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Request for Proposals, Internal Audit

Dear Auditor,

The Tennessee Technology Development Corporation, d/b/a Launch Tennessee (Launch TN) is requesting proposals from CPA firms that have extensive experience in providing audit services for not for profit organizations. We invite your firm to submit a three year proposal to us by January 11, 2016 for consideration. A description of our organization, the services needed, and other pertinent information follows:


Background of Launch TN:

Launch TN is a public-private partnership focused on supporting the development of high-growth companies in Tennessee. Our ultimate goal is to make Tennessee the No. 1 place in the Southeast to start and grow a business. Launch TN is recognized by the Internal Revenue Service as a charitable, tax-exempt organization pursuant to section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Launch Tennessee was incorporated in 1998. We have an audit committee comprised of four members who will be responsible for the final selection of auditors. 

Launch TN was awarded a Grant Contract with the State of Tennessee on July 1, 2012 in the amount of $10,375,000. Effective July 1, 2015, Launch TN was awarded $2.8M in re-occurring funds by the State of Tennessee Legislature. The grant funds are state funds from the Department of Economic and Community Development to increase economic development in the state of Tennessee. On October 1, 2011, Launch TN was awarded a Grant Contract with the State of Tennessee in the amount of $29,596,073. These federal funds are passed through the Department of Economic and Community Development from the United States Treasury Department, as a part of the State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI). Both grants are administered by Launch TN, THE GRANTEE.

Our annual operating budget is approximately $5.4M per year, and we employ 10 people in one location. We also have a $29M grant in pass through funds (U.S. Treasury) from the State of Tennessee to administrate the INCITE Fund. Our main programs are Entrepreneurship, Capital Formation, Innovation and Commercialization, Outreach, and INCITE. Our main sources of revenues are from the State of Tennessee, pass through U.S. Treasury funds, and various grants and sponsorships.

The organization has a June 30 fiscal year-end, with a requirement to file an audited financial statement with the State of Tennessee by October 1 of each year.

Launch TN maintains all accounting records in-house and uses On-Line Quick Books Pro for the accounting system. The Accounting Department consists of 2 staff members, the Director of Finance and Accounting and the Accountant.

For more information, please visit our website at www.launchtn.org.


Services to be Performed:

Your proposal is expected to cover the following services:

1) Annual audit of the financial statements for the year ended June 30, and meetings with the Audit Committee and/or Board of Directors, as needed.

2) Management letter containing comments and recommendations with respect to accounting and administrative controls and efficiency.

3) Preparation of federal and state information returns for the organization.

4) Availability throughout the year to provide advice and guidance on financial accounting and reporting issues.


The audit of the financial statements and tests for controls must be made in accordance with:

1)      Audit requirements of the Audit Manual for Governmental Units and Recipients of Grant Funds, published by the Tennessee Comptroller of the Treasury (http://www.docstoc.com/docs/141470201/AUDIT-MANUAL—Tennessee-Comptroller-of-the-Treasury).

2)      Government Auditing Standards, by the Comptroller General of the United States, most recent revision. (“Yellow Book”) (http://gao.gov/assets/590/587281.pdf).

3)      AICPA’s Audits of State and Local Governmental Units.

4)      Generally accepted government auditing standards required by OMB Circular No. A‑133 pursuant to the Single Audit Act of 1984, P. L. 98‑502, amended June 26, 2007.

5)      Compliance Supplement for Single Audits of State and Local Governments (http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/circulars/a133_compliance_supplement_2013).



The following is the anticipated timeframe for the services to be provided:

July 15:
Meet with Director of Finance and Accounting to discuss the audit plan

August 1:
Receive a list of client-provided documents and requests

August 15:
Begin fieldwork (approximately one week)

September 1:
Financial statement draft for management review

September 15 (date subject to change):
Presentation of draft audit report and comments to Audit Committee

September 30:
Issue final report

October 1:
File CAFR to State

October 1:
Provide draft audit returns for management review

October 15 (date subject to change):
Present final report to Board of Directors

November 15:
File final information returns


A final selection will be made by March 1, 2016.


Proposals are due by no later than 5:00 p.m., CST January 11, 2016. Snail mail or E-mail proposals to:

Tennessee Technology Development Corporation

d/b/a Launch Tennessee

211 Seventh Avenue North, Suite 205

Nashville, TN 37219

Attn: Dr. Patricia Beavers, Director of Finance and Accounting



Proposals sent by snail mail must be postmarked no later than midnight January 11, 2016.

If you have any questions concerning this request for proposal, or about the Economic and Community Development, or the INCITE grant contracts, please contact Dr. Patricia Beavers at 615-866-1026, or at patricia@launchtn.org. When submitting your proposal, be sure to include the name, phone number, and e-mail address of the contact at your firm.

This letter is not to be construed as a contract or commitment of any kind.



Dr. Patricia Beavers




Schedule of Work


All responses to the RFP should be organized in the manner and format described below:


I   Executive Summary

Describe your understanding of the work to be performed and your firm’s ability to perform the work within the time frame provided.

II   Professional Experience

Include an explanation of your firm’s philosophy, size, structure, and qualifications with servicing not for profit organizations with a similar size and operations. Describe your firm’s resources devoted to not for profit organizations. Discuss the firm’s independence with respect to Launch TN.

III   Team Qualifications 

Identify the specific partners, managers, and in-charge staff who will be assigned to this engagement if you are successful in your bid. Provide their bios specifying relevant experience to the type of services requested. Also discuss commitments you make to staff continuity, including your staff turnover experience in the last three years.

IV   Audit Approach

V     Fees

Please provide a firm estimate of fees (year 1, 2 and 3) for the services to be provided.

VI   Client References

Include a list of the relevant not for profit clients the firm has served within the past three ears and furnish the names and telephone numbers of any reference whom we may contact.

V   Payment

Invoices must be submitted by no later than 30 days after completion of the on-site review (progress billing). Final invoices must be submitted by no later than 30 days after the written assessment has been submitted to Launch TN’s management. Separate invoices must be submitted for review work related to the SSBCI Program. Invoices must list the dates of service, scope of service, duration, and rate. Payments will be made by no later the 30 calendar days after receipt of invoice(s). Management reserves the right to dispute any charges it deems questionable or excessive.

VI   Time of Performance

The services of the Firm are to commence as soon as possible after July 15, 2016 in order to be completed no later than September 30, 2016.

VII   Termination

Launch TN reserves the right to terminate the services of the Firm by giving at least three (3) days written notice of the fact and time of such termination. In such event all finished or unfinished work prepared by the Firm shall become the property of Launch TN and the Firm shall be entitled to compensation for satisfactory work under this agreement.


Proposal Timetable: 

November 19, 2015:
RFP distributed

 January 11, 2016:
Six copies of written proposals due to Launch TN

February 1, 2016:
Management contacts finalists to schedule presentations

February 15, 2016 (subject to change):
Finalists make presentations to the Audit Committee

March 1, 2016:
CPA Firm selected and notified


Evaluation of Proposals:

While price is an important factor, Launch TN will evaluate proposals on price and the following criteria:

  • Prior experience auditing similar organizations
  • Qualifications of staff members to be assigned to the engagement
  • CPA firm’s understanding of work to be performed
  • References, and
  • Completeness of the proposal
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