Dave Cotton





VA CPA License # 6366
NC CPA License # N1369
Republic of Palau

Dave Cotton served as Cotton & Company’s managing partner from the firm’s founding in 1981 until July 2006. In July 2006, with the election of two new managing partners, he became the firm’s first chairman. Dave received his Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering (1971) and his Masters in Business Administration in management science and labor relations (1972) from Lehigh University in Bethlehem, PA. He also pursued graduate studies in accounting and auditing at the University of Chicago, Graduate School of Business (1977 to 1978). 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—the U.S. Government Accountability Office’s Yellow Book) from 2006 to 2009. 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 CPA’s (AICPA) Anti-Fraud Task Force and co-authored Management Override: The Achilles Heel of Fraud Prevention. He is the past-chairman 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 the ACFE and is a principal author of the COSO-ACFE Fraud Risk Management Guide. He is presently serving on the AICPA’s Performance Audit Standards Task Force.

Dave served on the board of the Virginia Society of Certified Public Accountants (VSCPA), and on the VSCPA Litigation Services Committee, Professional Ethics Committee, Quality Review Committee, and Governmental Accounting and Auditing Committee. He is a member of the Association of Government Accountants (AGA) and is past-advisory board chairman and past-president of the AGA Northern Virginia Chapter. He is also a member of the Institute of Internal Auditors and the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners.

Dave has testified as an expert in governmental accounting and auditing issues and fraud issues before the United States Court of Federal Claims and other administrative and judicial bodies.

Dave has spoken frequently on professional ethics and auditors’ fraud detection responsibilities under SAS 99, Consideration of Fraud in a Financial Statement Audit. He has instructed for the George Washington University Master of Accountancy program (Fraud Examination and Forensic Accounting) and instructs for the George Mason University Small Business Development Center (Fundamentals of Accounting for Government Contracts).

Dave was the recipient of the 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”), as well as AGA’s 2012 Educator Award (“to recognize individuals who have made significant contributions to the education and training of government financial managers”).