Finance Resources

Finance Co-Chair

The finance co-chair is responsible for working in partnership with the Office of Student Life (OSL) Contact on creating and managing the budget for the conference. This co-chair will work closely with all conference co-chairs. Conference funding is raised through corporate sponsorship and conference ticket sales.

Your sponsorship co-chair will work in partnership with Corporate Partnerships (CP) to raise sponsorship for your conference.


  • Once your conference has been approved, your budget will go through a final approval process. Please set up a meeting with the OSL contact and the conference team to discuss the budget.
  • Items in the budget are approved on a line by line basis. Amounts listed on the sample budget are based upon historical pricing as well as amounts that the school is comfortable paying. Create the budget based on the past conference budget and guidelines found in the Corporate Partnership DropBox (Note:include volunteers, co-chairs, and speakers in your food/entertainment budget. A registration fee will not be collected but will need to be accounted for in the costs).
  • Once the budget is approved, any reallocation of funds within the budget or additional fund requests must receive the approval of the OSL Contact.
  • Confirm Corporate Sponsorship levels with your CP contact and review related information in the Sponsorship Resources section. Ticket prices are listed in Registration Resources section.
  • If conference funding goals are not met, the team will be asked to make modest budget cuts in order to run the conference.
  • Update your budget with the actual numbers.

Receipt Reimbursement Procedure

  • Individual Expenses are submitted using a Visitor Expense Report Form (receipts are required). Coordinate with the OSL Contact.
  • Northwestern University will not reimburse someone more than 90 days after the purchase; inform team to turn in receipts for payment a.s.a.p.
  • Check that the expense is within the approved budget before submitting for reimbursement.
  • Use the Northwestern/Kellogg School of Management Tax Exempt Form when making all purchases. All taxes, except hospitality (hotel), delivered food and out-of-state taxes paid by a student will not be reimbursed by Northwestern University. See the OSL contact for further information.
  • Conference supply purchases (speaker gifts, office supplies) should be coordinated with the OSL Contact so payment may be streamlined using a vendor invoice or University credit card (P-card). It is conference policy to minimize individual expenses. NU Accounting strongly discourages independent expense reimbursements for student conferences. If such service is needed, reimbursement may take from 6-8 weeks. .
  • Lunch meeting food served on campus may be billed to the conference internal account and ordered through the food order form. Food must be ordered through the Global Hub Catering service for group sizes over 70.
  • Kellogg Reimbursement Policy for Conference Volunteer Meetings: Conference co-chairs are encouraged to have regular planning meetings with conference leaders and volunteers at Kellogg. We are happy to support such meetings with light refreshments. Expenses for limited amounts of food and non-alcoholic beverages either purchased at or delivered to Kellogg for these meetings are approved expenses and will be reimbursed from the conference account ($1,200 limit). Please consult the Office of Student Life Event Manager regarding any off-campus events relating to conferences.

Expense Type Details

  • For internal Kellogg purchases such as group food orders placed directly through Office of Student Life or purchases made at the Emporium (gift shop), the conference chart string account can be directly billed. Please consult the OSL Contact for your conference account number.
  • Speaker dinners can be paid using a University credit card (P-card) or restaurant invoice. The speaker dinner payment is coordinated by the OSL Contact.
  • Students can only be reimbursed for purchases of alcohol if it complies with Northwestern University’s Alcohol Policy. Review Alcohol policy and submit forms under Clubs and Events.
  • If a contract is necessary for an expense (such as reserving a venue or speaker dinner), you must consult the OSL Contact to obtain signatures. All contracts, regardless of amount, must be signed by an authorized signatory from Northwestern University with a minimum of 3 weeks lead time.
  • Speaker reimbursements are agreed upon when making the speaker arrangements and may include; economy airfare (this is usually based on request from a non-profit organization and must be approved). The majority of conference speakers are expected to pay for their own travel expenses. Speaker airport transportation and hotel stay are provided (one night for domestic travelers and two nights for international travelers; see speaker information for more details and discuss details with OSL Contact).

Invoice Payment Details

  • Northwestern University will not pay an invoice more than 90 days after the purchase; inform team to turn in invoice for payment a.s.a.p.
  • Submit invoices to OSL Contact for payment.
  • Update your budget with the actual numbers upon completing the conference and reviewing all costs.

Note: Make a copy of all forms for your records.

Follow Through

(Within two weeks after the conference)
  • Follow-up on any outstanding invoices.
  • Get actual numbers/invoices from all committees.
  • Finalize Budget with actual cost and file it in the shared file system (Dropbox and BOX).
  • Archive all materials and data for next year’s committee
  • See the OSL Contact regarding Conference finance/payment clarification