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Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) make up the majority of businesses in global markets. They contribute to economic growth and prosperity and are key drivers for employment and innovation.

Setting up a small business involves many challenges, particularly for those with no previous business experience. The ICAEW Library & Information Service provides a range of online and print resources for business owners and for ICAEW Chartered Accountants advising SMEs.

What's on this page?

  • Key topics
  • eBooks
  • Briefings
  • Small Business Update
  • ICAEW support
  • Useful links
  • Articles and books in the Library collection

Contact the Library

Expert help for your enquiries and research.

E  library@icaew.com

T  +44 (0)20 7920 8620
F  +44 (0)20 7920 8621

Featured eBook

Taxation of small businesses, 2015/16
Malcolm James (Spiramus, 2015)
A practical guide to all aspects of direct taxation of small businesses. A handy reference guide for all tax advisers. 

You will need to be logged-in to the website to read this eBook.

SME resources

ICAEW resources for SMEs

Find information on advice and support schemes from the ICAEW and government and access the latest reports and surveys on SMEs. 


Key topics

Our dedicated subject pages provide links and resources to a wide range of key issues for starting and running SMEs:


The Library provides full text access to a selection of key business and reference eBooks from leading publishers. eBooks are available to logged-in ICAEW members, ACA students and other entitled users. If you are unable to access an eBook, please see our Help and support advice or contact library@icaew.com.

Accounting and finance for your small business

A guide to help small business owners through all of the key accounting and financial information required to operate a small business.

Business plans that work

A guide for small businesses to writing a successful business plan.

Consultant's quick start guide: an action plan for your first year in business, The

A guide to working as a consultant from a US perspective.

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Terms of use: You are permitted to access, download, copy, or print out content from eBooks for your own research or study only, subject to the terms of use set by our suppliers and any restrictions imposed by individual publishers. Please see individual supplier pages for full terms of use.


Briefings are four-page guides from Atom Content Marketing written for the busy practitioner, director and entrepreneur providing concise, practical advice on core business issues.

Finance your high-growth business


Whether you need to invest in developing new products and approaching new markets, or fund increasing levels of working capital as sales increase, the right financing lets you make the most of your growth potential.

Find the right premises for growth


If you expect your business to grow quickly, it can be difficult to get suitable premises for your needs. Though you may not need much space now, the situation could be very different in 12 or 18 months' time.

Forming a business


Whether you are forming your first business or adding to an existing one, it pays to set it up correctly. Choosing the wrong business structure exposes you to unnecessary costs and risks.

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Small Business Update

Small Business Update is a monthly magazine for SMEs with articles covering the latest regulatory developments, practical advice and hot topics.

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ICAEW support

ICAEW Business Advice Service (BAS)
BAS offers small and medium-sized businesses a free initial consultation on any issue related to starting or running a business with an ICAEW Chartered Accountant.

More ICAEW resources for SMEs
Access the latest reports and surveys on SMEs and find more information on the SME funding adviser scheme.

Run a successful business
Describes the challenges involved in setting up a business and how ICAEW Chartered Accountants can support SMEs. Published in 2014.

SME access to finance
Collects ICAEW's policy leadership work on the condition of the SME environment for borrowing and investment.

Useful links

A guide to government support for small businesses in 2017
A quick guide to government support for SMEs.

Competing fairly in business: advice for small businesses
Collection of resources from the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) designed to help SMEs understand their obligations under competition law. Includes a checklist, explanatory video and a case study. Published in November 2015.

Business planning guide for SMEs
Paper form the Institute of Financial Accountants (IFA) for SMEs and accounting professionals who advise them.

Productivity boost for small businesses
October 2015 government press release on eight new projects being undertaken as part of the UK Futures Programme, piloting ways to boost the leadership and productivity levels of small businesses.

Quarterly Survey of Small Business in Britain
Survey conducted by the Open University Business School tracking trends, performance and confidence across SMEs in the UK.

Small Business Survey
Large-scale telephone survey of UK small business owners, conducted every two years. Assesses performance by looking at business capability, access to finance, obstacles to business success and business support.

SME guide to energy efficiency
Advice from the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) to help your business become more energy efficient. Topics include heating, lighting and office equipment, with case studies of businesses that saved money through energy efficiency.

Articles and books in the Library collection

View a list of print and online resources from our collection on the following topics:

You can find more books and articles by searching LibCat, our online catalogue.

To find out how you can borrow books from the Library please see our guide to book loans.
You can obtain copies of articles or extracts of books and reports by post, fax or email through our document supply service.

Can't find what you are looking for?

If you're having trouble finding the information you need, ask the Library & Information Service. Contact us by telephone on +44 (0)20 7920 8620, by web chat or by email at library@icaew.com.

ICAEW accepts no responsibility for the content on any site to which a hypertext link from this site exists. The links are provided ‘as is’ with no warranty, express or implied, for the information provided within them. Please see the full copyright and disclaimer notice.