Use consistent styles when writing about money
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).
Writing about different currencies
When writing about different currencies that use the dollar, you can use:
- A letter or letters symbolising the country followed by the $ sign
- A three-letter country code as specified in ISO 4217:1995
- $ sign followed by the country symbol (the media tends to use this style)
Writing about 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.
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.
Use 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
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.
Learn more about styles and usage with my online course, Grammar, Punctuation and Usage.
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