The purpose of this request for proposal (RFP) is to solicit the services of a qualified firm of Certified Public Accountants to provide annual auditing services to the Southwestern Water Conservation District (“SWCD”). A five-year contract term is contemplated.


SWCD was established in 1941 to protect, conserve, use and develop the water resources of the Southwestern basin for the welfare of the District, and safeguard for Colorado all waters to which the state is equitably entitled. Following this mandate, SWCD advocates for southwestern Colorado’s water interests at the local, state and regional level. SWCD also administers a substantial grant program to support water projects and other efforts within the District.

SWCD’s work is funded primarily by a small property tax in Archuleta, Dolores, La Plata, Montezuma, San Juan, San Miguel, and parts of Hinsdale, Mineral, and Montrose counties in southwestern Colorado.  Total annual operating expenses average just under $2 million.

SWCD is governed by a nine-member board, which employs a full-time general manager and programs coordinator and contracts with various consultants to fulfill its statutory mandate. More about SWCD can be found on our website:

SWCD has one general fund. SWCD’s recent audited financial statements are available at the Office of the State Auditor’s webpage and recent adopted budgets with the Colorado Department of Local Affairs.

Services Required

SWCD is required to submit an annual audit report to the State of Colorado. The scope of the engagement will be for the selected firm to:

  • Perform a timely financial audit of, issue a report covering, and submit SWCD’s financial statements and other required documents for the year ended December 31st in accordance with U.S. generally accepted auditing standards and state statute;
  • Review and recommend adjustments to SWCD’s Chart of Accounts or General Ledger as needed;
  • Prepare a detailed letter to management at the completion of each annual audit; and
  • Make a formal presentation on the annual audit to SWCD’s Board of Directors at their regularly scheduled meeting in June.

Proposal Process and Criteria for Selection

Firms are requested to provide five written and one digital copies of their written proposals to Laura Spann at the address and email below by the close of business (5:00 p.m.) on September 20, 2021. Late or incomplete proposals will not be considered. Please limit proposals to 25 pages or less.

At a minimum, all proposals should include:

  • Description of qualifications, including the governmental experience and training of staff to be assigned to the audit;
  • Contact information for the individual(s) principally responsible for conducting the audit;
  • At least two references, ideally from governmental entities;
  • Tentative audit work plan, including deadlines for documentation submittal and date for draft audit to be provided to staff; and
  • Annual cost of the audit (please include annual audit fee or applicable hourly rate(s) and estimated hours).

Select members of the board and staff will evaluate the merits of proposals received in accordance with the following criteria:

  • Firm must be licensed to practice in the State of Colorado as a certified public accounting firm.
  • Adequacy and completeness of the proposal.
  • Experience and timeliness of the firm in serving similar governmental organizations.

SWCD reserves the right to reject any or all proposals. All materials submitted become the property of SWCD. There is no expressed or implied obligation of SWCD to reimburse firms for any expenses incurred in preparing proposals in response to this request. During the evaluation process, SWCD may request firms to make an oral presentation answer questions about their proposal. SWCD will select the firm that it believes, in its sole discretion, is best able to provide the required services at a reasonable cost. A formal contract will be prepared and negotiated between SWCD and the selected firm.

If you have questions about the process or SWCD’s operations before making the decision to submit a proposal, please contact either person listed below.

Term of Engagement

A five-year contract is contemplated, subject to annual review and recommendation of SWCD’s Board Finance Committee, the satisfactory negotiation of contract terms (including, but not limited to, a price acceptable to both SWCD and the selected firm), the concurrence of SWCD’s Board and the annual availability of an appropriation to cover audit costs.

Key Dates

Please submit all questions in writing to [email protected] by Friday, September 3, 2021.

SWCD’s answers to written questions will be posted on the District’s website no later than Friday, September 10, 2021.

Firms are requested to provide five written and one digital copies of their written proposals to Laura Spann at the address below by the close of business (5:00 p.m.) on Monday, September 20, 2021.

SWCD anticipates announcing the selected firm no later than Thursday, December 9, 2021. All firms who submitted proposals will be notified of the results no later than Wednesday, December 15, 2021.


Steve Wolff, General Manager, [email protected], 970-247-1302 x21

Laura Spann, Programs Coordinator, [email protected], 970-247-1302 x22

Southwestern Water Conservation District, 841 E 2nd Avenue, Durango, CO 81301

To download this RFP, please click here.

RFP Questions and Answers (Posted September 7, 2021):

The following questions regarding the RFP were submitted by September 3rd. SWCD’s answers are posted below:

  1. What is SWCD’s preference in regards to on-site vs. remote audit for fiscal year 2021 and beyond?

            SWCD does not have a preference regarding remote vs. on-site audits. Either option is acceptable.

      2. Is SWCD willing to share historical audit fees?

           A history of SWCD’s annual budget for audit fees is publicly available via SWCD’s budget filings with the Colorado Department of Local Affairs at this link.