Christmas presents for accountants: The 2019 edition
Christmas is a time when accountants' friends and family often struggle with what to put under the tree for their numerical nearest and dearest. But help is at hand! AccountingWEB has put together a range of festive favours for figure wizards.
While the rest of the working world is winding down ahead of the festive break, all many accountants want for Christmas is for Santa to sweep away those piles of tax returns or expense claims.
Amid the pop of prosecco corks and party poppers, the last thing hard-pressed number-crunchers want is for their nearest and dearest to be hassling them about presents.
But help is at hand! We’ve put together a range of festive favours for figure wizards that should put some credit on your ledger, satisfy secret Santa requirements, or at least give you an inkling about what to get your head of accounts.
Please feel free to add your suggestions for accounting-based presents below the line, or even better still, suggest products made by your small business clients.
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With the last post before Christmas still a couple of weeks away Zazzle has a range of accountancy-related cards to wow number-crunching friends. The quality of the jokes is variable, and the terminology sometimes strays across the Atlantic, but it's the thought that counts, right? Examples include:
- Which company sits at the top of Santa's empire? Santa Ho-ho-holdings
- What's the biggest overhead in Santa's accounts? Private Elf care
- Why does Santa pay so little tax? He claims Gift Relief (Gift Aid would've been funnier)
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For those feeling a little mentally depleted after a hard day at the accountancy coal face and looking for a bit of natural wellbeing, Olverum bath oil promotes itself as the ultimate relaxation aid. Originally developed in Germany, the oil claims to stimulate circulation, bring relief to aching joints and help achieve a good night's sleep.
Olverum bath oil is available via the company's website or at selected outlets. A 125ml bottle (enough for 25 baths) costs £35.
In a similar vein, the reusable Thera-Pearl Eye Mask bills itself as 'perfect' for treating dry eye, blepharitis, sinus headaches, irritation and puffy eyes. You can use it hot or cold by popping it in the microwave or freezer.
You can find the Thera-Pearl Eye Mask on the company's website or at selected chemists. One pack costs £7.
And for those long days slaving over tax returns when focus is needed (but not always easy to find), the Fidget Cube is a desk toy for people who like to, well, fidget.
The cube features different tactile attachments on each side, letting you absent-mindedly spin, click, or roll the tiny interactive features while you work.
The Fidget Cube is available here for £9.99 or from all good toy retailers.
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While both are premium products at a premium price (see individual reviews for details), if you are in the market to upgrade your keyboard and mouse experience and reap marginal productivity gains over a sustained period, then both are worth the investment.
Also passed to AccountingWEB for review was the Logitech Zone Wireless headset (pictured - RRP £199). Billed as 'a Bluetooth headset designed for the open office', the noise cancellation certainly helps drown out (but not eliminate) the drone of the office.
One of the big draws is the ability to switch inputs: when paired with multiple devices simultaneously you can listen to music on your computer but then cut off and answer a call on your mobile. The headphones also feature a microphone boom that can be flipped up and down, depending on whether you're on a call or just listening. If the boom is flipped up then the mic is automatically muted.
After a week of extensive use, the only drawbacks this reviewer could find were around the fiddly nature of the buttons. The power and 'anti-noise cancelling' buttons are just where a left-handed person would put their thumb when putting on or taking off the headphones, prompting numerous switchings on and off before becoming accustomed to their location.
USB numeric keypad
While the recent shrinkage of technology has brought with it many benefits, the ability to enter figures at speed on a laptop the size of a credit card isn’t one of them.
For those that need to key in numbers quickly, a USB numeric keypad is a cost-efficient way to bridge the gap between tiny laptop and desktop beast. Plug it in, enter your numbers, and unplug. It’s that simple.
The Targus Numeric keypad is available at PC World for £17.98 (inc VAT) or at other online retailers.
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Food and drink
With an increasing emphasis on healthy eating in many offices, the days of the monster tub of Quality Street in the office seem numbered. However, for those hankering after a little something without the calorific intake, the good folks at Popcorn Shed offer a range of gourmet popcorn and popcorn gifts, including party packs, gift jars and advent calendars.
The AccountingWEB office can vouch for the quality of the goodies, as they set upon a gift box like a pack of hungry hyenas.
And self assessment season or year-end close is enough to drive you to drink, AccountingWEB can vouch for the quality of the following brewers.
We happened to sample the produce on each occasion and can report good things (from what we remember). Here are their sites:
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Who knew there was such a market for novelty accountant merchandise? Once upon a time the standard ‘I love spreadsheets’ mug was all an aspiring number-cruncher could hope for, but a thriving industry seems to have grown up around the need for novelty accounting products: here are few highlights.
For the coffee or tea drinkers:
Badass mug available on Etsy for £11.06.
For those with a liberal office dress policy:
Assets t-shirt available on Etsy for £19.82.
For the cartographically minded accountant:
Maps International has a range of collect and scratch prints for hobbyists.
Among others, maps include the locations of UK breweries, gin distilleries, football grounds, cycle climbs, and golf courses, allowing the recipient to scratch off as they go along.
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If getting ready for Making Tax Digital for VAT has left you with an axe to grind, then why not give the stress-relieving gift of urban axe throwing?! Hipster brand Whistle Punks has locations in London, Manchester, Birmingham and Bristol, where participants are coached on how to safely and successfully sling an axe by instructors.
You can get throwing this Christmas with a gift voucher starting from £25.
On a more sedate note, recently launched firm Golfamore offers discounted access to over 1,000 golf courses across Europe. At the moment the company is offering a discount of 50% off their yearly membership, reducing their rates from £49 to £24 (plus individual course green fees).
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While branded software trinkets may not be everyone's (reusable) cup of tea, accountancy shows offer a cost-effective gift alternative for the fiscally minded shopper. This year has been another bumper one for the swag connoisseur, and here's AccountingWEB's round-up of the available goodies at Accountex 2019.
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What would you recommend as the perfect present for an accountant? Let us know below the line.