Business Friend has been providing a professional and confidential audio transcription service across the UK since 2003.

During this time, our team of experienced transcribers have converted thousands of hours of speech to text by creating professional transcripts for interviews, focus groups, conferences, lectures, podcasts and much more.

Many people confuse transcription with audio typing. Whilst both involve listening to a recording and typing what is said, there are still many differences between transcription and audio typing.

Hands typing on a laptop

Audio typing is usually one speaker clearly speaking into a dictation machine, for example, for correspondence or a report. The speaker often states where a full stop or a paragraph should appear and spells out unusual words or acronyms for the audio typist, along with other clear instructions relevant to the document they wish to produce. The recording usually takes place in a quiet environment and produces a nice, clear, audio.

Transcription usually involves at least two speakers in a more informal setting and with less structure.  This could mean the recording is of a qualitative research interview, a disciplinary hearing, a conference, or perhaps a focus group with many participants.  It is the role of the transcriber to not only ensure they capture what is being said correctly, but also to show how it is being said.  For example, with verbatim transcription, every um, er, hesitation and emotion must be transcribed.  With clean verbatim (also known as intelligent or edited verbatim), the transcriber must decide which of these is relevant to the conversation and should be transcribed, and which are habitual and can be omitted without effecting what the participant is trying to explain.  The transcriber must also identify speakers and carry out research for project specific words and phrases, for example, place names and technical jargon, to produce an accurate transcript.  These recordings often have background noise as they can be carried out in public places or people’s homes, which can make the speech difficult to hear.

As with all our audio transcription services, Business Friend’s standard focus group template includes time stamping every 10 minutes, with more frequent timestamping available if required.  And although our professional transcription team are dedicated to researching any unclear words or phrases, if we are still unsure, then any inaudibles or phonetic guesses will be put in square brackets and timestamped to help clients find the original point in the recording, rather than risk incorrect guesses slipping through the net.

Preparing for the recording of your focus group can really improve the quality of the transcript you receive.  We recommend reading our Recording Focus Groups article for tips on this, as if your transcription service provider receives a good quality recording, this will help them to produce a good quality transcript!

Business Friend understands the importance of confidentiality when transcribing focus groups.  Some participants may wish to remain anonymous, therefore, we can anonymise their speech during the transcription process by replacing personal names with [name], and local places or companies with [place] and [organisation] if required.  Business Friend’s Privacy Policy provides information and reassurance that we adhere to strict confidentiality practices, and our File Transfer service uses military grade 128-bit AES encryption, although we can receive files from via other methods if required.  We can also password protect documents before returning them to you.

For information on how to use Business Friend’s audio transcription service, please see How We Work.  To receive a quote for transcribing your focus group, please use our Quote Request Form or Contact Us with your requirements.  You can also use our Transcription Calculator (below) as a useful guide.

Types of Transcription

As an established provider of audio transcription services, Business Friend has built a solid client base through recommendation and you can depend on us to provide a high quality, confidential and reliable service to meet all your transcription needs, including:

Our method of working is simple and effective:

Contact Us

Please Contact Us to discuss your project particulars, such as type of service/s required, templates and deadlines, to receive an accurate quote. Our standard prices are available to view here as a guide.


We will create your personal encrypted folders to upload your recordings, notes or documents straight to Business Friend via our secure upload and storage facility.

Confirm Receipt

We will contact you to confirm receipt of your uploaded material.

We Get To Work

We get started straight away, ensuring we adhere to your project requirements and timeframes.

Job Done

We upload your transcript, spreadsheet, document or presentation to your personal secure folder, with extra password protection if required.

Invoice Sent

We will invoice you for the works provided for payment via BACs or PayPal – credit card payments can also be made via PayPal.