SOFO Policies and ProceduresSOFO

The Student Organization Finance Office (SOFO) serves as the banking center for all student groups recognized by Northwestern University. As such, it facilitates financial transactions and offers an independent and verifiable record of all the activity that occurs on these organizational accounts.

Student organizations are financially accountable to their members and the student body at large. Though they are not recognized as legal entities outside of Northwestern, they do, at times, “represent” the University unofficially by the programs and activities they sponsor and make available to the general Evanston public. This association with the University brings them many benefits (e.g., exempt status from Illinois sales tax) and responsibilities (e.g., adherence to documentation requirements).

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

Calling all student organization leaders! Need to talk to someone at SOFO about your student groups’ finances? Do it from the comfort of your own home with Google Hangouts or come up to the third floor Student Organization Resource Center and chat on the SOFO sofa.

Statement on Financial Integrity and Conflict of Interest

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, (s)he cannot assist in processing any transaction affecting her/his own group’s account.

SOFO Authorized

It is required that treasurers be SOFO authorized  in order to begin transacting with SOFO. If Presidents wish to make transactions with SOFO, it is necessary that they are authorized as well.

To do so, please follow the procedures below.

  1. View the Prezis below.
  2. Print and fill out the SOFO Quiz. All questions can be answered by reviewing the Prezis or our SOFO Policies and Procedures handbook.
  3. Select three training dates listed on our website, in order of preference, and write the dates on your completed quiz. Note: you only need to attend one session.
  4. Bring your quiz to SOFO and have it graded by an attendant.
  5. You will be given your live presentation date after your quiz is graded. Training dates are filled on a first come, first serve basis.

The Cashier’s Office will be holding workshops on the cash bag process. The dates are listed on the Cashier’s Office website. If you would like to attend a workshop, please e-mail the Cashier’s Office at

Training dates available

(select your top three and note them on your quiz):

  • Monday, June 2nd, 6:00 PM: L06 Harris Hall

SOFO New Account Procedures

SOFO New Account Procedures on Prezi

People and Your Account

People and Your Account on Prezi

SOFO Account Maintenance

SOFO Account Maintenance on Prezi

SOFO Transactions

Cashier’s Office Training

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Want to know how other treasurers organize and fulfill their responsibilities?

Watch these videos for tips and advice!
New Treasurer Advice

Interactions Within Your Student Group

Working with SOFO