Abbreviation for Thousands, Millions, Billions, & Trillion?

geology rocks's picture
Rank: King Kong | 1,033

What is the correct abbreviation for thousands, millions, billions and trillions in a financial context?

From what I have read online "In metric, you'd use M (mega) for million, G (giga) for billion and T (tera) for trillion."

I have seen and used M for million but that can represent thousands to some and mm is actually million..

I also use 'k' for thousands; but i picked that up from playing runescape in 5th grade.

Thousand, Million, Billion, Trillion What's The Shorthand Or Abbreviation?

Around WSO there seems to be a general consensus for what is considered the "correct" abbreviations:

  • K for Thousands
  • MM or M for Millions
  • B, Bn, Bil for Billions
  • T or Tn for Trillion

Thousands is an interesting case because the Roman numeral system used M as their abbreviation. However, K originates from the Greek Kilo and is more commonly used today to minimize confusion. For million. billion, and trillion, their abbreviations are interchangeable so long as your are consistent in your usage. Add a comment if you think there is another way to shorthand or if we missed something!

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Comments (6)

Dec 6, 2016

It's not that big of a deal, just be consistent with whatever you use within a report. k for thousands works fine, M or MM for millions, and B for billions. Some firms will have actual standards / preferences, but if you're doing your own work any of the above will work. Not sure where you're located, but I've never seen anyone think M is thousand in the U.S.

Dec 6, 2016

M and MM are roman numerals. M is 1,000 and MM would be 1,000 1,000s so a million.

K is kilo so the metric system so they would be different.

Though I don't like using M for 1,000 it creates confusion.

Dec 8, 2016


Dec 8, 2016

At my bank we use:

    • 1
Dec 8, 2016

K, M, B is most often used within my team, but MM for million is equally if not more common (especially in the US).

Dec 8, 2016

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