Annual Representation Survey (sub-certification)
The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, (SOX) governs the audit, financial statement, and internal control practices conducted by corporations. While not mandated, Northwestern has elected to embrace certain provisions of SOX as "best practices" that could further strengthen the University's overall financial control environment. One of the provisions establishes procedures for senior management to make certifications related to the financial information included in the annual financial report, as well as ensuring the financial condition and results of operations are fairly presented in all material respects. Essentially, these various certifications are included in the Representation Letter that the President, Associate Vice President for Financial Operations and Treasurer, Controller, and Senior Vice President of Business and Finance are required to provide to our external auditors at the completion of the audit of the fiscal year results.
As part of the Representation Letter attestation process, the Office for Audit and Advisory Services conducts a sub-certification process whereby key individuals in each of the schools and central administration answer a series of questions related to certain University financial and administrative processes. Those answers, in turn, provide the dean's office and senior management with the information necessary to make the certifications mentioned above.