RACC seeks a Request for Proposals for Audit Services FY23-FY27- updates in yellow

Closing Date & Time: Friday, February 10, 2023 at 5:00 pm

The Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC) is requesting a five-year audit service proposal including tax return (Form 990 and Oregon Form CT-12) services from accounting firms with extensive experience in providing audit services to non-profit organizations. This Request for Proposals (RFP) contains background information on RACC and the proposal specifications.

If your firm is interested in submitting a proposal and you would like to receive additional information about RACC, please send a message to:  auditrfp@racc.org and we will make available to you:

  • Most recently completed fiscal year financial statements
  • Most recently completed fiscal year trial balance

You may also view a list of current RACC team and Board of Directors at: https://racc.org/about/staff-and-board/

Proposal Submission

  • Please submit your proposal online at BambooHR by 5:00 PM on Friday, February 10, 2023. Late proposals will not be considered.
  • With your proposal, please include a cover letter signed by an authorized officer/person from your firm who has the authority to contract with RACC.
  • When submitting your proposal, each item listed below must be uploaded as a separate document:
    • Cover Letter
    • Proposal
    • Peer Review Report
    • Audit Engagement and Tax Return Timeline
    • Audit and Tax Return Service Fees
    • References

Questions

Please direct all questions regarding this RFP to our Finance Team Lead at: auditrfp@racc.org

RACC will not accept questions after Tuesday, February 7, 2023.

Services to be PROVIDED

The Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC) requests proposals for audit and tax return (Form 990 and Oregon CT-12) services for five years beginning with the year ending June 30, 2023.  An annual audit is required for reporting purposes to the Board of Directors, the community, funding sources, and the state and federal government. The audit of the financial statements of RACC must be conducted in accordance with U.S. generally accepted auditing standards. The audit and issue of statements and reports must adhere to all agreed upon deadlines. The engagement should include the provision of a management letter at the conclusion of the audit, outlining system issues relating to internal controls.

Respondents shall submit a proposal for the provision of the following services:

  • Audited financial statements for five years and tax return preparation beginning with the year ending June 30, 2023, including:
    • Planning meeting with the Finance & Audit Committee, which comprises selected RACC Board members, prior to the audit;
    • Audit and expression of an opinion on the annual financial statements;
    • Preparation of all auditor communications required by professional standards;
    • Presentation of draft audited financial statements and required auditor communications and draft tax returns to the Finance & Audit Committee;
    • Presentation of final audited financial statements and required auditor communications to the Board of Directors.
  • Availability to answer questions throughout each year of service.

AUDIT TIMING

RACC utilizes a fiscal year which ends June 30. We anticipate that preliminary audit fieldwork would begin in August, final fieldwork in late September, and delivery of financial statements and required auditor communications in late October, each year for five years.

Resources Available

The Chief Financial Officer and finance department staff will be available to the auditors once the engagement has been initiated. The audit engagement meeting will take place with the Finance & Audit Committee and the Chief Financial Officer.

Organization background

Formerly the Metropolitan Arts Commission, the Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC) incorporated as an independent, Oregon not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization in 1995. The office is located in Portland at 411 NW Park Ave., Suite 101, Portland, Oregon, 97209. RACC receives funding from a variety of public and private partners to serve artists and creatives, arts and art-serving organizations, schools and residents throughout Clackamas, Multnomah, and Washington counties. The RACC website is https://racc.org/

  • Mission: To enrich our communities through arts and culture.
  • Core Values: 
    • Accessibility – Inclusion, simplicity, and ease
    • Advocacy – Visibility, resources, and impact
    • Equity –  Racial justice and representation in services and investments
    • Diversity – Of art forms and artistic traditions
    • Community – For belonging, support, and connection
    • Innovation – Testing and adapting; finding new ways to deliver value
  • Equity Statement (excerpt): We believe that the arts have the power to change hearts and minds, and to inspire social change. Prejudice and privilege have created barriers that RACC must dismantle, systematically and strategically, until everyone in our community has equitable access to arts and culture.

RACC is committed to ensuring that all of its services, programs, and service providers are diverse, equitable, and inclusive, as described in our Equity Statement (see below).

RACC has an operating budget of over $11 million and its fiscal year runs from July 1 through June 30 of the following calendar year. A majority of RACC’s funding is provided through a contract with the City of Portland, which provided 83% and 25% of total support and revenues in 2022 and 2021, respectively. Other public funders include Federal CARES Act, American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), Oregon Arts Commission (OAC), Multnomah, Clackamas, and Washington Counties, and Metro, which provided a combined 14% and 72% in 2022 and 2021, respectively, including agency transactions. From the private sector, donations from businesses, foundations, and individuals supporting RACC’s programs accounted for 3% of revenues in 2022 (less than 1% in 2021).

RACC’s service area includes more than 1.6 million residents, 250 not-for-profit arts and culture organizations, and countless artists of every discipline. Through advocacy, RACC helps build support for a strong arts and culture community.

  • RACC grants provide artists and arts organizations with financial support.
  • Our nationally-acclaimed public art program integrates a wide range of art in public places. RACC manages Percent for Art public art programs for the City of Portland and Multnomah County.
  • RACC provides learning programs, including workshops for artists, organizational consulting, and a variety of print and electronic resources.
  • RACC supports arts education by engaging with local, state, and national representatives advocating for support of arts initiatives, including the Arts Education for All Act; advocating and creating space for future-forward learning; and supporting a well-rounded education for youth.

RACC has 24 employees, three of whom are part-time. The finance department has 5 positions: Chief Financial Officer, Budget/Financial Analyst, A/R Revenue Specialist, A/P and Payroll Specialist, and a part-time Accounting Assistant.

PROPOSAL REQUIREMENTS:

  • COVER LETTER – WITH Respondent’s Certification and Assurances

Please provide a cover letter signed by an authorized officer or authorized person certifying that all information contained in the proposal is accurate and that the firm agrees to comply with all of the terms, conditions and provisions of this RFP.

  • Proposal

Please provide the following information in your proposal, in the order listed:

  1. A brief description of your firm, including location, staff size, and industries served.
  2. Describe engagements your firm currently conducts in the non-profit sector. Include a list of local non-profit clients that you believe are comparable to our organization in size and complexity.
  3. Identify the engagement team that would be performing our audit and include summaries of the qualifications and experience of partners, managers, and senior staff.
  4. Describe your firm’s approach to performing an audit, including how a job is planned and scheduled, partner and manager commitment, quality control, and areas in which you feel you are unique.
  5. Describe how your firm defines diversity, equity, access, and inclusion, and how your firm prioritizes equity and inclusion work. Please include your firm’s equity statement.
  6. Describe what steps your firm takes to ensure diversity, equity, access, and inclusion among your employees, board, and leadership team.
  7. Describe what your organization has done to publicly promote diversity, equity, access, and inclusion. Optionally, provide links to applicable statements or activities.
  8. Describe what steps your firm takes to ensure diversity, equity, access, and inclusion within your supply chain.
  9. Describe how your firm provides resources and/or training opportunities for Board and management/staff regarding accounting standards updates, and how you will provide assistance to clients with the implementation of changes, if needed.
  10. Describe your plan for the transition from our prior auditors and what you would require of our staff during this process.
  11. Describe any existing or potential relationships between your firm and RACC, including any RACC employee or officer that could affect your independence and objectivity because of an actual or perceived conflict of interest. If partners or other employees serve in an advisory/consultative capacity within the non-profit sector, please list such positions as well.
  • PEER REVIEW REPORT
    Please include a copy of your firm’s most recent peer review report.
  • Audit engagement timeline

Provide a detailed timeline for the expected timing and completion of the audit and the delivery of the financial statements and                   required auditor communications. Please include the preparation and delivery of annual tax returns (Form 990 and Oregon Form               CT-12) in the timeline.

  • AUDIT Fees
  1. Provide your audit and tax return service fees for each of the five years of this engagement, including the estimated number of hours spent prior to commencement of fieldwork and subsequent to completion of fieldwork.
  2. Describe whether and how you bill for overruns. State how you manage against overruns and how we can be assured of no “surprise” billings.
  3. Explain your firm’s availability and billing for advice and counsel during the year.
  • References

Please provide at least three (3) relevant local, non-profit organization references. Reference contact names and phone numbers must be provided; references will be checked and evaluated for their relevance to the proposal.

Proposal Deadline

The deadline for receipt of your proposal is 5:00 PM on Friday, February 10, 2023. See Proposal Submission details on Page 1 of this RFP. Proposals received after this time will not be considered. All proposal submissions will be responded to once a decision has been made. If you have questions concerning this RFP, please contact our Finance Team Lead at auditrfp@racc.org before February 7, 2023. Apply here through BambooHR.

Evaluation Criteria

Proposals will be evaluated based on the following criteria. These are not listed in order of importance.

  • Qualification, background and experience (successful respondent must be licensed under state and federal requirements to perform an audit of a corporation in Oregon);
  • Experience with related non-profit sector auditing assignments;
  • Response that most effectively meets the requirements of RACC, including RACC’s commitment to ensuring that all of our services, programs, and service providers are diverse, equitable, and inclusive (See RACC’s Equity Statement below)
  • Annual fee for the completion of the audit.

Evaluation Process

Proposals will be evaluated by the Finance & Audit Committee, Co-Executive Directors, and CFO. The objective of the evaluation process is to identify the proposal that most effectively meets the requirements of the RFP. The decision as to which proposal is in the best interest of RACC shall be determined by RACC acting in its sole discretion, after considering all of the elements of the evaluation process. The responses to this RFP will be evaluated using the criteria identified above. In-person interviews may be conducted as part of the evaluation process.

Reporting Relationship

The Finance & Audit Committee will review and evaluate all of the proposals received, and will make a recommendation to the Board of Directors. The RACC Board of Directors will engage the auditors.

General Terms and Conditions

  • All the provisions of the RFP submitted are deemed to be accepted by the Respondent and incorporated in its proposal except those conditions and provisions which are expressly excluded by the proposal.
  • The proposal(s) selected may be subject to further negotiations.
  • Proposals must be valid and irrevocable for a period of ninety (90) calendar days following the Closing Date.
  • RACC reserves the right to disqualify any proposal that is incomplete or is otherwise not submitted in accordance with the terms, conditions, and provisions in this RFP.
  • RACC may accept or reject all or any part of the proposal.
  • RACC is not obligated to honor any pre-existing arrangements, agreements, or contracts made, either formal or informal, between the Respondent and other agencies. Where such arrangements are submitted in the RFP by the Respondent, RACC reserves the right to negotiate further with the Respondent regarding these arrangements, or may, at its discretion, not honor such arrangements, agreements, or contracts.

Financial

All costs associated or incurred with the preparation and presentation of the Respondent’s response to this RFP shall be borne by the Respondent. The rejection of any or all proposals shall not render RACC liable for any costs or damages.

RACC shall not be held liable for any error or omission in any part of this RFP.  While RACC has used considerable efforts to ensure an accurate representation of information in this RFP, the information contained in the RFP is supplied solely as a guideline for Respondents.  The information is not guaranteed or warranted to be accurate by RACC, nor is it necessarily comprehensive or exhaustive.  Nothing in this RFP is intended to relieve Respondents from forming their own opinions and conclusions with respect to the matters addressed in this RFP.

Confidentiality

RACC will consider all proposals submitted in response to this RFP as confidential. The submission of the proposal will be deemed to be consent by the Respondent:

  • To the disclosure of the proposal to such individuals or other parties as may be required for the purpose of reviewing the proposal to determine the successful Respondent and to administer the RFP;
  • To allow RACC to make copies of the proposal received for the review of the proposal or the administration of this RFP;
  • To the retention of the proposal by RACC;
  • To the disclosure of the name of the successful Respondent.

Indemnification

The Respondent shall indemnify and hold harmless RACC and RACC directors, officers, employees, independent contractors, subcontractors, agents, and assigns from all costs, losses, damages, judgments, claims, demands, suits, actions, causes of action, contracts, or other proceedings of any kind or nature:

  • Based on, occasioned by, or attributable to anything done or omitted to be done by the Respondent or the Respondent’s directors, officers, employees, independent contractors, subcontractors, members, partners, volunteers, agents, and assigns (“Respondent’s Personnel”) in connection with this RFP or the agreement entered into pursuant to this RFP; and,
  • For the infringement or alleged infringement of any intellectual property right or patent based upon the use of anything or invention protected by any intellectual property protection and in respect of the use by RACC of articles and supplies furnished pursuant to the RFP or the Agreement entered into pursuant to this RFP.

Subcontracting

The Respondent shall not assign, transfer, or pledge, directly or indirectly, any provision or right under this RFP or retain subcontractors for the performance of the services to be provided or obligations to be fulfilled pursuant to this RFP without the prior written consent of RACC. The Respondent shall at all times be held fully responsible for the acts and omissions of its directors, officers, employees, shareholders, members, partners, volunteers and agents.

Conflict of Interest

Each Respondent must declare to RACC as part of its proposal any situation that may be either a conflict of interest or a potential or perceived conflict of interest between its interest and the interest of RACC under this RFP or the Agreement entered into pursuant to this RFP.  Failure to properly disclose a conflict of interest shall result in disqualification of a proposal.

If RACC is not informed of a conflict of interest until after a contract award has been made, RACC, at its sole discretion, may cancel the contract award and hold the Respondent liable for any damages, costs or expenses caused by the Respondent’s failure to properly disclose the conflict of interest.

CANCELLATION

Please note that either party may cancel the audit after the first year by written notice to the other party no later than six months after the start of the following fiscal year.

RACC EQUITY STATEMENT  

Approved by the RACC Board of Directors on February 25, 2015

 We believe that the arts have the power to change hearts and minds, and to inspire social change. Prejudice and privilege have created barriers that RACC must dismantle, systematically and strategically, until everyone in our community has equitable access to arts and culture.

We acknowledge that there is no one perfect way to achieve equity, but we are willing to take risks because there is much work to do. We are thoughtfully researching and implementing new methods of thinking within our organizational culture, starting with an in-depth assessment of our services, policies and procedures. We are seeking out and listening to voices that have not been heard, and fully engaging under-represented populations in dialogue that will help us improve.

We are committed to the full scope of this work and will hold ourselves accountable along the way—anything less would prove a disservice to ourselves and the communities we serve. RACC strives to be an organization that values and celebrates everyone’s life experiences, their voices and their histories. By consistently bringing new perspectives to our decision-making table, forming new relationships and alliances, and finding new ways to support creativity, RACC will be a strong, equitable and relevant organization. Throughout this process, we commit to humility, optimism and respect.