Providing compliance and operations support
In support of Stanford's foreign activities, Global Business Services is leading a new Business Affairs / Finance initiative to develop enabling business infrastructure.
This will include tools, policies, procedures, and services for the Stanford community engaged in University activities outside of the United States.
In addition to improved regulatory compliance, the initiative seeks to enable more time dedicated to value-added program activities by providing better information resources and services that make working abroad easier.
Stanford University is engaged in a wide range of academic programs and activities abroad, and the level of engagement continues to show a significant upward trend. Global Business Services partners with coservice providers across the University to continuously improve global service offerings for academic units. This partnership facilitates delivery of efficient and cost-effect support as well as helps to ensure compliance with increasingly stringent global regulatory compliance standards.
In order to continue to improve our compliance reporting, we have partnered with many organizations to share data, such as with Global Health in the School of Medicine. We have also implemented new tools to collect additional sources of global data. We are finishing our first draft of the 2011 Schedule F – Statement of Activities Outside the United States – which is part of the IRS 990. (A copy of these annual reports is available from the Bondholder Information web site.)
The regulatory environment in the U.S. and abroad is becoming more focused on foreign activities, seeking greater transparency into their scope and substance.
In the U.S., a range of federal agencies are charged with enhancing transparency and increasing enforcement of existing legislation. One example of this is the first-in-30-years overhaul of the annual IRS information return for non-profit entities (IRS 990) which now requires broad reporting of the University's foreign activities. Enforcement too is being stepped up, with large penalties for failure to file on a range of federally-mandated information filings. The pace of new legislative activity around international transactions continues to be significant.
Other countries are similarly focusing more attention on international activities both within their own borders, and in co-operation with the U.S. Immigration/visa enforcement and tax matters, including individual income tax generated by so-called "accidental expatriates" – frequent business travelers- are consistently raised as areas of enforcement focus.