Harrington Group Blog

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         In today’s day and age, it can be daunting to shield our families, more specifically our children, from the perpetual news cycle of twisted politics, environmental disasters, climate change and overall dreadful occurrences. More and more children are growing up with an awareness of the world’s current state and gaining an interest in how they can help. Adolescents like Greta Thunberg, a 17 year old activist for climate change, have sparked a movement of increasing involvement from our youth.

        Taking part in the “solutions” of our worldly issues can empower our children and our families, softening the intensity of the never-ending news cycles. We are never too young to learn the value in volunteering. Plus…what could be a better family activity than one that helps to make the world an improved place? Here are a few ideas to get your family started:

What is your family interested in?
        Look for volunteer opportunities that align with your family’s current interests. Choosing an activity that is engaging for your group is a good strategy to achieve long term sustainability for participation. Passion is power!

- Are you a tribe of beach bums? Do you often hit up the coastline to surf, boogie board or make sand castles? If so, why not try volunteering for a beach clean up? Trash that has been littered on the beaches is not only bad for the animals but it also negatively impacts the experience of beach-goers.

-Does your family love animals? Contact local animal shelters or rescues. Make sure to check with their minimum age requirements for working with animals directly. Even if your child doesn’t meet the age requirement just yet, there may be other opportunities for younger kids to help out, such as with fundraising and/or events.

-Are you outdoorsy people? Great! Then there are a variety of options for you to get out and do some good. Families that plant trees together stay together (okay this isn’t scientifically proven but come on). Look for a local charity that has tree planting events. You can also look for a local charity walk or a fun run that raises money for to benefit a cause that’s meaningful to your family. Didn’t have any interest in cleaning up the beaches? There are also litter picking opportunities inland! Look for local litter picking events that you can do together. Can’t find an event that works within your family’s busy schedule? You can also purchase some litter pickers and trash bags, take a family walk and teach our kids the value of cleaning up their own neighborhood and the surrounding areas.

-Does your family love to be social and meet new people? Look for local nursing homes, where you and your children can spend time visiting, talking and playing games with the residents.

        These are just a few suggestions, merely scratching the surface of possibilities for you and your family to volunteer together. It is important to spend time together as a family unit, so why not use that time to instill good morals and values and to improve the world around us?

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As you may know, at the end of 2019, we lost our beloved leader, Joe Harrington. Two separate events were held in honor of his legacy to the firm and to the nonprofit community as a whole. As we have offices in both northern and southern California, we wanted to ensure that both communities were able to show their respects. We are thankful to all of our clients, former employees and current employees who were able to attend these celebrations, as well as the members of Joe's family who were able to be present.

We were uplifted by all of the stories and memories shared at these events. Among the stories, were highlights of Joe's generosity. We were reminded how much Joe enjoyed sharing meals and drinks with those who were close to him, both professionally and personally. We were reminded of the kindness that Joe radiated on a daily basis and how much he treated everyone as equals. We were reminded that he had one of two styles of attire - a full suit or athletic wear, nothing in between.

Joe will forever remain in our hearts and in the true spirit of Harrington Group.

Here are a few moments from the Pasadena honoring at Shakespeare Club.

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As you know, we lost our founder, Joe Harrington, at the end of last year. We are so grateful for all the kind words and wishes and stories that have been shared with us since then, he is gone but truly never forgotten.

These are just a few of the beautiful moments captured at our Oakland event. We will share some from the Pasadena event in the near future.

Thank you to all.

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For many people and businesses filing your taxes is a lot like going to the DMV - a totally necessary and horribly daunting task. Even when you have a professional firm doing it for you, the prep alone can feel so overwhelming that it’s tempting to put it off for as long as possible.

We’re here to try to convince you to saddle up and get it done! Here’s why:

- It will be SO MUCH less stressful if you start now and give yourself plenty of time to prepare. The less grief you can cause yourself the better.

- You want to have plenty of time to address anything that might require a little extra prep or help or communication, rather than scrambling at the last minute.

- If you are getting a refund then you will get it sooner!

- If you will be owing money then you can prepare for that bill with more time to spare.

- Without the last minute rush you are far less inclined to make mistakes or forget something!

- Simply put: starting early means you will not be late! However, if you need, don’t forget that you can file for a tax extension.
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Job "The banker" getting ready to dole out this year's cash prizes!

The holidays mean many different things to many different people, but here at Harrington Group they are a time of togetherness and gratitude. We work with such a talented, kind, and diligent and team of individuals, and while we are thankful for them every day we get to showcase that gratitude at this jolly time of year.

Our northern and southern California offices come together for a company party of good eats, drinks, and fun…plus a game in which everyone wins a little extra spending money for the season. Is there a better kind?!

This year’s party was held in Pasadena and was as fun and festive as ever. We are so deeply proud and thankful for this Harrington Group family, and send season’s greetings to all.
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Fall is officially here and there’s no better time than the turn of a season to do some evaluating and make positive changes. The fall sweep is particularly poignant because these small-but-mighty alterations will carry you through the holidays and into the New Year (hello Tax Season, back so soon?), making the transition as smooth as possible.

Here are a few suggestions on how to set your office and yourself up for success this Fall:

- Review your client roster. Take a moment to look over everyone on your roster and have a little reflection about what the two of you are doing for each other. It’s almost the new year and just after tax season is a great time to make any changes that might need implementing, so start thinking about them now.

- De-Clutter your space. This is a great time to survey your office, desk, and files with the intention of eliminating anything that is no longer serving you (and therefore just taking up space). Get rid of it and be ruthless.

- Reorganize. Now that your space is cleared put some real thought into your everyday systems and how they might be altered to be more efficient.
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Job Quesada joined Harrington Group in 1994 and has been a strong backbone to the firm ever since. Well versed in nonprofit accounting and auditing, Job has a plethora of knowledge that he brings to the business and shares liberally in his frequent travels, which often takes him as far off as Afghanistan.

Almost as regularly, Job makes the trek from the Oakland to Pasadena office and back again, making him a true California aficionado, as well as a uniquely open-minded baseball fan, cheering on the Dodgers, Angels, and Giants.

A family man through and through, when anyone is asked about Job they’re bound to mention his joyful devotion to his large, close-knit family. It’s a point of pride and deep love for Job, and an aspect of his jovial personality that his colleagues adore and respect.
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Well, we’ve made it halfway through the year! Somehow summer is upon us, which only means that these next six months will fly by just as quickly as the last, if not more so. Before we know it tax season will be upon us yet again!

We at Harrington Group thought it might be helpful to give a little rundown of how you can stay (or start, no judgement) organized so that things are less stressful, dare we say frantic, once January rolls around.

1. Use a software to track expenses. Programs like Quickbooks are fantastic for helping to digitize all your expenses and receipts, keeping it in one easy-to-access place. These programs also help you break down and maintain order in the little nuances that will make a difference come tax time. You can even check the app store, there are so many helpful devices for us to access now, and they truly make life so much easier!

2. Have a filing system at home. It’s always a good idea to keep hard copies of bigger receipts, invoices, pay stubs, and deductions. Some people even keep hard copies of smaller receipts and expenses, just to have them when the season rolls around! Having a clear, concise, albeit simple system for keeping these things separated and accessible will save your tax season sanity.
We recommend folders similar to those mentioned above:
- income
- expenses,
- business/tax documents (receipts from charitable donations, business trips and deductions, etc.)

3. Lastly, have a folder ready for W-2s and 1099s and other documents when they start rolling in so everything of that nature is in one place. It’s also convenient to keep a folder for all your past tax documents, as well as one for all your past returns.
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Summer is officially here and we're embracing it! Here are a few of our tips to make it your best one yet.

- Find new ways to stay hydrated. Try coconut water, watermelon water, or infusing your own with cucumber and different fruits.

- Sunscreen sunscreen sunscreen! At the risk of sounding like your mother, it has never been more important to slather on the SPF and protect your skin. You’ll thank us later!

- Get outside. Even if you’re just heading from one air conditioner to the next, find ways to enjoy the outdoors and get yourself out of the house. Bikes are available for rent in most cities, but we’re partial to a good old fashioned walk (headphones and summer anthems optional).

- Travel. It doesn’t have to be anywhere fancy, but you’d be amazed at how many amazing places lie just outside of your city! We’re betting a quick Google search would yield a plethora of mini-road-trip options within 2 hours of your home.

- Book ahead. Spontaneity is admirable, but if you’re planning a bigger get away start booking NOW. Summer is the biggest travel season and prices will only rise from here on out (you didn’t think we wouldn’t include ONE money-savvy tip, did you? #accountants)
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It’s difficult to find someone who works harder than Tonetta Conner. As a partner at Harrington Group her list of responsibilities is endless, and yet she is always finding time to take on projects, participate in functions, and oversee even the most minute details involving the company.

Having had a knack for accounting since high school Tonetta worked hard through her years at UC Berkeley to create opportunities that would combine her skill set with her passion: helping people. Finding a home at Harrington Group was a natural fit.

Tonetta is known to be tenacious, kind, thorough, and adventurous. She is as comfortable speaking in front of a large group of people as she is in the middle of nowhere (a place her extensive travels have taken her more than once). Truly a woman of the world, we are extremely fortunate to have Tonetta on our team!

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