By Mary Morel
Some aspects of writing about money are universal, and other aspects are style choices.
In business writing, currency is usually expressed in symbols and numerals (e.g. $10).
When writing about different currencies that use the dollar, you can use:
- A letter or letters symbolising the country followed by the $ sign (A$10, US$10)
- A three-letter country code as specified in ISO 4217:1995 (AUD10)
- $ sign followed by the country symbol ($A10). I don’t like this method as I think it is harder to read, but I see it used in some newspapers
Millions and billions
When writing about millions and billions, many writers use the full word in the text and either m or bn in tables and brackets. For example:
$10 million ($10m)
$10 billion ($10bn)
You need a space before million but not before m or bn.
NB Some writers use M for millions.
Spaces or commas between large numerals
You can use spaces or commas as separators with large numerals. For example:
$10,000 or $10 000.
I think commas are more common than spaces in general business writing.
Four-digit numerals are never separated by spaces, but some writers use a comma. For example:
$5000 or $5,000
Online grammar programs
Learn more about writing styles with my online course Styles for Business Writing (A$39).
View the full list of Online Writing Training courses.