Cotton & Co. Reviews | Glassdoor

Cotton & Co. Reviews

Updated July 12, 2017
23 reviews

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3.7
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David L. Cotton
7 Ratings

23 Employee Reviews

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  1. "Good career choice"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Alexandria, VA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Alexandria, VA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Cotton & Co. full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Great company with strong values and excellent benefits. Sincere interest in developing employees and helping them grow

    Cons

    Alexandria traffic can be challenging


  2. Helpful (1)

    "worst place for ambitious people"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Staff Auditor in Alexandria, VA
    Former Employee - Staff Auditor in Alexandria, VA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    For those lazy ones, you dont have to do much. Just keep your mouth shut and keep collecting those chekcs at least while they have the contract.

    Cons

    Extremely high turnover rate. Dave Cotton and the like rule by fear. I've never seen such egos. So if you like the fake and professional types, you'll feel right at home.

    Advice to Management

    Let Auditors be Auditors.

  3. Helpful (2)

    "Career Enhancing Opportunity"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Alexandria, VA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Alexandria, VA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Cotton & Co. full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Hard work is rewarded through promotions and bonuses;
    Very good training and career development;
    Partners always looking for ways to improve and will listen to staff;
    Engagements are challenging and complex;
    Good work / life balance.

    Cons

    Focus is on Federal government, some may want other experiences;
    Technology is a little lacking (but some improvements are being made).

    Advice to Management

    Keep working with staff looking for and implementing new benefits and career enhancing opportunities, i.e. Emergency day care, employee committees, etc.


  4. Helpful (2)

    "Great company to work for"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Auditor in Alexandria, VA
    Current Employee - Auditor in Alexandria, VA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Cotton & Co. full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Work/Life balance is great.
    Company provides plenty of training for their employees.
    Pay is very competitive compared to other accounting firms in the area.
    Education reimbursements are very generous.

    Cons

    They only have federal government engagements which could not be for everybody.
    Making the move from one engagement to the next could be difficult

    Advice to Management

    Management does a good job of keeping their employees informed whether it be through emails or meetings. It is important that management keeps this up in the future.


  5. Helpful (3)

    "Great Place to have a Career!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Manager in Alexandria, VA
    Current Employee - Manager in Alexandria, VA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Cotton & Co. (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Work-Life Balance is great at this Company. It is a CPA firm so the work can be stressful at times, but the company tries to prevent overworking its employees. Extra effort and time is recognized and often rewarded. The company is large enough to offer great salaries, benefits, and have large clients, but small enough to still get personal attention from upper management and partners. Promotion potential is high since the company is still growing. You will learn a lot on the jobs at Cotton.

    Cons

    Formal Training classes are improving, but there is not alot to choose from once you have been with the Company for a number of years. They will reimburse outside training courses though.


  6. Helpful (6)

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

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

    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 Management

    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!


  7. Helpful (1)

    "Gives you the opportunity to grow, if you want it"

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

    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 Management

    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).

  8. "Great learning opportunity but not so good for overall professional growth"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Auditor in Alexandria, VA
    Current Employee - Senior Auditor in Alexandria, VA
    Doesn't Recommend

    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 Management

    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.


  9. "Great starter job."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Auditor in Alexandria, VA
    Former Employee - Auditor in Alexandria, VA
    Doesn't Recommend

    Pros

    You will learn a lot, and will learn how to do high-quality work.

    Cons

    Salary is way below industry standard.

    Advice to Management

    I loved the focus on quality, but you have to realize that quality work is time-consuming work, and the compensation should correlate with that level of effort.


  10. "Great Regional Firm"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Cotton & Co. full-time

    Pros

    - Regular interaction with partners. Partners are very personable.
    - While not a big name, very well respected in the industry and area.
    - High quality work products.
    - Plenty of opportunity for advancement. Being a smaller firm, the top performers are known and recognized (as are the underachievers).
    - You can wear jeans every day when in the office.
    - Snacks in the office.
    - Work/life balance. While this is often lost during busy season (as is the case at any public accounting firm), the work/life balance is great during slower times of the year.

    Cons

    - No regular telework options
    - Some weak managers and senior managers

    Advice to Management

    Don't lose your identity as you continue to grow at a rapid pace.


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