TO: Interested Parties
FROM: Ed Sherwood, Executive Director, TBEP
SUBJECT: Call for Proposals: Financial Auditing Services for Tampa Bay Estuary Program (TBEP)
DATE: August 19, 2019
The Tampa Bay Estuary Program is soliciting proposals for the following project:
Title: Financial Audit Services
The expected duration of this project is approximately six months.
Questions Received w/ TBEP Response:
Q1: What were the prior year fees paid?
Q2: Is the 2019 audit fee fixed at $18,700?
A: Proposals up to $18,700 will be considered as this is the maximum amount budgeted.
Q3: Were there any overages or additional billings for extra services?
Q4: Does management believe the 2018 material weaknesses have been remediated?
A: Yes. Internal controls have been put in place allowing management to perform regular account reconciliations. Management also has read-only access to the accounting books to verify accuracy of transactions and data entries.
Q5: Can you please provide any audit adjustments that were made in the previous year.
Q6: How long has Cherry Bekaert been your auditor?
A: More than 10 years. TBEP had an administrative services agreement with the Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council for this work in prior fiscal years. Cherry Bekaert was their auditor.
Q7: Does management plan to disclose the reason for the auditor change?
A: Tampa Bay Estuary Program’s administrative services agreement with the Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council (TBRPC) has ended. The Estuary program is seeking proposals for this work in accordance with State of Florida procurment guidelines.
Q8: Are (Cherry Bekaert) they invited to bid on this proposal?
Q9: In regards to the Fair Share percentage, if our firm is qualified as an MBE, would we still need to include a subcontractor?
Q10: Will the selected audit firm be tasked with preparing the financial statements or will your outsourced accountant prepare them?
A: Our outsourced accountant (Carr, Riggs and Ingram) will prepare the initial financial statements in coordination with the auditing firm and the auditing firm will provide the final audited financial statements.
Q11: In regards to the cost proposal piece, is TBEP looking for separate fee quotes in the proposal for a financial audit and a single audit?
A: TBEP does not expect to exceed the threshold for a federal or single audit for FY2019; however, respondent should provide an additional estimate of projected cost if these thresholds do occur.
Q12: When did Carr, Riggs, and Ingram begin as TBEP’s Finance & Accounting Contractor?
A: TBEP and CRI entered into formal contract for financial, accounting and payroll services on October 1, 2018.
Q13: Does management plan to disclose the reason for the multiple changes in 3rd party bookkeeper?
A: We secured a 1-year interim contract with the 2nd accounting firm after our TBRPC Agreement ended. In accordance with state procurement guidelines, TBEP requested proposals for a formal long-term contract and Carr, Riggs and Ingram was selected through the competitive process.
Q14: It appears the 2019 audit report was dated April 28, 2018. Is there anything driving the requested accelerated date of Feb-2019?
A: The auditor will be required to bring the audited financial statements to our Management and Policy Boards for approval, and they only meet four times a year in August, November, February, and May. This past year was unusual in that the accounting firm changes delayed finalization of the audit. However, it has typically been completed by TBEP's February Board meetings.
Q15: If interim work is to be completed by 10/31, when will interim schedules be available for review?
A: As per the RFP, schedules and responses will be made available to the auditor no later than the last working day in November.