Advisor's Corner

sofo office

Advisor SOFO Responsibilies

Oversight of a student group is performed by the advisor, a Northwestern employee who agrees to be available to the organizations they advise. Advisors do not have to be staff members of the specific unit that provides the sponsorship, but should understand that they represent the objectives of that department and the greater University with respect to the student organizations.

Oversight should not be interpreted as requiring advisors to involve themselves in their group's daily administration. However, a student organization should be in sufficient contact with the advisor to ensure that it is taking advantage of all the University resources (tax-exempt status, scheduled meeting spaces, etc.), and that it is operating within the department’s and Northwestern’s policies and procedures.

With respect to financial transactions, advisors must verify that:

  • Group expenditures are meeting University standards.
  • Groups are following SOFO’s policies and procedures for proper record keeping, transparency and reconciliation.

To complete the transactions associated with these expenditures, SOFO relies on advisors to attest to their propriety by signing the documents that support them.  Advisors need to learn all of the requirements needed for transactions before they sign off on them. Review the following presentation: SOFO Transactions

Transaction Checklist (pdf) - Quick guide to use when making transactions.

Transaction Type

Documents Requiring Advisor Signature

Reimbursement Paid invoices, Original receipts
Payment (non-contract) Unpaid invoice
Payment (contractual) Voucher
Check Advance Voucher
Reconciliation of Check Advance Voucher (if reimbursement is needed), Paid invoices, receipts, etc. 
Transfer Voucher, Memo (If funds are exiting the account)
Debit Card Voucher (activation/reloads), Application 
Reconciliation of Debit Card Reconciliation, printed statement, paid invoices, receipts, etc.

Account Maintenance

Advisors should not only know the SOFO requirements for transactions but what is required of groups to keep their accounts up-to-date and UN-FROZEN.  Review the following presentation to be able to assist your student groups with maintaining their SOFO accounts. 

Advisor Resources