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MAKING COPYING LESS TAXING AT H&R BLOCK

 MAKING COPYING LESS TAXING AT H&R BLOCK
 NEW YORK, March 26 /PRNewswire/ -- For virtually all Americans, the


rites of spring include preparation of their income tax returns. And for most, this annual ritual is over and done with in a matter of hours.
 Not so at H&R Block, one of the country's major preparers of tax returns. For fiscal year 1990, the company helped more than 12 million Americans complete their tax returns at the company's offices nationwide.
 That work spells a lot of paper -- and requires a lot of copies. It also brings a great deal of responsibility, said executives at the Kansas City, Mo.-based company.
 Professional Preparation Paramount
 "People come to us to get a professional service, and they expect that to carry through in everything we do for them," noted Bill Ross, vice president of supply for H&R Block.
 The company's service includes preparation and copying of the returns and all supporting forms and documentation, right up to the point where the papers are signed and mailed.
 "Our clients want to get their returns done and in, so quick turnaround is very important," Ross continued. "But it is also key that the papers we hand back to them look good. It reflects well on us, but also helps our clients be confident that their returns won't come back with questions about hard-to-read figures or notations."
 To bolster their ability to meet these customer requirements, Ross said H&R Block turned last year to the use of Xerox 5028 copiers to improve uptime, copy quality and cost-effectiveness.
 "We kept having trouble with our existing copiers, particularly with breakdowns during our peak tax preparation period from January through April," Ross recounted. "We also were having trouble with inconsistent copy quality. The net result was that we were getting an unsatisfactory return from our equipment investment."
 Durability, Copy Quality Enhanced
 The 5028s' high copy quality stems largely from a special customer-replaceable copy cartridge developed by Xerox. The cartridge is guaranteed to yield 23,000 high-quality copies, and is designed to then be replaced quickly and easily by the customer.
 Ross tested a 5028 by placing one in his office. At one point, he said, he and his staff ran it "non-stop for three days" to see how one would hold up in the field. Its performance, he said, was a big factor in placing the copier on the company's approved list for acquisition by its field offices.
 "During tax season, our district office copiers typically run at quadruple their average monthly copy volume," Ross noted, "so our copiers have to stand up to a lot of heavy use. The last thing we want is to have clients sweating the deadline for their paperwork."
 Alaska Office Hotbed of Activity
 There may be no H&R Block site that better illustrates the demands placed on the company's copiers than the district office in Anchorage, Alaska. There, a Xerox 5028 copier is used to copy returns brought in from a total of seven area offices. "This is Alaska, and the need for dependability and durability goes with the territory," said Sylvia Briske, district manager.
 With Anchorage's remote location, Briske pointed out, parts and service support considerations are critical when her office is evaluating equipment.
 "The copier's dependability record and customer-replaceable cartridge features were key considerations for us," Briske affirmed. "Meanwhile, we were reassured by the support that was going to be available if we needed it."
 Tax Season Champion
 Meanwhile, noted Briske, the culture and climate of the 49th state pose some particular challenges for her office.
 "We have a higher-than-average proportion of entrepreneurs and people who make their living off the land through fishing and trapping," she explained. "We also have a lot of people who live in very remote locations, where mail comes in and out by bush plane once a week.
 "As you might expect, we get some returns that require a lot of collateral documentation, and a lot of originals that arrive in very bad shape, or on odd paper. It is really helpful to have a copier that can handle such an assortment, and still turn out legible documents."
 Briske's office promises to prepare returns for its customers in six days, but often can do so in three.
 "Our quality control supervisor loves the copier," said Briske. "And the people who are using the machine directly -- often from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. during tax season -- are relieved to be able to automatically feed in an entire document rather than a page at a time, as you often have to do with lower-volume copiers."
 All of which, Briske and Ross noted, help make H&R Block a champion of tax season for many Americans, and a place of many happy returns.
 -0- 3/26/92
 EDITOR NOTE: Photograph available upon request.
 /CONTACT: Kelly Nelson of Hutchins Y&R, 716-325-0241, for Xerox Corporation/ CO: Xerox Corporation ST: New York IN: CPR SU:


KK -- CLFNS1 -- 1761 03/26/92 07:35 EST
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Date:Mar 26, 1992
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