Request for audit services proposals

Centretown Citizens Ottawa Corporation (CCOC) is a community-based, tenant and member-directed, non-profit housing organization.  The corporation is incorporated without share capital under the Corporations Act (Ontario).

Since its foundation in 1974, the organization has grown through acquisition of property and ongoing development of new construction.  CCOC’s properties are primarily in downtown Ottawa. We are strongly interested in preserving and continuing to provide mixed income housing, with a combination of market rent and deeply affordable subsidized rent.

Today, CCOC is one of the largest social housing providers in Ottawa, operating 52 residential properties (1,658 units).  In addition to this portfolio, CCOC also operates a co-operative, Centretown Citizens Housing Co-operative Inc. (CCHC), a 32-unit property.  CCOC is currently under contract with Unity Non-Profit Housing Corporation Ottawa to provide maintenance services for its 127 units.

Through this Request for Proposals CCOC is seeking the services of a professional accounting and audit firm (“the auditor”) to audit the financial statements for both CCOC and CCHC for the fiscal year ending December 31, 2023, with the possibility of reappointment for subsequent years through December 31, 2027. These audits are to be performed in accordance with Canadian generally accepted auditing standards and the financial statements are to be prepared in accordance with Canadian Generally Accepted Accounting Principles applicable to not-for-profit organizations [1].

An audit of our non-profit affiliate corporations, Ottawa-Carleton Condominium Corporation No. 556 (OC556, 87% owned by CCOC) and Centretown Affordable Housing Development Corporation (Cahdco), will be requested for the same period.

Cahdco acts as the development project management consultant to various non-profits, co-operatives and charities in Ottawa and Eastern Ontario looking to create affordable housing. It combines the affordable housing experience and resources of CCOC with a team of development, construction, and project management experts.

See full PDF here.

1. PROCESS

1.1         Closing Date and Time

An electronic copy of the proposal (PDF) must be submitted to the attention of Ms. Maryse Martin – Finance Director, Centretown Citizens Ottawa Corporation, no later than 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, December 22, 2022. Late bids will not be accepted.

Submissions should be delivered by e-mail to maryse.martin@ccochousing.org.

1.2         Enquiries

Enquiries regarding the proposal process or format of response may be directed to Maryse Martin by telephone at (613) 234-4065, ext. 228 or by e-mail to the address listed above.  Any enquiries received, and the answers to such enquiries will be communicated to all participants in the proposal by e-mail.

1.3         Changes

Verbal clarification should not be interpreted to change the intent, content or scope of the Request for Proposal.  CCOC retains the right to decline to answer any given enquiry.

Any revisions to the Request for Proposal will be issued as addenda which shall be acknowledged within your submission.

1.4         Decision

CCOC will be responsible for the selection and appointment of a successful firm, who will be confirmed at the organization’s Annual General Meeting in May 2023. The appointment will take effect beginning with the 2023 fiscal year.

2. ELIGIBILITY

Before preparing a response, candidates are advised to ensure that their firm can meet the following eligibility criteria.  The firm should have:

a) experience in providing similar audit services to other non-profit housing corporations;

b) well-developed professional auditing techniques and a sound system of control and review of audit work performed;

c) substantial resources and support services available;

d) experienced, well-qualified staff who can work on the audit consistently from one year to the next.

3. SCOPE AND REQUIREMENTS

3.1         General

In accordance with the organization’s audit policy, CCOC seeks to re-tender its audit services once every five years.  As such, the scope of services and fees entered into in the course of this engagement will be valid for a period of five years from commencement of the contract.  Upon the fifth year the parties may, by mutual agreement, elect a one-time option to extend services for a sixth year.  Services must be re-tendered for the seventh year and subsequent term.

During the period of the engagement, as prescribed in the corporation’s bylaws, the services must be re-confirmed annually by the corporation’s members at the Annual General Meeting.

Project Authority

The services provided are subject to review and acceptance by CCOC’s Finance Director (“Project Authority”).  All statements will be approved by the Board of Directors, reporting through the Finance Committee.

Scope of Responsibilities

Over the course of the engagement CCOC staff will provide to the auditor access to all financial records, data, and material as required to carry out the deliverables.  The extent of preparation required by staff will be outlined in the audit work plan and subject to approval by the Project Authority prior to the commencement of field work.  The auditor will otherwise be responsible for all work necessary to meet the scope of deliverables as outlined above.

Critical Dates

 

The expected key dates and key deliverables for the year ending December 31, 2023 and timing relating to the audit are as follows Key Dates/Timing

 

Audit plan presentation to Finance Director Late January/Mid-February 2024
Beginning of audit field work Before March 15th 2024
Completion of year-end audit work Early April 2024 (CCOC/CCHC)

Late April 2024 (Cahdco/OC556)

Completion and presentation of draft financial statements and management letter to the Finance Committee, or Executive Committee (Auditor attendance required) Mid-April 2024 (CCOC/CCHC)

Early/Mid May 2024 (Cahdco/OCC556)

Board meeting to review and approve final audited financial statements and management letter Late April 2024 (CCOC/CCHC)

Mid-June 2024 (Cahdco/OCC556)

Annual General Assembly meeting (Auditor attendance required) Mid May 2024 (CCOC/CCHC)

Early/Mid-June 2024 (Cahdco, OCC556)

Completion of CRA Not-For-profit return Mid-June 2024

3.2         Annual Requirements

As part of this engagement the auditor will be expected to annually deliver the following items to the Project Authority and the CCOC Finance Committee:

3.3         Qualified Statements

The auditors shall, immediately upon discovery of information or conditions which would otherwise lead to the inclusion of a qualified opinion with respect to any of the financial statements, inform and fully discuss such matters with the Finance Director and Executive Director.  Also, the auditors shall, as far as possible, allow a reasonable time for the corporation to investigate, analyse, report and take corrective action so as to avoid the inclusion of such qualification.

3.4          Meetings and Subsequent Assistance

The auditors shall be available to meet at least once before the audit field work with the Finance Director (and Executive Director) to discuss matters of mutual concern.

They shall also be available to meet with the Finance Committee to present and review draft audited financial statements, and to attend the Annual General Meeting (and participate as scrutineers for the Board of Directors election process).

3.5         Post-Audit Management Letter

No later than 10 days following the completion of annual field work, the auditors shall prepare and deliver a letter, in draft form, outlining any concerns that may have been discovered.  Such letter shall provide recommendations or corrective measures that may be deemed necessary.  The auditors shall submit these drafts to the Finance Director and Executive Director so that any responses may be incorporated with their observations & recommendations before being formally presented to the Finance Committee (and Board of Directors) at their meetings in advance of the Annual General Meeting.  Senior audit staff shall make themselves available to attend such meeting and to present or clarify their comments to the members.

Adherence to the critical dates and requirements outlined within this Proposal Call and the annual schedule will be an essential feature of satisfactory performance under the engagement letter.

3.6         Terms of Engagement

The successful firm will be appointed for 2023 and will be reappointed for subsequent years, subject to the approval of the membership at the Annual General Meeting based on the recommendation of the Board of Directors and satisfaction with service provided, including fees.

4. PROPOSAL CONTENT

4.1         General

Respondents are asked to submit a proposal for the scope of services described herein, incorporating the following mandatory elements into their submission:

Proposals which do not sufficiently address each of these areas will be deemed non-compliant.

Proponents may be required to provide further information or clarification on the contents of their submissions or may be required to confirm statements on capacity, capability or costs.

4.2         Fees and Expenses

The proposal must include a firm quotation for the fees to be charged for the 2023 audit and fees for the remaining four years.  Details shall be provided as to the number of hours required broken down by staff level and the hourly rate being charged for each, for information only.

Out-of-pocket expenses should be clearly stated to be either part of the estimated fee or shown separately.  Fees must include all auditing assignments.

The vendor should advise on the extra cost if the auditor is requested to prepare the financial statements on CCOC’s behalf.

An hourly rate for any additional work required by CCOC not contained within the scope of this tender is to be provided.

5. CONDITIONS

CCOC reserves the right to discuss any and all proposals, to request additional information from proponents and to decline any and all proposals received.  The lowest cost proposal will not necessarily be accepted.  CCOC reserves the right to accept or reject any part of or all proposals.

CCOC will not be liable for any costs incurred by the proponents with respect to preparation of responses to this proposal.

6. SELECTION CRITERIA

The evaluation process to determine the successful auditor will involve both qualitative and
quantitative elements. As a general framework, all proposals presented will be
evaluated in the context of the overall value that it brings to the corporations.

Proposals will be evaluated according to the following point allocation:

Evaluation Criteria Max Points
Understanding of Requirements 10
Audit Approach and methodology 20
Project workplan and Schedule 15
Qualifications of project team and firm’s relevant experience 30
Experience with Housing organizations and Not-for-Profit Sector 10
Value added services 5
Financial proposal 10
Total Available Points 100

Although respondents are asked to include separate quotations in their financial proposal for CCOC and the related corporations, this is only for information purposes.  The services will not be severed and only the combined fixed price will be evaluated.  Prices should be provided for each year of the five year engagement period.  The average of the five years will be used as the basis of evaluation.  The lowest average fixed price will be awarded the full available points for the financial component, with points being awarded to the remaining submissions in order of standard deviation from the lowest price.

The respondent with the highest combined score will be selected as the preferred proponent.

Based on the number of submissions received, CCOC reserves the right to short-list the top three proposals for an oral presentation at the Finance Committee.  In such a case an additional ten (10) points will be allocated to the evaluation, bringing the evaluated denominator to

[1] The financial statements for CCOC/CCHC are prepared in accordance with the financial reporting provisions of the 35-year operating agreement dated January 1, 1990 between CCOC and Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. The basis of accounting used in these financial statements materially differs from ASNPO for capital assets and reserves.