Business Experts

Tim Petrey:
HD Davis Holds Clients, Firm Accountable

September 2, 2018

In a previously published Q&A, Tim Petrey, a certified public accountant and managing partner of HD Davis CPAs, Liberty, discussed his firm’s holistic view on coaching clients.

How do you establish a road map to help clients achieve their goals?

Petrey: Step one – We listen.

Step two – We listen.

Step three – We listen.

More often than not, our clients love dealing with us because we provide a unique perspective to their issues. If we just talk at our clients no one gets anything from our relationship.

We focus on paying attention to what our clients really need. We do our best to set reasonable and obtainable goals and then follow up. We feel holding our clients accountable towards meeting their goals is our most valuable trait. We listen to their issues, we help them design a plan to solve them and then we hold them accountable to stay the course.

What would you say are the most common problem areas businesses face?

Petrey: Most small- to medium-sized business fall into the same trap. They get lost IN their business and don’t spend enough time working ON their business. It might sound cheesy but it is true. We do our best to simplify taxes and financial statements to the point that our clients can get what they need to feel comfortable and move on to more important things, like servicing their customers or improving their product.

What are the keys to helping clients achieve their goals?

Petrey: Doing what you say you are going to do and pushing our clients to do the same. If everyone did what they said they were going to do, we would all be healthier, happier and more successful.

Why do people reach out to HD Davis for help?

Petrey: More often than not, people reach out to us because they know someone who already deals with us. They are intrigued by the idea of a different approach. Our goal is for our clients to be more than just satisfied. We want our clients to feel we are the difference- maker. If we are successful in doing that, then each one of our clients turns into our best sales person.

Is offering financial planning advice an integral part of HD Davis’ business? Why or why not?

Petrey: Our goal is to do what we know best. We rely on our trusted partners to provide financial planning. We do not have an investment division but we have great resources of trusted advisers that we do business with often. This allows us to maintain objectivity by being independent of investment services. We do our best to be a valuable part of conversations with investment and financial advisers because we feel that we are an integral part of the process and should be involved every step of the way.

HD Davis established payroll subsidiary White Glove Payroll in 2017. What made you do this and what services does this company provide?

Petrey: We’ve observed that many payroll processing companies have given up on a very important part of their business: customer service.

We know payroll is normally one of the most, if not the most, important part of any small business. The last thing a business owner wants to do is mess up payroll or even worse, pay another company to take care of it and it is done wrong.

We’ve been doing payroll for a long time, like many accounting firms, and our clients pushed us towards expanding this service.

There is a huge demand for a better product and we feel we’ve got it figured out. Our clients love it and the business is growing at an amazing rate.

What is your favorite part of your field of expertise?

Petrey: I love seeing the plan come together.

There is nothing better than creating a plan, preparing your attack and then seeing it work. It is awesome to watch the weight lifted from a client’s shoulders when we can solve a problem that has been plaguing them for years.

There have been many changes imposed by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Will HD Davis provide any opportunities for the public to gain more insight on general tax knowledge and these changes?

Absolutely. We’ve been watching and waiting as the dust settles on some outstanding issues, but we plan to have at least one public seminar in the fall. If you go to our website, HDDavisCPAs.pro, and subscribe to our newsletter, we will send an email once a date and location is set.

To conclude, describe HD Davis in three words.

Petrey: Valuable: We do our best to make sure our clients feel they are getting a tremendous value for the service and insight we provide.

Empathetic: We are small business owners and have developed our business on how we want to be treated.

Accountable: We do our best to hold ourselves and our clients accountable for seeing things through. We do our best to push ourselves and our clients to achieve the goals we establish.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.