transcribe message being written next to speaker

AccuTran Global is one of the most respectable online transcription services. It’s been there since 2002, which makes it one of the oldest players in the field. But much as we appreciate and applaud the company’s renown and experience, we are here to find out whether it’s possible to make money through this platform – and how much.

So much has been said about the manifold benefits of working from home. You get to work whenever you want, for as long as you want. Not to mention how awesome it is not having to buy formal clothes, breakfasts and coffees, or splurge on car fare. As it happens, transcribing audio files is a neat way to start your online career – especially if you’re lacking in coding, writing, or graphic design skills.

Or is it? Read on to learn more about AccuTran Global as well as the yays and nays of registering as a transcriber there.

AccuTran Global homepage preview

How Does It Work?

It’s easy to find the signup option. When on their homepage, just scroll down a bit and you’ll see the navy-blue button Apply for Work.

But there’s a catch here that just might pop the bubble of your enthusiasm. When I clicked this button, here’s what I got.

accutran hiring page preview

They will be hiring US contractors “starting September 30, 2019”. What the heck? At the time of this writing, it’s 2020 already. Was it a typo or an error, or maybe they won’t be hiring anymore? I couldn’t tell. And they obviously aren’t willing to help with this or they wouldn’t discourage us from calling their customer service. Which, by the way, doesn’t even seem to exist. Is AccuTran Global dead? I sure hope it isn’t!

Anyhow, we’ll revisit the site on 9/30 just to make sure it wasn’t a typo. And if anything changes, I’ll make sure to update this article.

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So, this review has to be based on the information I’ve found online by scouring the web and reading various user accounts. Even though it isn’t a first-hand testimonial, it will save you hours of time and let you know whether this platform is worth considering at all.

Anyhow, if they ever start recruiting again, you’ll have to pass an admission exam before being allowed to work. They will test your listening and typing skills, English grammar, and computer requirements.

Pro Tip to Maximize Your Earning Potential

If they ever ask you to sign an NDA (non-disclosure agreement), sign it. Sure, you don’t have to. But if you do, it will increase your chances to get better paying clients, since you’ll be obliged to keep silent about the content of the recordings you transcribe.

Basic Requirements You’ll Need (If They Ever Start Hiring Again)

  • Great command of English (spelling, punctuation, grammar, etc.)
  • Typing speed of at least 70 words per minute
  • A computer no older than four years, running on Windows 10 or Mac
  • A high-quality headset
  • Fast and reliable internet connection
  • Quiet environment
  • ExpressScribe tool for Mac users
  • Basic command of financial, medical, or legal terminology
  • A foot pedal is preferable if you’re serious with this. And from what I’ve gathered, you will need to buy it yourself, for about $50 or up.

How Much Can I Make Here?

Contrary to other transcription platforms that I’ve had a chance to review, AccuTran Global mostly pays per word and not audio minute or hour, with their rates going anywhere from $0.004 to $0.055 per word. How does it sound when compared to TranscribeMe, for example?

Let’s see what the calculator says. If your typing speed is 70 words per minute, the starting rate would work out to about $0.28 per minute. That’s $16.80 per hour of work, give or take. Well, that’s well over the minimum hourly wage in the US, thank you very much!

If you still aren’t convinced, take a look at this review of another of their competitors, Scribie. There, you stand to make a measly $1.25 per hour of work.

What We Like About AccuTran Global

  • The average rate they pay definitely beats their competitors. Like we calculated above, the least you can hope for is $16.80 per hour of work – not per audio hour. But what if your typing speed is less than 70 words per minute? It’s cruel but simple – you won’t be able to get in.
  • They pay via direct deposit to your bank account if you’re US-based. And the payments go through on the 15th every month. Almost sounds like a proper salary!
  • There is a chance to get a promotion with even better rates. If you’re really good, they may bump you up to a reviewer, scoper, editor, or proofreader. I couldn’t figure out the exact rates for these positions, but it’s probably near the promised maximum of $0.055 per word. 

What We Don’t Like About AccuTran Global

  • Are they even recruiting? As you could see above, they don’t seem to recruit new transcribers at the moment. Will they ever start again? We just don’t know.
  • What exactly does the Global in AccuTran Global mean? They only work with transcribers from the US or Canada. Doesn’t seem very global to me!
  • There are fat and lean months. You’re less likely to have enough work mid-March through mid-April, mid-May through mid-July, mid-August through mid-October, as well as nearly all of December and January. That means you shouldn’t rely on this to become a full-time job.
  • Even though they pay well, you won’t be able to get the benefits of employment. You’ll be treated as an independent contractor. While that’s the way it works with most if not all transcription crowdsourcing services (and other get-paid-to panels), we thought it logical to mention as a significant downside from the user’s viewpoint.

Final Word – Is AccuTran Global the Right Side Project for You?

The answer to this question really depends on two main factors.

  1. Will they ever start recruiting again? If yes, it would be wise to give them a shot. They are significantly better than most of their competitors. And if you’re any good at this, you’ll be able to count on this not just for some beer money, but for real side income. You know, the kind that pays your bills or even vacation.
  2. Are you an experienced, fast and meticulous transcriber? If yes, this is just the right platform for you. But if you’re only just starting, you may find it hard to meet their requirements. In that case, you should probably start with TranscribeMe or Scribie or Rev. They will help you gain in speed and accuracy, so that you’ll be good enough to get accepted with AccuTran.