May 10, 2022
Marketing
5 min read

COB vs EOD: Key Differences and When to Use Them

Learn about two abbreviations that are often used in business.

Ben Bitvinskas
Co-founder, Atlasmic
The COB and the EOD are two abbreviations used in trading and business to indicate two certain events. Whilst their meanings are different, some people confuse them quite often. COB stands for the close of business, while EOD stands for the end of day. In this article, we will explain their meaning and when to use which.

What is Close of Business (COB)?

The COB meaning is, as we distinguished it - Close of Business. This term was popularized by stock traders and trading since it indicates the close of business (work ceases for the day) with stock exchanges, usually at 4 PM (UTC).
The time of COB usually refers to the time at which the work or service ends. So, for example, if you work from 9 AM to 5 PM, your COB is 5 PM.
If we talk about trading, the trader is allowed to place orders that will be executed in the following business session (the next business day). The same applies to any other industry. If you place an order after the close of business, you need to wait until the business reopens, for it to be completed.

What is End of Day (EOD)?

The EOD meaning is the end of the day, which means that the business day has ended. This term came into use for collaboration among London's financial institutions but is widely known all over the world.
The EOD also refers to market or futures contracts expiring at the end of the business session (normally that's 5 PM). The current official time now counts as 24 hours.
It is also comparable to COB (Close of Business), which means the end of a working day (17:00 hours). Due to this comparison, there can be a lot of confusion as to where some misunderstandings and confusion can come from. Since, in business, time is considered the most valuable resource, poor time management or missed deadlines due to miscommunication and the confusion of terms are considered hugely malicious. If you're late, you can lose business which harms your business. It is in your best interest to meet deadlines and not miss them due to the confusion of certain abbreviations.

When should you use COB vs EOD?

In the shortest way possible - you should use COB if the event you're trying to determine/notify about is happening at the end of a business day. Or if you want something delivered before the end of business, for example.
You should use EOD when an event occurs at the end of the trading session or when a contract expires at that time.
There is one more thing that needs to be mentioned - COB doesn't have a fixed time of the day since it can vary from country to country. On the other hand, EOD always occurs at 5 PM London Time (UTC). End-of-Day is more of a British abbreviation, whilst Close-of-Business is more of an American term. But, if the sender of the request isn't from the UK or London, the EOD meaning refers to the sender's end of day and can vary from country to country.
PRO TIP: If you're having trouble understanding what time is the Close of Business or End of Day they're referring to, exactly, you can ask for additional clarification.
You might also wonder why we mention London so often? Well, that's because this is the place of the Universal Time Zone, and since it was the first place to adopt such a practice of labeling times, it's used as a standard.
If you ever need to differentiate between them or use both in your speech - remember that COB ends a particular business while EOD is the end of all trading sessions.

How are COB and EOD important to E-Commerce?

For online shops, the COB is a very important factor in their work since it's used to determine when they should send out package delivery. This is a major concern for every online shop owner since, if they fail to meet another's deadline and delay the goods, profits can drop.
As you can see, close to half of your customers will consider shipping times essential and crucial to their shopping experience.
For instance, if a person makes an order at 4 pm before COB and the online shop just delays it by one hour, the customer might receive the goods much later, since the business will be only to dispatch it the next day. This means that they'll be disappointed and likely - less willing to make another purchase anytime soon.
For business owners, EOD is also important because of international and financial transactions. If you wish to make any kind of business arrangement with other individuals or enterprises, you need to know their EOD to be sure your deals go through and that the supply chain isn’t disrupted.

Conclusion

To conclude, COB and EOD are abbreviations used in business to inform others that a certain event happened or an order was placed, or to also inform of a deadline. COB refers to the closing of business for the day, while EOD stands for End of Day. Close-of-business is usually used in the business world while EOD is more of an abbreviation of traders.
However, there are times when both abbreviations are used to mean the same thing - the end of a working day or trading sessions. The most important thing is to always clarify what the time that is being referred to means, especially if you're talking to a British or American person who uses these abbreviations, but even more so if you're dealing with someone from abroad.
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