By Sally-Anne Watson Kane

When people ask me, as they often do, 'what do you actually do?' I find it hard to articulate what it really is that I do in just a few words.

I manage a small business, On Time Typing. As any small business manager will tell you, it takes a lot of hours each week to manage a business. Managing a small business includes managing quotes and invoices, providing free consultations to a range of people including clients, maintaining a website and social media pages, maintaining accounts and keeping the Australian Tax Office happy. Although you never get everything done you do your best, shut your office door when you finish work (no matter how late at night that is), and try to fit your 'living' in, around the edges.

Apart from managing the business, my main roles are that of scribe and editor.

I always say that the role of a scribe is similar to that of a butler: always opinionless, always maintaining complete confidentiality and discretion, always professional and extremely good at what one does. After scribing, the information has to be written, edited and proofread into a well presented report or whatever other document is required.

I also edit and proofread documents and publications that others have written. This year I have been editing mainly policy documents and manuals for government. I have been rewriting and editing brochures so that they target a different audience to the audience for which the original document was written (this is really called 'technical writing'). I spent several months as chief editor of a non-fiction publication which I edited and designed; I then coordinated the publication which was launched in October this year.

Online transcription is one of the main focuses of my business - transcribing audio recordings into transcripts for academic research and marketing purposes, as well as transcribing recordings of meetings and writing up minutes and reports. I delegate most audio transcription work to the other excellent online transcriptionists on the On Time Typing team: Judie, Dianne, Rae and Leila. Dianne, Judie, Rae and Leila and I are generalist online transcriptionists with experience in a huge range of subjects. I proofread the transcripts myself when 1) the client requires guaranteed 100% Accurate Transcripts and 2) the transcript involves NT or Indigenous speakers/events (because I am especially skilled in those areas). Leila produces all our property valuation reports. Leila and I produce all financial report case notes and transcripts.

I can handle the basic formatting knowledge that is part and parcel of editing and proofreading, but when complex formatting or design is required, I delegate those tasks to the formatting expert on the team, Richard Powell. Richard is the one to whom those 'headache' documents - the ones that have glitches that no amount of troubleshooting has been able to resolve - are a piece of cake. He is fantastic at his job and On Time Typing is very lucky to have him on the team.

Last but not least, On Time Typing also does what its name suggests - simply typing: copy typing handwritten and typed documents, and typing resumes and job applications, submissions and reports. Occasionally, when I have time, I do this typing work myself but more often than not, Leila, Rae, Dianne or Judie completes this work.

That is what I do.