time is money

Fixing Busy Season

At Swindoll, Janzen, Hawk & Loyd, LLC (SJHL) we are on a journey to "fix" busy season, or what we refer to as our Path to 45. For us, it's not about the number of hours worked each week, but creating an environment where our team members can have a successful career and be present with their family.


The Journey

A photo of child eating cake

Over the past nine years, we've been on a journey to "fix busy season". While on this journey, we've learned the "fix" isn't just a couple big things or initiatives, but literally over a hundred little things, working together to improve our Firm and help us reach our B. We are far from perfect and still have lots of room for improvement, but we wanted to share what we've learned, because we truly believe that as we all get better, everyone wins.

Path to 45 (9.791 x 8.208 in)


Fixing busy season isn't a one-time event, it's a journey. Here are a few of the things we have learned along the way. If your Firm is doing something that is not shared below, we would love to hear from you.

This guide provides tips to consider in different areas: your B, firm, health, partners, planning, processes, team, and technology. Click here to download.

The playbook provides a bird's eye view with15 ways to improve busy season. Click here to download.

Intentionally working less -how do you really accomplish this

In this webinar, Chet Buchman, SJHL Managing Partner, shares ways he's discoved to create margin during busy season. Click here to listen. 

Open your mind with the cerebral cPA

Chet Buchman was the featured guest on a Accounting High: Freshman Year podcast. Join Scott, Jason, and Chet as Chet shares his experiences on maintaining work-life balance while running a successful accounting firm. Click here to listen. 

How it's Impacting Our Team

I am a person that likes routine. The firm's approach of path to 45 hours has been crucial with establishing a routine during tax season. It has allowed me to set daily stopping points, in which I do not feel guilty about, to go home at a decent time. This creates time that I can still get a workout in, eat healthy, and spend quality time with loved ones. I feel my mind and body stay more refreshed to provide better service to clients and energy to the firm.

-Melissa Stallbaumer, CPA

The path to 45 has been so encouraging to my personal and professional life. During the “busy season” I no longer feel like I have to miss important events because of work, or from just being plain worn out. It is nice to be able to enjoy the spring season again! Professionally, I feel I am still able to produce great work to the clients, without enduring so much brain fog from working long hours. Overall it has really helped me enjoy the busy season and no longer dread the thought of it.

- Jody Hack, CNC

As a dad of 6 kids under 11, the Path to 45 has been HUGE. I’m home for dinner and home on weekends, even during “busy season.” It has transformed my thinking on what public accounting as a profession should look like.

-John Albrecht, CPA/PFS

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