by Stephanie Eaton
The Platte County R-3 Board of Education will not be saving taxpayers any money when it comes to hiring an accounting firm to perform an audit for the next three years.
School board members unanimously approved hiring Westbrook & Company, P.C., over Marr and Company, P.C., during Thursday night's Platte County R-3 Board of Education meeting.
While Marr and Company officials produced a lower bid to the district, Platte County R-3 Superintendent Mike Reik said school officials recommended Westbrook & Company to provide the audit for the school system because Westbrook & Company had more experience.
The bid from Westbrook computes to be more than 26% higher than the Marr and Company bid over the course of the three-year deal.
The board unanimously approved the hiring of Westbrook & Company, P.C. for annual auditing services for the years ending June 30, 2014, 2015 and 2016.
“We had two companies respond,” Platte County R-3 School Superintendent Mike Reik said. “Both were good quality firms.”
The Westbrook & Company firm is based out of Richmond, Mo. and was formed as a company in 1989. The Marr and Company firm is an accounting firm based out of Kansas City and has more than 40 years of experience
According to the proposal submitted to the district, Westbrook & Company would charge the district $13,185 for the audit ending on June 30, 2014. The district would be charged $13,580 for the year ending on June 30, 2015, and $13,990 for the year ending in 2016.
Marr and Company official's proposal was considerably less than the proposal by Westbrook & Company. For the year ending on June 30, 2014, Marr and Company officials would charge the district $10,250. For the year ending in 2015 they would charge the district $10,750 and would charge the school district $11,250 for the year ending in 2016.
According to Dr. Reik, school officials used a rubric to determine which company was the best firm to meet the needs of the district.
The rubric looked at the two firms’ experience, cost, qualifications of staff and compliance with RFP specifications. He said that experience was the area that was considered to be the most important criteria when looking at which company to hire.
“I think Marr is a quality firm, but they have two big districts they work with and that is pretty much it,” Dr. Reik said. “Westbrook has a reputation as a leader in the school auditing business.”
Dr. Reik also said Westbrook officials are very helpful. He said they are there working with school district officials even when they are not providing auditing services to help answer any question school officials have.
Dr. Reik said it is Westbrook's thorough audit and helpful attitude that makes them the company many school districts turn to for their auditing needs.
“They are very well known for being thorough in the auditing services,” Reik said.