Our Story

Experience and team chemistry are the building blocks of PHB CPAs.

The combined experience of our partners is not only impressive but the team chemistry makes for a very special group of leaders. They are partners by choice, not chance. Lisa, Sarah, Craig and Kerry have handpicked each other and formed a firm based on their like vision, work ethic and commitment to quality. Though our name and location we’re not made official until 2011, PHB’s roots run much deeper.

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Lisa Patterson (2nd from left in photo) began her accounting career in the late 1980’s as an auditor. Gaining experience and confidence early on, Lisa eventually earned the position of Partner in 1995 with the predecessor firm to PHB CPAs.

Lisa loves to tell the stories of her early auditing days when she was traveling around the State of Arkansas, staying in the motels in very small towns and learning her craft. After finding fraud for several audit clients, she added “Certified Fraud Examiner” to her credentials.

After Lisa moved to the managing partner position in 2000, she began working in the tax department and performing business valuations for companies as a Certified Valuation Analyst.  As PHB has grown from 6 employees to 30 plus employees, Lisa spends most of her time managing the day to day operations of the firm working on specific client problems.

Along the way, Lisa and Sarah Hardee (2nd from right in photo) became co-workers and realized their similar work ethic made for a great team. It didn’t take long for Sarah quickly advance in her career and eventually earn the role of Audit Partner. Sarah simply became too valuable to lose.  The firm could always count on her to bring new clients to the firm, make deadlines and serve the clients well.  Every financial statement client feels like they are her favorite client and they are all right!  Her approach in the attest services was then and remains today, one of a teacher.  It’s critically important that the clients see our services as valuable beyond our opinion on their financial statements.  She enjoys brainstorming with clients about ways they can protect their assets and improve the accuracy of their financial reporting.  These financial reports are so important to help business owners and boards of directors make important decisions in their organizations.

The two met Craig Ballentine (far right in photo), who started as an intern in 2004 and spent time working in all areas of the firm. He started as an auditor, and eventually moved over to mostly preparing tax returns full-time.  The experience of working in all the phases of the firm was invaluable experience which allowed him to serve and develop many new client relationships. Craig began to develop his own “book” of business, made up of mostly small business owners and high earning individuals.  It’s in this client development area that he still enjoys the most about his job. Having always had the entrepreneurial itch, when the opportunity to partner with Lisa and Sarah presented itself, it was an easy to decision to make. Craig became the Tax partner in 2011 and Patterson, Hardee & Ballentine CPAs was officially born.

Today, the three have grown the original firm into one of the largest in Franklin, and added Kerry Garner (far left in photo) as the fourth Partner in 2018. Kerry had previously been PHB’s Senior Tax Manager. Kerry came to Nashville in 1998 and since then has enjoyed growing his career in Middle Tennessee. Through the years, Kerry has and continues to serve a wide range of clients including community banks, small businesses and individuals with income tax preparation and planning, as well as accounting and financial statement presentation.

From the beginning, their uncompromising standards have been apparent in those they hire and the services they provide; they call that “working the PHB way.”