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Acronyms, Initialisms and Abbreviations used in Business

Words formed by the first letters of the words in a phrase.

Acronyms are the first letters of the words in a phrase that are pronounced as a word.
UNESCO for the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization

Initialisms are formed in the same way as acronyms, but they do not form pronounceable words so they are pronounced as strings of letters.
CIA for « Central Intelligence Agency »

Abbreviations are shortened forms of words that are pronounced like the full word.
Mr for 'Mister' and cm for 'centimetre' .


AGM Annual General Meetiing "Last year's activities and accounts will be discussed at the AGM."
B2B Business to business
(sells things to other businesses)
"Here's an interesting article on B2B commerce."
B2C Business to consumer
(sells things to the general public)
"We are thinking of re-entering the B2C market."
CEO Chief Executive Officer
(most important job in a company)
"Mr. Brown reports directly to the CEO."
CFO Chief Financial Officer
(in charge of the company's finances)
"The CFO is attending a meeting on cost reduction."
CPA Certified public accountant
(qualified accountant)
"A CPA deals with our income tax returns."
CTO Chief technology officer
(in charge of computer systems)
"The town's CTO declared that all schools would have new computer systems next year."
COB/EOB Close of business / End of business "I need an estimate by tomorrow COB." (or EOB)
COD Cash on delivery "You don't have to pay now - it's COD."
HR Human Resources "All applications should be sent to the HR department."
HQ Headquarters (head office) "The HQ of the company are in New York."
IT Information Technology "Contact the IT department for assistance with computers."
N/A Non-applicable "The information requested does not apply."
NDA Non-disclosure agreement
(agree not to reveal information)
"All those present will be asked to sign an NDA."
OT Overtime
(working extra hours)
"No OT will be approved this month."
PR Public relations "The PR department is planning a press conference."
ROI Return on investment "Investors always hope for a high ROI."
RSVP Repondez s'il vous plait "RSVP to Julie before the end of the month."
TBA To be announced "Details of the agreement are TBA."
TBD To be determined "An appropriate course of action is TBD."
WTO World Trade Organization "All members of the WTO must apply the rules."
VAT Value added tax "It costs 1500€, VAT included."
YTD Year to date "What are our YTD sales figures?"

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