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Some of the Best Christmas Videos Ever

This time of year is all about Christmas films and jumpers, indulgent turkey dinners, chocolates and a wide selection of alcohol and savoury snacks. They are also about spending time with the people you love and of course visiting family members you really only care to see once a year! Increasingly they are also about Christmas ads. For many people the Coca Cola advert announces the official arrival of Christmas.

Our eagerness to find out what the big supermarkets will come up with next is all part of the steady build up to Christmas. I for one am always that little bit excited when the ads begin. So we have rounded up our favourites, starting with this year’s hot picks. Sit back and enjoy some fine video viewing – but do please remember that these are advertisements so you will be influenced by powerful marketing creativity – we cannot be held responsible for any impulsive purchases made!

Sainsbury’s OFFICIAL Christmas 2014 Ad

One of the most touching ads this year. It remembers the sacrifices of soldiers during World War 1 and the emotive moment when both sides ceased fire to acknowledge Christmas. It also sees them return to the war as shells are fired to draw the celebrations to an end. This one is best watched with tissues to hand and Sainsbury’s message is one of sharing. If soldiers can share a moment of joy in the harshest most hostile of conditions, then what is our excuse. The adverts was made in partnership with The Royal British Legion and inspired by events that took place 100 years ago.

John Lewis Christmas Advert 2014 – #MontyThePenguin

Monty the penguin has a loving home. He enjoys all the usual delights of life with his bestest bud but no matter the joy he experiences he is lacking something special. He is lacking another penguin to share it all with! John Lewis’s message is to ‘give someone the Christmas they have been dreaming of’. For most of us that means exactly the same thing – to spend it with loved ones, relaxing and appreciating everything we have for one of those rare moments where we get to switch off to life’s stresses.  Hug everyone tightly and spend some quality time with loved ones.

Marks & Spencer Christmas Advert 2014 #FollowTheFairies

A classic tune that immediately captures you attention and emotions. ‘Fly me to the Moon’ has a real authenticity and magic to it instantly reminding you of Marks and Spencer’s rich heritage. The idea of fairies flying around delivering Christmas cheer and magical interventions is perfect for the festive period. This advert allows you to escape with it and it is quite simply charming. If only we could have a white Christmas like the one in the ad. Marks and Spencer’s message is clear throughout: ‘Christmas is better with magic and sparkle’.

Coca Cola Christmas commercial 2014 HD Full advert

Holidays are coming…

What more is there to say other than we love it and that soundtrack has come to mean Christmas just as much as our other traditions. There is something truly heart-warming about the video despite the fact that we know they are selling us a pretty gassy, fairly fattening, sugar rich pop. Oh well…Christmas just wouldn’t be the same without Coca Cola. Here is the extended version for this year. You could also go and see the truck itself as it swept through the nation making refreshment stops along the way in our major cities.

John Lewis Christmas Advert 2013 – The Bear & The Hare

The journey of the bear and the hare was watched by 14,801,939 making it without doubt one of our favourites for 2013. It makes us sad and emotional for a short time before it rewards us with a perfectly magical ending. It does make you think that maybe there is the perfect present for everyone – you just have to find it!

The M&S Christmas TV Advert 2013

A great take on some of our literary classics like ‘Alice in Wonderland’ and ‘The Wizard of Oz’. This one didn’t get shed loads of hits on YouTube but it is one of my favourites so I included it anyway. The appearance of Helena Bonham Carter gives it added character and although it is almost overwhelmingly creative and arty there is a real British pride running through it. It celebrates our culture, heritage and the power of a fairy-tale ending.

John Lewis Christmas Advert 2012 – The Journey

Yes it is John Lewis again but this advert in many ways feels like the one that changed the importance of them all. It was emotive from the beginning, a journey of hardship to overcome severe adversity just so that a snowman can bring his snowwoman some warm winter gloves, and a hat. She is one lucky snowwoman and it is safe to say that when we realised what he was doing our hearts melted. The ability of supermarkets and high street stores to capture out imaginations and take us with them into a gripping Christmas story had been cemented.

Morrisons “For Your Christmas”

There are not many memorable Morrisons Christmas ads but this one has something for sure. The plight of the woman at Christmas (yes I know there will be plenty of men cooking the traditional family meal) is told beautifully. It brings a tear to the eye when you realise that all that stress, and effort (that we do every single year) is worth that moment when the family comes together around the table. It has a great comic edge to it and is a really engaging watch – enjoy!

And finally, here area couple of ads that did all of the above on a smaller budget back in the 80s. They have a deeper meaning to them this year which is why no round-up of the best Christmas Ads of all time could be without them. Lynda Bellingham will always be the Oxo mum to anyone around in the 80s.

1980’s Oxo Commercial

Oxo – My Christmas (1984, UK)

Merry Christmas everyone from the whole team at ABC Accounting Services, whatever you do this Christmas, make the most of it!


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Why are Christmas Parties Important?

It is one of those things we do annually because it is expected. Employers are expected to arrange them and to a lesser extent employees are expected to turn out for them. The level of awkwardness involved in the entire process comes down to whether a good working environment exists. If one does then it is the perfect opportunity to bond and relax away from work, an occasion where you can truly get to know your colleagues. If not then some people will be measuring what they drink and observing the proceedings while others will be getting hammered and saying more than they would ideally of wanted to.

So is your work place a happy place? Can you go out and let your hair down without worrying what your manager thinks or feeling isolated from your work colleagues. The best places to work have the best Christmas dos. ABC Accounting Services is no exception so when we all went out on Friday night we let our hair down, had a good laugh and told each other how brill we all are. That’s what you are meant to do. Here is what to look for in a Christmas party that means you have nailed it!

1. Laughter

There should be an abundance of laughter at other people, at each other and at yourselves. Not malicious though of course!

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2. Alcohol

Not an essential element for most people it does help step over that threshold out of work and into play mode.

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3. Photo Opportunities

It is a great opportunity to get lots of material for social media if everyone is willing and you can have a right laugh at some of the shots taken on the night, especially on the following morning.

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4. Frivolous fun

You are serious all day long everyday. Let your guard down and show people that you can have a giggle and be silly if you want to. Being able to chill and act daft is actually a huge stress buster.

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5. Exceptional or exceptionally bad entertainment

It doesn’t really matter if the entertainment is bad because you can laugh at them. It is nicer if you are laughing with them but both options are workable.

6. Going Out Clothes

For those who work in suits and dresses all day it is an excellent opportunity to get glammed up and strut your stuff on the social scene. You never know what people look like until they let their hair down and dress to impress!

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7. Chatting and dancing

When you are not laughing and taking pictures people should be talking and entertaining each other. There should be mingling and dancing and lots of banter.

8.Selfie

It wouldn’t really be a Christmas do without a selfie – would it? The perfect moment for Belinda, Shell and Dana popped up as they were leaving the loo! Just done your make-up ladies?

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The whole point is to wander off the beaten track and see where it lands you. Admittedly you do not want to puke on your boss or call them anything they may realise you mean. But, for those working in a positive and content working environment there is no risk of that because they respect their boss (es) and are old enough to know their drinking limits. Go out there and embrace the opportunity to have a laugh with people you spend a hell of a lot of time with. It’s Christmas – be merry and have fun!

We did!

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Is your Accounting ready for Christmas?

If you are a retailer then you know exactly what I am talking about. September is in many ways the last month before the seasonal storm begins and that is for retailers and accountants alike.

Accountants are hoping to get as many tax returns done as possible before the Christmas break and the January mania that follows it. Retailer are preparing for heavy footfall, massive online traffic and hoping their stock levels have been gauged perfectly. Autumn long nights represent the perfect opportunity for you to get your books ready for the seasonal peaks.

There are many challenges placed on businesses and polished accounting records could be the difference between succeeding and failing when the shopping frenzy begins. Now is the time to give your business a much needed winter service.

CASHFLOW

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Cash flow management has to be meticulous. From careful bookkeeping accurate cash flow forecasts can be made. Seasonal businesses can anticipate when heavier inflows will come in and make sure that outflows are scheduled to occur at the same times. It is also a good opportunity in many cases to create a reserve for the off-season ebbs in cash flow.

INVENTORY

The challenge of managing inventory will also rely on accounting transparency. The yearly cash flow forecasts will take into account the stock bought and shifted in the last seasonal periods but they cannot predict fluctuations. Detailed sales and inventory plans need making before the season begins and are often done months in advance to ensure timely delivery. You have bought the stock, anticipated the seasonal shopping habits – have you brought your bookkeeping up to date.

It is September, another month and you will be in the thick of it give or take a few days/weeks. Your business will be stronger next year when inventories are being created if you do not have to project back information and make everything balance after the fact. Do it now while it is fresh in your mind and you are not worn out from the Christmas rush.  

WORKERS

seasonal worker

The last thing has very little to do with accounting but is essential for retail businesses at exactly this time of year. Seasonal workers usually get taken on in September or October. There are increasing commercial pressures which can lead to corners being cut. Make sure you spend the right amount of time interviewing and training staff that will fit in with your team’s ethos and work ethic.

Seasonal workers represent your business alongside permanent workers. Christmas represents a huge opportunity and it is potentially the only time a customer visits a store. Your customer service needs to be at its best so those newest to the team need the right incentives, training and motivation to deliver just that. Spend time training seasonal workers to the right standard otherwise the cost to the business could irreparable.

 

It is time to get the Christmas stock out but before you do make sure your accounting is top notch. Your will impress your accountants when you take your books in at the beginning of January and you will impress yourself to boot! Good business is built upon good accounting – there is just no way around it and yes we are bias but you know it makes sense.

Put the long nights to good use – crack open a bottle of wine or pour out a can of Fosters and catch up with your record keeping so you do not have a mountain to climb in three months’ time. Do it at the end of the month until the end of the year and you will be laughing come January. Best of luck – great bookkeeping is what we accountants dream about!