As a business, your communication style affects your brand. Take business abbreviations — there are hundreds, maybe even thousands. Some obvious. Others less so. Below is a list of common 200 business abbreviations and acronyms with tips on when to abbreviate…or not.

When to use business abbreviations?

When using business acronyms and abbreviations, think about your audience. Abbreviating words might be unclear to your reader (e.g. potential new hires or customers) especially if you are using internal jargon.

The American Psychological Association (APA) Style Guide says to use abbreviations sparingly to “maximize clarity.” If you are going to use them, be sure to spell them out first.

When are abbreviations ok? Here are some instances where its ok to use business acronyms and abbreviations:

  • if you use a word/phrase 3+ times in a document (e.g. job description, report, manual), then using the abbreviation the 4th time, 5th, time, etc. is ok. There might be some exceptions to this rule for extra-long phrases like “Specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, time-bound goals”. For this one, we would spell it once, then use “SMART goals” moving forward.
  • if you are using it internally where the audience understands the meaning (e.g., “ATS” ( Applicant Tracking System) is well understood in an HR department; “CRM” (Customer Relationship Management) is understood related to sales.
  • the phrase is too long or cumbersome to type (or say out loud) repeatedly (e.g., “Strength, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats” has 11 syllables versus its abbreviation “SWOT”). This goes for abbreviating company names too. International Business Machines has 9 syllables (IBM has 3). A good rule of thumb: if using an abbreviation cuts the syllables by one-third or more, go for it.

Business Abbreviations List

A note on automation first. The volume of abbreviations is so large that you might want to use software to help flag it.

Our team recently launched a new feature in Text Analyzer (proud plug!) that flags business acronyms and abbreviations that you might want to spell out.

For example, below is Ongig’s software analyzing a job description called A&MS Circuit Design Engr, Sr I. You’ll notice that it flags the different abbreviations and acronyms and gives a pop-up that spells them out.

Now, let’s get on to the business abbreviations and business acronyms list.

Business Abbreviations

AIDA — Attention, interest, desire, action

AP — Accounts Payable

API — Application Program Interface

AR — Accounts Receivable

ASIC — Application-specific Integrated Circuit

ATS — Applicant Tracking System

B2B — Business to Business

B2C — Business to Consumer

BD – Business Development

Biz Dev — Business Development

BPM — Business Process Management

BR — Bounce Rate

C2H — Contract to Hire

CAD — Computer-aided Design

CMS — Content Management System

COB — Close of Business

Co-op — Cooperative Education

Corp — Corporate or Corporation

CPC — Cost Per Click

CPU — Computer Processing Unit or Cost Per Unit

CR — Credit or Conversion Rate

CRM — Customer Relationship Management

CSR — Corporate Social Responsibility

CSS – Cascading Style Sheet

CTA — Call To Action

CTH — Contract to Hire

CTR — Click Through Rate

DevOps — Development and Operations

DOE — Depending on Experience

DR — Debit

EMEA — Europe, the Middle East, and Africa

EOD — End of Day

EOW — End of Week

EPS — Earnings Per Share

ERM — Enterprise Risk Management

ERP — Enterprise Resource Planning

FTE — Full-Time Employee

FTP — File Transfer Protocol

GA — Google Analytics

HR — Human Resources

HRIS — Human Resources Information System

HQ — Headquarters

IP — Internet Protocol

IT — Information Technology

ISP — Internet Service Provider

KPI — Key Performance Indicator

KSA — Knowledge, skills, and abilities

Mgmt — Management

MLM — Multi Level Marketing

MoM — Month over Month

MTD — Month to Date

NDA — Non-Disclosure Agreement

OPS — Operations

OS — Operating System

PA — Performance Appraisal

P-Card — Purchasing Card

P Design — Product Design

P/E — Price to earnings

P&L — Profit and Loss

POC — Point of Contact

PPC — Pay Per Click

PR — Public Relations

PTE — Part Time Employee

PTO — Paid Time Off

PV — Page View

P Verification — Product Verification

QA — Quality Assurance

QC — Quality Control

R&D — Research & Development

RD — Research & Development

REQ — Requisition

RFP — Request for Proposal

ROA — Return on Assets

ROI — Return on Investment

ROR – Ruby on Rails

ROS — Run of Site

RT — Retweet

SaaS — Software as a Service

SCM — Supply Chain Management

SEO – Search Engine Optimization

SerDes — Serializer/Deserializer

SMART goals — Specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, time-bound goals

SM — Social Media

SMB — Small to Medium Business

SME — Subject Matter Expert

SMM – Social Media Marketing

SoC or SOC — System on a Chip, System Organization Controls, or Security Operations Center

STRAT COMM — Strategic Communications

SWOT — Strength, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats

TA — Talent Acquisition

Tech – Technology

TQM — Total Quality Management

UI — User Interface

USB — Universal Serial bus

UV(s) — Unique Visitor(s)

UX — User Experience

VPN — Virtual Private Network

WKR — Worker

WFH — Work From Home

WOM — Word of Mouth

YTD — Year to Date

For more tips on writing job descriptions, check out How to Write a Job Description — Best Practices & Examples.

More Business Acronyms or Business Abbreviation Ideas?

This is a dynamic list, and nowhere near complete! Do you have business abbreviations or acronyms that we missed (perhaps ones specific to your industry?)? Email me at to help me add to the list.


  1. 18 common phrases and acronyms recruiters use in the job search process and what they mean (by Mary Kearl)
  2. Your Ultimate Cheat Sheet to Deciphering the 123 Most Common Business Acronyms (by Kat Moon)
  3. Meaning Of Job Title Abbreviations | Business English Vocabulary (by Cristobal Gomez)
  4. Job Title Abbreviations (by All Acronyms)
  5. 50 of the Top Management Abbreviations and Acronyms (by Indeed)
  6. When is it appropriate to use abbreviations? (by American Psychological Association)
  7. An Abbreviations FAQ (by Chelsea Lee)

Why I Wrote This

Ongig’s mission is to eliminate boring and biased job descriptions. Flagging business acronyms or abbreviations helps make your JDs more readable and appealing. Our Text Analyzer flags abbreviations and acronyms for you, so you don’t have to search for them. Click on “request demo” to learn more.

by in Job Descriptions