With a small pool of applicants to pick from, the Morgan County Council recently selected Ulrich and Associates to provide the county with audit and consulting services.
Crane Christensen Palmer & Ambrose was the only other auditor to submit a bid. Last year, five firms submitted bids.
“It is highly unusual we only had two firms, or maybe we are getting a reputation,” County Council Chairwoman Tina Kelley said.
Although the council discussed extending the deadline in order to garner more bids, they ultimately decided against it.
“I don’t think you are going to get more bids,” Councilman Logan Wilde said. “There are just not a lot of firms that jump into municipality auditing. It’s not just like regular CPA work. Morgan is awful small, not like Salt Lake County where you have more competition.”
Both firms have provided the county with auditing services in the past.
Although both firms are familiar with the county, each firm had a different idea concerning the amount of hours a Morgan audit would take. Although the council did not divulge the monetary amount of the bids or the hours quoted, they did say it varied widely.
“There is a wide distance between the two in estimating how many hours this is going to take,” Councilman Austin Turner said.
“I am very uncomfortable awarding a bid when you have such a drastic difference. Looking at the numbers I am looking at, I have real heartburn with those kinds of drastic numbers,” Councilman Robert Kilmer said. “This is major. Someone has got to be wrong.”
Crane Christensen Palmer & Ambrose last audited the county in 2008 for the 2007 year. Following that, Lynn Wood provided auditing services for two years. Jeff Ambrose said his bid was based on the number of actual hours his firm actually spent on audits in the county years ago.
Chuck Ulrich said his was, too.
“We came in the year following the problems. We were brought in to scrub it good,” Ulrich said. “You got a thorough audit. We came to know what it would take to maintain your county to make sure you are protected. We’ve looked at it real hard and think this is as low as we can go and do a good job protecting you going forward.”
The council told Ulrich that if the firm needed to put in more hours than quoted to finish the audit, it must consult the council before proceeding.