Catherine Dixon on Expenses and Benchmarks

Catherine Dixon, director at The Intersect Group, a national finance, accounting, and information technology staffing and consulting firm, discusses how the use of benchmarks can help streamline a company’s operations in the latest episode of Intersect TV.

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Wade Hughes featured in Sunday edition of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Wade Hughes, managing partner at The Intersect Group, was featured in last Sunday’s Business section of The Atlanta-Journal Constitution.

In the feature Wade discussed The Intersect Group’s growth opportunities, as well as challenges that the company has faced through its continued growth.  In addition, Wade looks forward and comments on the trends we will see as we enter 2012, especially around companies’ decisions to reshore, nearshore and offshore and the boom of healthcare IT in Atlanta.

To view the entire article click here.

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The Intersect Group supports community throughout 2011

Susan Bryant, director of business development, at The Intersect GroupThe year 2011 has been an exciting year of growth, expansion and change for The Intersect Group, but one of the most exciting highlights of the year can be attributed to the kindness and generosity of the entire Intersect team.  Since April 2011, The Intersect Group raised or donated over $30,000, and hundreds of hours of their time, to three deserving charities, including the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, the Atlanta Community Food Bank and SafeHouse Outreach.  The charities supported during 2011 were determined based on an internal survey of The Intersect Group’s team.

In April of this year, nine charity committee members joined together to plan ways for the entire Intersect team to give of their time and money in each of the markets our company serves.  Our first step was to create a formal charter and guiding principles.

“We will use our skills and connections to think of others first and make a significant impact on our community by working together.  We will consider the best options for using our time and expertise to help the community, and evaluate each option independently ensuring the greater good with our time, our firm, and our brand.”

Throughout 2011 The Intersect Group team dedicated their time and resources through participation in three SafeHouse Outreach feed the homeless campaigns, as well as through SafeHouse’s Holiday Angel Campaign.  For the Holiday Angel Campaign, The Intersect Group was able to sponsor 27 children, providing each with gifts for the holiday season.  In addition, The Intersect Group donated a total of $25,000 dollars to the Boys & Girls Clubs of America with $15,000 of that donation being given by individual employees of The Intersect Group.  Also in 2011, we were able to donate two huge bins of non-perishable, non-food items, like diapers and toilet paper, to the Atlanta Community Food Bank.

The opportunity to give back and support our local charities breathes The Intersect Group’s mission and allows each of us to put our corporate values into action in the community.  Together we are creating a culture where people feel comfortable volunteering their time and feel as though they can get their families involved.

I want to personally thank every single person that has played a part in making this first year a huge success!  I, along with the whole Charity Committee, look forward to what 2012 will bring, and the support we will be able provide to those who need it the most in our community.

Anyone interested in getting involved with The Intersect Group’s community involvement and charity activities can contact Susan Bryant at


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2011: A Year in Review

Wade Hughes, managing partner of The Intersect GroupWow, what an incredible year 2011 has been for The Intersect Group!  We’ve developed some outstanding client relationships, added extraordinary talent to our team and expanded offices during 2011.  I want to say Thank You to our clients and our entire team; we have all been really blessed.  I hope everyone is enjoying a relaxing holiday time with family and friends as we all recharge for another great year in 2012.

Growth and Expansion: Overall in 2011, The Intersect Group grew from $26 million in revenue in 2010 to approximately $43 million this year, a 65% overall increase in revenue.  Atlanta staffing excelled in all areas setting incredible records and creating an opportunity for Ray Wilson to step forward in a new leadership role as Managing Director of Staffing in Atlanta.  Our Chicago office has turned a corner under the leadership of Dan Eick and we have continued expansion of our company with the opening of our third office in Dallas, TX.  It is now thriving in its first six months in operation.  We also launched a new team in Atlanta with a focus on staffing for ERP specific positions nationally. Moving into 2012 we anticipate even greater growth as we continue to expand across the country, bringing our Flexible Delivery Model™ to businesses who need the right resources, at the right time and at the right value to accelerate their success. Geographic expansion will not only allow us to better serve our clients, but will also allow for increased professional opportunities for our entire team.  Toby Hughes who started out in Atlanta is now responsible for opening and running the Dallas office.

Consulting: During 2011, our firm’s consulting capabilities have really grown through the leadership of Joe Fay and Cheri Brown in the Finance Transformation Practice and the addition of top IT talent like Mike Matte, consulting partner for IT Transformation, and Eric Falthzik, Andy Speer and Will Partin as Practice Directors on this team, focusing on providing Business Intelligence, SharePoint.Collaboration and Program Management Office services, respectively.  The consulting team has met some significant needs at the local, national and global levels at clients such as The Coca-Cola Company, NCR, RockTenn, Atlanta Housing Authority, Earthlink, Follett Higher Education Group and Novelis while integrating well with the staffing teams to bring on niche skill sets for unique challenges.

Giving Back: As a company our mission and values are of the utmost importance and 2011 proved to be an exciting year as we increased our community involvement, allowing each member of our team to put into action our mission of Succeed by Serving.  In the Charity Committee’s first year alone, The Intersect Group raised and donated over $30,000 for two local and one national charity.  In addition, The Intersect Group was able to give back of their time and resources during the holiday season through many hours of volunteer time and the sponsorship of 27 kids for Christmas at SafeHouse Outreach Ministries.  The formalization of our committee this year has given us an energizing glimpse into the positive impact our team can have in the communities we serve.   We can’t wait to ramp these efforts even more in 2012.

Looking Ahead: We have intensely listened to what our clients need and significantly adjusted our model over the first six years to meet these needs efficiently and effectively.  We have created the only model that successfully marries the consulting services of a Big 4 firm with the capabilities of a global staffing company.  This is a key differentiator as more and more of our clients are demanding more cost effective solutions to bring the right resource at the right time to meet their complex and diverse needs.  Looking ahead to 2012 we are planning for significant continued growth for the firm as we continue to deliver this different and better business model to the IT and F&A market.    We are also seeing some significant trends related to re-shoring jobs that we believe will continue to gain traction.  In the world of IT we will see an increased shortage of the specific talents needed in today’s workplaces so we will continue to be innovative in how we find and develop those talents for our clients.

Without a doubt, none of the success The Intersect Group saw in 2011 would have been possible without the trust and deep relationships of our clients and the character and commitment of the entire Intersect Group team.  I want to thank you all for your continued dedication throughout 2011 and as we enter 2012.  I’m looking forward to 2012 and am thrilled about the great things that are in store for The Intersect Group in the year to come.

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What are companies looking for today in finance & accounting professionals?

Finance and accounting professionals’ roles have shifted and today successful accounting professionals act as business partners and are more strategic and focused on the future.  The latest episode of Intersect TV, featuring Ray Wilson, delves into just what companies are looking for in finance and accounting professionals as we head into 2012.

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Catherine Dixon on Trends in Mergers and Acquisitions

Today in mergers and acquisitions there has been a shift from a sole focus on a company’s financials to a more holistic focus on diligence.  Catherine Dixon, director at The Intersect Group discusses this and other M&A trends in the latest episode of Intersect TV.

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2012 Trends in Information Technology

While many industries have been dragged down in recent years by the devastating hit our economy took in 2009 and its inability to successfully rebound, the IT industry has seen steady increases since spring 2010.  Both IT spend and the demand for IT talent have increased from early 2010 through the fall 2011.  With a new year approaching, all eyes are looking toward what we should expect for 2012.

What should we expect?  In 2012 a continued recovery in IT spending is expected overall; however it is expected to be uneven across sectors, with healthcare providers and manufacturers expected to increase their spending the most in the IT arena.  This is in comparison to government organizations that are cutting their IT spending.  IT capital spending is also on the rebound for 2012, with one study finding that 54 percent of respondents will increase their IT capital budgets in 2012.

Operational Spending:  That same report indicates that 60 percent of IT organizations are increasing operational spending in 2012, while only 34 percent of IT executives plan to increase spending levels.  These numbers indicate that although companies are spending money, they continue to do so cautiously and are refraining from spending to add to their permanent headcount.   As a result of this cautious nature, professionals looking for full-time work in IT may face difficulty during 2012, while contract workers will thrive.

IT Skills Shortage:  All the problems in our economy aside, the IT sector is expected to grow in 2012.  It will grow so much that for many IT jobs there will be a skills shortage, meaning that there aren’t enough workers trained with specific in-demand skills to meet today’s growing business needs.  This trend could be connected to the fact that the number of computer science majors in American colleges and universities has decreased significantly since 2000.  In 2000 there were 16,000 computer science majors and by fall 2006 that number had fallen to a mere 7,798, a trend that isn’t expected to reverse soon. 

Why?  Over the past decade American students have seen IT jobs going out the back door and sent overseas, meaning fewer jobs in the U.S. and less job opportunity in the field. 

Today, however, the outsourcing/offshoring trend is shifting and we are seeing jobs that were once offshored, due to the economic advantages of low labor costs, re-shored to the U.S.  We are seeing this shift because the costs of labor and travel have increased as countries that were once considered “developing” are now “developed.”  It’s estimated that labor costs in China are rising nearly 15 percent per year, making U.S. companies reevaluate their total landed costs.  It’s important to note, though, that the reshoring trend is in its emerging stages.

In September 2011 The Intersect Group experienced a record month for permanent hires, outpacing its previous record by 30 percent, a trend we anticipate continuing throughout 2012.  This is a strong sign for both the IT and staffing industries.  In IT, new projects are coming off the shelf, specifically development projects that will require Java and .Net developers.  In recent months, The Intersect Group also has seen a robust growth in contract positions, as well as a large surge of new jobs requests from clients.

Overall, the outlook is bright for the IT industry in 2012.  However, with a national unemployment number stuck around 9 percent, there is still plenty of uncertainty to be seen in the economy and we will all cross our fingers and hope for the best as we enter 2012.

For more information, contact Keith Ordan or visit

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The Intersect Group’s Catherine Dixon Featured in the Atlanta Business Chronicle

Catherine Dixon, expert in mergers and acquisitions at The Intersect Group, was featured in Friday’s issue of the Atlanta Business Chronicle, following the announcement that she had been appointed to the ACG Atlanta Board of Directors.  Dixon joined The Intersect Group team in March 2008.   You can view the entire feature online.

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Internal Audit’s Future is in Great Hands

On November 11th The Intersect Group had the pleasure of sponsoring the 1st Annual Institute of Internal Audit Internal Audit Case Competition at Georgia State University’s Buckhead campus; an impressive event that left many internal audit veterans very confident about the future of the internal audit profession.

The mission of the internal audit case competition was to generate awareness around the internal audit profession, while providing students with real-life experiences in the industry.  The competition brought together 10 teams from all over the state of Georgia.  The case competition was open to all accounting and finance students at colleges and universities in Georgia and represented six of the best business schools in the state.

During the competition I had the opportunity to watch many of the best and brightest accounting and finance students from across the state present their case recommendations to a panel of three top internal audit veterans; I must say, I was impressed.  All of the participants in the competition did a remarkable job.  I know it can be nerve-racking to stand in front of executives and present on a new topic, but they all maintained their composure and have great futures ahead of them.

What was most remarkable about the event was how impressed and optimistic about the future of the internal audit profession many of the industry veterans were after all teams presented.  And that speaks to the quality of students coming out of Georgia colleges and universities.  One case competition judge, Paul Sobel, vice president of internal audit at Georgia Pacific said, “If these students and their presentations are any indication then I think the future of the business profession is in very good hands.  I felt really good about the insights the students had and the way they grasped how to take IIA Standards and apply them to real-life situations, which makes me bullish about the future of the profession.”

Following the case competition, The Intersect Group sponsored a dinner reception, which served as an incredible networking opportunity for students who had the opportunity to meet and speak with many of the top internal audit executives in Georgia.

At the end of the night, Ernst & Young awarded a prize of $1000 per student, to the winning team from the University of Georgia and the IIA Atlanta Chapter awarded a second place prize of $500 per student to a team from Kennesaw State University.

Overall the event was a huge success that the IIA Atlanta Chapter plans to grow over the next several years.  Through sponsorship of this event, The Intersect Group was able to support the effort to grow local talent and invest in developing the future leadership of the internal audit community in Atlanta.  And we cannot wait until next year’s competition

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Keith Ordan, staffing partner at The Intersect Group, provides insights on the job market

Keith Ordan, staffing partner at The Intersect Group, provides insights on the job market in the latest episode of Intersect TV.  New thought leadership videos, on new topics, are coming soon!  Be sure to check back!

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