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+100 Business Acronyms That You Will Need At Work

Slack messages and emails are getting shorter and –sometimes– more difficult to decipher. The thing is, we all have busy lives and the pace of work is too fast. That's why we come up with strategies to streamline our tasks and speed up communication. In an attempt to find short and simple ways of expressing something, acronyms were created. Explore this helpful list with the most common acronyms you will hear at work and download the cheatsheet below.

What's An Acronym?

An acronym is an abbreviation formed from the initial letters of other words to create a new, shorter word. NASA, for example, is an acronym that stands for National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Some acronyms are used so frequently that they are now used as regular words (e.g. RADAR - Radio Detection and Ranging or PIN - Personal Identification Number).

If you are wondering how to pronounce acronyms, the answer is –it depends. Many acronyms are pronounce as a regular word (e.g. NASA /ˈnasə/, RADAR /ˈreɪdɑr/, PIN /pɪn/), but others are said by spelling out the individual letters (e.g. BBC /bi bi si/).

Informal Acronyms

Informal acronyms or abbreviations are those used to text friends. However, younger generations have started to use them at work. They are indeed getting more and more common in business communication, mainly on Slack, and especially among the younger sectors and when the speakers already know each other fairly well. 

BTW, sometimes your HRM tells you it’s NBD and TYT but TBH they just want that file ASAP by EOD and, you know, ATEOTD, they’re the manager. 

No, I didn't just bash my head on the keyboard a few times. To some people, that sentence makes sense. Let's have a look at the most common informal acronyms and abbreviations.

  1. BTW: By The Way
  2. TBH: To Be Honest
  3. NBD: No Big Deal
  4. Def: Definitely
  5. BC: Because
  6. OMY: On My Way
  7. LMK: Let Me Know
  8. WDTY: What Do You Think?
  9. NP: No Problem
  10. BRB: Be Right Back
  11. FYI: For Your Information
  12. IMO: In My Opinion
  13. ICYMI: In Case You Missed It
  14. AKA: Also Known As
  15. ATM: At The Moment
  16. ASAP: As Soon As Possible
  17. TYT: Take Your Time
  18. GTMTA: Great Minds Think Alike
  19. ATEOTD: At The End Of The Day
  20. AYW: As You Want/Wish
  21. IAC: In Any Case
  22. OT: Off Topic
  23. TL;DR: Too Long, Didn’t Read

Commonly Used Business Acronyms

The acronyms in the previous section are fairly common in instant messaging apps. Although they are gaining popularity in business emails, but they are very informal. In this section, you have a list of acronyms that were born in the office, so to say. They are not that informal and it is OK to use them in your emails, even when you don’t know the other person that well.

  1. EOM: End Of Message
  2. EOW: End Of Week
  3. EOT: End Of Thread
  4. COB: Close Of Business (Also EOD: End Of Day)
  5. OOO: Out Of Office
  6. RSVP: Please Respond
  7. N/A: Not Applicable
  8. TBD: To Be Decided
  9. AWOL: Absent Without Leave
  10. ETA: Estimated Time Of Arrival
  11. PTO: Paid Time Off
  12. PTE: Part-Time Employee
  13. NWR: Not Work Related
  14. Re: Referring to
  15. FTE: Full-Time Employee
  16. PTE: Part-Time Employee

 

Download this cheatsheet, save it in your Desktop and check it out whenever you don’t know an abbreviation, use it to prep before a meeting with any of your teams or to show off in one of your Slack channels.

Business Acronyms Download pdf list Talaera

Acronyms for People and Departments

It is easy to get lost if you are new in the office and you don’t know how things work yet. Get to know your people and your departments.

  1. CEO: Chief Executive Officer
  2. CFO: Chief Financial Officer
  3. COO: Chief Operating Officer
  4. CTO: Chief Technology Officer
  5. VP: Vice President
  6. HR: Human Resources
  7. HRM: Human Resources Manager
  8. QC: Quality Control
  9. R&D: Research & Development
  10. BD: Business Development
  11. CSR: Corporate Social Responsibility
  12. PR: Public Relations 
  13. PA: Personal Assistant
  14. HQ: Headquarters

Financial Acronyms

Acronmys to talk about money and finance.

  1. ACCT: Account
  2. AP: Accounts Payable
  3. AR: Accounts Receivable
  4. BS: Balance Sheet
  5. CPU: Cost Per Unit
  6. CR: Credit
  7. DR: Debit
  8. EPS: Earnings Per Share
  9. FIFO: First In, First Out
  10. ROA: Return On Assets
  11. ROI: Return On Investment
  12. P&L: Profit and Loss

Marketing And Sales Acronyms

Use these acronyms in the world of social media, marketing and sales.

  1. B2B; Business to Business
  2. B2C: Business to Consumer
  3. BR: Bounce Rate
  4. CMS: Content Management System
  5. CTA: Call To Action
  6. CTR: Click Through Rate
  7. CR: Conversion Rate
  8. LTV: Lifetime Value
  9. CRM: Customer Relationship Management
  10. ESM: Email Service Provider
  11. KPI: Key Performance Indicator
  12. PPC: Pay Per Click
  13. PV: Page View
  14. RT: Retweet
  15. SEO: Search Engine Optimization
  16. SM: Social Media
  17. SMB: Small to Medium Business
  18. SWOT: Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats
  19. OC: Opportunity Cost
  20. WOMM: Word Of Mouth Marketing

Technical Abbreviations

No more nodding and pretending you understand. Make sure you know what your IT colleagues are talking about when they mention these.

  1. API: Application Program Interface
  2. CSS: Cascading Style Sheet
  3. FTP: File Transport Protocol
  4. HTTP: HyperText Transfer Protocol
  5. HTTPS: HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure
  6. IM: Instant Messaging
  7. IP: Internet Protocol
  8. ISP: Internet Service Provider
  9. OS: Operating System
  10. LAN: Local Area Network
  11. DNS: Domain Name System
  12. XML: Extensible Markup Language
  13. UI: User Interface
  14. UX: User Interface
  15. IT: Information Technology
  16. ASCII: American Standard Code for Information Interchange
  17. ISO: International Standards Organization
  18. VPN: Virtual Private Network
  19. RSS: Rich Site Summary
  20. AI: Artificial Intelligence

 

Keep Improving Your Business Communication Skills

Save this list and check it out any time you need it. Would you like to practice these with a native-English teacher? Get in touch with us and we'll create a business English training program tailored to your needs or explore our free resources.

English Training Solution for Global Teams

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[Note: This article was originally posted in July 2019 and has been updated to ensure you keep reading relevant content today]

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