The 100 most important acronyms in English, Part 2: Business acronyms

This series is for people learning English as a second language. We explain some of the most common English acronyms and how to use them.


  1. "ASAP"

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    (As soon as possible)

    If you want something to be done quickly, as someone to do it "ASAP".

    Please send me your response ASAP.

  2. "FYI"

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    (For your information)

    Use the acronym "FYI" when you want to let someone know about something, but you don't expect any action or response. For example, you might let your coworkers know when you're going to take a day off of work:

    FYI I will be out of the office this Friday. I'll be checking email throughout the day.

  3. "TBA"

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    (To be announced)

    Use "TBA" when you're not ready to announce some information yet.

    The sponsorship details are TBA.

  4. "TBD"

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    (To be determined)

    "TBD" is similar to "TBA", but it's for something that hasn't been decided yet.

    Whether we'll be combining the departments or continuing to operate them independently is still TBD.

  5. "EOB"

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    (End of business)

    When you want something to be done before the end of the work day, ask for it by "EOB":

    Please send us your estimates by EOB.

  6. "YTD"

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    (Year-to-date)

    We use "YTD" to talk about how much of something there has been from the beginning of the year until now.

    What are our YTD advertising expenses?

    "YTD" is useful for talking about the total amount of things like income, expenses, sales numbers, etc.

  7. "ROI"

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    (Return on investment)

    When you make a business decision, you hope for a "positive ROI", which means "return on investment". In other words, you hope to make more money than you spend.

    Let's figure out which of our initiatives had the highest ROI.

  8. "OT"

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    (Overtime)

    For some jobs, you get paid extra when you work beyond the normal number of hours. For example, a police officer who works more than 40 hours per week might get paid 50% more for any extra hours.

    I'm sorry, but we can't approve any OT this month.

  9. "NDA"

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    (Non-disclosure agreement)

    An "NDA" is a legal document. It prevents someone from sharing information. A company might ask you to sign an "NDA" before they agree to talk about a secret project.

    You'll need to sign the attached NDA before your interview.

  10. "B2B/B2C"

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    (Business-to-business/Business-to-consumer)

    A "B2B" company is a company that sells things to other businesses, while a "B2C" company sells things directly to individual people.

    We're B2B, so we don't spend a lot on advertising.

  11. "HR"

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    (Human Resources)

    "HR" is the part of a company that deals with things like: - Hiring new employees - Employee pay and benefits - Dealing with problems between employees

    My boss was so bad that I eventually went to HR to make a complaint.

  12. "PR"

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    (Public relations)

    Someone who works in "public relations" tries to influence how the public thinks about a company. They might try to get the media (TV, newspapers, magazines, blogs) to cover the company. Or they might plan projects that will make people think kindly of the company, like donating money to charities.

    Their public relations department needs to do a better job of publicizing the charity work that they do.

  13. "CEO"

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    (Chief executive officer)

    "CEO" is the top job at a company. The CEO is the person who's in charge of everything.

    She reports directly to the CEO.

  14. "CFO"

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    (Chief financial officer)

    The "CFO" of a company is in charge of the company's finances.

    Our CFO is retiring in July and the current VP of Finance is probably going to replace her.

  15. "CTO"

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    (Chief technology officer)

    A company's "CTO" is in charge of its computer systems.

    The CTO was forced to resign as a result of the data security breach.

  16. "VP"

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    (Vice President)

    "VP" is a high position within a company. Traditionally, a "Vice President" was one person whose position was just under the President. These days, though, many companies have a lot of different "VPs". You talk about them like this:

    Mr. Takeda is our VP of Manufacturing.

  17. "MBA"

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    (Masters of Business Administration)

    An "MBA" is a degree that you get when you go to graduate school for business. You might be able to get a good job if you have an MBA from a great school.

    She has an MBA from Duke University.

  18. "CPA"

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    (Certified Public Accountant)

    A "CPA" is a certification that accountants can get. They have to pass a series of difficult tests to become a CPA.

    She's a CPA, right?

Next: Acronyms used in internet chat

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