Harrington Group Blog

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This month, Harrington Group is proud to feature Job M. Quesada in our Partner Profile. Job joined Harrington Group in 1991 after spending some time at Ernst & Young. Job is member of the California Society of Certified Public Accountants (CalCPA) and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and acts in an advisory capacity to the Boards of Directors of numerous nonprofit organizations in Los Angeles.

Job credits his large family and strong faith for moulding him into the person that he is today. Job is the eldest of his five brothers and three sisters and never misses an opportunity to spoil his twenty-nine nephews and nieces and twenty-four grand nephews and grand nieces, as he loves to pamper them whenever he has an opportunity to do so.
If you love the Dodgers,The Angels,The Giants, if any one of these great California teams are close to your heart, you and Job M. Quesada have something in common. Job loves all three. Having grown up in Los Angeles, his love for baseball began with the Dodgers, a move to Orange County stirred his love for the Angels, and ample time spent in San Francisco for Harrington Group and it’s clients began an affinity for the Giants. When any of these teams play, Job is never disappointed.

Job has proven to be a dedicated and committed member of the Harrington Group team. With over twenty years of experience in public accounting, tax, audit and pension plan matters, Job has served a wide variety of nonprofit organizations over the course of his career. Some of the clients served by Job and his team have been foster care facilities, legal aid services, and non-public schools, just to name a few, with each, Job has used his years of experience and expertise to rise to the occasion. Job continues to be able to understand the complex issues that arise in the business world when dealing with the finances of the nonprofit world, and continues to go above and beyond to satisfy his clients and meet all of their needs. A perfect example of Job’s dedication to his clients was his willingness to travel to a very unstable Afghanistan, not once but twice in order to work personally with one of his clients in their own business environment. Throughout his trips, when faced with less than stellar circumstances, Job always chose to focus on the positive, a practice he carries through life and his work.

If you love the Dodgers,The Angels,The Giants, if any one of these great California teams are close to your heart, you and Job M. Quesada have something in common. Job loves all three. Having grown up in Los Angeles, his love for baseball began with the Dodgers, a move to Orange County stirred his love for the Angels, and ample time spent in San Francisco for Harrington Group and it’s clients began an affinity for the Giants. When any of these teams play, Job is never disappointed.

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This month, Harrington Group’s Client Spotlight is focused on LAUP in Los Angeles. LAUP operates on the principle that if a child has the opportunity to go to a quality preschool then they will be more likely to graduate from high school, need remediation or special education, attend college and obtain higher-wage jobs. Period.

In a nation where everyone is understood to have the same rights and freedoms, there is a great divide created by the opportunities available to those who are privileged and those who go without. It is LAUP’s goal to give those children with less the same head start and early learning opportunities as other children so that they will have the same fighting chance to live out their potential.

“Every year, LAUP helps over 10,000 children from various cultural and socio-economic backgrounds receive an outstanding educational experience focused on knowledge, lifestyle, and health, creating a solid foundation for a child’s growth and development.”

With a commitment to accessibility and affordability, LAUP, provides quality coaching and funding to preschools across Los Angeles County so that parents can enroll their children at little to no cost. LAUP works hard to serve as the model for creating a network of free public preschools that allow every child , regardless of his or her individual economic circumstances, to have the same opportunity to enter kindergarten well prepared.

In addition, LAUP places an importance on physical activity and nutrition through all of its programs. It helps facilities to understand the importance of both in early childhood development and works with preschools to integrate programs to support both physical and nutritional health into their everyday. LAUP realizes that it is one thing to learn these good habits, but the real success comes in maintaining the lifestyle; therefore, LAUP makes it a point to teach and encourage families to make physical activity and good nutrition a part of their daily lives at home.

LAUP also realizes that there is a great need for quality Early Care Education facilitators and educators in order to meet the growing need within the community. LAUP’s response to this growing need is to offer and facilitate the Los Angeles Early Care and Education Workforce Consortium, “with the goal of improving the capacity of the ECE workforce in Los Angeles County.”

Thank you, LAUP, for all that you do to give the youth in Los Angeles County an equal and fighting chance to live out their potential and be everything they are meant to be. At Harrington Group, we are proud to be a part of all the good you do to provide our children a better tomorrow.
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This month, Harrington Group is turning their client spotlight North to one of our clients in Oakland, California, BANANAS Incorporated. BANANAS is an organization who provides all families with referrals to child care options including but not limited to licensed child care, personal nannies and babysitters. In the case that the family needs financial assistance to provide the care for their children, BANANAS can help families to find programs that offer subsidized care.

In addition to helping to provide childcare for families, BANANAS offers training and assistance to child care providers.

Founded in 1973, BANANAS began as a playgroup for mothers, a social group of sorts. As women in this group began entering the workforce, a need for quality childcare was born. The group evolved into a resource & referral agency to support working families in their search for quality care.

BANANAS’s mission statement defines their core intentions to help their community: “To ensure that all families in Northern Alameda County – regardless of income – have access to childcare and early childhood education through a range of services tailored to support the individual needs of parents and providers.”

BANANAS has a wide range of services available to families in their community. Child care referrals is only the beginning in a long list of assistance available through BANANAS. Families in crisis and facing emergency situations that affect their need for child care can receive help through BANANAS to be able to find immediate care that they can afford. They also provide parental counseling and help parents and providers by offering a library of educational media; books, videos, pamphlets, etc, for anyone who might want or need them. Families that wish to take advantage of these services can visit the center and participate in their children’s clothing exchange, which is free to anyone in need.

In addition to offering assistance to families, BANANAS works hard to aid in the launching of new child care facilities and to provide ongoing technical assistance to existing child care providers. If you are an already existing provider and you need assistance in training or certification, or wish to hire individuals with the proper credentials, BANANAS can help to facilitate all these needs. Also, if you are an individual who wishes to work in child care, become certified, or find a job in the field, BANANAS can help with this as well. Each service is just a small part in accomplishing the bigger picture, making sure that there is excellent quality care available for families that need it.

Its hard to imagine that there is anything that a family in need might require that BANANAS does not in some way help facilitate. They seem to have thought of everything. We are happy to have BANANAS as a valued client and we are proud of the work they do to help our children to have a better and brighter future. Harrington Group honors you BANANAS and all the good work that you do.
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This month, the Blog at Harrington Group is taking time to feature Sean E. Cain in our Partner Profile. Sean joined Harrington Group in 1996, and has since proven invaluable to his clients. Sean is a true believer in Harrington Group’s core values, “knowledge, service, and respect,” and demonstrates his belief in all of his work and with each client.

Sean credits his ambition and drive, his strong work ethic and his love and dedication to his family to his upbringing and life as a child. Sean was raised , along with his three siblings, by a single other. When he was thirteen years old, his family made the cross country move from New Jersey to California. Sean worked hard, putting himself through California State University, upon graduating, he began his work with The United Way in San Bernardino, California and later while at Harrington Group, he earned his CPA license. When Sean was just 33 he was invited into partnership by noneother than Joe Harrington himself.

Sean is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), as well as a proud member of the Pasadena Rotary Club, where he serves on a number of committees and has recently been selected as the incoming treasurer for 2014/2015. His work with the Rotary Club recently found Sean and his wife in Tecate, Mexico where they performed service work, building four homes for four families in need, working with an organization called corazon.org.
When Sean is not busy eagerly satisfying the needs of his clients, Sean spends his time with his wife and his two teenage sons. The family loves adventure and can be found anywhere from camping in the desert to checking out the latest car show.

Sean truly loves that in his work he is able to marry his passion for the business and accounting world with his love for nonprofit organizations and all that they do to serve their communities. He is proud of the work he does to help those who help others in need.

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At Harrington Group, we have created an environment of professionalism and creativity, a place that is client oriented and where everyone takes pride in their work and discovering what it takes to meet the individual needs of our clients. We didn’t achieve all this over night, our company’s success is the product of the hard work and dedication of our partners. We wanted to take a few minutes and introduce you to the people to whom we owe it all, who keep us motivated.

This month we are focusing our attention on Tonetta L. Conner, CPA, Managing Partner at Harrington Group, CPAs, LLP. Tonetta is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and the California Society of Certified Public Accountants (CalCPA). She also holds a Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA) designation from the AICPA.

For more than fifteen years Tonetta L. Conner has worked with nonprofits in California through the provision of auditing, accounting, advisory and educational services. Tonetta developed a “thirst” for accounting when she was just fifteen years old. Managing “mock” corporate books in an assignment for her high school accounting course gave her her first taste of what the accounting field had to offer. She knew then that she wanted to do this for a living, help others manage their businesses. This new found passion led her to pursue a degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in Accounting from the University of California at Berkeley. Shortly after, she became a certified CPA.

When Tonetta first began her career, she worked at a design-build firm as a controller and later at a Los Angeles based CPA firm as an accountant. In June of 1997, Tonetta began working for Harrington Group. Finally she was in a position to utilize her passion for accounting married with the opportunity to help clients in the nonprofit sector. Tonneta has spent her years at Harrington Group providing tax, accounting, management advisory and audit services to a wide range of nonprofit organizations, this is her area of expertise. Tonetta firmly believes that Harrington Group’s focus is to be a “trusted nonprofit partner,” whether it be for mental health agencies, privately funded community organizations, private or charter schools, or foster care organizations.

Tonetta also has a passion for teaching and public speaking, and has been blessed with the opportunity to share her knowledge through speaking at the California CPA Education Foundation’s Nonprofit Organizations Conference and as a speaker for CompassPoint focusing on nonprofit finance. Tonetta also gets the opportunity to teach and inform through Harrington Group’s series of “NPO Symposiums” which occur quarterly and present the opportunity for her to provide the board members of their clients with pertinent information and training regarding the business and financial management of their organizations.

Tonetta is not only passionate about finance, she has a hunger and passion for adventure and life. She has been called a “daredevil” and “world traveler” by those that know her the best. She loves her family and spending time with them going to events and seeing the world. Perhaps the biggest insight into who Tonetta is and what drives her at the core is her view of the world and main reason for her love of travel - her quest for cultural enlightenment. She best describes her reason for adventure around the world as,“we live in a society made of up people from various backgrounds and cultures. Seeking to know more about other cultures is to embrace that fact.” This broad world view and open mind is why our clients are lucky to have her by their sides, using her accounting, business and global knowledge to help their businesses grow.

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This month Harrington Group is turning our Client Spotlight North and shining it on one of our amazing clients in Napa, California: Aldea Children & Family Services. Aldea Children & Family Services has clinics in Napa and Solano counties in California, and a presence in over 30 schools, primary care facilities and organizations in surrounding communities. With so many facilities so widely spread, Aldea has the means necessary to reach and help a large number of adults and children suffering from mental illness.

Aldea Children & Family Services operates with a clear mission: “To improve lives and create bright futures for people we serve by providing professional mental health, child welfare and support services in a manner that respects the dignity and individuality of each person.” However, this takes collaboration and teamwork to achieve. It is no mistake the Aldea means “little village,” because achieving this mission is only possible by working together through their various operational centers and clinics and through the help of their supporters and volunteers.

Aldea Children & Family Services got its start in 1972, when they incorporated to open a home for young girls, housing six females suffering from mental illness. Allen Ewig oversaw the operation as Executive Director for over 33 years. He was passionate about helping people cope with abuse and trauma; from children and adults, to entire families, he dedicated his life to bringing treatment and relief to those that needed it the most. The organization began with a focus on serving the adolescents with mental illness and has grown to help over 2,200 people each year, children and adults alike, in its surrounding communities.

                                                                                                                                         Allen Ewig

 Because 1 in 5 children and 1 in 4 adults have an experience with mental illness at some point in their lives, the need for care and attention in this area of medical research and treatment is great. Quite simply, often the people who suffer with mental illness and are most in need of help are unable to receive it for various reasons, economic or otherwise. That is where Aldea Children & Family Services steps in, offering mental health, child welfare and support services to those in need. Their goal that all people they serve “will achieve emotional wellness and become engaged members of the community, despite past abuse or emotional challenges.”

In these photos, children display the artwork they created in Aldea’s art therapy program. Through the agency’s art therapy program, children from Solano and Napa counties use drawing, painting and sculpture to work through conflict and trauma with the guidance of trained Aldea therapists. Aldea publishes some of those pieces in the annual Children’s Art Therapy Calendar—now in its 15th year—to increase awareness of children’s mental health issues and raise funds for services. “Ten percent of kids have serious mental disorder,” explains Mark Bontrager, Aldea Executive Director. “Art therapy helps them to better express their emotions and also improves their self-image. Our calendar shows people how art can be vital to the healing process.”

Services provided by Aldea Children & Family Services are offered based on four key values that are at the center of all that Aldea strives to offer to the communities it serves: “Client-Centered” - meaning that Aldea will work with clients to focus on mutually-established goals that pertain to improving clients’ lives and futures. “Excellence” - meaning that Aldea promotes and provides “professional development” for all staff, ensuring that they can provide the highest quality of care to those served. “Diversity” - Aldea Children & Family Services staff and volunteers represent many different backgrounds, and Aldea understands that that the clients it serves come from many different places as well. And, “Collaboration” - Aldea Children & Family Services has established partnerships with other community organizations so it can better serve those in need and offer a broader range of services.

Aldea Children & Family Services, Harrington Group salutes you and everyone that you call family for bringing such an important and much needed service to your community and those around you in need. We are proud to serve you and take part in your mission.
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An organization that believes in integrity, sensitivity and compassion. One that exists for
the sole purpose of evaluating and meeting the needs of communities across the country.
Assessments conducted by huge pools of dedicated and passionate volunteers in chapters that
span the United States. This is National Assistance League.

This month, Harrington Group focuses its Client Spotlight on National Assistance League in
Burbank, California. A nonprofit whose mission is to assess on an individual basis what is
lacking in the communities it serves and look at the individual needs of its people, and then
through volunteerism and fundraising, to provide for and fill the voids in each community.

In 1919, Anne Banning and a group of twelve friends, including Ada Edwards Laughlin, formed
Assistance League of Southern California to provide food and clothing for local families severely
impacted by World War I. The first services were Good Samaritan, Day Nursery, Girls' Club
and Theatre for Children. Originating between 1920 and 1930, these were pioneer services
emulated by both public and private agencies. Donations, Film Location Bureau, Attic Tearoom,
Women's Exchange and Trousseau Shop provided the revenue.

As needs in adjoining communities were recognized, other organizations wished to follow
this philanthropic philosophy. Anne Banning and Ada Laughlin organized National Assistance
League® in 1935. By the time Anne and Ada retired in 1948, there were chapters in San Pedro,
Santa Ana, Santa Monica, Long Beach, Pasadena, Glendale, Pomona Valley, San Bernardino
and Santa Barbara.

Anne Banning felt it was fine to serve youth, but important for youth to serve. Informal
girl groups began in the 1930's and in 1961, all teenage auxiliaries were given the name

At the heart of many of National Assistance League’s efforts are the children in need throughout
the communities. Anne Banning saw early on that there were children suffering and they could
be helped, and as important as that was to accomplish, it was just as important to Anne that the
youth realize the importance of helping one another and participate in the efforts of the League.
Young people involved with the National Assistance League were thereby named Assisteens.

Anne Banning's philosophy of volunteer service is the core of everything they strive to
accomplish. "To act as a friend at any and all times to men, women and children in need of care,
guidance and assistance, spiritually, materially and physically." When training new leaders and
volunteers, this message is driven forward by the hearts and souls of each and every volunteer.
Today, Assistance League is a national nonprofit organization that puts caring and commitment
into action through community-based philanthropic programs.

The ability to grow such a far reaching organization from just and idea, a wish to help, is
inspirational to many. This is why National Assistance League continues to grow. Its sole
purpose is to better the lives of those who are suffering and in need. Lives are changed by the
opportunities that National Assistance League provides to youth and families, to individual men
and women and children across the country. National Assistance League is accomplishing what
those kind hearted ladies set out to do almost a hundred years ago, make this world a better

Our Harrington Group team is proud to serve you so you can continue to serve so many others
in need.
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We wanted to take the opportunity at Harrington Group, through our new blog, to help you to get to know us a little bit better. Who is Harrington Group? And what sets us apart from all the other CPA firms across the country and in California? We like to think we are special, here’s why:

Harrington Group is a public accounting and consulting firm that has grown over fifteen years from when founder Joseph Harrington planted the seed. We have offices in both Los Angeles and San Francisco where all of our dedicated staff pride themselves in providing personal and quality service to each and every one of our clients.  We are people serving people. At our offices, our staff is encouraged to be creative and to understand the importance of treating each client with respect, tailoring our services to their individual needs.

At Harrington Group, we represent nonprofit organizations. Our partners, Job M. Quesada, Sean E. Cain,  Tonetta L. Conner, and Carlos A. Davis have more than 20 years of experience in the nonprofit sector. We understand that each organization has very specific individual goals that are aimed at servicing their communities, and we are proud to be a part of the process. Our goal is to serve our clients to the utmost of our ability, and therefore, we offer an extensive list of accounting and business management services to everyone we serve. There is no task too big or too small. We get excited to help our nonprofit clients achieve their goals, because by doing so, we are in turn providing for our community.

We have a very passionate group of creative individuals who make themselves available around the clock to be able to solve any issue and help each client to achieve their goals. This level of personal customer service and dedication is one thing that makes Harrington Group so unique in our field. There is no shortage of demands for nonprofit business, we take pride in tackling the everyday challenges that may arise when handling these accounts.

We provide training, assist nonprofits in an advisory capacity, and encourage networking among our clients, which establishes relationships that become invaluable resource tools. We hold quarterly educational symposiums that give nonprofit personnel at all levels the opportunity to network with colleagues at similar agencies. Topics covered in past symposiums include: Risk Management, Tax Updates for nonprofits, Complex Government and private funding. In addition to our symposiums, we also offer training and assistance to individuals and the boards of our clients to help each to run more efficiently and maximize their potential.

Harrington Group is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and the California Society of CPAs.  We also have an associate membership with the California Alliance of Child and Family Services.

We love what we do and can wake up each day excited to establish new partnerships and to nurture our already existing client relationships. When we finish out each day, we do so with pride because we believe in what we do and our hearts are in service. We are Harrington Group.

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