The office Christmas tree is up, the poor-quality knitwear is on show and Frank from IT has already eaten all 24 of his advent calendar chocolates.
It’s that time of year again, and while the rest of the working world is winding down ahead of the festive break, for many of our readers the run-up to tax return season has only just begun. And the last thing they need is Aunt Doris repeatedly asking "what do you want for Christmas dear?"
But help is at hand! We’ve put together a handy list of stocking fillers for figure wizards that should hopefully keep Aunt Doris at bay, satisfy secret Santa requirements or 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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The Fidget Cube
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.
Originally dreamed up by two brothers for the pin clickers, desk tappers and phone cord winders of the world, the Fidget Cube raised over $6m in a Kickstarter campaign with an original target of $15,000 and over the past two years has been a phenomenon in the toy world.
The Fidget Cube is available for £7.85 on the antsy labs website or from all good toy retailers.
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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:
Tax return mug available on Etsy for £12.16.
Badass mug available on Etsy for £10.54.
For those with a liberal office dress policy:
Wizard t-shirt available on Etsy for £16.26.
Assets t-shirt available on Etsy for £20.27.
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Beer, there and everywhere
If self assessment season or your company's year end close is enough to drive you to drink, AccountingWEB can vouch for the quality of the following three brewers.
We recently ran an interview with St Austell brewery's FD Colin Stratton, and in the past we've featured Fourpure Brewing company's finance director Jim Shirley and Moor Beer's Justin Hawke. 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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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 £8.18 (inc VAT) or at other online retailers.
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Keyboard and mouse review
For those looking for a bit of workplace luxury AccountingWEB recently reviewed the Logitech MX Master mouse and CRAFT keyboard as part of its Gadget Zone series.
While both are premium products at a relatively premium price, if you are in the market to upgrade your keyboard and mouse experience, then both are well worth the investment.
Once set up and bedded in the additional productivity functions are helpful and do save increments of time, but maybe something to file in the ‘marginal gains’ category rather than expecting anything revolutionary. Read the full review here.
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If pricey hardware isn't your thing and you're looking for a cost-effective/free gift alternative, then perhaps hoovering up and stockpiling free event goodies or 'swag' could do the trick. This year has been a bumper one for the swag connoisseur, and here's AccountingWEB's round-up of the available at Accountex 2018.
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What would you recommend your non-accounting friends get you this Christmas? Let us know below the line.