Shorewood - Even though its 2012 books are far from closing, village officials this week selected an auditing firm that will review financial transactions when the task will be undertaken next year.
Finance Director Stephanie Walker came before the Village Board on Tuesday with a recommendation to enter into a contract with accounting firm Sikich, and her request was approved unanimously by the board.
Sikich was one of eight accounting firms which responded to the village's request for proposal. While it was on the lower end of the spectrum, Sikich did not quote the lowest figure for an annual fee. Quotes ranged from $34,000 annually to $21,800 annually.
Sikich's agreement with the village carries a $27,500 price tag for next year's audit.
Walker and other village officials provided the board with a number of reasons, beyond the price, for the recommendation.
"We feel that they're a good fit for the size of Shorewood," Walker said. "We're looking for a fresh perspective, and we think they can offer it."
In a comparison of accounting firms, Sikich is ranked 47th nationally based on its size.
"This means they are large enough to have the technical research resources the village may need, but still be able to give personal client service," Walker said.
Prior to offering her recommendation, Walker and a group of panelists met with and interviewed four of the eight firms. Trustee Michael Maher, who chairs the board's Finance Committee, was among the panelists.
"They have an extensive background and work with similar, progressive communities to ours," Maher said.
The village's agreement with Sikich covers a three-year term, and the price will increase each year. Sikich will receive $28,600 for the 2013 audit and $29,744 for the 2014 audit.
Maher gave a number of reasons for his recommendation of Sikich. The village paid about $34,500 for the recently completed 2011 audit, meaning a savings of about $7,000 will be achieved next year.
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