CPA Services – Request for Proposals

August 29, 2016


The Federation of State Humanities Councils (FSHC), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, is seeking proposals from seasoned firms to provide accounting services beginning October 2016.  The contract will be for a three-year period with the option to extend for an additional two years.  All proposals must be received via email in Adobe Acrobat PDF or Microsoft Word format before close of business Monday, September 19, 2016.

It is the sole responsibility of the proposer to ensure that FSHC receives the proposal by the specified date and time. Proposals must be emailed to Joy Polintan at Proposers should review all instructions, contract terms, and conditions.

Federation of State Humanities Councils

1600 Wilson Boulevard
Suite 902
Arlington, VA 22209

Project Manager

Joy Polintan
Finance Manager & Executive Assistant
703.908.9700 Ext. 219

Executive Sponsor

Esther Mackintosh
703.908.9700 Ext. 213



FSHC, founded in 1977, is the membership association of 56 state and territorial humanities councils. Through research, conferences, collaborative projects, and communications to members, legislators, and others on issues of public interest, FSHC provides support for the state humanities councils and strives to create greater awareness of the humanities in public and private life.

Humanities councils (including FSHC) are independent, nonprofit organizations run by small staffs and governed by volunteer boards drawn from the public and academia. The councils support grassroots humanities programs and community-based activities in each state and U.S. territory. Humanities councils were created by Congress in the early 1970s and receive an annual congressional appropriation through the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH).

FSHC has an operating budget ranging from $300,000 to $2,000,000 a year.  Funding comes from annual membership dues, sponsorships, grants, donations, earned income, and other revenue services.


The firm selected will be responsible for providing the following services for a period of three years with an option to extend the contract for two one-year contract periods.  Services that may be required include:

  1. Bookkeeping
    1. Perform monthly reconciliation of bank account as well as reconciliation of all balance sheet accounts
    2. Monitor release of restricted funds
    3. Prepare and file appropriate 1099 tax forms
  2. Audit
    1. Prepare year-end balance sheet, fixed asset schedule, revenue and expenditure and funds flow reports for auditor
    2. Respond to audit field staff requests
  3. Support
    1. Provide assistance to the Finance Manager throughout the year
    2. Deliver guidance and suggestions to FSHC to improve internal control procedures

The accounting software requirement is QuickBooks (desktop version).


  1. Title Page – the title page shall show the proposal subject, the firm’s name, address, contact person, and the firm and managing partner’s CPA license numbers and federal identification numbers.
  1. Cover Letter – the cover letter should briefly state the proposer’s understanding of the work to be performed, commitment to perform the work, and statements as to why the firm believes it is the best qualified to perform the engagement. The cover letter should also include a statement that the offer is a firm and irrevocable offer for 60 days.
  1. Firm’s Qualifications (no more than four pages)
    1. Qualifications and Related Experience – Sufficient information should be provided regarding qualifications of the firm to provide the requested scope of work.
    2. Provide a listing of current clients similar to FSHC for which your firm is providing accounting services. This section shall include services being provided, a short description of the client, the amount of revenue generated, name of the Project Manager in your firm responsible for the services provided, and contact information of the client that can serve as a reference for FSHC.
    3. Please confirm your firm’s independence with respect to FSHC.
    4. Include an affirmative statement that the firm is properly registered to practice in Virginia.
  1. Personnel Qualifications – Provide sufficient information and related experience of personnel who will perform FSHC accounting services.  Include resume and CPA license number of the Project Manager directly responsible for this contract.
  1. Fees/Rates – explain in detail how costs are calculated and what FSHC can expect to pay for the services provided.
  1. Additional Information (no more than one page) – Interested firms are encouraged to provide any information not otherwise requested that may aid FSHC in awarding this professional service contract.


The firm shall present an invoice to FSHC on a monthly basis for services rendered.  Any expenditure adjustments or other services shall be preapproved.


The below factors will be used when evaluating the proposals (not listed in order of importance):

  • References
  • Responsiveness to RFP specifications
  • Project cost
  • Qualifications of firm
  • Experience of the staff to be assigned to the project
  • Demonstrated capability to perform the type of work requested


Background checks: All proposers are hereby advised that FSHC may solicit and secure background information based on the information, including references, provided in response to this RFP. By submission of a proposal, all proposers agree to these background checks and release FSHC from all claims arising from them.

Conflicts of interest: Disclose any conflicts of interest and/or pending lawsuits. A proposer filing a proposal certifies that neither FSHC nor any of its officers, agents, or employees have a pecuniary interest in the proposal; that the proposal is made in good faith without fraud, collusion, or connection of any kind with any other proposer for the same call for proposals; the proposer is competing solely on its own behalf without connection with, or obligation to, any undisclosed person or firm.

Non-Exclusive Agreement: This RFP does not commit FSHC to the award of a contract, nor to pay any costs incurred in the preparation and submission of proposals in anticipation of a contract. FSHC reserves the right to waive minor irregularities, accept or reject any proposals received as the result of the request, negotiate with all qualified sources, and to cancel all or part of this RFP.

Fiscal Information: Firms may request financial information about FSHC to assist in preparing their proposals.  Requests can be directed to Joy Polintan at the contact information listed above.

Ownership of Work Products: FSHC shall have ownership rights, including copyrights and patents, to any work products developed for FSHC by the vendor.

Key Events & Dates:

  • Monday, August 29, 2016 ………. RFP released
  • Monday, September 19, 2016 … Proposals emailed to by 5:00pm EST
  • Friday, September 23, 2016 ….… Recommendation will be made to FSHC’s President

Inquiries/Information: Any questions or concerns should be directed to Joy Polintan at the contact information listed above.