Advisor SOFO Responsibilities
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 (PDF)
Transaction Checklist (PDF) - A quick guide to use when making transactions.
|Transaction Type||Documents Requiring Advisor Signature|
|Reimbursement||Paid invoices, Original receipts|
|Payment (non-contract)||Unpaid invoice|
|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.|
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.
- SOFO Account Maintenance (PDF)
- Change of Advisor Form (PDF) - Advisors who are no longer advising a group should let SOFO know, and have the new advisor submit the change of advisor form to SOFO.
- Student Organization & Activities Resources for Advisors
- SOFO sends out weekly updates and reminders through their advisor listserv. If you have not been added, contact SOFO at SOFO@northwestern.edu.
- For information on student organization debit cards, please visit the Cashier's Office page.