Cotton & Co.

  cottoncpa.com
  cottoncpa.com
There are newer employer reviews for Cotton & Co.

3 people found this helpful  

Excellent career if you want a life outside of work and decent pay!!

  • Comp & Benefits
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Senior Management
  • Career Opportunities
Current Employee - Senior Auditor in Alexandria, VA
Current Employee - Senior Auditor in Alexandria, VA

I have been working at Cotton & Co.

Pros

- Work/life balance - I rarely work more than 40 hours per week but still get paid the same as some of my collegues who work at Big 4 firms

-Little to no travel - unless you are on the IT side, you don't really do much travelling. This can be a con for some though

- Time off - We get a lot of PTO and federal holidays and can pretty much take time off whenever we want....of course, if there is an important deadline, our bosses would probably recommend against it

-Engagements - we have several big name government clients and are given a lot of responsibility while on the job from an early start

-Partners and managers - our upper management is very approachable and they really take the time to get to know who you are and what you want out of your career. If you show them you produce quality work and are efficient in doing so, you can go far in this company and the partners will do all they can to help you get there.

- Advancement - There are no "advancement levels" here...meaning, you could be promoted to senior after 9 months of working or after 3 years. It all depends on the work you produce. With that said, the partners here like things fast - so you can't expect to impress them if you take too much time to do your tasks. It all comes down to the type of worker you are - my advice is to produce high quality work in a short amount of time.

- Location - Most of our clients are in DC but our home office is in Alexandria. So depending on where you live, the location might be prime!

-You learn a lot because you get a lot of manager and partner involvement. The partners here are awesome and love it if you are outgoing and are able to talk to them without fear. It is intimidating sometimes to have to talk to a partner, but those who succeed here are the ones who put forth the effort to establish those relationships.

- Willingness to address your needs - Cotton wants their people to stay, and if you are unhappy with your current engagement, they will work with you to move you somewhere you are better suited.

- Job security - if you are a good worker and pick up on things fast, then job security is fairly high here. If there isn't a job or an engagement for you to work on, you will not get let go, but you may sit in the office doing nothing for a few months....perfect time to study for your CPA!

-Fabulous staff meetings (at the Hilton!!) and parties (at the Ritz!!)

Cons

- Company involvement - there are one or two committees to get involved in and there is a softball team, but not much besides that. You could be working here for 10 years and still only know the people on your engagement.

-Cliquey - a lot of the younger staff are very cliquey. If they already have their "group" don't even think about trying to hang or make friends. This isn't the place.

- Favorites - plain and simple, if the partners and managers like you, you're going to do well. If they don't or if you have an attitude, that'll rub them the wrong way, and you probably won't do well in this company. Its common sense, though. Sometimes you just have to put on a happy face. Fake it till you make it is my motto. And its worked for me!

-Fairness of engagements - like I said, I usually only work 40 hours. However, there are some more intense engagements where it gets super busy at year or quarter end and the staff has to work 60 hour work weeks. Just hope you don't get on one of those!

Advice to ManagementAdvice

I would encourage people to get more involved. If you want a certain committee, talk to your partner and see if you can create it! I would love to see some sort of "Healthy Lifestyle" committee that gets people together after work for running groups, group exercise, whatever. I know a lot of firms reward their employees for a healthy lifestyle. Besides that, keep up the good work and try to get to know each of your employees!

Recommends

11 Other Employee Reviews for Cotton & Co. (View Most Recent)

Sort: Rating Date
  1.  

    Gives you the opportunity to grow, if you want it

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Supervisory Senior in Alexandria, VA
    Current Employee - Supervisory Senior in Alexandria, VA

    I have been working at Cotton & Co.

    Pros

    -If you take the initiative, you will grow and be rewarded. If you just show up to work and do what you're told or expect things to happen for you, it will probably be a very average place to work.
    -Most partners are approachable and very knowledgeable
    -Some fairly young partners
    -Good in house CPE
    -Bonuses for achieving a variety of certifications
    -Better tuition reimbursement than competitors
    -Very smart coworkers
    -Annual casino night at the Ritz

    Cons

    -Technology is fairly old
    -The office is a little hard to get to and not as nice as nearby competitors
    -Somewhat lackluster attitude towards growth. The growth is solid, but competitors in the federal accounting industry are growing much faster
    -Most employees are very audit focused, even those on consulting projects

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    There needs to be a stronger focus on growth to give employees more room to grow. The technology needs to be improved. Communicate to staff the direction of the firm. There doesn't seem to be a cohesive plan for the direction of the firm (from the staff's perspective anyway).

    Recommends
  2.  

    Great learning opportunity but not so good for overall professional growth

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Auditor in Alexandria, VA
    Current Employee - Senior Auditor in Alexandria, VA

    I have been working at Cotton & Co.

    Pros

    Great learning opportunities
    Strong prescence in the federal accounting industry
    Open door policy with partners
    Generous support for certification exams

    Cons

    Lacks in resources and technological advancement
    Compensation is well below the average pay of competing firms
    Advancement opportunities seem to be based on who "bills" the most, regardless of efficiency and competence
    Skewed performance reviews
    Few opportunities for overall professional growth

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Up the pay to at least meet market averages. The pay for experienced and senior staff is much lower than competitors. Staff on certain engagements work much more than some staff on other engagements. Encourage staff to take on leadership and professional opportunities rather than operating as body shops. The staff will not learn how to be successful leaders without guidance.

    Doesn't Recommend
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