Cornell University

Sarbanes Oxley Certification

Annually the University undergoes a mandated process to certify under Sarbanes Oxley (SOX), that our financial statements are accurate and complete, that there are no material misstatements or omissions in the University financial statements, and that appropriate internal control procedures are in place and are being followed. The certification is accomplished by using a supplied questionnaire.

In May of each year, the Office of Financial Operations and Budget Planning sends a “Save the Date” email to department directors and administrators who have the responsibility relating to the SOX certification. In part, the email provides information on the SOX process itself that will take place after year end close. Additionally the email alerts individuals to the short turn around time between year end close and the date mandated to return the SOX information to the Division of Financial Affairs. As a result, individuals are asked to look at account activity between July and April, leaving only May and June for accounts to be reviewed for accuracy and compliance, once the year end information is distributed.

In July, after year end close, the official SOX questionnaire along with several related documents is distributed to department directors and administrators. Recipients are asked to review the information, take the necessary steps to perform the certification, and return the questionnaire to the Office of Financial Operations and Budget Planning by a determined date, usually around early August.

In addition to the annual SOX certification, units with asset and/or liability accounts (petty cash, deferred income, etc.) are required to submit a reconciliation for each account, as of June 30th of the year. The information requesting the reconciliations is distributed at the same time as the SOX information, however under separate cover.