David L. Cotton, CPA, CFE, CGFM
Chairman of Cotton & Company LLP
Dave Cotton is founder and Chairman Emeritus of Cotton & Company, Certified Public Accountants, headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia. Cotton & Company was founded in 1981 and has a practice concentration in assisting Federal and State agencies, inspectors general, and government grantees and contractors with a variety of government program-related assurance and advisory services. Cotton & Company has performed grant and contract, indirect cost rate, financial statement, financial related, and performance audits for more than two dozen Federal inspectors general as well as numerous other Federal and State organizations, programs, activities, and functions. In April 2022, Cotton & Company became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sikich LLP.
Cotton & Company’s Federal agency audit clients have included the U.S. Government Accountability Office, U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Transportation Command, U.S, Defense Security Cooperation Agency, U.S. House of Representatives, U.S. Capitol Police, U.S. Small Business Administration, U.S. Bureau of Prisons, Millennium Challenge Corporation, U.S. Marshals Service, and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Cotton & Company also assists numerous Federal agencies in preparing financial statements and improving financial management, accounting, and internal control systems.
Dave received a BS in mechanical engineering and an MBA in management science and labor relations from Lehigh University in Bethlehem, PA. He also pursued graduate studies in accounting and auditing at the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business. He is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE), and Certified Government Financial Manager (CGFM).
Dave served on the Advisory Council on Government Auditing Standards (the Council advises the United States Comptroller General on promulgation of Government Auditing Standards—GAO’s yellow book). He served on the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) Anti-Fraud Programs and Controls Task Force and co-authored Managing the Business Risk of Fraud: A Practical Guide. He served on the American Institute of CPAs Anti-Fraud Task Force and co-authored Management Override: The Achilles Heel of Fraud Prevention. Dave is the past-chair of the AICPA Federal Accounting and Auditing Subcommittee and has served on the AICPA Governmental Accounting and Auditing Committee and the Government Technical Standards Subcommittee of the AICPA Professional Ethics Executive Committee. Dave chaired the Fraud Risk Management Task Force, sponsored by COSO and ACFE and is a principal author of the COSO-ACFE Fraud Risk Management Guide. Dave is currently co-chairing a task force to update the COSO-ACFE Fraud Risk Management Guide. In May 2022, Governor Glenn Youngkin appointed Dave to the Virginia Board of Accountancy.
Dave served on the board of the Virginia Society of Certified Public Accountants (VSCPA) and on the VSCPA Litigation Services, Professional Ethics, Quality Review, and Governmental Accounting and Auditing Committees. He is a member of the Association of Government Accountants (AGA) and past-advisory board chairman and past-president of the AGA Northern Virginia Chapter and past Vice Chair of the AGA Professional Ethics Board. He is also a member of the IIA and the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners.
Dave has testified as an expert in governmental accounting, auditing, and fraud issues before the United States Court of Federal Claims, the Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals, and other administrative and judicial bodies.
Dave has spoken and written frequently on cost accounting, professional ethics, and auditor fraud detection responsibilities. He has been an instructor for the George Washington University masters of accountancy program (Fraud Examination and Forensic Accounting), and has instructed for the George Mason University Small Business Development Center (Fundamentals of Accounting for Government Contracts).
Dave was the recipient of the ACFE 2018 Certified Fraud Examiner of the Year Award (“presented to a CFE who has demonstrated outstanding achievement in the field of fraud examination … based on their contributions to the ACFE, to the profession, and to the community”); AGA’s 2012 Educator Award (“to recognize individuals who have made significant contributions to the education and training of government financial managers”); and AGA’s 2006 Barr Award (“to recognize the cumulative achievements of private sector individuals who throughout their careers have served as a role model for others and who have consistently exhibited the highest personal and professional standards”).