Business Word Abbreviations

The business world covers a lot of issues that the average person may not understand, such as, income statements, profit loss accounts, data analytics, and databases. The business abbreviations change by field. For example, a person in the health care field has a whole different vocabulary of business abbreviations than a person in military, law enforcement or government. Some business abbreviations are easy to decode and discern, while others are a bit more confusing.

Common Business Abbreviations

This list covers the more general business abbreviations, those that are not not necessarily specific to a particular field or industry.

Titles

Most people understand that a CEO runs a company, but what do those three letters stand for and how is a CEO different from a CMO, CFO or COO?

  • BKPR - Bookeeper

  • CAO - Chief Accounting Officer

  • CEO - Chief Executive Officer

  • CFO - Chief Financial Officer

  • CIO - Chief Information Officer

  • CMO - Chief Marketing Officer

  • COO - Chief Operating Officer

  • CPA - Certified Public Accountant

  • CTO - Chief Technology Officer

Financial

In the world of business, it always comes down to the bottom line. And you'll need to know what all those numbers really mean.

  • ACCT - Account

  • ACR - Accrual

  • ACV - Actual Cash Value

  • AGI - Adjusted Gross Income

  • AGR - Adjusted Gross Revenue

  • A/R - Accounts Receivable

  • BS - Balance Sheet

  • BGT - Budget

  • COGS - Cost of Goods Sold

  • CPTAL - Capital

  • EPS - Earnings Per Share

  • FIFO - First In, First Out

  • GL - General Ledger

  • GP - Gross Profit

  • LC - Letter of Credit

  • LIFO - Last In, First Out

  • MTD - Month-to-date

  • NAV - Net Asset Value

  • OC - Opportunity Cost

  • PC - Percent

  • Pd - Paid

  • P/E - Price-to-earnings ratio

  • P&L - Profit and Loss

  • Re or RE - In reference to, Retained Earnings

  • ROA - Return on Assets

  • ROE - Return on Equity

  • ROI - Return on Investment

  • WC - Working Capital

Sales

In the world of sales, the unofficial acronym ABC (Always Be Closing) reigns supreme.

  • AD - Advertisement

  • B2B - Business to Business

  • B2C - Business to Consumer

  • BD - Business Development

  • BDC - Business Development Company/Council

  • COD - Cash on Delivery

  • Comp. - Item given for free

  • PO - Purchase Order

  • Sls - Sales

  • SP - Strategic Plan

  • USP - Unique Selling Point

  • Val. - Value

Personnel & Organization

A company needs to suitably organized if it wants to succeed in both the short-term and the long-term.

  • AGT - Agent

  • HR - Human Resources

  • Slsmn - Salesman

  • Secl - Secretarial

  • PR - Public Relations

  • QC - Quality Control

  • R&D - Research and Development

  • Wrkr - Worker

  • Wrhse - Warehouse

Legal

While you may not need to know all the ins and outs of the courtroom, knowing your IPO from your LLC is important.

  • HQ - Headquarters

  • Inc. - Incorporated

  • IPO - Initial Public Offering

  • LBO - Limited Buyout

  • Ltd. - Limited Company

  • LLC - Limited Liability Corp.

General Terms

Some of these abbreviations and initialisms are more common or more official than others. If you want to understand the company memo that's being passed around, you'll need to commit these terms to memory.

  • ADP - Automated Data Processing

  • Approx - Approximately

  • Attn - Attention

  • BAT - Business Action Theory

  • BCC - Blind Copied

  • BIMS - Business Information Management Suite

  • BPC - Business Planning Cycle

  • CC - Copy To

  • ETA - Estimated Time of Arrival

  • EXP - Export

  • GDP - Gross Domestic Product

  • GMP - Good Manufacturing Practices

  • Pls - Please

  • Qty - Quantity

  • Stsfctn - Satisfaction

  • Svngs - Savings

  • TBD - To Be Determined

  • Thx - Thanks

  • Trd - Trade

  • Trnsfr - Transfer

  • Ttl - Total

  • Unltd - Unlimited

  • Utlztn - Utilization

  • W/O - Without

  • Wst - Waste

  • Whol. - Wholesale

  • Wrkshp - Workshop

  • Wrldwd - Worldwide

  • YTD - Year To Date

Brevity Is King

Now, when you hear the "CEO wants ttl wrldwd stsfctn & sls w/o wst," you'll know exactly what he wants! Or at least you will after referring back to this list of handy acronyms, abbreviations and initialisms. Now, familiarize yourself with some blood test abbreviations and Air Force acronyms too!

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