Business Office

Pine Strawberry School District #12
Business Office 

Integrity, Transparency and Accountability

Business Office (Finance & Human Resources Department)

Main Number: 1.928.476.3190

Aimée E. Manjarres, Business Manager
Phone: 1.928.476.3283 ext. 1313

Arlene Ramirez, Assistant Business Manager
Phone: 1.928.476.3283 ext. 1314

Proposal Due Date: August 22, 2018 1:00PM AZ MST

Pine Strawberry School District No. 12 #FY2019-001 Audit Services

Notice of Request for Proposal

Request for Proposals No.






Proposal Due Date

August 22, 2018





District Address


















In accordance with the School District Procurement Rules prescribed by the Arizona State Board of Education pursuant to Arizona Revised Statutes §15-213, competitive sealed proposals for the following services will be received by Pine Strawberry School District No. 12, at the address specified above until the time and date cited.

1)       Annual financial audit of financial transactions and accounts subject to the Uniform Guidance for the years ending June 30, 2018 through June 30, 2020, and completion of the Uniform System of Financial Records Compliance Questionnaire for each year.

2)       Assist the District in routine advice (e.g., technical questions, training, best practice guides and tools, and implementation of audit recommendations) as requested by the District.  Hourly rate by position must be submitted.




                I.   PURPOSE

The purpose of this Request for Proposals (RFP) is to enter into a contract with a qualified Certified Public Accountant to conduct an annual audit of financial transactions and accounts kept by or for the District, subject to the Title 2 U.S. Code of Federal Regulations Part 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards (Uniform Guidance) for the 3 years ending June 30, 2021, and to complete the Uniform System of Financial Records (USFR) Compliance Questionnaire. (If the audit periods extend beyond 1 year, include all audit periods in the RFP. Pursuant to A.R.S. §15-213(Q), a school district may not hire the same audit firm for more than 3 consecutive years.) The District reserves the right to suspend the provisions of the contract for any year in which the District expends less than the qualifying amount of federal awards set forth in the Uniform Guidance.


The selected audit firm will be required to perform an annual financial audit, in accordance with U.S. generally accepted auditing standards, Government Auditing Standards (GAS), issued by the Comptroller General of the United States, and the Uniform Guidance and issue the reports required by those standards and the Uniform Guidance. In addition, the audit firm must complete a USFR Compliance Questionnaire.

Districts must comply with the USFR. To help determine whether districts are in compliance, the Auditor General has developed the USFR Compliance Questionnaire, which consists of a series of questions to be completed by the District’s audit firm regarding requirements set forth in the USFR and Arizona Revised Statutes.  The audit firm may obtain a copy of the USFR Compliance Questionnaire from the Auditor General’s website at

Pursuant to A.R.S §15-213(R), the audit firm hired by the school district to conduct its financial audit may not also receive consulting fees from the district.


A.  Mandatory Qualifications

The following qualifications are mandatory for audit firms submitting proposals:

1.        The auditors must be properly licensed certified public accountants or persons working for a licensed certified public accounting firm according to GAS.

2.        The audit firm must meet the independence requirements of GAS.

3.        The audit firm must not have a record of substandard audit work for the last 3 years. The District reserves the right to contact the Arizona State Board of Accountancy to verify the audit firm’s credentials and the Office of the Auditor General, to verify that the audit firm has not been debarred or suspended or that such audit firm’s contracts are not routinely rejected for substandard audits.

4.        The audit firm must have an external quality control review performed at least every 3 years in accordance with GAS. The most recent external quality control review report must be included with the proposal.

5.        The audit firm must meet the continuing education requirements of GAS. Therefore, each auditor responsible for planning, directing, conducting, or reporting on GAS audits should complete at least 80 hours of continuing education every 2 years. At least 20 hours should be completed in any 1 year of the 2-year period. At least 24 of the 80 hours of continuing education should be completed in subjects directly related to the government environment, government auditing, or the specific or unique environment in which the District operates.

B.  Procedures and Time Frame for Submitting Proposals/Awarding Contract

Interested, qualified audit firms may submit a proposal to Pine Strawberry School District No. 12 at the following address:

Street Address: 3868 North Pine Creek Drive Pine, Arizona 85544
Mailing Address: Post Office Box 1150 Pine, Arizona 85544

3 copies of the proposal are required. They should be prepared in accordance with the proposal format requirements discussed in this RFP, and packaged in such a manner that the outer wrapping clearly indicates the RFP number and audit firm’s name and address.

The following dates will apply unless waived in writing by the District Governing Board:

1.        A pre-proposal conference will be held on Wednesday, August 22nd, beginning at 10:00 a.m., at 3868 North Pine Creek Drive Pine, Arizona 85544.

The pre-proposal conference will be held to answer questions. If possible, questions on the RFP should be submitted in writing to the District prior to the pre-proposal conference.

2.        Sealed proposals will be received until Wednesday, August 22nd at 10:00 a.m., Mountain Standard Time, at the District address listed above. No proposals will be accepted after the time indicated. Proposals received after the deadline will be stamped with time and date and returned unopened.

3.        Proposals will be evaluated the week of September 4th. Please have staff available at that time to respond to questions.

4.        Discussions with individual audit firms may be held to clarify proposals.

If such discussions are held with any or all audit firms, all audit firms will be notified that a best and final offer may be submitted by Monday, September 10th 2018. The best and final offer provides the opportunity for audit firms to revise their proposals, including the fee for the services, based on additional information gathered during the oral discussions. If a best and final offer is not submitted, the previous offer will be construed as the best and final offer.

5.        Contract award is expected to be made on or before Friday, September 14th, 2018. The contract will be awarded on the basis of demonstrated competence and qualifications to perform the required services at fair and reasonable compensation. However, after the audit firm is selected, the Auditor General will review the proposed contract and approve or disapprove it in accordance with A.R.S. §§15-914(E) and 41-1279.21(A)(4), and Arizona Administrative Code R4-44-117. Only upon approval of the proposed contract by the Auditor General will the contract be signed by the school district administrator and the selected audit firm.

The District will inform each audit firm that submitted a proposal, in writing, whether the proposal was accepted or rejected.

6.        Audit work may begin as soon as the Auditor General approves the proposed contract. Audit work must be completed by March 01, 2019.

7.        A preliminary draft of the reports should be completed and an exit conference held no later than April 01, 2019.

8.        The final reports should be submitted to the District no later than April 22, 2019.

Cost and price information provided in the proposal will be held confidential and will not be disclosed to competing audit firms prior to selection of the audit firm.

9.        All information and proposals submitted by offerors will be made available for public inspection following the award of the contract.

C.  Review of Proposals and Evaluation Criteria

The District and any outside experts the District considers necessary will evaluate the proposals. A point formula will be used during the review process to score proposals. If several proposals are very closely ranked, the District may arrange for oral discussions with the audit firms to assist in making the selection.

Proposals will be evaluated using three sets of criteria. Audit firms meeting the mandatory criteria will have their proposals evaluated and scored for both technical and cost criteria. The following represents the principal selection criteria that will be considered during the evaluation process:

1. Mandatory Criteria


a. The audit firm is independent and properly licensed.


b. The audit firm’s professional staff has received the required continuing professional education within the preceding 2 years.


c. The audit firm submitted its most recent external quality control review report and has a record of quality audit work.


2. Technical Criteria

Points Possible

a. Responsiveness of the proposal in clearly stating an under-standing of the audit services to be performed, including:


1. Comprehensiveness of audit work plan


2. Realistic time estimates of each major segment of the work plan and the estimated number of hours of each staff level


b. Technical experience of the audit firm


1. Auditing Arizona school districts


2. Auditing governments


3. Auditing computerized systems


4. Auditing federal programs


c. Qualifications of staff


1. Qualifications of supervisory staff and of the audit team performing field work


2. General direction and supervision to be exercised over the audit team by the audit firm’s management


d. Size and structure of the audit firm, considering the scope of the audit


3. Cost Criteria


Technical and Cost Criteria—maximum points


Cost is a factor in awarding the contract; however, only those proposals that meet all the mandatory criteria in the RFP will be given consideration. The contract will not be awarded solely on the basis of cost.

After a composite technical score for each audit firm has been established, the sealed proposal will be opened and additional points will be added to the technical score based on the proposed price. The maximum score for price will be assigned to the audit firm offering the lowest price, and proportional scores will be assigned to the other audit firms.

                IV. PROPOSAL FORMAT

The proposal must conform to the format specified below. The District will make no reimbursement for the cost of developing or presenting proposals in response to the RFP.

A.        Title Page

Each proposal must contain a title page that identifies the RFP number and subject and provides the audit firm’s name, address, and telephone number; the name and title of a contact person; and the date the proposal was submitted. The title page must also state the period the proposal is effective (nonrescindable).

B.        Table of Contents

The proposal’s table of contents should include a clear and complete identification of the materials submitted by section and page number.

C.        Letter of Transmittal

A brief letter of transmittal should be submitted that includes the following information:

1.         The audit firm’s understanding of the work to be performed.

2.         A positive commitment to perform the service within the time period specified.

3.         The names of persons authorized to represent the audit firm, their titles, addresses, and telephone numbers.

4.         Reference to a sealed envelope that contains the all-inclusive fee for which the audit work will be done. The fee amount should not be divulged elsewhere in the proposal.

D.        Audit Firm Profile and Qualifications

The following information should be included:

1.        A description of the audit firm, including office size; whether the organization is local, regional, national, or international in operations; the number of professional staff by level; and a description of the range of activities performed by the local office (i.e., auditing, accounting, tax, or management services).

2.        Affirmation that the audit firm meets the mandatory qualifications set forth in section II.A. above.

3.         A statement of the audit firm’s expertise in: 1) financial audits of Arizona school districts, 2) financial audits of governments, and 3) audits of computerized systems, and 4) audits of federal programs.

4.         A description of prior experience with audit services of a similar or related nature, including references. The description should include a list of names and dates of school districts audited.

5.         Identification of senior and technical staff to be assigned to the audit, including the audit manager or partner. Staff named in the proposal may not be substituted without permission of the District. Resumes, including relevant experience and continuing education of the auditor in charge up to the individual with final responsibility for the audit, may be included as an appendix.

E.        Audit Firm’s Approach to the Audit

The technical portion of the proposal shall include, as a minimum:

1.         A work plan detailing the approach the audit firm intends to follow. The audit work plan should completely cover what audit work will be accomplished to allow the audit firm to render the reports described in this RFP.

The audit work plan should demonstrate the audit firm’s understanding of the audit requirements of a single audit as specified in the Uniform Guidance and the audit tests and procedures to be applied in completing the audit work plan.

The audit work plan should also detail how the audit firm plans to meet the time constraints and reporting deadline requirements specified in this RFP.

2.         A plan for organizing and staffing the audit, with an estimate of time each staff member will devote to the audit.

F.         Cost Proposal

The cost portion of the proposal should be submitted along with the proposal, but in a separate sealed envelope. [Note:  The cost proposal should include separate costs for audits of basic financial statements, CAFR statements, and federal programs (i.e., Single Audit, if applicable). Any fees that will be paid to the audit firm for submission of the district’s reports to ASBO and GFOA for certification or for the preparation of the Meritorious Budget Award application to ASBO should also be listed separately in the cost proposal, if applicable.]


A.        General

Pine Strawberry School District No. 12 is a political subdivision of the State of Arizona located in Gila County.  The District operates on a July 1 to June 30 fiscal year.

Students - Preschool through Eighth Grade:                                  105        
Employees:                                                                                         50          
District/School Location:                                                                  1             
M&O Budget:                                                                                     $3,634,376
Capital Outlay Budget:                                                                     $625,097
Debt Service Budget:                                                                        $0

The accounting policies of Pine Strawberry School District No. 12 conform to U.S. generally accepted accounting principles as adopted by the Government Accounting Standards Board (GASB).

B.        Reporting Entity

The District is a special-purpose government that is governed by a separately elected governing body. It is legally separate from and fiscally independent of other state and local governments. Furthermore, there are no component units combined with the District for financial statement presentation purposes, and it is not included in any other governmental reporting entity. Consequently, the District’s financial statements present only the activities of those organizational entities for which its elected governing board is financially accountable.

C.        District Funds

The District reports the following governmental and enterprise funds and other fund types:



Number of Funds

General Fund



Major Fund(s)



Non-Major Fund(s)






Number of Funds




Non-Major Fund(s)




Other Fund Types


Number of Funds

Internal Service







D.        Federal and State Financial Assistance 

E.        Deposit of District Monies

In accordance with A.R.S. §15-341(A)(20), the District deposits with the County Treasurer all monies received, except monies allowed to be held in a separate bank account as listed below. The County School Superintendent (or school districts that have assumed accounting responsibility in accordance with A.R.S. §15-914.01) draws warrants on funds on deposit with the County Treasurer upon presentation of a voucher by the District Governing Board to expend District monies on deposit with the County Treasurer.

In addition to maintaining funds on deposit with the County Treasurer, the District maintains several bank accounts in accordance with A.R.S. Following is a list of all bank accounts maintained by the District:

Bank Account Name

Bank Name and Location

Maintenance and Operation Fund revolving account

JPMorgan Chase

Food Service Fund revolving account

JPMorgan Chase

Employee Insurance Programs Withholdings account

JPMorgan Chase

Payroll Direct Deposits clearing account

JPMorgan Chase

Electronic Payments clearing account

JPMorgan Chase


F.         Magnitude of Financial Activity

The District’s total expenditures budgeted for the years ended June 30, 2017, and June 30, 2018, were $3,576,924.00 and $3,634,379.00, respectively.

The District has approximately 50 employees with estimated payroll expenditures of $987,983.00 and $1,080,780 for the years ended June 30, 2017, and June 30, 2018, respectively.

Annual budgets, annual financial reports, and financial statements for the FY2017-2018 year ended June 30, 2018, will be sent to interested, qualified audit firms upon request, or may be examined at the District office.

G.        Uniform System of Financial Records (USFR)

A.R.S. §15-271 requires the Auditor General in conjunction with the Arizona Department of Education (ADE) to prescribe a uniform system of financial records for use by school districts. This system has been established in the Uniform System of Financial Records accounting manual.

The USFR includes a Chart of Accounts that provides for the establishment of a complete accounting system. The Chart complies with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles, and meets the requirements of the U.S. Department of Education’s account classifications and A.R.S. The account codes and titles listed in the chart must be used by the District.

The USFR also provides comprehensive accounting procedures for accounting records, cash, supplies inventory, property control, revenues, expenditures, payroll, travel, and state and federal financial assistance.


Following completion of draft reports, the audit firm must submit 5 copies of the audit reports, management letter, and the USFR Compliance Questionnaire to the audit liaison Aimee Manjarres, Business Manager, for review.

Upon completion of the final reports, the audit firm must provide 5 paper copies and one electronic copy of the audit reports, management letter, and USFR Compliance Questionnaire to the District. The electronic copies shall be in PDF format. The audit firm must also provide the electronic copies of the audit reports, management letter, and USFR Compliance Questionnaire to the Office of the Auditor General, Accounting Services Division and ADE’s Grant Management Division and send a paper copy or electronic copy of the applicable audit reports to the District’s county school superintendent’s office.

Additionally, the audit firm must submit one copy of the audit reporting package and data collection form to the Federal Audit Clearinghouse.

The audit firm will make no other distribution unless approved by the District.

A.R.S. §§15-914(E) and 41-1279.21(A)(4) require the Auditor General to ensure that completed audits are conducted in accordance with U.S. generally accepted auditing standards, GAS, the Uniform Guidance, and the minimum audit and reporting standards prescribed by the Auditor General. An audit will not be accepted as meeting the requirements of this section until it has been approved by the Auditor General.


The audit firm must be available to participate in one or more exit conferences with members of the District and the District Governing Board. Exit conferences must be coordinated through the audit liaison, Aimee Manjarres, Business Magaer. The purposes of the exit conferences are to discuss the draft audit reports with the District, identify any errors, and obtain comments on report findings and recommendations. In addition, the AUDIT FIRM should review the District’s USFR noncompliance findings with the SCHOOL DISTRICT officials.


The audit firm shall retain the audit documentation in its entirety for a period of 5 years after the date of the audit reports, unless the Auditor General requests a longer retention period. The audit documentation shall be subject at all reasonable times to review upon request by the Auditor General or her designee, ADE, the United States Government Accountability Office, other appropriate governmental agencies, or produced at the Office of the Auditor General, if so requested.


A.        Multiterm Contracts

If the monies are not appropriated or otherwise made available to support continuation of performance in a subsequent fiscal year, the contract shall be canceled. If the type or frequency of audits the District is required to obtain in a subsequent fiscal year changes or the District is no longer required to obtain an audit, the contract may be amended or canceled. If the contract is canceled, the audit firm shall be reimbursed for the reasonable value of any nonrecurring cost incurred but not amortized in the price of services delivered under the contract or which are otherwise not recoverable.


The District reserves the right to:

A.        Reject any or all proposals submitted.

B.        Request additional information from all audit firms.

C.        Conduct discussions with responsible audit firms who submit proposals determined to be reasonably susceptible of being selected for award for the purpose of clarification to assure full understanding of, and responsiveness to, the solicitation requirements.

D.        Negotiate modifications to the audit firm’s proposal prior to final award for the purpose of obtaining best and final offers.

E.        Negotiate a contract that may be terminated for lack of funds.


A.        Previous Audit Reports and Audit Documentation

The most recent audit of the District was performed for the FY 2016-2017 year ended June 30, 2017, by Chris Swan, CPA. The audit firm’s reports, issued on June 2018.

Audit documentation related to the aforementioned audit is not available for inspection.

B.        District Assistance

District officials and staff will be available to assist the audit firm by providing information, documentation, and explanations as required, Aimee Manjarres, Business Manager, will be the audit liaison between the District and the audit firm.

C.        Grantor Assistance

Questions or requests for assistance concerning federal grants should be directed to ADE’s Grants Management Division or the applicable ADE federal program area.

Refer any questions regarding this Request for Proposals to:

Aimee E. Manjarres, Business Manager

Pine Strawberry School District #12


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