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Water Authority announces Request for Proposals: Accounting Services

RELEASED

January 29, 2019

Background
The Central Brown County Water Authority (“the Authority”) purchases water from Manitowoc Public Utilities (“MPU”) and transmits it to its members through approximately 65 miles of water main.  The Authority is a “joint local water authority” under §66.0823, Wis. Stats, and has been providing water to its member communities since the system became operational in September, 2007.  Member communities include:

  • Village of Allouez
  • Village of Bellevue
  • City of De Pere
  • Village of Howard
  • Town of Lawrence
  • Town of Ledgeview (Sanitary District #2)
The Authority members provide water to approximately 26,600 homes and 2,400 businesses serving a total population of about 86,000.


The Authority operates on an annual budget of approximately $13 million.  Its largest expenditures are annual debt payments reflecting financing for the original construction of the water main and other capital improvements.  The Authority has one employee, its General Manager.  Most operational services are provided by consultants as overseen by the General Manager and Board of Directors.  As a joint local water authority, the Authority is not required to follow the Public Service Commission Uniform System of Accounts for Municipally-Owned Water Utilities, but it does elect to follow many of the prescribed accounting practices.  The Authority’s books are kept on an accrual basis.  The Authority maintains several restricted and reserve accounts that require monthly adjustments based on adopted schedules.  All payments received and paid by the Authority are in the form of checks or electronic payments.  No cash is handled by the Authority.

Scope of Services
The Authority is seeking proposals from Certified Public Accountants or qualified accounting firms (“CPAs” or “Firms”) to utilize QuickBooks Online (“QBO”) and perform the following services:

  1. Monthly accounting and bookkeeping services based on the Authority’s records, primarily:
    • Preparation of bank deposit statements for receivables (typically 60 to 70 checks received per year)
    • Preparation of checks for bill payment (typically 150 to 200 checks paid per year)
    • Recording all other transactions forwarded by the Authority (typically 40 to 50 per year)
  2. Preparation of bi-weekly payroll (for one salaried employee) based on the Authority’s records
  3. Preparation of monthly, quarterly, and year-end payroll tax reports for the federal and state taxing authorities as well as any necessary 1099 forms
  4. Preparation of monthly Wisconsin Retirement System contribution
  5. Monthly reconciliation for all bank and investment accounts
  6. Preparation of internal financial statements including monthly balance sheet and other financial statements
  7. Making all necessary journal entries

For clarification, the Authority has performed the following financial functions and would continue to do so:

  1. Creating an annual budget and monitoring actual expenses and revenues
  2. Providing annual schedules for reserve/restricted funds requiring adjustments by the CPA/Firm
  3. Receiving all payable bills, reviewing/approving them, marking the appropriate payment account(s), and emailing the documents to the CPA/Firm
  4. Printing checks as created in QBO by the CPA/Firm and mailing them for bill payment
  5. Creating all receivable invoices in QBO including designation of the appropriate account(s) and sending them out to customers
  6. Receiving all payments and forwarding scanned checks or electronic payment receipts to the CPA/Firm with the related invoice(s) noted
  7. Printing deposit statements as created in QBO by the CPA/Firm and making bank deposits
  8. Handling all transactions related to debt payments
  9. Receiving and forwarding all bank statements
  10. Maintaining its QBO account by paying monthly subscription fees
  11. Performing the annual reconciliation under the Wisconsin Retirement System
  12. Contracting with another independent accounting firm to perform the annual audit
Proposal Content
CPAs/Firms are requested to provide the following:
  1. A cover letter (and any necessary supplemental attachments) affirming the ability to provide the requested scope of work and:
    • Describing the CPA/Firm and indicating the office location that will serve the Authority.
    • Identifying the staff capacity and service capabilities available in the office.
    • Describing the professional qualifications of the CPA/Firm and experience with similar customers.
  2. Resume(s) for the individual(s) that will be assigned to serve the Authority’s needs.
  3. An annual cost proposal as a fixed cost for the outlined scope of services over a three-year term along with hourly rates of key personnel for any additional project requests beyond the normal scope of services.
  4. Contact information for up to three utility or municipal customers that receive similar services from the CPA/Firm that can be contacted as references.  If the CPA/Firm has not served utility or municipal customers, then please provide business references.
Submittal Requirements
CPAs/Firms who wish to be considered shall submit their proposal document electronically (as a PDF file) via email to manager@cbcwa.com.  Proposals shall be submitted no later than 4:00 p.m. on Thursday, February 21, 2019.

Addenda, Rejection, Cancellation, Preparation Cost
The Authority reserves the right to revise any part of this RFP by issuing an addendum at any time prior to the submittal deadline.  The Authority reserves the right to accept or reject, in whole or part, all proposals submitted and/or to cancel this announcement if any such action is determined to be in the Authority’s best interest.  All materials submitted in response to this RFP become the property of the Authority. The Authority will not be responsible for costs associated with preparing proposals. By submitting a proposal, each CPA/Firm agrees to be bound in this respect and waives all claims regarding such costs and fees.

Selection Process
Proposals will be reviewed by the Authority Manager with a recommendation forwarded to the Authority Board of Directors for final selection. The following criteria and weighting will be applied to the proposal review:

 Criteria  Possbble Points
 Evidence of a commitment to doing quality work         4
 Qualifications of the assigned staff  3
 Capacity to take on the work  3
 Depth of experience with similar municipal or utility clients       3
 Proposed cost  2
 Total Points Possible  15

While proposed cost is among the criteria to be considered, the Authority is not obligated to select the lowest cost proposal for this or any service.  If deemed necessary by the Authority, interviews will be conducted with finalists prior to final selection.  Such interviews will likely be conducted over the phone by the Authority Manager, and further instructions will be provided to CPAs/Firms selected for interviews.  Any results of interviews and/or reference checks may be used to modify the proposal scoring before proceeding to select a CPA/Firm for contract negotiation.

Contract Negotiation
The highest scoring CPA/Firm will then provide a service agreement for negotiation with the Authority on the final terms.  If an agreement is not reached, the Authority may, at its discretion, end the negotiation and select the next highest scoring CPA/Firm to pursue a service agreement.  The CPA/Firm selected to proceed to contract negotiation will be required to provide proof of professional liability and errors and omissions insurance.

Questions
Questions regarding this request for proposals should be directed to Nic Sparacio, Manager, via email (manager@cbcwa.com) or phone (920.639.0078).  Any responses provided by the Authority that give additional information beyond the statements in this request for proposals document will be documented in an addendum and posted along with this document on the Authority’s webpage at www.cbcwa.com.

Download a pdf of the Request for Proposal here.







3100 Eaton Road
Bellevue, WI 54311
(920) 593-1695

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