Audit Services Request for Proposals

We are accepting proposals through August 11, 2023, from Certified Public Accounting firms to provide annual audit and tax services for our organization.

Background of Maryland Humanities

Maryland Humanities (MH), founded in 1973 and incorporated in 1977, is one of fifty-six state and territorial humanities councils affiliated with the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). MH is neither a federal nor a state agency, but an independent 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization and public foundation. MH exists to provide public programs in the humanities. It accomplishes this task in four ways: by awarding grants to humanities focused nonprofits throughout the state, by creating and coordinating public humanities programs such as the One Maryland One Book and the Maryland History Day programs, by sponsoring touring exhibits developed by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibit Services (SITES), and by promoting public awareness of the importance of the humanities through program materials, eNews, and public forums.

MH currently receives a significant portion of its annual funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities, a federal agency. NEH funding is a combination of outright grants and matching funds. As a recipient of federal funds, MH is affected by the specific legislative authority of the NEH, which provides that only activities that are within the humanities, as defined by Congress, can be supported by federal funds. As per the Single Audit Act of 1984, our level of federal funding requires an annual OMB Circular A-133 audit.

In addition, MH receives about 38% of its support from the State of Maryland and about 10% is derived from individual, foundation, and corporate support. Earned income is a very small part of total support. Annual revenues were $3,095,706 in FY21 and $2,970,324 in FY22. Currently the organization employs 15 people. The organization’s fiscal year is November through October.

MH has a requirement to file audited financial statements, a Single Audit Report, and the Data Collection Form (Form SF-SAC) with the Federal Audit Clearinghouse and the Office of the Inspector General of the NEH annually. Completion of the audit and all related reports are required by May 31 each year.

Services to Be Performed

Your proposal is expected to cover the following services:

Annual audit, preparation of audited financial statements, and preparation of a management comment letter to be completed in compliance with the above deadline and meeting(s) with the audit committee and/or board of trustees, as necessary.
Annual preparation of the OMB Circular A-133 Single Audit Report.
Annual preparation of the Federal Audit Clearinghouse’s Data Collection Form (Form SF-SAC).
Annual preparation of IRS Form 990.
Annual preparation of the Maryland Personal Property Tax Return

The initial services will be provided for the fiscal year ending 10/31/23, and it is anticipated that the initial term of the engagement will be for a period of five (5) years.

Your Response to This Request for Proposal

In responding to this request, please provide the following information:

1. A cover letter which includes a summary of your interest and qualifications.
Specifically, please include:
• An understanding of the services to be provided
• Demonstrated commitment to perform the services in a timely manner
• Your firm’s experience in providing both auditing (including A-133 audits) and Form 990 services to organizations of a comparable size and scope in the not-for-profit sector.
• Describe how your firm will approach the audit of the organization, particularly during the initial/first year. Include a timeline for the proposed audit, including field work, completion of audit, and delivery of required financial statements and statutory documents. Also, discuss the communication process used by the firm to discuss issues with the executive and audit committees of the board.
• Description of the firm’s system of quality control to ensure the audit is adequately performed and the Single Audit Report, Data Collection Form, and Form 990 are adequately prepared
2. A list of key personnel and a CV or resume of everyone who will work on the project
3. Set forth your fee proposal for the 2023 audit including billing rates for classes of professional personnel and preparation of the audited financial statements, Single Audit Report, and Data Collection Form, with whatever guarantees can be given regarding increases in future years. Provide your proposed fee for the required Form 990 preparation and the Maryland Personal Property Tax Return. Include your firm’s policy on time needed in excess of the contracted amount.
4. Share references including names and contact information for other, similarly sized clients of the partner and manager that will be assigned to our organization
5. Any additional data the firm feels may be helpful in the selection process

Timeline, Budget, and Evaluation of Proposals

Proposals are to be submitted via email to by August 11, 2023. Maryland Humanities Board and Staff will work collaboratively to review proposals and conduct interviews during August. The anticipated date for the engagement to begin is October 2023.

The anticipated budget for the project is $15,000-$25,000 including expenses.

MH will evaluate proposals on a qualitative basis. This includes our review of the firm’s peer review report and related materials, interviews with senior engagement personnel to be assigned to our organization, results of discussions with other clients, and the firm’s completeness and timeliness in its response to us. In no particular order, our audit criteria will include but is not limited to the following:

• Experience with federally funded not-for-profit organizations and foundations of a comparable size and scope
• Experience and training of firm personnel in not-for-profit and foundation auditing, including OMB Circular A-133 single audits
• Experience and training of firm personnel in preparation of IRS Form 990
• Quality of engagement staff
• References
• Estimated cost and timeline
• Internal quality control procedures and external quality control peer review


The following information is available in electronic format to assist you in preparing your proposal. You may request a complete packet of the items below by contacting Lou Williams at

• Most recent audited financial statements and OMB Circular A-133 Single Audit Report
• Most recent governance letter
• Most recent Form 990
• Most recent (current year) internal trial balance

Please submit your response to this request for proposal to with “Audit Services” in the subject line by August 11, 2023. We would also appreciate a response if you decline to submit a proposal.