In business writing, spell out numbers from one to nine and use digits for 10 and above. Some organisations change at 11 rather than 10. Digits are usually used in scientific and technical writing.

one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine
10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15…

Treat ordinal numbers the same way.

first, second, third, 10th, 11th

If there is a small and large number in the same sentence, some people use digits for both numbers, but others retain the normal convention.

She wore 7 bracelets and 14 necklaces.
She wore seven bracelets and 14 necklaces.

Do not start a sentence with a digit and hyphenate large numbers.

Twenty-five people attended the conference.

When to use digits
Use digits for percentages, degrees, years, money, ratio and time (except at the beginning of a sentence). Using ‘per cent’ or ‘{59910f22c4b8b7fb83f8b3fd8107c48ae8d88d19cbd345b9801bf252f54d31e2}’ after the digit is a style choice.

8 per cent (percent = American spelling)

How many decimal points you use is a style choice, but be consistent for all decimal quantities that are being compared.

The range was 8.95 to 11.75. (not The range was 9.9 to 11.75)

How to write large numbers
Four-digit figures have either a comma or no comma. This is a style choice.

5000 or 5,000

Spaces or commas
You can use spaces or commas to indicate large numbers. This is a style choice.

10,000 or 10 000

Millions and billions
When writing about millions and billions, you can spell out the words or use abbreviations. The abbreviation for million is either ‘m’ or ‘M’. The Commonwealth style manual recommends ‘m’, but suggests using it with money only to avoid confusion with metres. The abbreviation for billion is ‘bn’.

10 million, $10m
10 billion, 10bn

In business writing, currency is usually expressed in symbols and digits.


Amounts that are less than a dollar are shown with the cent symbol (c) with no full stop. Or they can be shown as a decimal fraction of the dollar with a zero before the decimal point.

40c or $0.40 (not $.40)

When writing about different currencies, your style choices are a:

  • Letter or letters symbolising the country, followed by the $ sign


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


  • $ sign followed by the country symbol (This style is used more by the media than business writers.)


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.

You can’t reclaim moneys/monies already invested.


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