TUPELO • City officials this week voted to approve partnerships with three different companies for auditing, payroll and bidding services.
The Tupelo City Council on Tuesday unanimously voted to contract with ADP, a human resource management software, for payroll management services; Jarell Group, a Tupelo-based accounting firm, to audit the city and the electric department’s finances yearly finances; and Plan House, an online bidding software, for city to use for its bidding and reverse auctions.
“I think all of these services were well received by the council,” Ward 5 Councilman Buddy Palmer said. “I think these are good investments for the city.”
The city agreed to pay a one-time cost of $104,350 to ADP, with an ongoing cost of $15.21 per month for each city employee. According to a letter sent to city officials regarding the payroll service, the position of payroll administrator has been vacant for a year and the city will use ADP to help process and administer payroll.
“Outsourcing it would be the best option, as most of our candidates that we reviewed are already using outside services,” said Kizzy Guy, a controller for the city.
During the council meeting, Guy said that City Hall plans to start fully using ADP by the beginning of March.
Ward 5 Councilman Buddy Palmer said he voted in favor of the program because he believes the service is an efficient use of the city’s resources.
The city also agreed to pay $53,720 to Jarrell Group for auditing services. By law, the city must annually audit its yearly finances. Previously, the city has used Tupelo-based Franks, Franks, Wilemon and Hagood for auditing services. But election officials this year contracted with the Jarrell Group because of better pricing.
Kim Hanna, the city’s chief financial officer, told Council members that the offers from the two local accounting firms were nearly “neck-in-neck” for services, but the lower bid made Jarrell Group more attractive.
The city will not pay Plan House for its services, but the company will take a percentage of the fees collected from submitted bids and reverse auctions fees. Plan House is a local company.
A group of two council members and other city employees served on a committee that reviewed the submitted proposals for the services. Palmer and other officials told the Daily Journal that they trusted the committee to make the best judgements for the proposals and believed the services were needed in the city.
Don Lewis, chief operations officer for the city of Tupelo, said the next step will be to enter into an official contract with the different companies for the services.