At Harrington Group we are big fans of to-do lists. They set the tone for a project, and when minds wander or tasks get out of hand they bring us back to what is truly important to the overall goal. But to-do lists don’t have to be all work and no play; in fact some of the best are exactly the opposite!
With the last official month of summer looming we recommend making the most of it by – you guessed it – making a to-do list of all the quintessential activities you haven’t had time to get to yet. Keep it posted somewhere you will be able to see it regularly so it can remind you to prioritize some fun with the rest of the madness that the world throws into our day-to-day.
Just to get the ball rolling we have a few suggestions when it comes to making the last month of summer the best it can be:
• Take a trip. Big or small, long or short, give yourself the gift of a getaway to recharge your batteries and soak up some summer vibes.
• Unplug. Take a day away from technology, be it outdoors or simply to dive into a good book – make it count. Invite friends to do the same and have an unplugged dinner party. Play cards and sip cocktails. Make something. Let your brain remember what it feels like not to rely on technology for 24 hours.
• Go to the fair. Or a festival. Or an outdoor movie. Do something that makes you feel like a kid again! Eat all the fried food and ice cream and don’t feel bad about it for even a minute.
• Dine al fresco. This may not be an activity limited to summertime but it does feel the most luxurious during the months in which the sun lingers in the sky. Enjoy golden hour with someone you love and seasonal food and drink to compliment the atmosphere.
• Hit the farmer’s market. Most of them are year round but there is no produce as bright and delightful as summer produce! Get your fill of sun-soaked veggies and berries while you still can.
• Find water. Summer is best served with toes dipped in some body of water, be it ocean or river or lake. Pack a picnic (or at least a cooler) and enjoy the reprieve from the heat while feeling like true summer royalty.
Let’s make August count! Which activities are at the top of your to-do list?
The key to a good company is a good team. You can have all the other pieces in place but if your crew doesn’t gel success will be imminently delayed in comparison to a team that is excited and motivated to work together.
So how do you bond your people? Give them the chance! Setting up an extracurricular activity is so important for letting personalities come together and reinforcing positive connections, as well as showing the squad a different way of working together (which can later be applied in a new way at the office). When arranging your next team building exercises look for these important components:
1. Get out of the office.
By separating the team from the workspace they are allowed to let their walls down a little bit and relax around each other. No one likes an uptight get together!
2. Make it something constructive.
It’s fun to go bowling or out to a restaurant, but by making the chosen activity something productive you encourage the team to work together in a way they wouldn’t in the office. Consider volunteering at a homeless kitchen and cooking together, or a team sport that everyone can be involved in.
3. Have fun.
Make sure you keep it light and low-pressure so everyone is able to get comfortable with each other. Keep competition friendly and conversation flowing.
4. Treat the team.
Whatever you end up doing, make sure your group feels valued. Show them that you appreciate their hard work and reward them with a positive experience!
Something about summertime gets everyone’s feet feeling itchy – the clock was set in grade school and now every year the craving for summer vacation goes off inside of us like an alarm. Maybe you plan your big trip all year and save up to splurge on a dream vacay…or maybe you’re like the rest of us and are dying to just get out of town without breaking the bank. Here are a few ways to enjoy a getaway and still pay rent!
1. Set a flexible travel date and set a flight alert. Sites and apps like Airfare Watchdog or Hopper make finding affordable flights a breeze; sometimes they’re even too good to be true! If your travel dates are flexible (and sometimes even if they’re not) you can search for the least expensive days to fly in and out or set up an email alert to shoot you a message whenever fares go down. As soon as you see that too-good-to-be-true fare don’t hesitate, just book it!
2. Pack lightly. Easier said than done? Not really. Search efficient packing techniques to master the t-shirt roll that saves SO MUCH space. Wear your bulkiest shoes on the plane. Bring easy layers that can make several different outfits using different combinations of the same clothing. If you can fit everything into your carry-on you’re saving the cash to check a bag, plus the potential disaster of lost luggage!
3. Drive! Destination not too far? Traveling with a small group? Road trip it! With everyone pitching in for gas the cost will be exponentially less than flying, plus you can take shifts driving to make sure no one gets burned out (and you get there faster).
4. Camp instead of getting a hotel. Seriously, what says summertime more than s’mores over a campfire? Get in tune with the outdoors and save beaucoup bucks by grabbing a campsite along the way to your destination – or better yet, make it your destination! National parks make for incredible getaways and almost always host campgrounds.
5. Get an Airbnb or hotel room with a kitchen. Last but possibly most important: You will save so much money by hitting the market and cooking a few meals rather than going out. Also, bring your own spirits! The cost of a glass of wine or cocktail at a restaurant is basically the price of a whole bottle that could provide multiple drinks in the coziness of your rented lodging. Cheers!
Summer is in full swing and people are deep into planning mode – festivals and vacations and weddings oh my! We are entering one of the busiest social seasons of the year, which means there a lot of fun to be had but also bountiful opportunities to lend a helping hand to your local non-profits and all their summer programs. Before your calendar fills up take a moment to consider a few options that might be the perfect way to give back this summer:
The Humane Society
Shelters and animal adoption programs are always looking for good volunteers to give some love to the animals awaiting their forever homes. They need walks and playtime, as well as help behind the desk. Reach out to your local shelters or programs like Best Friends Animal Society to learn what kind of assistance they need!
Hospice and Hospitals
Caretaking facilities are always searching for individuals who want to volunteer some time to bring cheer to the patients. Many programs need musicians to come in to play for groups, or talented storytellers to read aloud, even sing. It makes such a difference to the residents and you will feel like you have done some major good by bringing light and entertainment to them!
Homeless Meal Services and Events
There are amazing year-round shelters that are always looking for groups and individuals to come in and help prepare and serve meals for the less fortunate in the area. It usually only takes about 2 hours and makes a HUGE difference to have helping hands and friendly faces in the facilities. You can sign up once or be a recurring volunteer! Also, be on the lookout for events around 4th of July and as it gets increasingly warmer outside, there are pop-ups all over most towns to bring healthy food and water to anyone who needs it, and they need people to help get the word out and help onsite!
Tutor and Mentor Programs
Summer programs are in full swing and kids will look to you for help. Whether it’s boning up on some extra math or English skills, or needing a mentor for day programs while parents are at work, there are all kinds of centers in need of qualified volunteers to shine up kids of all age’s summers. If you are particularly well versed in a subject or love kids consider what you can do to enhance their experiences.
The weather is great and school is out – summer brings all kinds of outdoor walks, events, and festivals, many of which are put on for great causes! Check your local city’s calendar to see what kind of events are coming up, chances are they need help manning booths and passing out flyers, plus you might even get some free stuff out of it! Tickets, swag, ice cream…and you get to feel good about helping out. It’s a win win!
There are countless opportunities all around no matter where you live, so get to googling and make volunteerism an active part of your summer plans! Guaranteed you won’t regret it.
The first day of summer may technically be June 20th but there’s something about Memorial Day Weekend that just feels like the real kick-off. The smell of BBQ drifts through the air, the sun lingers on the horizon, everything sort of…glows. The promise of summer shenanigans is ripe for the picking and you can just about reach out and grab it.
Here’s our list of 7 summer necessities to start planning for:
1. At least one road trip. Even if it’s only a few hours away, grab your most fun friend and hit the highway toward somewhere you’ve never been before. Make sure the snacks are plentiful and the playlists are on point!
2. Find water. Whether it be poolside, a day by the lake, or a sandy ocean beach get your toes wet and wash your cares away.
3. Eat fresh. Farmer’s markets are especially vibrant in the summer and buying your produce there not only contributes to sustainability but actually ends up saving you money with enough shopping around. Plus the flavor is exponentially better!
4. Appreciate the outdoors. We spend so much time inside, largely due to work, plan on getting out and taking in some nature. Maybe even turning your phone off…if you’re feeling wild!
5. Stock up on sunscreen. We don’t have to tell you the importance of slathering on SPF; so don’t skip it every time you head out the door!
6. Find the discount days at your local movie theatres. For the days that it’s too hot to be in the sun what’s better than catching a blockbuster in the ice cold AC? Most theatres have a discount day, or find the nearest cheap theatre that’s showing the slightly older movies…it’s worth waiting to see the hottest movies for a $3 escape from the heat.
7. Speaking of movies, what screams summer nights more than an outdoor screening of something iconic in the park? Pack a picnic basket (and maybe a bottle of wine) or grab some takeout, kick back and enjoy a picture perfect summer evening on a blanket, sound tracked by crickets.
Whether you work with charitable foundations, museums, state associations or one of the many other types of not-for-profit organizations, this conference is for you. Designed jointly by industry and public accounting experts, learn about new and developing tax issues, effective controls and private endowments, as well as other pertinent accounting, audit, legal, tax and regulatory updates in the not-for-profit market.
WATCH THIS VIDEO FOR MORE INFO: PLAY VIDEO
Dates & Locations:
May 24th 2017: Burbank, CA
May 25th 2017: San Francisco, CA
May 25th 2017: WEBCAST
We are so proud to turn the spotlight on two of our family members today, not only because we deeply value the time and effort that they continuously devote to Harrington Group, but also to honor them in their new positions as managers in our company! We are so fortunate to have Sal and Vince, and in honor of their new promotions we’d like to present a little glimpse into their lives and histories so you can get to know the men behind the hard work a little bit better.
With Harrington Group for almost 4 years
Vince was born in the Philippines but moved to San Diego when he was less than a year old, where he was raised. He and his brother were happily brought up mostly by his mother, who he says instilled in him “the importance of family, faith, education, and hard work.” He grew up knowing strong family dynamics and lots of love, which he carries over into his life as an adult and a husband. In his spare time you might find him on the golf course, at the movies, or exploring new places, and you can bet that he’s surrounded by family and friends.
Vince attended CSU San Marcos and graduated with a BS in Business Administration with an emphasis in Accounting. His mother worked as a payroll accountant and he was always naturally inclined toward subjects like math and business – his path was almost always a clear one (though his childhood passion for Legos had him leaning toward architecture for a while there…). After college he was in the process of taking the CPA exams when his then-girlfriend (now wife) landed her dream job at a children’s hospital in LA. He didn’t think twice about making the move up from San Diego and several months later found himself employed in the offices of Harrington Group!
With Harrington Group for just over 3 years
Sal was born and raised in the Philippines with his sister and his parents, who ran a self-started family business. “My mother taught hard work and perseverance while my father always reminded me about the value of education,” he says, remembering that his parents were always extremely driven and busy, but that he and his sister were always their first priority.
From elementary school through college Sal attended Catholic school. He graduated with a degree in Accounting and Economics, as well as his masters in Business Administration (as you can see, Sal definitely got the hard-working gene from his parents!), though when he was young he dreamed of being a pilot. Once out of college and living in Los Angeles he was working as an auditor when he saw that Harrington Group was hiring…the rest is history!
In his time off Sal enjoys music. You might find him at home playing he keyboard, but you’re most likely to spot him spending time with his “7 treasures,” his six daughters and one son.
Both Vince and Sal share the view that the best part of working at Harrington Group is the strong and positive culture, which they have largely contributed to. Our hats are off to both of these exceptional individuals; thank you for being a part of our team and congratulations on your promotions, Vince and Sal!
Please excuse us for one moment while we toot our own horn…toot toot!
AdvisoryHQ named Harrington Group one of the Top 12 Accounting Firms in San Francisco, and truly we couldn’t be more honored. Harrington Group works hard to bring extensive support and knowledge to the organizations that we work with, we are so proud of our team for earning this humbling recognition. A big thank you to our remarkable crew and to AdvisoryHQ for including Harrington Group amongst such an elite group!
“Harrington Group is unique because it focuses its accounting and advisory services exclusively on the needs of nonprofit organizations.
It offers extensive knowledge in areas crucial to nonprofit financial success and accounting, including government funding, strategic analysis, and nonprofit organizational structures.
It also has robust knowledge in government funding at the federal, state, and local level, and it can provide clients with knowledge regarding the complex situations that go with recording planned giving instruments commonly received by nonprofits.”
Getting promoted is often in the back of our minds as we work our way through life. When it comes time to start thinking seriously about stepping up at our jobs most people find themselves googling “how to get promoted” or “what to do to get a raise” – we never seem to think about what not to do, or whether or not we’re really ready.
How well do you know your company? How well have you done there? Are you the star of your current position but haven’t yet outgrown it? To what extent do you understand the overall goals of the company?
In this article seen on Forbes the author, a personal growth specialist, outlines some of the biggest mistakes we make when going for that big promotion, and most of them probably haven’t even crossed your mind. In order to be the best version of your work-self you have to balance the dos with the do-nots, and putting in the time to really look over these areas might just be the key to discovering whether or not you’re ready to take the leap to the next rung up that professional ladder.
Check out the wisdom of Kathy Caprino, career and personal growth specialist, in this smart and unique article over on Forbes.com
Who says work and play (and maybe a good deed) can’t mix? At the end of our annual staff training in January we took the crew out to Color Me Mine (don’t worry, there was beer) to get a little bit creative. Everyone got to unwind and have some fun by painting something inspiring and positive on the tiles provided, which were collected at the end of the night. Once they’ve been fired the tiles will be set into a mosaic and donated to a client! Check out the fun and some of the tiles below: