Cotton CARES

  • Certified Public Accounting firm
  • Founded in 1981
  • Alexandria, Virginia
  • 15 Partners
  • 225 employees

Cotton is a CPA firm that provides specialized services for governmental agencies and programs, as well as commercial clients. Since our founding in 1981, we have focused our practice on providing services predominately for governmental agencies and programs. Based in Old Town Alexandria, VA, our proximity to Washington, D.C. strengthens our client relationships and provides accessible services.

Cotton provides a full range of audit, financial management and accounting, internal control and risk management, information systems, and litigation support services. We have assisted dozens of federal and state agencies in achieving accountability, transparency, and integrity over the receipt, disbursement, and application of public funds, and execution of federal programs.

CARES Act Services

Cotton has the necessary expertise and experience to assist federal and state agencies and their inspectors general with ensuring accountability and spending transparency for COVID-19 aid, relief, and response funds. The historic size and scope of the CARES Act funding, coupled with the expediency and flexibility needed to distribute the funds to meet critical needs, call for increased risk management, monitoring, reporting, and oversight of federal spending. Cotton has decades of relevant experience to assist.


Ready to assist federal and state agencies with executing their fiscal and stewardship responsibilities related to COVID-19 response and economic relief funding.

Risk Management and Internal Controls

  • Design and implement internal controls in accordance with the U.S. Government Accountability Office’s (GAO) Standards for Internal Control in the Federal Government (the Green Book) and Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-123, Management’s Responsibility for Enterprise Risk Management and Internal Control.
  • Revise business processes that balance the current need to quickly disburse financial assistance grants, loans, and benefit payments to millions of recipients while maintaining program integrity, audit trails, and data quality.

Monitoring and Reporting

  • Support budget execution including monitoring and reporting on the status and validity of obligations, expenditures, and outlays.
  • Financial statement, Governmentwide Treasury Account Symbol (GTAS), and Data Act reporting, ensuring quality data that are accurate, complete, and timely, and ensuring that transactions are adequately supported by source documentation.

Customized reports allow data and information to be summarized or disaggregated at various levels to meet CARES Act requirements for monitoring and performance measurement.

Accounting Support

  • Record obligation and payment transactions, and accrual entries in GL systems.
  • Reconcile between feeder and subledger systems to the general ledger to ensure that transactions are timely, accurately and completely recorded.

The significant volume of transactions to be processed in administering the CARES Act will require additional resources to ensure transactions are recorded timely and accurately to support real-time reporting and decision making, and ensure accountability, transparency, and auditability. 

Data Analytics and Visualization

  • Analyze financial, award, and other relevant agency data to support performance metrics and presentation. 
  • Continuously monitor data to identify data integrity concerns, including duplicate, erroneous or improper payments.

Data analytic procedures will be valuable in implementing and understanding the outcomes of COVID-19 relief and response efforts.


Ready to assist the Office of the Special Inspector General for Pandemic Recovery, the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee, and agency Offices of the Inspectors General with all aspects of oversight responsibilities.

Risk Assessments

  • Work with inspectors general to identify relevant risk factors associated with each program and then to evaluate risks of erroneous and improper payments and/or fraud.
  • Perform risk assessments to identify potential areas for audit and/or potential auditees.

Financial and Compliance
Audits and Reviews

  • Audit government contracts and grants to determine whether costs incurred are reasonable, allocable, eligible and allowable in accordance with laws, regulations, and contract terms and conditions.
  • Use audit software to improve audit efficiency and effectiveness, by conducting data mining and analytics on transactional data to identify anomalies, outliers, and aberrant transactions for testing.

Performance Audits

Customized to meet client agency audit objectives:

  • Assess program effectiveness; economy and efficiency; internal controls; compliance; and prospective analyses.
  • Include audits of procurement practices, assessments of compliance with program rules and regulations, Data Act audits, and audits to identify erroneous or improper payments.

Forensic Reviews

  • Perform forensic reviews to support investigations of fraud, waste, and abuse.
  • Partners and staff are Certified Fraud Examiners, providing expertise to perform the reviews.


Ready to assist federal and state agencies and private contractors in construction litigation and preparation or evaluation of claims stemming from COVID-19 cost increases.

  • Provide litigation support related to project cost increases and delays, including costs for suspensions, terminations, disruption, differing site conditions, and other alleged contract breaches.
  • Conduct project cost reviews; perform detailed analyses of budgets and claimed costs; perform reconstruction of actual damages; and provide statistical research.
  • Assist litigation teams with various services, including pre-trial and trial support, expert reports, deposition and trial testimony, settlement negotiations, related investigatory services, and other support to meet specific needs.

Click here for more information on Litigation Support and the impact of COVID-19 on construction projects.


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