Categories: PAIB PublicationsPublished On: 13/06/2022

Publisher: International Federation of Accountants

No. of Pages: 83

This information paper is published by the Professional Accountants in Business (PAIB) of the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) in collaboration with the Malaysian Institute of Accountants (MIA).

The paper is intended as a general guide in presenting and explaining the concepts, techniques, frameworks and methodologies of writing business plans for the small and medium enterprise (SME) owners. While this guide is aimed at SMEs, the principles and practices referred to are equally applicable for practitioners who are servicing these SMEs. The practical applicability of these principles and practices is not intended for micro-businesses, i.e. one-man shows, although they could find many aspects of the guide useful, but for those businesses with a basic organisational structure in place as well as for fairly sophisticated SMEs. The paper provides practical guidance that will help SMEs to understand their own business and industry while enabling them to better evaluate their business potentials and associated risks. However, the paper does not go into a detailed discussion of the behind the various concepts of business planning.

Part I is a brief overview of the subject. Part II, ‘The Purpose of Preparing a Business Plan’, explains the purpose of business plans and the general principles and practices covering the basic elements of a business plan. Part III, ‘Structure of the Business Plan’, helps the reader construct an effective business plan.

The paper also includes a business plan checklist and a sample of a business plan. The paper complements an earlier publication, Setting Strategic Directions in the Small and Medium Enterprises: A Guide for Professional Accounting Advisors, which focuses on assisting managers working in SMEs and practicing accountants engaged in advising SMEs.

The paper can be downloaded free of charge from the IFAC online bookstore at A link to the paper is also available at the MIA website at