NCRA releases fourth economic benchmark survey
VIENNA, VA., April 28, 2014—The National Court Reporters Association (NCRA), the country’s leading organization representing stenographic court reporters and captioners, today announced that its 2014 Economic Benchmark Survey is now available. The recent survey represents the fourth time the association has conducted the study, which it releases each February during its Firm Owners Executive Conference. The survey is used to provide a glimpse into new and emerging trends in the court reporting and captioning industry.
“This is where the rubber meets the road. Part of the value of conducting such a study is to make year-over-year comparisons to identify trends, which can help our members be better placed for the challenges and opportunities that present themselves in the future,” said Jim Cudahy, NCRA’s executive director and CEO.
The most recent benchmark survey was sent to 3,797 firm owners, consisting of both NCRA members and nonmembers, and generated an increase in individual responses from the previous study: 623 compared to 505 last year.
“The overall picture is that court reporting firms are continuing to grow. About 46 percent reported growth, while 23 percent said their financial picture remained about the same. Only 16 percent reported a decline in revenue, and only 5 percent of those reported a substantial decline of more than 20 percent,” Cudahy said.
The survey also found:
- Firms that reported more depositions using fewer reporters generated more revenue.
- While the average revenue for all firms in 2013 was about $1.3 million, the median was just $395,000.
- Seventy-one percent of the firms reporting in this year worked with 10 or fewer reporters compared to 67 percent last year.
Regionally, the survey also identified changes in the median revenue compared to a year ago including:
- The Northeast region reported a decrease of 21 percent in median revenue in 2013 compared to 2012.
- The median revenue in the South Central region remained the same in 2013 compared to 2012.
- Median revenue rose in the Northwest region by 13 percent in 2013 compared to the previous year.
- The Mid-Atlantic region posted a 2 percent increase in median revenue in 2013 compared to 2012.
- Median revenue rose by 4 percent in the Southwest region in 2013 compared to the previous year.
- The North Central region posted an increase of 15 percent in median revenue in 2013 compared to 2012.
The latest survey also included some new questions designed to provide more market intelligence. For example, the survey queried respondents about who in the firm hires reporters, what drives clients’ decisions to hire reporters, and how court reporting firms market their services.
In addition, NCRA was able to capture more data on best practices for firms. Nearly half of firms, 48 percent, reported scanning exhibits, and 40 percent said they are providing e-transcripts. In addition, 32 percent offer nationwide scheduling, while approximately 25 percent offer video depositions, videoconferencing services, rough ASCIIs, or videosync with transcripts.
“The major takeaway from this survey, however, is that the court reporting business is about service … and because of that it’s about people,” Cudahy said.
NCRA’s complete Economic Benchmark Survey is available for purchase at the NCRA store. The cost is $295.00.
An e-seminar hosted by NCRA Executive Director and CEO Jim Cudahy is also available in NCRA’s catalog of online continuing education resources. In the e-seminar, Cudahy discusses the trends in today’s marketplace based on the survey that can help members be better placed for the challenges and opportunities that present themselves in the future.
For more information, visit www.NCRA.org. Career information about the court reporting profession — one of the leading career options that do not require a traditional four-year degree — can be found at www.CareersInCourtReporting.com.
The National Court Reporters Association (NCRA) is internationally recognized for promoting excellence among those who capture and convert the spoken word to text for more than 100 years. NCRA is committed to supporting its more than 18,000 members in achieving the highest level of professional expertise with educational opportunities and industry-recognized court reporting, educator and videographer certification programs. NCRA impacts legislative issues and the global marketplace through its actively involved membership. Forbes has named court reporting as one of the best career options that do not require a four-year degree and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the court reporting field is expected to grow more than 5 percent in the coming years. For more information, visit www.NCRA.org.
# # #