Earn More, Work Less: The Real Benefits of Hiring Scopists and Proofreaders

Financial Benefits of scopist and proofreader

Written by Lauren N. Lawrence, RPR

March 24, 2021

What if you could spend more time in the reporter’s chair while your off-the-record “homework” was completed for you? 

And what if you could do all this while doubling your profit per hour? 

For anyone who currently works with a scopist and proofreader, you know this isn’t just a thought exercise. This is reality. 

For solo reporters, listen up: It’s time to build your transcript team!

What is a transcript team exactly?  It’s you (the reporter) and your go-to scopists and proofreaders.  Together, you knock out perfect transcripts faster and more profitably. 

Scopists and proofreaders help you get more done with less stress — even surprise expedites.

Still not convinced?  Let’s break down exactly how much time and money you save with teammates. 


Scoping & Proofing Statistics

A few years ago, I posted a survey into court reporting Facebook groups, asking questions about utilizing scopists and proofreaders and received over 200 responses.  Here were the most interesting insights:

Only 17% of court reporters use a scopist more than 75% of the time.

Only 22% use a proofreader more than 75% of the time.

Why is this the case?  The top two reasons why court reporters didn’t use scopists or proofreaders are:

  1. Concerns about work quality (31%)
  2. To save money (28%)

Notice that the answers were NOT, “Because I like to spend time scoping and proofing my own transcripts.” 

In fact, a whopping 62% of court reporters respondents said that they would take on more jobs if they didn’t have to scope and proofread.

Now let’s focus on the money, honey.  Some of you are concerned about spending money on a scopist and proofreader. 

But I’m about to show you that you’re actually LOSING money without using scopists and proofreaders. 


Income Earned Working Solo

First, let’s look at a court reporter’s income when working alone. 

Note: All of these numbers are estimates based on my own court reporting experience in Missouri and Kansas. Calculate your own profit/hour with our court reporter productivity calculator.

Let’s check out how much time a single, standard 120-page, O&2 looks like from a time perspective: 

  • Appearance: 3 hours
  • Scoping time (30 pages/hour): 4 hours
  • Proofreading 40 pages/hour): 2.5 hours
  • Pay: $585

Total time: 9.5 hours

Profit per hour: $62

When working on your own, reporting takes up less than half of the actual work you must do to complete a transcript.  But court reporters are paid by the page, and your money is earned while you are writing on your machine.  The rest of that time is unpaid work, which brings down your profit per hour significantly. 

Not to mention the time lost on scoping and proofreading.  What would you do with an extra 6 hours per job?  You could take another depo, spend time with family, enjoy a hobby, or heck, even relax (crazy, right!?).


Raising Your Profit-Per-Hour

Now let’s look at what your income looks like when using a scopist AND proofreader, just for fun.  We’ll use the same deposition job as an example: 3-hour appearance, 120-page transcript, $585 payment

First we need to factor in the cost of hiring a scopist and proofreader. For example:

  • Scopist: $1.25 per page = $150
  • Proofreader: $0.35 per page = $42

Total cost: $192

Profit after costs: $393

But costs are only one part of this new equation.  You’re also saving time:

  • Appearance: 3 hours
  • Scoping: 0 hours
  • Proofreading: 0 hours
  • Review: 30 minutes 

Total time: 3.5 hours

Time is your most valuable resource.  When you factor in the cost and time saved, your new profit hour literally doubles!

New profit per hour: $112


Adding Extra Jobs

But the profits don’t stop there.  Like we said earlier, the majority of court reporters would take on more work if they didn’t have to scope and proofread. 

Let’s say you currently work three jobs per week.  With a transcript team, you’re saving 18 hours/week!

Imagine you increase your jobs from 3 to 5 each week (and STILL having freetime)

  • 3 solo jobs/week = $1755
  • 5 team jobs/week = $1965

That’s another $210 of profit per week, or *drumroll* an extra $10,500 per year!

The best part is that you get this income boost while working 10-12 hours less each week. 

That, my friends, is win-win.


It’s Time to Delegate — and Try Stenovate

The math checks out:  You can earn more and work less by hiring a scopist and proofreader.  All that’s left is choosing the right tool to power your team. 

We built Stenovate for busy, ambitious court reporters like you. Instead of juggling six different tools (email, Excel, Dropbox, etc.), Stenovate is your all-in-one transcript hub. 

With Stenovate, you can:

  1. Find, vet, and hire scopists and proofreaders (or bring your existing teammates)
  2. Track transcript job progress
  3. Transfer files
  4. Share spellings
  5. Communicate with your team
  6. And much more

With your team hired and transcript management system in place, you’re ready to grow your business. It’s time to delegate to dominate!

Get 50% off your first 3 months of Stenovate. Just use the code DELEGATE50 when you sign up.

No contract. No cancellation fees. First month FREE!

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