Randal Suttles

Providing CFO services and Business Transition Services in Indiana

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About Randal

Randal Suttles

Franklin, IN CFO

38 Years of Experience

Direct Contact

rsuttles@b2bcfo.com

(317) 965-6047

Universities:

University of Notre Dame

Certificates & Licenses:

CPA

CFA

Organizations:

Indiana CPA Society

Institute of Chartered Financial Analysts (CFA)

Contact Randal Suttles and receive a free Discovery Analysis™

  • A confidential meeting with the business owner(s), then interview company staff.
  • Look at the company’s financial information and computer systems.
  • Benchmark financial information against industry averages.
  • Create a confidential report of our findings in The Strategy Gameplan™







Randal’s Bio

Randy is a seasoned executive with 30 years financial and senior management experience. Industry background includes life and health insurance, manufacturing, wholesale and retail, among others.

Randy has extensive experience in bank and debt financing, capital structures, and private equity. He is also diversified in business sized from start ups to multi-million dollar sales and assets. He has directly managed and trained entry level staff, senior financial, accounting, and IT staffs, as well as marketing and operations departments in companies ranging from one employee to several hundred.

Prior to joining B2B CFO® Randy was President and Chief Financial Officer of a specialty health insurer offering coverage in 12 states. He was a co founder and grew the company from zero to $60 million in revenue. Prior to this latest entrepreneurial activity, he was CFO of a national health insurer.

Other experience includes public accounting where he served small to midsize clients in manufacturing, retail stores, grocery and dairy, sales agencies, data processing, contractors, wholesalers, homebuilders, farms and seed companies.

While working in public accounting Randy authored a series of articles published in the Indianapolis Business Journal dealing with small business finance and management. He also authored two continuing education self study courses in small business finance for Indiana University, as well as serving as an associate professor of accounting for Butler University.

Randy did not finish high school, instead he enrolled at the University of Notre Dame at age 16. He received his Bachelors in accounting from Notre Dame, with highest honors. He is a CPA having practiced in public accounting for 7 years including with a Big 4 and a local CPA firm. Randy is also a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) which he earned in 1994.

He and his wife Melissa live in Franklin, Indiana where they raised their four children. Both Randy and Melissa are active members of Rocklane Christian Church in Greenwood. Randy is also a 4th degree black belt in Isshinryu karate.

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Recent Articles

Jan 1Randal Suttles

They can’t count and then they can’t add

Jan 1Randal Suttles

Most companies take physical inventories on December 31.  Today’s memo is being emailed on New Years Day.  So, a short note about inventory. The title of this:  “they can’t count and then they can’t add” is a direct quote from the controller of one of my long time clients.  They have been in business over 50 years.  They take physical inventories every quarter (including New Year’s Eve).  Last quarter the physical count and cost extension showed a 25%+ variance (loss). 

Oct 1Randal Suttles

White Board Magic

Oct 1Randal Suttles

  There is a saying “If you build it, they will come”.  In the movie Field of Dreams, Kevin Costner builds a baseball field in the middle of nowhere, and the old time ball players do indeed come to play on his field of dreams.   With White Boards, “if you track it, that will change it”.  Oh well, mixed metaphor I guess, but you get the idea.   At one fast growing company where I was CFO we had

Jul 1Randal Suttles

Sending a Message to the Employees

Jul 1Randal Suttles

Years ago one of my clients purchased a company that manufactured small parts for carburetor repair kits.  The business had been long established, was marginally profitable when acquired, but had significant employee issues. The prior owners had simply ignored the employees.  They were paid market rates, but the work was manual, tedious, and the owners let the plant and equipment run down.  There were about 40 employees in manufacturing and shipping, mostly women. My client wanted to improve productivity but

Apr 1Randal Suttles

Core Competency. Outsource the rest.

Apr 1Randal Suttles

One of my clients provides specialty products to the military.  My client designs and engineers the products.  They contract out the manufacturing.  Their core competency is the concept, the design and then specifying the engineering to their sub contractors.  And oh, by the way, my client needs very limited investment in machines, so low leverage.  A very profitable and fast growing company. At the health insurance company where I worked, we knew that our core competency was underwriting and fast

Jan 1Randal Suttles

New Years Days: 2 Rat Stories and 1 Pig Story

Jan 1Randal Suttles

  I am sending this email on New Years Day.  So, I thought I would write New Years Day stories.  Before I tell the stories (they are true), I should lay out the point.  The point is there are many things that must be done to get the numbers right, in big and in small companies.  Nuts and bolts kinds of stuff, like bank reconciliations, proper account coding of expenses, good forecasts and cash flow modeling.  If the basics are

Oct 1Randal Suttles

If the ashtrays are full, they think we don’t know how to service the engines!

Oct 1Randal Suttles

There was a time many years ago, when smoking was still allowed on airplanes.  This title comes from a true story relayed to me by a friend.  He was flying cross country, and seated next to a rather irate passenger.  The passenger turned out to be the President of the airline on which they were flying.  And he was angry because the cigarette butts and ashes had not been cleaned out of the ashtrays in the armrest [remember those, anyone?].

Short Metrics

My clients are all privately owned, mid- size ($1 million to $20 million in revenue) companies.  Each client has from 1 to 3 short metrics that the owners monitor every month, sometimes every week or every day.  They are not complicated financial ratios or formulas, but simple and quick data that tell the owner how the business is performing right then, and how it looks in the short term (2 – 4 weeks). One client measures Quick Liquidity.  We track

May 1Randal Suttles

Only 4 ways to improve profit

May 1Randal Suttles

As I was reviewing the monthly financial results with one of my clients, we spent a great deal of time analyzing the gross margin. She asked me to do a training session with her and her key managers so they could better understand how to improve it. What follows is a brief, and hopefully simple, summary of our discussions. You can improve profit only 4 ways (there are really 5, but I will get to that at the end). You

The GamePlan™

In my newsletters, I typically write relevant stories of actual events that have happened to me.  Stories that give lessons that my clients can use.  Stories about what has happened on audits, and with working with my clients to solve their financial problems, dealings with banks, regulators, botched accounting systems…And I get positive feedback from scores of people.  They love the stories.   This letter is a bit different but tells a story too.  I think it very important to

Dec 1Randal Suttles

I do the purchasing

Dec 1Randal Suttles

That is a quote from one of my clients.  He and a partner own a very successful manufacturer.  As you might imagine, there are many issues:  sales and marketing, finance, employee relations, engineering, OSHA and EPA compliance, etc.  All are important, and if not done right, can cause immense problems in any business.  But he said “I do the purchasing”.  That is the critical core function that if not done right causes more than just problems, it causes failure.  He

Oct 1Randal Suttles

Suttles Law

Oct 1Randal Suttles

A bit of background first:   In my early career, fresh out of the University of Notre Dame, I worked in public accounting for 7 years.  The first 3 years with Peat, Marwick, Mitchell (one of the “Big 8” at the time) and 4 years with my father in his accounting firm.  We were the largest local CPA practice in Indianapolis at the time. The Firm’s name was Fowler, Suttles & Co., named for my father and his partner, Hugh

Aug 1Randal Suttles

OK. Here is a formula.

Aug 1Randal Suttles

I guess if you work in the finance side of business, numbers are important.   So are formulas.  So here’s one:   In words:  What I spend divided by what I make equals what I need to sell.   In short hand:  $ out/margin = breakeven.   This is the breakeven formula that every small business owner needs to understand.   The numerator is the fixed expenses.  They include rent, loan payments, utilities, repairs, and salaries.  Note the fixed expenses include salaries,

Jun 1Randal Suttles

Anchors

Jun 1Randal Suttles

Years ago one acquisitive entrepreneur I worked for (he purchased many, many companies and is now on the Forbes 500 list) refused to consolidate the operations once acquired.  That is generally opposite of what most buyers do.  Usually they try to combine and consolidate computer systems, staff functions (think personnel, legal, accounting, etc) and generally seek to reduce the overall costs.  He did not consolidate.  He said, indeed,  he wanted to make each acquired company more efficient, but it had

May 2Randal Suttles

I can’t figure out how to do that

May 2Randal Suttles

3 true stories. Story one.  Many years ago, when savings and loans still existed, I audited several.  One of my clients was a small rural savings and loan that only lent money for residential homes in their and surrounding counties.  One year I began the audit as I always did, and asked to see the new loan register for the year.  I was told by Lloyd, the president, that they made no home loans that year.  Zero.  I said you

Apr 1Randal Suttles

Always the worst possible outcome

Apr 1Randal Suttles

Most of these writings of mine have some kind of theme or particular point.  This one does not.  It is just two stories about one of my long ago clients.  The client was a trucking company.  They were a very large long haul trucker.   Given their size, they were self insured for property damage claims to their own trucks and for the products they hauled for their customers.  I was at the office that handled the claims for my client

Feb 1Randal Suttles

Colored Folders

Feb 1Randal Suttles

One of my clients is a job order manufacturer for the auto industry.  A few months ago they were having difficulty meeting delivery deadlines.  As they tried to meet deadlines quality began to slip, more deadlines missed…  You know how it goes.  They needed a way to fix the shop scheduling problem,  to meet ever tighter deadlines, while holding to their quality standards.  Or the customers were leaving. I was asked about computer software to help fix the problem.  I

Dec 1Randal Suttles

We air shipped the computer

Dec 1Randal Suttles

Some years ago, while I served as CFO of a mid sized health insurer, we spent several thousand dollars to air ship in a computer from Texas.  Why would anybody do such a thing? Here is the context:  We had grown so fast that our data processing systems could not keep up.  Not the software, nor the hardware.  We were unable to timely process health insurance claims, by a lot.  Everyone was working extremely hard to try and keep up,

Oct 4Randal Suttles

Statement of Cash Flows

Oct 4Randal Suttles

I just hung up the phone with a client.  I had told her to print the cash flow statement for the prior month.  (She uses PeachTree.  Quickbooks has an embedded cash flow statement as well.  So do most financial software packages).  She printed it, faxed it to me and we began discussing it.  Her first words were:  “I don’t even know what this is.”  I told her it is probably the most important financial statement she has (she is a

Cash Flow

One of my clients recently asked me for copies of the small business finance self-study courses that I wrote more than 25 years ago for Indiana University.  I found one of the old sets.  Here is a short extract from the first chapter: “Managing cash flow in a small business requires nothing more than projecting and subsequently analyzing cash received and cash spent.  It is critical to keep track of all cash activity as a means to prepare future projections.