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What Does That Mean!? Confusing Relocation Acronyms Every Global Mobility Manager Should Know

June 9, 2016 9:00:00 AM EDT | By: Michelle Dopps

Confusing relocation acronymsHave you ever had a conversation or received an email from someone else in the global mobility world and thought, “WHAT does that acronym mean!?” Especially if you’re new to the industry, the volume and variety of abbreviations and acronyms can be overwhelming.

Below are 11 of the trickier acronyms we’ve come across when discussing or reading about employee relocation. If there are any others you’re curious about, speak up! We’re happy to help decode the message for you.

If you don’t have your global mobility hat on when you hear or read some of these, you may think they mean something else entirely. And no one would blame you for that – I was pretty sure that a COLA was a sugary sweet soft drink before joining Lexicon!

1. CCR - Control, Compliance & Reporting

Not the band…but our internal audit and controls department.

2. CLUE - Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange

The CLUE report is a tool insurers use to decide your risk profile, or how likely you are to file a claim against your policy. Not nearly as much fun as the game, but very important when purchasing insurance!

3. COLA - Cost of Living Allowance

As mentioned above, there is another definition for COLA! This is a method of compensating an employee moving between areas with higher and lower costs of living. Here’s a lot more info on that.

4. HHGs - Household Goods

This is a common one that you’ll frequently hear, but if you’re new to the industry, you may have no idea what it means. Household goods are simply the employee’s personal property that will be moved – furniture, clothing, decorative items, appliances, etc.

5. LTA - Long-Term Assignment

I would have sworn this was an airport code, but nope! LTA is just a quick way to refer to a long-term assignment (as opposed to a short-term assignment or permanent relocation).

6. PITI - Principal, Interest, Taxes, Insurance

PITI refers to a mortgage payment that includes all of these things: principal, interest, taxes and insurance.

7. POV - Privately Owned Vehicle

In the relocation world, POV is not “point of view” but privately owned vehicle! This could be mentioned in a relocation policy (for example, if you pay to move your employees’ POVs) or refer to reimbursement when a POV is used for business.

8. SOS - Summary of Sale

Don’t think someone is shouting for help if you come across this one! SOS is the equity statement sent to a transferee after the sale of their property.

9. SOW - Statement of Work

A SOW outlines the scope of a project or business agreement – not a female pig.

10. FEM - Forum for Expatriate Management

The Forum for Expatriate Management, a worldwide community for global mobility professionals, strives to inspire and inform that community as well as leading corporate organizations. With summits, conferences and chapters around the world, FEM provides valuable networking and learning opportunities within the industry. (And we're currently partnering with them on an exciting survey!)

11. WERC - Worldwide Employee Relocation Council (Worldwide ERC®)

Worldwide ERC® is a workforce mobility association for professionals who oversee, manage or support U.S. domestic and international employee transfer. They host worldwide events, are responsible for a number of industry certifications and publish MOBILITY Magazine.

Bonus! Here are a few more acronyms that may have you scratching your head. These are some common terms used when referring to locations around the world. (We’ve even categorized our resources using some of them to make it easier to find what you’re looking for!)

  • APAC - Asia & Pacific                      
  • EMEA - Europe, Middle East & Africa
  • LATAM - Latin America
  • CONUS - Continental United States
  • OCONUS - Outside the Continental United States

Are any other relocation-related acronyms puzzling you? This list just scratches the surface, so feel free to reach out and ask! (We promise we won’t tell…)

Topics: relocation, global mobility

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