Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to introduce the concept of a checklist, focusing on the detailed analysis of the requirement of the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) standards related to strategic management and innovation area, for evaluation of implementation readiness in a business school setting. Design/methodology/approach – The paper presents an articulated procedure for the development of the checklist. The study adopted a multi-method approach for developing the final content for the checklist. Findings – The introduction of the checklist has provided a systemic approach to process design and evaluation of readiness of a business school for AACSB accreditation related to strategic management and innovation area. The checklist was developed and applied over the course of systematic reviews in a business school setting. Research limitations/implications – The present study has developed the checklist comprising the requirements of the standards related to strategic management and innovation area only. In the near future, the authors intend to develop checklists for the remaining areas of AACSB standards. Originality/value – The present work attempts to develop a comprehensive checklist comprising the requirements of the standards related to strategic management and innovation area. Academic institutions can benefit from the checklist whether they are planning to implement AACSB standards for accreditation or are interested in changing their current processes following AACSB standards. © 2016, © Emerald Group Publishing Limited.