June 22, 2021

End of Day [EOD] vs Close of Business[COB] - What Are These & How To Use Them Right!

Everyone has experienced the end of a day and how it can be different depending on if you are in a professional setting or not. For example, an individual who works 9-5 may have their workday officially end at 5 pm when they clock out but for someone else, this might mean that their workday starts once they get home from the office. In order to ensure that there is no confusion, many professionals use two terms to define what time their day ends: EOD and COB. EOD stands for "end of day" while COB means "close of business." The difference between these two terms is that EOD refers to when your specific working hours are done while COB indicates the last hour a company's employees are in! Let us know more below - keep reading in!

Acronyms in business - They make long emails simpler to read, lead to stronger communication skills, and make you feel like you are sending clandestine mission orders. However, acronyms may be perplexing and annoying. Have you ever gotten an email from your employer or a coworker requesting that you finish a job by COB or EOD? If you have ever felt perplexed or worried that you will miss some unsaid deadline, then you are not alone!

So, what exactly do these phrases mean? And how do you utilize them effectively while speaking with your coworkers? First, let's go through the definitions!

COB - What is it?

An acronym for 'Close of Business,' COB is used to designate the end of a business day as well as, sometimes, as a designation for when an event occurs. To put it another way, it's the time by which certain activities must be completed or initiated. For example: "We need that report on my desk by COB today." Or, "The promotion deadline has been extended until Tuesday at 11:59 PM (COB)."

COB is synonymous with the end of business (EOB), end of day (EOD), end of play (EOP), closure of play (COP), and close of business (COB) as well.

EOD - What is it?

An acronym meaning End Of Day (EOD), EOD serves much like its acronymic counterpart: to designate the end of a business day and/or the time an event should take place. For instance: "Please make sure all invoices are sent out by EOD." Or, "The business day for this account closes at 4:00 PM EOD."

Does Saturday Count As A Business Day?

A common question is whether Saturday qualifies as a business day or not. In most instances, that answer is no. However, some businesses choose to close on Saturdays instead of Sundays (and vice versa). Others may designate Saturday as an EOD; whereas others still deal with transactions through the weekend and process on Mondays (or Tuesdays). 

It's best to check with your supplier regarding their schedule before you establish one yourself. If they are closed on weekends but offer 24-hour telephone service, you might consider making Friday your close of the business day while allowing for longer days during the week to accommodate customers who are more comfortable doing business over the phone.

This brings us to one last point. Once you establish a COB or EOD for your company, the best course of action is to be consistent with it; especially if, like many small businesses, you are only using it with one supplier. That way, your customers will know what to expect when they engage in transactions with you and won't feel the need to contact you every day (or even more than once per business day). 

End of Day / Close of Business

If that seems like too much work; perhaps consider taking on only clients who are comfortable engaging in business over the phone or the internet. This is not recommended for all businesses but may be ideal for some—especially if their suppliers offer this service themselves.

So, it is now clear that Saturday is often not counted as a business day unless it's the only day in the week for working. Some companies count Saturdays as welcome additions to their 5-day/40-hour work weeks, so they choose to communicate EOD as being on Fridays instead of Wednesdays.

So What Are Business Days?

Business days are simply any normal workday for an organization or individual. For example, if your favorite grocery store closes at 9 PM every weekday, then any order placed after 9 PM on a Monday would be considered a business day order; it will ship Tuesday morning and arrive by the end of the following business day (which is Wednesday). This concept applies to all types of businesses: clothing stores, online retailers like Amazon, banks, and credit card companies, or anywhere where orders need to be shipped out by the end of the day.

How Are Business Days Calculated?
Business days are calculated by simply excluding federal holidays, state-recognized holidays, weekends, and any other day(s) where the company observes 'working hours' or does not provide service to customers.

What Is The Time In A Business Day?

Typically 8 am to 5 pm but in some cases 24/7 in a global organization that follows daylight saving in different countries.

How to Resolve and Ensure Clearer Communication?

When scheduling phone calls or messages with your clients, there is often confusion with regard to when you should use the term “close of business” (COB) and when you should use the term “end of the day” (EOD). Each term has a distinct meaning and using them correctly will make communicating more efficient. COB refers to the time at which work stops for a short coffee break; EOD refers to the end of the business day in whatever part of the world that particular client may be located in. 

In general, if you are speaking to an American client, then it is safe to say that they will have completed their COB before noon Eastern Standard Time [EST] while international clients often correspond more closely to what American clients would consider EOD.

In order to resolve confusion and ensure clearer communication, an international company that sells its products in both the U.S. and Europe came up with a clever solution for this issue: It now schedules EST COB at noon EST (11:00 AM)and CET COB at 5 PM CET (2 PM). This way there is no confusion as to when each respective client should expect messages or phone calls from employees of the company.

Therefore, if you are ever unsure about whether it is time for business communications to occur between your cross-time-zone clients, simply look at the clock on their side of the world; if it is 2 o’clock in their part of the world then it is time for them to declare EOD and if it is 11 o’clock in their part of the world then they have completed their COB.

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Harsh Gupta

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