Let’s Talk Business: December 3, 2021

It’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the holidays and forget that end-of-year business tasks require special attention in December. Work done in this last month of the year can make tax preparation easier. Reflecting on how business went in 2021 is the gateway to better planning for 2022.

Year-end task completion is a valuable gift you can give yourself—and your place of business. Most of these items can be tackled in bite-sized increments, making it easier to fit them into those rare, spare few minutes of extra time during the holiday season.

Prepare your year-end business reports, including 2021 business expenses. Regardless of which financial software you use, exporting this information directly to your accountant can be relatively painless.

List out any major purchases made in 2021, as well as fixed assets. Depreciation calculations will be trouble-free as you get ready for next year’s taxes.

Schedule blocks of time and put it on your calendar to conduct a year-end inventory. It is vital to have an accurate and up-to-date inventory, both for future business planning and for insurance purposes. Compare your new inventory numbers to what’s on your books and examine discrepancies, determine their causes, and adjust practices to promote better accuracy in 2022.

Gather all 2021 payroll-related information and run the related reports. You’ll be well ahead of the game when it’s time to file self-employment taxes.

Close out your 2021 payroll. Using a payroll service or software makes it easy to get employee W2 and 1099 forms sent out correctly and on time.

It’s December. If you have not done so already, sit down and assess your employee benefit packages. Before you renew, adjust, or upgrade, be sure to comparison shop for the benefits and services in your business’s package.

Consider your upcoming employment needs as the year draws to a close. Do you need to add workers? Can you promote current employees? It’s probably worth the time to consider the pros and cons of increasing wages. The holiday season is actually an excellent time to advertise for any open or future positions; job seekers during this season are likely focused and ready.

Review your year-end financials and assess your plans for 2022. Pull data from the last 12 months to get insights about what worked and what didn’t. Where will you focus your efforts for next year?

And finally, are there any donations or charitable contributions you could make before the end of the year? Those last-minute donations can qualify for tax deductions.

Last but not least, take a minute to be grateful for all you accomplished in 2021. This has been a difficult year for all businesses. Being in a position to plan for next year means you successfully navigated 2021. Reflect on all that went well…and relax!

It’s a great day in Emporia!




“Let’s Talk Business” is a weekly column of the Emporia Area Chamber of Commerce and Visit Emporia. The mission of the Chamber is to be proactive in creating an environment for business and community success, guided by the vision that positive attitudes promote positive actions. Contact us at 620-342-1600 or chamber@emporiakschamber.org and visit our website at www.emporiakschamber.org.