It’s time to find and choose an auditor, which means it’s time to write a request for proposal (RFP).

Notice we said “write,” not “copy and paste.” Especially for not-for-profit organizations, simply pulling an RFP from the internet isn’t usually the best way to go. It’s impossible for those pre-filled RFPs to take into account your organization’s internal structure, specific industry, and personal mission.

I mean, yes, we did create our own non-profit audit RFP Template, but ours is a little different than what you may expect.

Primarily, our template is pretty bare-bones. We included styles, a basic structure, and instructions for creating your own content, but not much beyond that. The template is meant to make your RFP unique, just like your organization.

How to Write a One-of-a-Kind Audit RFP

We’ve seen a lot of not-for-profit audit RFPs over the years, some more memorable than others. Based on our experience, it seems like not-for-profits fall into one of two categories: they use a template without taking time to specify their unique requirements or they ask everyone they know to contribute questions, which makes the RFP disorganized, redundant, and time-consuming.

But you want an RFP that gets to the point and makes it clearly. Here’s how:

  1. Plan ahead. Talk to your organization’s finance committee or governing body to find out what they want to see in their ideal auditing firm.
  2. Make a list. Checking it twice is optional, but encouraged. Start with our NFP RFP Checklist, and feel free to improvise further. But remember . . . .
  3. Keep it brief. Including every question you can possibly think of adds time not only to your writing phase, but also your evaluation process, not to mention the auditor’s time to respond. If you simply must add dozens of qualification questions, save some of them for the second round of evaluating auditors. Think of the RFP not as the entire evaluation, but rather as a small first step in the overall process.
  4. Clean it up. Though it doesn’t sound like much of a help, designing your RFP will help firms know exactly what information to include with their response and may also give you insight into which firms submit well-organized proposals in return.

This advice is just the tip of the iceberg, but creating a clean, concise, consistent RFP is worth the effort. You’ll be able to use it several times without too much changing. We hope to empower you to not settle for standard, but to make it your own.

As we mentioned, feel free to use our free RFP checklist and template to get started. If you have questions or need additional help, please give us a call or contact us online. We’re here to serve!

Download our Non-Profit Audit RFP Checklist for free, right now.