Skip to main content





Please note that SOFO does not accept transaction requests submitted by email.  Because we are working with a very limited number of staff at this time, no exceptions can be made.

The Student Organization Finance Office (SOFO) provides financial training and banking services to student organizations recognized by Northwestern University.

These services include:
  • Establishing an account to maintain an organization’s funds in trust
  • Facilitating transactions requested by an organization’s administrative group to and from the account
  • Providing a transactional interface to work with NU Financials, the University’s accounting system
  • Reporting account activity
  • Student organizations, through their affiliation with Northwestern University, enjoy numerous "umbrella" benefits—including advocacy, Illinois sales tax exemption, certain insurance and legal services, etc.

However, for an organization to enjoy these benefits, it must meet various requirements—University, federal and local—and be subject to the restrictions that accompany them. SOFO assists its student organization clients by providing the necessary information and transparent financial structure necessary to fulfill these requirements. To maintain the integrity of this structure, all of a participating organization’s funds must be deposited within its SOFO account.

Client Organizations are prohibited from having any savings, checking, or other financial accounts outside of the SOFO banking structure. This includes online fundraising accounts created by members or registered as a personal account. Students are not authorized to create or represent the university in the creation of such accounts.

SOFO is committed to providing student organizations with a financial framework that helps student officers maintain accurate and detailed records while allowing them and student presidents the flexibility to pursue their organizations’ stated purposes and objectives.

The required in-person training offered by the Cashier’s Office and SOFO will be conducted on Zoom, by invitation, after the training prerequisites are completed.  These are scheduled and posted on our respective websites.

SOFO actively seeks to improve its operations with regard to service and financial integrity. All SOFO employees are trained according to very strict policies and guidelines. Of primary emphasis in this training is the role of the staff members as verifiers. SOFO employees do not authorize transactions; they simply verify that the transaction requests made at the service counter are congruous with respect to the SOFO Policies and Procedures (PDF).

If a student employee is also an officer of a student organization, that student must interact with SOFO in the same exact manner as would any other student group officer. The person must initiate the transactions at the service counter outside of the office. Further, the person cannot assist in processing any transaction affecting their own group’s account.