Quick Cheat Sheet to Business Acronyms

New to the world of business or sales? You might be drowning in the alphabet soup of acronyms. It’s easy to fall prey to the problem of ‘I’m not sure what that means, but it’s way too late to ask,’ especially with questions like ‘what is B2B sales?’

If that’s the case, don’t sweat – we’ve got you covered.

Here’s our guide to some of the most common workplace acronyms.

Business acronyms cheat sheet

Click here to download our free business acronyms cheat sheet!



  • Q1, Q2, Q3, Q4: These refer to the quarters of the year. Oftentimes goals are set using quarters as benchmarks. Here’s a handy chart for each of the quarters.
Q1: January, February, March Q3: July, August, September
Q2: April, May, June Q4: October, November, December
  • EOD: End of day. As in, ‘send me the edited reports by EOD,’ or ‘I will be taking a nap underneath my desk until EOD.’
  • EOB/COB: End of business/close of business. This means the same thing as EOD – just in fancier, business-ier terms.
  • YTD/MTD: Year-to-date and month-to-date. This one’s… pretty self-explanatory.
  • MOM: Month-over-month. According to OECD, “Month-on-previous-month growth rates are rates of change expressed with respect to the previous month.” So… nerd stuff. (We love nerds.)




People & Contracts

  • PTO: Paid time off. Most often used around holidays, illnesses, or days where you just don’t feel like dealing with Brenda’s administrative nonsense.
  • FTE: Full-time employees. A full-time employee is defined as someone who works 8/hours per day, 5 days/week.
  • POC: Point of contact. If you’re dealing with a vendor or a business outside of your organization, you likely have a specific person you’re dealing with to reduce confusion and repetition. This person is your ‘point of contact.’
  • NDA: Non-disclosure agreement. An NDA holds its signer to secrecy regarding the subject or organization outlined in the NDA.
  • SOW: Statement of work/scope of work. The SOW is a detailed description of the services or tasks required of a contractor. See also: a necessary evil.
  • SLA: Service level agreement. This refers to the agreement between a service provider and a client, and usually covers aspects like expectations, responsibilities, and timelines.
  • TOS: Terms of service, meaning the really long legal jargon-y text no one really reads outlining the terms of service for a purchase, product, or agreement.


Finance & Sales

  • AP/AR: Accounts payable/accounts receivable. This is accounting stuff that refers to money owed and money received. Accounts receivable is “money owed to a company by its debtors.” Accounts payable is “money owed by a company to its creditors.”
  • P-card: Purchase card. This refers to a company credit card used for making company-related purchases.
  • B2B: Business to business, usually in a sales context. B2B refers to sales you make to other businesses, instead of direct-to-consumer products which are called B2C.
  • B2C: Business to customer, usually in a sales context. B2C refers to sales or products made directly to consumers/customers.
  • AOV: Average order value. This is just what it sounds like – the average value of orders you receive.
  • CPC: Cost-per-click. Used by marketing or advertising to determine how much they pay for digital advertising on a per-click basis.


finance and sales



  • SEO: Search engine optimization. Used mostly by marketing departments whose job is to boost their content into one of Google’s coveted top ‘results’ spots for any given query.
  • ROI: Return on investment. ROI “measures the gain or loss generated on an investment relative to the amount of money invested.” In other words, the ROI is a how much profit (or loss) you’ll make with regards to a specific investment.
  • QC: Quality control, which is a method of maintaining quality by testing outgoing products against preset specifications and standards.
  • KPI: Key performance indicators. According to Klipfolio, “A Key Performance Indicator is a measurable value that demonstrates how effectively a company is achieving key business objectives.”
  • CTA: Call to action. This acronym is marketing lingo that refers to the ‘call’ at the end of collateral asking the reader/user to do something. Usually it’s to reach out, check out social media profiles, or make a purchase. 




Software & Technology

  • OS: Operating system, usually referring to your computer or phone. Examples of operating systems are Windows and Mac.
  • SaaS: Software as a service. This refers to software bought and accessed online, where there is no tangible product exchanged between parties. Instead, the software is bought and accessed via an online subscription rather than individual software being manually installed on computers.
  • UX/UI: User experience/user interface. This refers to the ‘usability’ and ‘user-friendliness’ of sites and is often a team in and of itself in larger organizations. UX and/or UI is responsible for ensuring the user has a positive experience interacting with the product.
  • CMS: Content management system. TechTarget defines a content management system as “software application or set of related programs that are used to create and manage digital content.”
  • API: Application program interface. Webopedia says an API is “is a set of routines, protocols, and tools for building software applications. Basically, an API specifies how software components should interact.” In layman’s terms, an API is a thing used by web developers and apps that dictates how different pieces of software or web-based platforms interact with one another.

What other acronyms have you stumped? Let us know, because if they’ve confused you, they’ve probably confused us, too.

In the meantime, follow us on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, and reach out with any questions or comments. Larry always loves to hear from you!



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Grace Treutel is Blue Summit Supplies' Director of Culture. Currently she’s in training to become a Marriage & Family Therapist though her greatest love will always be the written word. Her three novel manuscripts have not yet been published - but just you wait. She lives in Huntsville with her  cute kids and cute pets.

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