content that doesn’t make sense. We make sure that the table of contents matches the page numbers, that bullet points are consistent and that captions are correct.
It might sound straightforward, but it takes enormous attention to detail and concentration to ensure that proofreading an annual report or stakeholder document is done correctly.
Clients are amazed at the number of mark-ups our proofreaders return with their documents. In an annual report, we typically make 10 mark-ups a page. In a 100-page report, that’s 1,000 mark-ups.
Contact us today for annual report proofreading
At Proof Communications, we understand it’s critical that your organisation’s professionalism shines through in all of your corporate communications. Our annual report proofreading brings peace of mind that all the components of your annual reporting suite are the best they can be.