Writing style tip: how to write about money

In business writing, currency is usually expressed in symbols and figures ($10).

When writing about different currencies that use the dollar, your style choices are a:

  • Letter or letters symbolising the country, followed by the $ sign (This is the style recommended by the Reserve Bank of Australia.)

A$10, US$10

  • Three-letter country code specified in ISO 4217:1995


  • $ sign followed by the country symbol



When writing about millions and billions, many writers use the full word in the text and either m or M and bn in tables and brackets.

10 million (10m) or 10 million (10M)
10 billion (10bn)

Most organisations use a space before million but not before m or M.

$96 million

M or m?

Under ISO 1000:1992/Amd 1:1998, which Australia and New Zealand adhere to, millions should be represented by M. However, according to the Australian Government’s style manual (2002), m is preferable to M as long as the context is clear.

monies or moneys?

In everyday usage, most people don’t pluralise money, but in tax and accounting material, it can be made plural for individual sums of moneys/monies and either moneys or monies is acceptable. Just be consistent. The Australian Taxation Office website uses both words interchangeably.

You can’t reclaim moneys/monies already invested.

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