Does using a fast transcription service also mean sacrificing the quality and accuracy of your document? The answer may surprise you.

If you’re a busy professional operating under a tight deadline, you need your files transcribed with lightning speed. But does using a fast transcription service also mean sacrificing the quality and accuracy of your document? The answer may surprise you!


In this post, we’ll outline what fast transcription services are, what to expect when you use them, and how to select the best provider to help you save time and double down on efficiency.

What Is Fast Transcription?

Fast transcription is any service that provides transcripts of audio or video files in a shorter amount of time than traditional transcription services. The turnaround time for quick transcription can be as short as a few minutes or hours, whereas traditional services can take days or even weeks to deliver transcripts.


There are two different industry approaches to providing speedy transcription: human transcription and artificial intelligence (A.I.) automated transcription (sometime referred to as voice recognition or speech recognition). Be sure to read this article from top to bottom—we’ll deep dive into the pros and cons of each so you can choose the best service type for your business.

Who Can Benefit From Fast Transcription?

Law Firms, Attorneys, and Legal Aids

When working on a case, time is of the essence. Being able to get transcripts of legal proceedings, or generate letters and pleadings quickly can be a huge advantage. Legal transcription often requires an experienced typist who is familiar with legal formatting practices, so you’ll want to take extra care when selecting a transcription service for your law firm. 

Writers and Video Producers

Whether you’re working on a book, an article, or a video, quick transcription can be a lifesaver. If you’ve ever tried to complete an audio or video transcription yourself, you know how time-consuming it can be. Speedy transcription services can take care of the transcriptions for you so that you can focus on writing or producing.

Insurance Agents

Insurance agents have to document detailed claims collecting information from all parties involved and then assembling that information together for the final review. Typing each one of the up by hand can become tedious and time consuming, but using a fast transcription service, agents can still collect detailed reports needed for the claim, but not sacrifice timing or service.

5 Key Benefits of High-Quality, Fast Transcription Services

There are many benefits to working with a high-quality, high-speed transcription service. Here are just a few:

Fast transcription can supercharge workflow and efficiency for you—and your team.

When you turn over the task of transcription to a speedy, high-quality service, you free up time for yourself and your team. This can have a big impact on your workflow and efficiency—you and your team can focus on tasks specific to your job description and enjoy reliable transcripts crafted with exceptional accuracy.

Outputs are incredibly accurate—when the work is done by humans rather than AI.

When you work with a reputable rapid transcription service, you can be confident that you’ll receive transcripts with 99% – 100% accuracy. The professional transcriptionists who work for these services are experienced professionals who are skilled at transcribing audio and video files.

Inaccurate transcripts can lead to costly mistakes. When you work with a human fast transcription service, you can be confident that your work product will be in final form and require minimal review or formatting. 

You don’t have to waste one second  formatting your transcription after delivery.

Whether you’re transcribing a deposition, affirmation, or interrogations,  you don’t have to worry about formatting the transcript. Professional typists know exactly how to format these special kinds of documents and they will take care of that for you. In addition, professional typists should take care of any special dictation or formatting instructions you include in your audio files.

Fast transcription professionals can save you big money in the long run.

While swift transcription services may require an investment up front, they can save you a lot of money in the long run. When you factor in the time and money you’ll save by not having to transcribe files yourself or hire someone to do it for you, express transcription services are a wise investment.

And, of course, you can look forward to prompt delivery.

When you work with a fast transcription service, you can expect your transcripts to be delivered quickly—usually within a few hours. This is a huge advantage over traditional transcription services, which can take days or even weeks to deliver transcripts.

How Do Fast Transcription Services Work?

So what’s the secret to expedited transcription services? The answer is simple—you need a team of professional transcriptionists who are skilled at transcribing audio and video files with stunning accuracy and speed.

Here’s how most fast transcription services work.

First, you submit an audio or video file that needs to be transcribed.

To get started, you’ll upload the audio or video file that you need transcribed to the transcription service’s website or app. You’ll also include any special instructions for the transcriptionists, such as formatting requirements or deadlines.

Then, experienced, professional typists will transcribe your audio files.

After you submit an audio or video file to the transcription service, the file is assigned to a team of transcriptionists. They work together to transcribe the file as quickly and accurately as possible.

Next, typists ensure the document is edited for clarity and formatting.

After the audio or video file has been transcribed, the typists will follow any special formatting instructions you included. They’ll also edit the transcript for readability and clarity.

Finally, your transcription document is delivered and ready to use with no additional editing needed.

Once the transcriptionist finishes transcribing your audio or video file, they’ll deliver the transcript to you. If you choose a reputable human transcription service, then no additional editing will be needed—you can use the transcript right away.

How Accurate Are Fast Transcription Services?

Most professional transcription services are highly precise, with an accuracy rate of 99% or higher. This means that you can expect your transcript to be almost error-free. But there’s one catch—you can only expect a high level of accuracy if you use human transcription services vs AI.


Some fast transcription services can return your audio file or video file within minutes using artificial intelligence (AI). But AI transcription services struggle to deliver reliable accuracy, and they don’t include the added benefit of formatting the document before delivery.


Although it may initially seem like you’re saving time when you use fast A.I transcription, the truth is that you’ll end up losing time by having to go back and edit the document for accuracy issues and formatting for readability.

What Are the Downsides of Using Quick Transcript Services?

Of course, no transcription service is absolutely perfect 100% of the time, and there may be a few errors in your transcript. But these errors will usually be minor and won’t affect the overall meaning of the transcript—especially if you use a reputable service.

What Can I Expect Fast Transcription Services To Cost?

The cost of speedy transcription services varies depending on the length of the audio or video file, the quality of the audio file, the turnaround time, and whether you need intelligent or edited transcription. Some transcription services charge by the minute (usually between $1.50 and $5.00) while others charge by the word (as low as 1.5 cents per word).

How to Choose a Quick Transcription Service

Now that you know who can benefit from express transcription services, let’s talk about how to choose a service that’s right for you. Before making your final decision, here are the things you should keep in mind.

Turnaround Time

Consider these questions:

  • How many hours/days does the service need to transcribe your audio or video file?
  • Does the turnaround time seem suspiciously fast or inconveniently long?

If the service offers your transcription in minutes, they most likely use A.I. software, which means questionable quality. You can get transcription documents of impeccable quality—no editing needed—in three hours less with a reputable human transcription service.


  • How important is it that the transcript is error-free?
  • Will the transcript be used in a professional context?

When the stakes are high, you don’t want to leave your transcription up to chance. Look for services that guarantee at least 99% accuracy. If your audio or video includes multiple speakers, accents, or background noise, the only way you can ensure that level of accuracy is with the help of an experienced transcriptionist.


  • Are you in an industry that requires typists who are familiar with special formatting?
  • Do you want to invest time into editing a transcript for formatting?

If you’re looking for legal transcription services or medical transcription services, you’ll need a transcriptionist who knows how to format your document appropriately. Look for services who specialize in industry-specific transcription services so you don’t have to waste time reformatting your transcription. There is more to transcription than just getting the words down on paper. Choosing a company that can format the document properly so that you don’t have to, can save tons of time in the long run. 

fast transcription services
Formatted letter vs unformatted letter


  • Cost isn’t just about money—are you trying to save money and time?
  • Can the transcription service offer the same rates for audio that isn’t crystal clear?


Fast transcription shouldn’t cost you an arm and a leg. Look for services that offer reasonable rates and don’t charge extra for fast turnaround times. Also, make sure there are no hidden fees for audio that includes background noise or multiple speakers.

Customer Service

  • Do you know how to contact the service provider if you have a question?
  • What do people say about their experience in customer reviews?


Finally, the fast transcription service you choose should have excellent customer service. You shouldn’t have to jump through hoops to get in touch with a real person who can help you with your project. The best fast transcription services will have exceptional customer support that’s available during regular business hours to answer any questions.

Fast Transcription Frequently Asked Questions

How exactly do typists offer fast transcription without using A.I?

Professional typists are trained to type well over 60 words per minute—that’s like lightning compared to the average speed of 40 words per minute. Additionally, professional typists can understand contextual nuances like multiple speakers, accents, and slang instantaneously.

Human typists can also filter out filler words and follow verbal instructions to strike phrases or backtrack. AI struggles with these things because it doesn’t understand context clues.

Why not just use A.I. for fast transcription if you’re in a rush?

You may be in a time crunch, but that’s the beauty of speedy transcription completed by expert typists—you can count on an incredibly accurate, beautifully formatted document in a matter of hours.

The appeal of AI transcription is that it uses word recognition to deliver a document in a flash. But here’s the thing—your document is only as accurate as the software’s word recognition.

And more often than not, you’ll end up with a transcript that’s teaming with errors. Any time you might save by using AI software will be spent cleaning up errors and formatting the document so that it’s actually usable.

How long does it take to transcribe 1,000 words or more?

An average typist can transcribe 1,000 words in about 25 minutes. However, a professional typist can achieve this same feat in less than 13 minutes with 99% accuracy.

How long does it take to transcribe an hour of audio?

The industry standard for transcribing a full hour of audio is four hours, though some expedited transcription services may be able to do it in less.

Final Thoughts

In today’s fast-paced business world, more and more professionals are taking advantage of quick transcription services.

Looking for a rapid transcription service that can help you stay ahead of the curve? SpeakWrite is an industry leader in fast transcription. We are a 100% human powered service, which means we don’t rely on A.I. to transcribe your audio files. With our fast turnaround times, impeccable quality, and competitive pricing, we’re changing the way business gets done.

Learn more about how SpeakWrite’s fast transcription services can save you time and money today.

How to Mail Your Recorded Tapes

Many clients have recorded mini or standard cassette tapes to submit to us for transcription, but would rather not use their staff and resources to input these tapes into our system. In these instances, you can have these recorded cassettes delivered to us, and we will upload them into our system for transcription for you. To use this method of submission, you must have an existing SpeakWrite account. Send recorded tapes via overnight courier or USPS to the following address:

SpeakWrite Tape Processing Center
6300 Bridgepoint Pkwy
Building 1, Suite 100
Austin, Texas 78730

(800) 828-3889
Attn: Production Manager

With each delivery, you must print out a Recorded Tape Transmittal Sheet and enclose it with the tapes to be transcribed. Your package must include properly addressed and pre-paid packaging and label for the return of your tapes, using a service that provides for delivery tracking. If this is not included, we will return your tapes to you and charge your account a $10.00 delivery fee. Immediately upon our receipt of your tapes, we will input them into the SpeakWrite system for transcription. You will receive the transcription of the taped material via the email address on your account, just as any other SpeakWrite job. Your tapes will be returned to you via the delivery method you designate 48 hours after the completion of your transcript. All work transcribed will be charged at the standard, per word rate. There is no additional charge for handling or inputting the tapes. Be sure to erase all previously recorded tapes completely before recording any new dictation in order to avoid having old work transcribed by mistake or jeopardizing the quality of the newly recorded material.