“[Lavoie] really allowed us an opportunity to not only have a better understanding and clarity for all our own businesses, but other investment opportunities—we can gain an understanding of a business if that’s something we want to pursue.”

Brett Thomason, COO of the Whitener Company


The Whitener Company


Business Management Consulting

When you have a business, you need solid, organized financials that allow you to make accurate reports to your partners, investors, and regulators. Outsourced accounting services build on this base, providing consistency in the quality of their services that helps companies get a new perspective on their businesses.

The Whitener Company recently gained new insight into its key performance metrics through its decision to use outsourced accounting. This decision gave the company’s leaders a whole new outlook on its financials and made room for the discovery of new opportunities. We caught up with Brett Thomason, COO of the Whitener Company, on how Lavoie CPA is helping the firm vet its growth opportunities and map out its five-year plan.

The Client

Based in Knoxville, Tennessee, the Whitener Company helps businesses through their growth stages, setting the groundwork for long-term success. This company handles everything from infrastructure and financial modeling to marketing and growth planning, acquisitions, corporate restructuring, and executive training.

Under the leadership of founder and CEO Gordon Whitener and COO Thomason, the Whitener Company has expanded to create the Whitener Entertainment Group (WEG), an Emmy® and Clio® Award-winning production company that specializes in innovative film, television, and digital concepts.

The Whitener Company and WEG helped bring one of Burt Reynolds’s last movies, “The Last Movie Star,” to life. Longtime Reynolds fan Adam Rifkin wrote the movie in the mid-2000s but spent more than seven years getting it funded. After the Whitener Company stepped in and secured funding—with CEO Gordon Whitener as a producer and COO Brett Thomason as executive producer—the movie was filmed in Knoxville, a city Reynolds later profusely praised.

The Challenges

As the Whitener Company continued to gain market share and recognition, it became tougher to get a real-time picture of the company’s strength and trajectory. “I think, like everybody else, we needed a better financial plan,” Thomason said. “We had to have better clarity on what we were doing. We really needed to see not just what’s happening right now, but to try to put together a plan to make a clear picture for the next year, three years, five years.”

And with seven of every 10 businesses failing within the first five years, mostly due to planning failures such as a lack of strategy, no business plan, and limited vision, having a solid financial plan can often be the key to longevity. Without Lavoie’s services, Thomason says, “we wouldn’t have maximized the profit we need to efficiently run a business.”

The Solution

Thomason explained that using Lavoie’s financial reporting services “really allowed us an opportunity to not only have a better understanding and clarity for all our own businesses, but other investment opportunities—we can gain an understanding of a business if that’s something we want to pursue.”

Outsourcing their accounting provided the Whitener Company with customized reports truly tailored to specific business needs as well as personal guidance from professionals. “Ultimately, we wanted someone who can have a hands-on engagement strategy,” Thomason said. “But also someone you don’t need to handhold… someone who, after the initial onboarding, you can trust to do what they need to do.”

Another distinct benefit of outsourced accounting is the consistency it provides. “Whether it’s a company of 10 people or a company of thousands,” mused Thomason, “that’s the benefit of being able to grow and scale.”

And the Whitener Company knows that the costliest solution isn’t necessarily the best one—you need to find the right fit. As Thomason described, “[Lavoie] had an understanding of the different businesses we’re involved in. They’re delivering some of the best results in the business. So for us, since we had such a vast array of investments and opportunity, it actually ended up being a better opportunity for us to use someone and the resources that are available through their network.”

Successful Outcomes

By tracking key data on its mergers, acquisitions, and business sales, the Whitener Company has gained new insight into performance metrics for the company itself and its potential acquisitions.

“Within the first year,” explained Thomason, “there were at least an additional three to four entities and businesses that we would not have been able to properly vet or even begin conversations with if we had not had Lavoie available to do evaluation processes for us—engagements, projections, things of that nature.”

At Lavoie, our goal is to be a business’s go-to source for financial reporting and accounting management. Lavoie serves as your company’s finance department, up to and including outsourced fractional CFO services. Give us a call at (704) 481-6699 or fill out our contact form talk about how Lavoie can help give your company clarity.