Our Story

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. They 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.

PHB started out with just 6 employees, the group made a commitment to each other and their clients, and thanks to that, the firm now has a staff of more than 30. The team worked hard to build a brand and solid reputation and were quite successful. The firm’s first initial, “P” comes from Lisa Patterson, who served as the Managing Partner from 2011 until her retirement in 2021.

Sarah Hardee, the second initial, “H” in PHB, is the current Managing Partner. She started her role with the firm as the Audit Partner. Throughout the years Sarah has been dedicated to growing the firm and is always bringing in new clients. She is deeply engaged in the community, constantly sharing her time and talent beyond the walls of PHB. Ask any client about Sarah, and they will say that they are her favorite, and they are right, because she truly loves watching her clients thrive! She has never wavered in her commitment to the firm, to make deadlines and serve the clients well.

Sarah’s approach in the attest services has always been 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 third initial, “B” in PHB represents Craig Ballentine, who started his career as an intern in 2004 and then 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 firm is one of the largest in Franklin, and is continuing to grow along with the Middle Tennessee community. Kerry Garner was added as a Partner in 2018, and Julie Mayer in 2021.

Kerry had previously been PHB’s Senior Tax Manager prior to becoming a Tax Partner. Kerry came to Nashville in 1988 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.

Julie served as the Senior Audit Manager when she joined PHB in 2016 and is now our Audit Partner. Julie started her career in public accounting with Deloitte, leaving the practice as a Senior Manager in the Audit Department to work as the Corporate Controller of a local business.  She has audit experience across a wide variety of industries, most recently with PHB to include governmental entities, healthcare organizations, non-profit organizations and manufacturing entities. She possesses a unique skill set derived from working both in public practice and also having managed all accounting and tax components of a growing business.

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.”