There’s a funny joke about professional mistakes. A doctor’s mistake is buried, a lawyer’s mistake is imprisoned, a pharmacist’s mistake is poisoned. An accountant’s mistake is adjusted, corrected, and reconciled!
It would be true, if there weren’t tiny spelling mistakes still getting through financial documents and leading to disastrous consequences.
For instance, in 2010 Wall Street shuddered when an investor confused millions with billions and wrote the letter “B” in a sell order instead of letter “M”, which was called a “flash crash”. The flash crash made it into history and became a famous example of inaccurate financial writing.
Typos are a common mistake accountants make along with frivolous approach to bookkeeping, improper usage of financial software, and manual input errors.
The majority of companies invest tons of money in financial proofreaders, who polish financial documentation after accountants and economists. The other group uses specialized digital proofreading solutions like Grammarly, LanguageTool or ProWritingAid, which are able to correct financial lingo.
We’ve investigated if spelling and grammar checkers are really effective when it comes to financial proofreading. And here are our thoughts.
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Comparing financial proofreading tools on common spelling mistakes accountants make
The financial world is built on precision. And clear financial writing is as vital as meticulous book balancing.
Once a well-crafted financial document is completed, the next stage of the process comes. A financial editor helps the writer make the draft clean, concise, unambiguous as well as clear it off sensitive content that may pose regulatory risks.
Why not financial experts proofread themselves?
Firstly, our own mistakes are more difficult to spot. Secondly, accountants aren’t always language-savvy, so they can leave gross spelling and grammar errors unnoticed. Financial proofreaders are in high demand, which forces many businesses to enter this area and offer similar services.
Proofed is a provider of spelling and grammar correction services made by a team of matter experts. Such services are pricey. Proofed, for example, charges $300 for proofreading a 10K word document. Editing and formatting are available for extra. Businesses can request fully managed editorial services curated by expert editors.
Experienced financial proofreaders like the Proofed team fight with sloppy writing, spelling and grammar mistakes. However, hiring such services may lead to huge supplementary costs, especially for startups and small businesses.
To compare, automated spelling and grammar checkers are less expensive and can easily do preliminary proofreading. We’re talking about text sanitation from spelling, grammar and punctuation mistakes, style improvement, sentence rewriting. Plus, some of them, e.g. WProofreader Business, have advanced security features like on-premise deployment which is for highly regulated industries to meet financial data processing and storage standards imposed by GDPR, ISO/IEC 27001, PCI DSS, etc.
WProofreader vs other text checkers
To see how text checkers cope with sloppy financial writing, we’ve compared the most popular solutions on a demo text with issues.
Demo text with errors:
Basic reporting principls: investors are increasingly demanding full transparency of accounting policies and their affects. Even technically accurate application of generally accepted principles may fail to communicate important information if its not accompanied by appropriate and clear analytical disclosures a business make!
There’s a list of common mistakes made in financial docs like word confusion, affect—effect, principal—principle, contracted forms (isnt, havent, dont), abbreviations, singular and plural forms (business is—business are), etc.
Grammarly, the best-known ultimate text checker, detected all the above issues. For principls, it offers two suggestions — principles and principals. The latter isn’t correct in the given context. The rest of suggestions are relevant.
LanguageTool identifies both the spelling issues principls and its and also suggests replacing affects with effects. The gross grammar mistake make isn’t detected.
ProWritingAid detected all the issues except for affects, which means the check isn’t context-based. Also, the solution gives premium suggestions for parts generally and fail to communicate.
WProofreader, a WebSpellChecker AI spelling and grammar checker, detected all issues and provided relevant suggestions. In addition, the solution didn’t give additional changes for the parts written correctly.
Sapling AI didn’t detect affects and its. Instead, the solution provided additional suggestions for application and appropriate.
From this simple check, it’s obvious that Grammarly and WProofreader performed better. Both text checker detected spelling and grammar issues and an incorrect word choice affects. Besides, both solutions don’t provide extra suggestions for the parts of correctly written text. ProWritingAid and Sapling AI in this case offer extra style improvement.
WProofreader Business — a secure text checker for banking, financial and insurance companies
WProofreader is a multilingual sentence checker for individual users and teams, developed by WebSpellChecker.
We’re a provider of digital proofreading solutions for various niches, in particular banking, finance, and insurance. Among our clients are financial groups, credit unions, asset management companies, investment trusts.
WProofreader is a browser extension that corrects spelling and grammar in your messages, docs, and emails. You can choose to host it on-site, in a private cloud under Business plan or in the shared cloud under Free plan. Available for Chrome, Firefox and Microsoft Edge.
The functionality is rich:
- Multilingual text corrector that supports 20+ languages, incl. AI for English, German and Spanish
- Spelling autocorrect and autocomplete suggestions for speedy writing
- Integrations with online business software
- Company-wide and user spelling dictionaries
- Advanced security practices, in particular on-premise deployment.
We’re constantly working to improve WProofreader Business functionality, in particular, adding company style guide/custom rules, user management and statistics, profanity language filter, etc.
Financial proofreading and editing are both to polish finished financial documents, to find typos, poor phrasing, or other mistakes.
They are preliminary steps of global financial writing improvement. For those companies who are for cost-effective solutions, digital text checkers may be a go-to.
Such solutions, in general, may not be able to restructure, restyle or reformat writing. But, they’re able to do the basic dirty job and save you money by taking care about data security, as well.
If you’re on the fence about what solution is better for your financial team, do a basic check. Pay attention to how well a text checker corrects spelling, grammar and punctuation typos. Does it suggest extra improvements? Sometimes sharp eyes for obvious errors serve better than extra style bells and whistles.
Note, that custom dictionaries, style guides, rephrasing can be also beneficial for your financial business, but good performance goes first and foremost.