Busy season, long days, work on weekends, that’s all inevitable, right?

That may be question workflow software answers. It’s not that busy season is likely to become a 9-to-5 operation, but does it have to be so bad.

Not so, says Mark Albrecht, CEO of XCM Solutions, which makes workflow software and its sister company, Xpitax, which provides outsourced tax preparation, is also a founding shareholder of Kirkland Albrecht & Fredrickson, which is using the XCM software.

Albrecht does have reasons for touting the product. Obviously, he would like to sell more copies. But he also has a reason for trying to get people out of the office earlier during tax season, especially at a time job seekers can be pickier. And he’d just like to get more time at home, too.

The most interesting point Albrecht makes is that many of the long hours are spent looking for folders and trying to fill in missing information. Workflow software, he says, can reduce the amount of lost time, which is not productive time. The other option, he notes, is for a firm to use that reclaimed time to grow a business, rather than giving it back to staff. Business always has these kinds of choices—what to do with efficiencies.

But in a business in as dire a need for help, keeping the staff chained to the return at all ours doesn’t seem like the best course of action. They have choices.

Besides, there could be something to be gained by making the tax and accounting business more attractive. How big a selling point is it to students to talk about the wonderful opportunities, such as the opportunity to work endless hours during tax season in an era in which the Internet provides greater flexibility?

The serfs were freed a long time ago. Maybe it’s time to free the tax preparers.

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