Request for Proposal: Independent Auditing Services 2023-2024

Request for Proposal: Independent Auditing Services 2023-2024

February 12, 2024

Application Deadline: March 15, 2024

Pinnguaq Association is inviting proposals from qualified auditing firms to provide independent auditing services.


Pinnguaq Association is a not-for-profit organization with a mandate to work alongside rural, remote, Indigenous and other communities to support the development of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) skills through innovative technology, art and play.

Launched in 2012 in Nunavut, Pinnguaq has grown to become a thriving national organization that provides digital literacy/STEAM education and workforce development for underserved groups including Indigenous communities, women, and persons living with disabilities.

Pinnguaq generally targets the hardest-to-reach communities in Canada, including fly-in communities in the North. To date, our organization has provided 100,000+ learning experiences for participants, trained 5,000 instructors, facilitated 700 paid internship opportunities and completed 1,000+ projects. 

Our community-led grant-funded and social enterprise projects are grounded in the six-phase cycle of a learning journey (Education, Resources, Mentorship, Employment, Production, and Advocacy).

Project Scope

Pinnguaq Association’s fiscal year is April 1-March 31. The estimated revenue for 2023-2024 is approximately 15 million dollars, which includes funding from 35-40 municipal, provincial, territorial and federal departments and agencies and 25-30 social enterprise service contracts with various companies, governments and not-for-profits. For 2023-2024, up to four supplemental audit schedules will be required for specific projects/funders.

Pinnguaq Association’s bi-weekly full and part-time payroll consists of approximately 110 employees and is administered, along with all HR functions, in the cloud-based program HUMI.

Pinnguaq Association’s financial system (general ledger, accounts receivable, accounts payable, report preparation, etc.) is cloud-based. We are currently operating Quickbooks Online as the accounting software, and all documentation is stored using Google Workspace Drive services. 

The Auditor is accountable to the Board of Directors of Pinnguaq Association, and while interacting with the Finance and Administrative staff on a regular basis, is expected to deliver their opinion on the Audited Financial Statements directly to the Board, together with the Management Letter giving opinions on the adequacy of systems, practices, etc. From time to time, the Auditor may be called upon to perform special analyses of procedures, systems and management practices.

It is necessary that the audit is conducted and completed by mid-July. 

Submission Requirements

  1. Pinnguaq Association will receive proposals by email until 12:00 p.m.(noon) on March 15, 2024, for the selection of an Auditor to provide auditing services to the organization for a term of one year (for the fiscal year beginning April 1, 2023 and ending March 31, 2024). If the association is satisfied with work performed, it is currently the association’s practice to tender auditing services every 5 years.
  2. Any proposal received after the above stated time and date will not be considered. It shall be the sole responsibility of the proposer to have their proposal delivered to the Chief Financial Officer for receipt on or before the above stated time and date.
  3. Each proposer shall examine all requests for proposal documents and shall judge all matters relating to the adequacy and accuracy of such documents. Pinnguaq Association shall not be responsible for oral interpretations given by any employee, representative or others. If any amendments are made to the request for proposal after distribution, Pinnguaq Association shall notify all prospective proposers about the amendments.
  4. All communications with Pinnguaq Association regarding any aspect of this RFP must be directed via e‐mail to the Director of Finance:
    • Name: Trevor Hutchinson
    • Title: Chief Financial officer
    • Subject: Auditor’s Proposal
    • E‐mail:
  5. Included within the proposal shall be a section which clearly identifies the audit fees. This section will include:
    • The total audit fee for 2023-2024 to be charged for audit services with respect to the following:
      • audit and preparation of Annual Financial Statements and Supplementary Statements
      • examination of transactions
      • preparation for and attendance at Pinnguaq Association Board of Directors meeting to present audited statements
      • provision of Management Letter
      • Other additional services
  6. Proposals shall clearly indicate the legal name, address, and telephone number of the proposer (company, firm, partnership, individual) as well as a contact person. Proposals shall be signed above the typed or printed name and title of the signer. The signer shall have the authority to bind the proposer to the submitted proposal.
  7. Pinnguaq Association reserves the right to accept or reject any and/or all proposals, to waive irregularities and technicalities and to request resubmission. There is no obligation on the part of the Pinnguaq Association to award the contract to the lowest proposer. Pinnguaq Association shall be the sole judge of the proposal and the resulting negotiated agreement that is in its best interest and its decision shall be final. Pinnguaq Association will not be liable for any costs incurred by the proposers in the preparation of this request for proposal.
  8. All applicable laws and regulations of the Province of Ontario will apply to any resulting agreement.
  9. The Auditing Services agreement resulting from the acceptance of a proposal shall be approved by Pinnguaq Association and shall contain, as a minimum, applicable provisions of the request for proposal. Pinnguaq Association reserves the right to reject any agreement which does not conform to the request for proposal.

Guidelines for Submission


To be eligible to qualify as external auditor, the following minimum requirements must be met. In your proposal, please describe your ability to comply with these statement requirements.

  • The firm or individual must have audit experience in the non-profit sector.
  • The firm or individual must be a member of the Chartered Professional Accountants of Ontario and/or the Chartered Professional Accountants of Northwest Territories/Nunavut 
  • The staff assigned to the Audit Team must be free from conflict of interest through business or personal relationship with members of the association’s administration or Board of Directors.

A review of the proposals on the basis of qualifications, relevant experience and responsiveness of the proposers will be conducted by the Board of Directors.

Audit Planning: Pinnguaq Association will require the proposer selected to participate in annual audit planning to set the calendar and working paper lists.

Required information

In order to maintain comparability and enhance the review process, it is required that proposals be organized in the manner specified below.

  1. Title Page. Should reflect the name of the proposer, address, telephone number, name of contact person and the date.
  2. Table of Contents: Include a clear identification of the material by section and by page number.
  3. Letter of Transmittal: (two pages maximum) Briefly state the proposer’s understanding of the work to be done and make a positive commitment to perform the work within the specified time period.
  4. Profile of the Proposer: In the following section, firm means accounting firm, partnership, individual practice, etc.
    • State whether the firm is local, regional or national;
    • Specify the location of the office from which the work is to be done and the number of partners, managers, supervisors, seniors, and other professional staff employed at this office;
    • Describe the range of activities performed by the firm such as audit, tax accounting, tax services or management services;
    • Describe the firm’s experience in auditing social service, educational, health or other non-profit organizations;Describe the firm’s position on:
      • the issuance and purpose of management letters
      • the relationships between the auditor and the Finance and Audit Committee of the Board, and
      • assisting Pinnguaq Association to reduce audit fees.
  5. Summary of the Proposer’s Qualifications (in addition to minimum qualifications): Identify the personnel which will be assigned to work on the audit. Resumes for each managerial and supervisory person to be assigned to the audit should be submitted and should include formal education, supplemental education relative to governmental accounting and auditing, experience in public accounting in general, work experience in private business or government as an employee, experience with government audits, experience in computerized accounting systems, membership in various boards, committees, and any professional recognition.
  6. Scope Section: Clearly describe the scope of the required services to be provided. Assuming that the requested services include an examination of financial statements and a financial audit examination, define the scope of services to be provided in terms of the matters discussed in the following subsections.

Financial Audit

Association staff prepare draft financial statements based on agreed upon requirements. The examination will be made in accordance with generally accepted auditing standards. The primary purpose of the examination is to express an opinion on the financial statements and that such an examination is subject to the inherent risk that errors or irregularities may not be detected. If conditions are discovered which lead to the belief that material errors, defalcations or other irregularities may exist, or if any circumstances are encountered that require extended services, the auditor will promptly advise the Pinnguaq Association Director of Finance. No extended services will be performed unless they have been authorized in the contractual agreement or in an amendment to the agreement.

The auditors shall familiarize themselves with and comply with the provisions of any and all Federal and Provincial orders, statutes, rules and regulations which may pertain to the work required in the engagement.

Review of Internal Controls

An evaluation is to be made of the system of internal control to assess the extent it can be relied upon to ensure accurate information, to ensure compliance with law and regulations and to provide for efficient and effective operations. The study of internal controls should include:

  • a review of the system which is primarily the process of obtaining information about the organization and the procedures prescribed and is intended to serve as the basis for tests of compliance and for the evaluation of the system.
  • tests of compliance which are designed to provide reasonable assurance that the accounting control procedures are being applied as prescribed.

Management Letter

The audit report shall include a management letter which shall contain the audit findings which, among other matters, may include the following material items discovered within the scope of the audit.

  • recommendations to improve management, accounting procedures, internal controls and increase efficiency.
  • Violation of the laws, rules, and regulations
  • Improper expenditures
  • Improper or inadequate accounting procedures
  • Failure to properly record financial transactions, and
  • Other inaccuracies, irregularities, shortages, and defalcations.

The Auditor is expected to attend a meeting to review and discuss the contents of the management letter with the Pinnguaq Association Board of Directors.

Additional Services

If additional services are needed during the contractual period covered by the agreement, the Auditor, at the option of the association, may be engaged to perform these services at the rates established in the agreement.

Selection Process and Timeline

Mar 15, 2023, 5:00 p.m. EST (noon) is the closing time for receiving proposals.

Shortlisted candidates may be invited for an interview or presentation to discuss their proposal further on or before Mar 25, 2025 or another date chosen by the Association. The selected proposer and other bidders will be notified via email.