Harrington Group Blog

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We are pleased to announce our very own Harrington Group Partner, Tonetta Conner, will be hosting an NPO, Accounting and Auditing Update Symposium at our Pasadena offices.

234 Colorado Boulevard
Suite M150
Pasadena, CA 91101

on

Thursday, August 6, 2015
8:30AM - 10:30AM
Registration at 8AM



She will be discussing:
The impact of the New Uniform Guidance (Single Audit)
Increased focus on financial viability
Update on the proposed new financial statement reporting model

Attendance is FREE but space is limited so reserve your spot today!
There will be a complimentary continental breakfast & raffle for a prize!

If you are unable to attend, there will be a free Webinar the following day.

Friday August 7, 2015
10AM - 11:30AM

Click the following link to register for the webinar. After registration you will receive a confirmation email and more information about joining the webinar.
https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/3826681263220260609

If you have questions please contact Jason Stelling at info@npocpas.com or (626)403-6801
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Last week we shared a photo of a summer salad inspiration on our Instagram (@harringtongroup), and got some interest in the recipe. So we thought we would share some fun summer recipes with you all.

Summer is everyone’s favorite time of year. In addition to pool time, beach trips and summer vacation, we love the food! We love barbecues, picnics, fresh fruit, lemonade and ice cream. Barbecues are a summer staple here in the states. Whether you are into the traditional hamburgers and hotdogs or you prefer steak, chicken or veggies - everyone has their own style when it comes to barbecue. We respect that. We are here to bring some summer freshness to your salad rotation, to compliment your already delicious barbecue.

We have chosen some of our favorite summer salad recipes from Southern Living, Martha Stewart and Recipes.com. So try a new fresh fruit salad, or add some new vegetables to your salad bowl. Give them a go, and let us know your favorites. (We have placed the link to each recipe below.)



Photo Taken from Design Love Fest (designlovefest.com)

Watermelon Orange Feta Salad

Ingredients
1/4 of a small (6-pound) seedless watermelon, rind removed, flesh cut into 1/4-inch slices
1 large orange, peel and pith removed, flesh cut into segments
1/4 small red onion, thinly sliced
2 ounces feta cheese, thinly sliced
1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves
4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
Coarse salt and ground pepper

Preparation
On a serving platter, arrange watermelon, orange, red onion, feta cheese, and parsley. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
http://www.marthastewart.com/852294/watermelon-orange-and-feta-salad

Smoky Chopped Salad with Avocado

Ingredients
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 to 3 dashes of Worcestershire sauce
1 to 2 dashes of hot sauce
1 small garlic clove, pressed
Vegetable cooking spray
2 ripe avocados, peeled and halved
3 romaine lettuce hearts, cut in half lengthwise
1/2 cup thinly sliced radishes
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese

Preparation
1. Whisk together first 9 ingredients in a medium bowl, whisking until smooth; add salt and pepper to taste.
2. Coat cold grill grate with cooking spray. Preheat grill to 350° to 400° (medium-high) heat. Lightly coat cut sides of avocados and lettuce with cooking spray; season with salt and pepper. Grill avocado halves and lettuce, cut sides down and covered with grill lid, 1 minute or until grill marks appear.
3. Slice avocados. Chop lettuce, and arrange on a platter. Top with avocado, radishes, and blue cheese. Drizzle with dressing. Add salt and pepper to taste.
http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/smoky-chopped-salad-with-avoca

Kale-and-Blueberry Slaw with Buttermilk Dressing

Ingredients
6 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
3 tablespoons grated onion
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon hot sauce (such as Tabasco)
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 Granny Smith apple, grated
1 cup buttermilk
6 tablespoons mayonnaise
6 tablespoons sour cream
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh tarragon
1/2 to 1 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 to 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/4 to 1/2 tsp. sugar
6 radishes, thinly sliced
4 medium carrots, cut into thin strips
1 bunch kale, trimmed and thinly sliced
1/2 small head red cabbage, shredded
1 cup fresh blueberries
1 cup fresh raspberries

Preparation
1. Stir together first 6 ingredients in a jar with a tight-fitting lid; let stand 5 minutes. Add buttermilk and next 3 ingredients. Cover jar with lid; shake vigorously until blended and smooth. Add salt, pepper, and sugar to taste.
2. Toss together radishes, next 5 ingredients, and 1/2 cup dressing in a large bowl; let stand 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with remaining dressing.
http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/kale-blueberry-slaw-buttermilk-dressing



Grilled Peach-and-Avocado Salad

Ingredients
1 large peach, peeled and chopped
6 tablespoons canola oil
2 tablespoons Champagne vinegar or white vinegar
1/2 teaspoon honey
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
3 large peaches, peeled and halved
2 firm avocados, peeled and quartered
1 tablespoon canola oil
Salt and pepper to taste
6 cups loosely packed arugula
1/2 cup freshly grated Manchego or Parmesan

Preparation
Preheat grill to 350° to 400° (medium-high) heat. Process 1 large peach, peeled and chopped; 6 Tbsp. canola oil; vinegar; and honey in a blender until smooth. Add 1/4 tsp. kosher salt and 1/8 tsp. freshly ground pepper. Gently toss 3 large peaches, peeled and halved, and avocados in 1 Tbsp. canola oil and salt and pepper to taste. Grill, covered with grill lid, 2 minutes on each side or until charred. Slice and serve over arugula. Top with peach vinaigrette and Manchego or Parmesan.
http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/grilled-peach-avocado-salad

Farmers' Market Pasta Salad

Ingredients
2 cups halved baby heirloom tomatoes
2 small zucchini, thinly sliced into half moons
1 small red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
1 cup fresh corn kernels
1 cup diced firm, ripe fresh peaches (about 2 medium)
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions
Parmesan Vinaigrette
1 (8-oz.) package penne pasta*
2 cups shredded smoked chicken (about 10 oz.)
1/3 cup torn fresh basil
1/3 cup torn fresh cilantro

Preparation
1. Toss together first 7 ingredients in a large bowl, and let stand 10 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, prepare pasta according to package directions. Add hot cooked pasta and chicken to tomato mixture; toss gently to coat. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a serving platter, and top with basil and cilantro.
*1 (20-oz.) package refrigerated cheese-filled tortellini may be substituted.
http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/farmers-market-pasta-salad
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With the July 4th holiday just a week away, it is clear that summer is in full swing. For most people, especially those with kids, this means seeking out the nearest body of water as an oasis to escape the heat. Whether it is a pool, a lake, or the ocean, swimming is an unparalleled source of summer fun. While we love splish-slashing around as much as anyone, the reality is there are some dangers to swimming, and other recreational activities in large bodies of water. So here are 5 simple tips to help keep everyone safe this summer!



Never swim alone. The buddy system is not only for young children. Always make sure to have someone with you when in the water.

Set boundaries. At your own pool, you can put up a gate, but at the lake, you need to talk to your children about where they are allowed to go. Staying out of the water until you say so, and having a boundary once in the water are a good place to start.

Supervise children and pay attention to your surroundings. With children, adults need to actively watch those near the water and make sure they are safe. Even with older children and adults, you need to be aware of your surroundings, other people and potential dangers.

Avoid alcohol. You can still have a great time without drinking. Many more injuries and deaths occur on the water when alcohol is involved. Keep everyone safe and don’t drink while in or around the water.

Know CPR and when to call 9-1-1. I know this one sounds extreme, but it is often times what saves lives. Take a CPR class with your kids and learn what to do in case of emergency. Then you will all be prepared, and minimize the negative effects of any event that does arise.



These are just a few of the ways you can keep water time safe and fun this summer. Happy swimming!
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It’s the time of year when the sun is burning bright, and there are back yard barbecues going on around the country to celebrate the most recent round of college graduates. Another group of young men and women have completed the years of hard work and dedication to achieve their goal of receiving a College Diploma. In addition to the celebration of leaving academia, there will also be a barrage of questions. You know the ones we mean - What are you going to do now? Have you thought about applying here? Are you going back to attend graduate school? Are you moving back in with your parents?

Often these questions are asked with well intentions, but they can feel overwhelming. It can feel as if the fact that you didn’t have a position lined up at a big firm months ago has put you behind, before you knew the race even started. While there are advantages to having jobs or internships lined up before your graduation date, we are here to tell you not to count yourself out. So you were not chosen to be an intern at the elite firm you applied to, or maybe not even at the not-so-elite firm either. So the road did not go exactly where you pictured it would. What do you do now?



The way we see it, you have two options. You can re-tool your resume and apply to another round of firms with renewed effort. If you are one of those people who will not be content until they have the job they were hoping for, this is probably the option for you. As for those of you who are a little more flexible, may we encourage you to live a little. You have spent most of your life in school, working towards these goals, and while a job is still desirable, it is not everything. Give yourself a set time of 3 months, 6 months, a year - what living do you want to get done while you have the chance? The time after you graduate from college is still a time when you are getting to know yourself. Do you want to volunteer abroad? Did you always want to take a surf trip to Bali? Has visiting the Grand Canyon been on your to-do list since childhood? Now is the time when you still have the freedom to go on these adventures. The personal and professional lessons learned from life experience are just as important as those learned in the classroom - if not more so. And to be totally honest, often times, life opportunities - career included - will find you out in the world, while doing something else you enjoy.

We are in no way suggesting you forget all responsibility and abandon your life goals as you have always seen them, simply that you also recognize the benefits of a life well lived. Put yourself in the shoes of the individual in the hiring position. Now think of the advantages you may see in a graduate who has a degree, in addition to the experience of a summer traveling, volunteering, or interning in a field other than the area of their college studies. More experience and knowledge only adds to the appeal of a potential employee.



Whether you choose the road of persistently pursuing a job until you land one, or you take a little roundabout adventure to find the right career path for you - there is no wrong answer. Whichever path you choose is the right one for you. Do not let pressure from parents or aunts and uncles push you in a direction other than that of your passion and dreams, but even if they do, do not fret, you will eventually correct the course. Every path is the right path if you are learning and growing along the way, being made into a more well rounded version of yourself.

So, congratulations on your achievement graduates, we commend you on this wonderful accomplishment. But, with our heartfelt congratulations, we issue a challenge. We challenge you to take your educated self out into the world and take the path that suits you. We challenge you to not be discouraged in the face of rejection or hardship. We challenge you to put all that knowledge of yours into practice, even if it isn’t balancing ledgers in a big fancy office. Take all those life lessons, all those personal hardships and bumps in the road and every moment of effort put into your education and synthesize those experiences into fuel and a hunger to keep learning and growing because there will always be a job for the people like that.
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With Spring in full swing and Summer just around the corner, we are witness to copious amounts of stunning florals. Everywhere you turn something is in bloom. Birds are chirping and bees are a-buzz pollinating. So, you can see all the pretty flowers in public parks and gardens, and even out your windows, in your neighbor’s yard, but how do you grow a beautiful garden of your own?



For starters you have to assess the conditions where you live. Do you get enough sunlight and rain, is there a water shortage (if you live in California, look a few posts back -  we are definitely in a drought), is there enough space for plants to grow their roots? Once you have determined the conditions for your garden, then you will need to find the appropriate plants that will grow in these conditions.

Do you want to start everything from seeds, or do you want too transfer flowers that are already established and have immediate results to see? So much of gardening is up to personal preference. Make sure to look around before hand and make a plan.

What are your favorite flowers? Now look through your favorites and find those that you love that will also thrive in the given conditions.

Be realistic with yourself about your involvement. Do you want plants that can live without much attention? Do you like getting into the dirt, and want to have something you trim or water regularly?



These are just a few things to consider before you venture to build a garden of your own.  Don’t be afraid to take a walk around your neighborhood and ask people about what they grow and their experience, you may be surprised at how much some people love to talk about their gardens. You can also always go to your local nursery and ask all the questions you have, get tips, and spend an afternoon looking at all the pretty flowers they have. Get inspired, be creative and of course, have fun!
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The month of May has the pleasure of hosting some special holidays. Both Mother’s Day and Memorial Day are celebrated during this special month. While the celebration of Mothers and the remembrance of those who have given their lives serving our country are very different, it seems the over-arching lesson would be to make sure you are valuing the people in your life, and telling them so. It is a reminder of all your many blessings and fortune, while simultaneously serving to remind you of their fleeting nature.



Consider - Are you spending enough quality time with your family? Are you calling your mom, even when you don’t need her immediate advice? Are you conscious of all those laboring day in and day out to simply allow you live your life? Do you ever stop to send gratitude to the farm workers laboring to pick your food, thank your boss for the extra work they put in to being an inspirational leader, or send prayers of protection to the men and women in uniform, who have chosen to sacrifice everything for your freedoms?



Today’s world can be overwhelming. With all the media, technology and the accompanying expectations, it can sometimes be hard to see past our own daily struggles. All those in the armed forces, mothers, and mother like figures are a wonderful, and much needed reminder of how much more life can become when we dare to depart our self-imposed bubble, and put others first. I feel confident in saying, these two groups of people are some of the most highly respected in the world. They are the people we look to in times of crisis, they are who we trust when we don’t know how to proceed. We hold them in esteem, because they hold themselves to high standards, and make the necessary sacrifices to benefit others and the world at large. We respect and admire that - and rightly so.

So this month, be reminded of all those who make your life possible. Take time to thank those you can, remember those who are gone, and strive to live the values they embody.
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This week is a time designated to express our gratitude and appreciation for some very special people in our lives - teachers. Teachers have shaped and molded lives in so many ways beyond the basics of Arithmetic and English.

Regardless of what career path has been chosen, or how distant the school memories are, we all have at least one outstanding teacher who comes to mind when we look back on who greatly influenced our lives. It has likely been years since you have seen this teacher, you have drastically changed, the hallways at schools no longer seem daunting and you have mastered all those skills that once seemed beyond comprehension. Yet, the lessons they instilled in you have stayed with you through all the chaos life has thrown at you.



So what is it about teachers that makes their lessons stay with you a lifetime? Beyond the obvious answer of the acts of teaching you, their power is in the fact that they see you - and I don’t mean with their eyes. Teachers see you for the person you are and accept you. It sounds so simple, but in the modern world where we may cross paths with hundreds or thousands of people in a day without interaction, someone taking the time to listen, to help, and to validate your work and feelings is rare.

When we are young, this need for approval and recognition is vital. Often times, teachers are the people providing this approval, or guidance. Outside of family, the world can feel like it is different than you. Whether struggling with grades, sports, friends or any other plague life has dealt, having someone willing to listen to you and help you navigate through early struggles leaves a memorable bond.


Although we can not all track down our long lost favorite teacher, we can honor them through our lives. Honor the lessons they taught you, and the morals they instilled in you, and pass those on to your family and friends. If you are lucky enough to have teachers in your life, take the time to simply, genuinely thank them for what they do - they are changing the world.
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As California residents, we are accustomed to a certain amount of sunshine, and enjoy all around pleasant weather. The Golden State, nick-named as such for the gold many miners found in the state and the fields of golden poppies, may as well have been named for the golden rays of sunshine we constantly find ourself under. We have great weather! But do you remember that nursery rhyme from childhood? The simple line stated, “April flowers bring May flowers.” Well, here we are, with April just over and the idea of rain is a little foreign to us. We may get a drizzling here or there, but not typically enough rain to bring about those previously mentioned Spring blooms. So what is the cost of living in a state of perpetual sunshine? Well it is getting pretty steep. California is in a very serious, ongoing drought.



We have heard over the past 4 years that we are in a drought. It seems that in many ways, we are not taking this news to heart. While we expected a nice, replenishing, rainy season in the first few months of the year, January, February and March turned out to be the driest on record. In addition to lack of precipitation during these months, California has also experienced record high temperatures. This is not good news for us, as months and years add up, and the drought continues, the situation only because more serious and concerning.

The reality is that water is scarce, and water prices are a fragile, political topic. There are also fees being imposed for mis-usage of water. It is such a major problem, but still feels out of our control. It’s the weather, you cannot control it, and all the rain dances you do may not be enough to correct the dire situation we are in. However, you do have power to use the resources we do have to their maximum benefit. You can minimize your consumption and maximize effective usage.



Consider the water you use to rinse off your hands, or foods before cooking them. This water can be caught and reused to water plants.

Run dishwashers and washing machines, only when full to minimize wasteful runs on small loads.

Change your toilet, shower head and washing machine to more water-efficient alternatives.

Make sure your faucets and plumbing are not leaking.

Add a layer of mulch around trees and plants to aid in reducing evaporation and use water efficient irrigation systems.

These are just examples of water usage in the home. You can also look at the water footprint of products you buy and assess whether you want to support them and participate in their usage. There are many many ways you can reduce your water consumption and many state and city provided resources to help you navigate through this drought. Stay informed about the state of our water because it effects every one of us. It is our duty to handle this drought responsibly, so that down the line, the problem will not be exacerbated and irreversible.
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Living in a society that is seemingly centered around instant gratification and more concerned with immediate results than long lasting, sustainable plans it is easy to lose sight of the bigger picture of what is happening all around us. There is so much more contributing to and in a sense controlling our lives, but we often forego the hard conversations, and ignore troubling realities, in favor of not adding large scale, overwhelming problems (which we often feel powerless over) to our already busy and stressful lives. It borders on impressive, how well we - society at large - suppress and block-out the knowledge of our obvious troubles. So instead of feeling overwhelmed, I challenge you to feel empowered.

Today is Earth Day.



That was the problem being referenced in the opening paragraph - the planet we live on. Now the planet in and of itself is not a problem. I think we can all agree it has been a bountiful source of life and has been integral to our survival. The problem becomes evident when we start examining our treatment of it. Earth, and its natural resources are being consumed at astonishing rates. With the industrial revolution came a shift from the traditional way things were made and done to a drastically changed method. Over the years there have been laws and stipulations put in place to regulate such things as emission, waste, toxicity, etc. But, even so, we are in uncharted territory. Everything has never been moving and growing and changing at such a rapid speed. In my life so far I have had 8 different cell phones. No previous generation would have the waste we have, due to technology alone. We are simply consuming at a much faster rate than anyone before us. This does not come as a surprise to any of us. I do not expect this to stop you in your tracks.

The goal of this post, as with many others is self-examination. Nobody is expected to alter their whole life in an effort to save the planet, and innovate green technology. Everything within reason. Every person can take small steps to positively impact, and in essence shrink their footprint on the planet. Here are some simple steps you can try.



Walk to work or dinner one night a week instead of driving.
Bring your own cup or bottle for your beverages.
Do not eat meat for one day a week.
Turn of lights & unplug electronics when not in use.
Turn down your thermostat when you are out of the house.
Be conscious of the clothing and fabrics you buy - some synthetics are actually more eco-friendly.
Eat foods that are grown locally.
Recycle!
Re-use items. Whether it be clothes that no longer fit, or a container that is now empty. Find a new use for it or pass it on.
Consider alternative, clean energy sources.

The point is, you can significantly alter your impact on the environment by changing one daily habit, or one day a week in your schedule. The benefits far out-weigh the effort it will cost you. So do not feel overwhelmed, start small. Make one step, that feels manageable to you. You can always add more later, or decide this isn’t working and make a new plan. The point is, you are in control of what you want to do, and it is up to you to care for the planet and set an example for future generations.
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With tax season in full swing, we have been spending a little extra time in the office. But, we can’t complain because we love our work, our team and where our office is located. We are so lucky to have our offices in the beautiful city of Pasadena, located in Northern Los Angeles.



The beauty of the city alone is enough to win hearts. Stroll around the streets of Pasadena and you will find it hard to resist the city’s charm. Whether you appreciate the beauty of the trees that line the residential streets, or are enamored with the architecture of the historical buildings, you are sure to find the aesthetic pleasing.

We think food deserves a spot on our list! Because, well it’s food, and honestly, who doesn’t love to eat? From the cutest coffee shops and cafes, to full service restaurants, Pasadena is home to delectable cuisine of arguably, every type. There are breakfast spots, burger joints, scrumptious Thai food, classic barbecue, sushi options, bars, dessert spots - the list can go on and on. In essence, our point is you will never be short delicious meal options when in Pasadena.



By far, our favorite thing about being centered in Pasadena is the sense of community that we feel here. Los Angeles is often generally categorized as an unfriendly city, but we have found that we have a very close-knit, dependable network of wonderful people here in Pasadena. We love the small town, down home feel we get here. Walking down the street people are friendly, and we have been afforded the opportunities to work with many inspiring individuals within the community. It is a wonderful city, but beyond that the residents and businesses genuinely care about and want to work together and support each other in an effort to better the city. We couldn't ask for anything better.
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