100 Business Abbreviations and Acronyms and Their Meanings

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated August 26, 2022

Published November 5, 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

When writing professional messages or emails, using business abbreviations and acronyms can make communication more efficient. They shorten common phrases, allowing you to write emails and messages quickly. Knowing more about abbreviations can improve your communication with your team. In this article, we explain what business abbreviations and acronyms are and review 100 examples and their meanings.

Related: Professional Abbreviations: Definition, Examples, and Tips

What are business abbreviations and acronyms?

Business abbreviations and acronyms are words and phrases that are shortened to help make communication more efficient. You can use them instead of writing or typing the entire phrase or word. Acronyms include the first letter of each word of a term, name or phrase. For example, "CEO" is an acronym that stands for "chief executive officer." Abbreviations shorten or contract a word or phrase. For example, "approx" is an abbreviation of "approximately."

Related: How to Thrive in a Fast-Paced Environment

Business abbreviations and acronyms and their meanings

Here's a list of abbreviations you can use:

  1. EOD: This stands for "end of day" and is typically used to convey deadlines.

  2. OOO: OOO is an acronym for the term "out of office" and is used to differentiate who is in the office and who is absent, either temporarily or for an extended time.

  3. BID: This stands for "break it down" and is used to identify when parts of a task need to be broken down into simpler components to make them easier to understand.

  4. ETA: This acronym stands for "estimated time of arrival."

  5. EOM: EOM stands for "end of message."

  6. EOW: This acronym means "end of week."

  7. EOT: Using EOT means "end of thread."

  8. FTE: FTE is an acronym for identifying a "full-time employee."

  9. PTE: This acronym stands for "part-time employee."

  10. PTO: This stands for "paid time off," which differentiates between an employee's paid vacation time or personal days off and the sick leave they may have.

  11. COB: The acronym COB stands for "close of business," which refers to the end of the business day, typically 5 pm.

  12. IAM: IAM is an acronym for "in a meeting" to tell those trying to get in touch with you that you're busy.

  13. POC: This stands for "point of contact" to refer people or businesses to the right employee.

  14. MTD: The acronym MTD means "month to date," typically used in financial memos to refer to the company's assets, wages, profits or revenue during a month-long period.

  15. IMO: IMO stands for "in my opinion."

  16. NRN: The acronym for "no reply necessary" is NRN, and it used to let recipients know they don't need to reply to your last message.

  17. MoM: This stands for "month over month" and you can use it when measuring business metrics, such as customer acquisition. It refers to the percent change of growth from month to month.

  18. NIM: This stands for "no internal message," which you can write in the subject line of an email that has no message content to let recipients know they don't need to open the email.

  19. PA: This is the acronym for "performance appraisal," which is a review of an employee's job performance.

  20. NSFW: The acronym NSFW stands for "not safe for work" or "not suitable for work."

  21. NWR: NWR stands for "non-work related" to differentiate between professional and personal communications.

  22. RFD: This stands for "request for discussion" and you can use it if you need clarification on a specific task.

  23. LET: This is the acronym for "leaving early today."

  24. FWIW: The acronym FWIW means "for what it's worth" when adding clarifying messages to your memo, text or email.

  25. Attn: "Attn" is a short form of the word "attention," typically used as a heading in letters to direct them to a specific person.

  26. LMK: This is the acronym for "let me know."

  27. IOU: The acronym for "I owe you" is IOU.

  28. ASAP: This stands for "as soon as possible."

  29. OT: OT stands for "off-topic" to switch topics in an email or message so you don't have to send two.

  30. OTP: The acronym for "on the phone" is OTP, so your team knows when you're busy with a call.

  31. RE: This stands for "referring to," typically used in the subject line of an email when responding to a previous message.

  32. TL;DR: This acronym that stands for "too long, didn't read" which you can use to tell colleagues their message is too long or if you provide a summary at the end of a letter or email in case the reader does not have time to read all of it.

  33. TED: This stands for "tell, explain, describe," which you can use to request more information from your colleagues about a specific project or task.

  34. SME: SME is the acronym for "subject matter expert" when referring to a person who is an expert in their field.

  35. CPU: CPU is a technical acronym that stands for "central processing unit."

  36. CPU: Another meaning of CPU is "cost per unit."

  37. VPN: The acronym VPN means "virtual private network."

  38. QA: QA stands for "quality assurance."

  39. ISP: This is the acronym for "internet service provider."

  40. URL: This stands for "universal resource locator."

  41. UX: UX is the acronym for "user experience."

  42. LWOP: This stands for "leave without pay," referring to an employee who takes time off from work without receiving pay.

  43. NAV: NAV is an abbreviation for "net asset value," which is the total value of a company's assets.

  44. ROI: ROI stands for "return on investment."

  45. ROA: The acronym ROA stands for "return on assets."

  46. ROE: This stands for "return on equity."

  47. COGS: The acronym for "cost of goods sold" is COGS, which is the total amount of a business's expenses for producing a product or service.

  48. ACCT: This is an abbreviation for "account."

  49. CR: CR is short for "credit."

  50. DR: This is short for "debit."

  51. BS: BS stands for "balance sheet."

  52. EPS: This is the acronym for "earnings per share."

  53. TYT: TYT stands for "take your time."

  54. SMART: This is a method for setting goals as it stands for "specific," "measurable," "achievable," "relevant" and "time-bound."

  55. Approx: This is a short form of the word "approximately."

  56. TOS: This is the acronym for "terms of service."

  57. AP: AP stands for "accounts payable."

  58. AR: AR stands for "accounts receivable."

  59. YTD: This is the acronym for "year to date," which represents a monetary value, such as a company's earnings, for the fiscal year up to a specific date.

  60. WOM: WOM is a marketing term that stands for "word of mouth."

  61. FIFO: This is the acronym for "first in, first out," which can refer to a company's operations, such as product production or customer orders.

  62. IPO: IPO stands for "initial public offering," which is when a private company lists their shares on a stock exchange.

  63. P-Card: P-Card is a short form of "purchases card" referring to a card employees can use to make business purchases.

  64. P/E: This is the abbreviation for "price-to-earnings" representing the ratio between product prices and the earning potential the products have.

  65. P-and-L: This stands for "profit and loss."

  66. PM: This is the acronym for "project manager."

  67. CFP: CFP is the acronym for "certified financial planner."

  68. CTO: CTO stands for "chief technology officer."

  69. COO: COO stands for "chief operating officer."

  70. R-and-D: This is the acronym for "research and development," typically referring to a department or the research and development stage of a project.

  71. CPA: This stands for "certified public accountant."

  72. IM: This is the acronym for "instant message" or "instant messenger," referring to online messaging platforms companies use to communicate with each other.

  73. CSR: CSR stands for "corporate social responsibility."

  74. DOE: This is the acronym for "depending on experience," typically used in job postings or descriptions to tell applicants that the pay they can earn depends on the experience they have.

  75. PR: This is the acronym for "public relations."

  76. B2B: This stands for "business to business," referring to communications or operations that occur between two businesses.

  77. B2C: B2C stands for "business to consumer" or "business to customer."

  78. CMS: This is the acronym for "content management system."

  79. BR: BR stands for the "bounce rate" of a website, which is the percentage of visitors that enter a website and leave without viewing other pages.

  80. CTA: This is the acronym for "call to action."

  81. CPC: CPC stands for "cost per click."

  82. CR: This is the acronym for "conversion rate," which refers to the ratio of leads that companies convert into paying customers.

  83. KPI: KPI stands for "key performance indicator."

  84. CTR: This is the acronym for "click-through rate."

  85. DM: DM is the acronym for "direct message."

  86. CRM: This stands for "customer relationship management."

  87. ESP: This stands for "email service provider."

  88. PPC: PPC is the acronym for "pay-per-click."

  89. SaaS: This stands for "software as a service."

  90. RFP: RFP is the acronym for "request for proposal," which is a document that announces and describes a project to encourage contractors and vendors to apply.

  91. CSO: This stands for "chief security officer."

  92. RT: RT is short for "retweet."

  93. SMB: This is the acronym for "small to medium business."

  94. SWOT: This is a business analysis strategy that stands for "strengths," "weaknesses," "opportunities," and "threats."

  95. SEO: This is the acronym for "search engine optimization," which is the process of improving a website and targeting it to a specific audience to increase traffic.

  96. CAO: CAO stands for "chief administrative officer."

  97. CEO: This is the acronym for "chief executive officer."

  98. CFO: The acronym for "chief financial officer" is CFO.

  99. CMO: This is the acronym for "chief marketing officer."

  100. HR: HR stands for "human resources."

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