David Hayob, Managing Partner, BKD Houston

Led by Managing Partner David Hayob, BKD Houston has 151 personnel, including 16 partners and 60 CPAs, who provide accounting advisory services to more than 3,000 clients and offer focused solutions for individuals. Their professionals serve industries in health care, government-not-for-profits, manufacturing and distribution, construction, real estate and energy. They are located in the heart of the Galleria.

BKD offers insightful solutions, ideas, attention to detail, expertise and results — they call it unmatched client service.

At BKD, they understand you want an advisor who provides more than just accounting solutions. Their CPAs and Advisors offer specialized skills and expertise, as well as the winning attitude, character and communication skills necessary to help clients achieve their objectives. Accounting for numbers — accurately, objectively and with integrity — is at the heart of their business. But they are also professional, prepared, attentive and ready to deliver their services with PRIDE (passion, respect, integrity, discipline and excellence).

With BKD, you get a trusted, top-tier national accounting firm that understands your business and delivers the resources you need with a service style you will value.

Smart Business spoke with Hayob about how BKD Houston has been able to overcome challenges and achieve success.

Give us an example of a business challenge your organization faced, as well as how you overcame it.

We have had significant growth in our health care practice, and we needed to find someone with the right expertise to lead that area in Houston. We identified someone who had been with a large international firm and was interested in relocating, and the firm actually brought him in and put him in the Houston office. We also had a partner here transfer to Dallas to lead that office, helping with our goal of building a statewide health care practice. We like to think we will do whatever it takes, within reason, to meet the needs of our clients.

In what ways are you an innovating leader, and how does your organization employ innovation to be on the leading edge?

Our approach to customer service — the concept of writing a book about our philosophy of unmatched client service and sharing it with every employee, requiring every employee to read it and share that with our clients — is something unique. A lot of people talk about good service, customer service, client service, but not very many people do much about it. Even though the book was written a few years ago, it continues to be time-tested and useful every day, every week, every month. We try to differentiate our brand of client service from our competitors and to our customers.

What is the greatest lesson you have learned, and how have you applied it?

If you really get the facts and understand what is going on, you can make good decisions. So often, people try to make decisions without all the facts, and that is because either people will not give you the facts or you have not worked hard enough to uncover them. People talk about how hard decision-making is, but if you can really get all the facts together, decision making is not that difficult. Trying to make decisions without the facts is extremely difficult. You are better off if you are honest and truthful with your employees, clients, coworkers, partners and bosses, and in turn, they will be more open, honest and truthful with you.

How does your organization make a significant impact on the community and regional economy?

We have definitely attempted to make an impact on the community. We are active members of the Greater Houston Partnership, and we have a number of our partners and managers in leadership roles with that organization. We also have numerous people on charitable boards in the area.

Through our charitable arm, the BKD Foundation, we have been lead sponsor of the Texas Children’s Hospital Kids’ Fun Run for the last five years. We have also been one of the leaders in fundraising and involvement with the Susan G. Komen Houston Race for the Cure. The foundation’s main goal is to support causes in the communities in which we work, and we have tried to do that.

How have you added “value” to the products and services you provide to customers and clients?

We start with integrity first. With some other firms, clients do not get the truth. However, if you bring honest, truthful information to the client, that is added value. Our true expertise adds value as well. The fact that we have partners, managers and in-charges on nearly every project who have significant industry focus — whether it be energy, banking, health care, manufacturing, government or real estate – brings value to the product.

We also operate under the idea of principled innovation — we bring innovative solutions to clients with a principled base. We do not let innovation lead us into new, untested, unproved or unprincipled solutions; we try to retain true professionalism in the solutions we offer.

What is your philosophy on going “above and beyond” for customer service?

Client service is at the heart of everything we do. We have a service contract with our clients that says we will offer the five core tenets of our philosophy: integrity first, true expertise, professional demeanor, responsive reliability and principled innovation. While it seems on the surface to be a pretty simple concept, in practice it is not executed by very many people as well as it should be. We live those concepts every day, and it shows in our client service.

For more information, contact BKD Houston at 713.499.4600 or visit www.bkd.com.