Live Expo saves Christmas: Last minute gifts ideas for accountantsby
Since December is a busy time of year for accountants, AccountingWEB is here to take the pain out of your Christmas shopping with some Live Expo inspired gifts for family and friends.
While Christmas shoppers have hit the High Street again, the only bags accountants are carrying are the ones full of coffee stained receipts and dog-eared expenses.
With tax return season in full swing, the busy number-crunching elfs will struggle to find time to pick the perfect Christmas presents this year.
But swag connoisseurs (and fiscally minded shoppers) that attended the AccountingWEB Live Expo last week may have a few cost-effective gift alternatives lurking in their office drawers that could save them from any last minute secret Santa panic.
Many came away from the two day accounting extravaganza with enough freebies, giveaways and swag to rival the bags on Santa’s sleigh.
In this helpful guide, we’ll rummage in our AccountingWEB Live Expo sack and find the trade show stocking fillers perfect for the whole family - yes, even that difficult Auntie!
So, throw away your list to Santa, return the Lynx Africa gift set, and make this Christmas a very merry swag-mas.
It wouldn’t be Christmas without a pair of socks under the Christmas tree. The stocking staple was in vogue at AccountingWEB Live Expo this year, with many vendors trimming up their stands with their own branded wolley feet warmers.
Clarity, Modular, Silverfin, Starling Bank, Swoop, Xero and even AccountingWEB were giving away the festive favourite.
While any of these would keep a family member cosy at Christmas, Swag aficionado and AccountingWEB columnist Richard Sergeant put each sock to the test and a judging panel (yes, really!) awarded Clarity with the best sock award.
With so many socks to choose from, you could parcel up the whole lot for every member of the family.
Drink and confectionery
You’ve already emptied the office Quality Streets and you’ve only got Bounty left in the Celebrations tub. However, a seasoned swag hoarder will have likely smuggled home muffins, cookies and sweets from the Expo stands. That should keep the office happy over Christmas.
And rather than splash out on prosecco to toast Christmas morning, you could instead open a round of Rishi Brewnak, AccountingWEB’s own beer.
Brewed by Dhillon’s Brewery, the home of AccountingWEB Live Expo’s After Party, Rishi Brewnak is our tribute to the current Chancellor. Clinking a Rishi over Christmas also means that if conversation dries up, you can always ask family and friends their opinions on Sunak’s Autumn Budget or the basis period reform.
Cute and cuddly
Your youngest child/grandchild/nibling really wants a cuddly toy, but you’ve been far too busy at the office and by the time you make it to the toy store, their much sought after Paddington bear is nowhere to be found. Supply chain issues, eh.
This can only add to your busy season stress as, let’s face it, Christmas day is all about toys.
But don’t worry! Just reach into your AccountingWEB Live Expo swag bag and you’ll find a cute and cuddly plush toy that will keep the youngest from having a tantrum on Christmas morning.
The World First plush cuddly bear does have a slight resemblance to Paddington’s favourite Marmalade obsessed Peruvian, while the Credit Hound dog would answer the cries of any youngster wanting a puppy for Christmas.
Better still, you can wrap this up and give it to the accounts assistant petitioning for an office dog.
Gadgets and gizmos
It wouldn’t be Christmas without your brother-in-law blathering on about his latest electronic investment. But the Live Expo has presented you a gift that would stop him from droning on over the Christmas table about his latest drone.
If you stopped by the Dext stand, you could have got your hands on a Google Home mini. It’s a perfect present for a gadget loving relative, or you can keep the smart speaker for yourself, and use the voice-controlled device to set-reminders or play music to keep you company during those long January working days.
While you may not have picked up the new iPhone13 for the teenager in the household, the AccountancyManager wireless charger would be a perfect stocking filler that might make up for the lack of smartphone under the tree.
Clothes are always on the top of most people’s Christmas shopping list. Again, the Live Expo has you sorted here too. Vendors like Coconut and Dext were handing out t-shirts emblazoned with their brand names. These are an easy gift for your firm’s cloud champion - it has casual Friday dress wear written all over it.
However, you won’t have to tread lightly if you’re going to wrap up Auto Entry’s Breaking Bad parody t-shirt. The ‘Breaking Even’ tee would be a nifty gift for any box set binge watcher in the family or in the office.
While it’s nice to have some novelty gifts at Christmas, what people really want are practical gifts. With the recent barrage of storm Barra, the IRIS branded umbrella will be a much appreciated gift for anyone on your Christmas list this winter. That said, the office would also be thankful of this as a communal gift for anyone braving the storms on their lunch break. And the Xero woolly hat and socks will also be welcomed during the fierce winter months.
With face coverings now mandatory across the UK, FreeAgent (along with others like PensionSync) were handing out branded masks. These could be the perfect gift for that family member who insists on continuously wearing the same tatty face covering.
Meanwhile, the FreeAgent hand sanitiser may come in handy when handling all those presents and hampers you’re hoping to receive on Christmas eve.
Like with any trade show, attendees were spoilt for choice for stress balls. The QX Outsourcing’s stress ball shaped as an aeroplane was some clever marketing collateral. While these stress balls will come handy for practitioners wrestling with the annual client chase in January, they also double up as a quick present for the family pet.
Coffee mugs and bottles
With the societal push towards sustainability, reusable coffee cups and drink bottles will be the perfect present for an eco-conscious family member or colleague.
An essential freebie at any trade show, the drink bottles were proudly displayed on multiple vendor stands. Capitalise, BTCSoftware, Dext, IRIS, Streemconnect and TaxCalc were just some of the vendors that were giving out drinks bottles or reusable coffee cups.
Meanwhile, Sage went with the branded green Chilly bottle and sleek black coffee mug. Rather than bring out the Christmas champagne glasses, why not use these Chilly drink bottles and keep the bubbly chilled throughout the whole meal.
You can never have enough stationery. If your office supplies are looking thin, you have enough branded notebooks from the likes of Dext, Capitalise, Fluidly and World First to see you through into 2022.
For those struggling for last minute present ideas, these notebooks could double up as a diary for your great aunt or as a DIY colouring book for the little ones in the family.
So, your uncle wants the latest Lee Child action adventure book for Christmas, but you’ve missed the Royal Mail delivery dates.
The Live Expo book shelves had enough page turners that you don’t need to worry that you forgot to pick the latest Jack Reacher or inspirational celeb autobiography.
If you have a family member that usually peruses the self-help shelves, they are likely to find a lot of transferable advice on confidence and self-esteem in the Selling to Serve book from Go Proposal’s pricing guru James Ashford, which was available on the Sage stand after the recent acquisition.
PracticeWeb’s ‘Digital marketing manual for accountants’ would look at home on the office book shelf, but if you’re struggling for a gift for your youngster studying marketing at university, you can present them with this book and talk ROI and strategy over Bucks Fizz.
All I want for Christmas is swag
There you have it, not only did AccountingWEB Live Expo equip you with CPD points and some valuable knowledge to set you up for 2022, but the accounting software vendor community also got you out of a tricky Christmas shopping trip too.
Alternatively, you can keep all the swag yourself and surprise yourself on Christmas morning with a mountain of presents from your favourite accounting partners.