The fairytale partnership of Living Space Architects and Condy Mathias – Two decades of building dreamscapes and unravelling financial mysteries
Living Space Architects is an award-winning chartered Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) practice based in Exeter. They were founded in 2004 by Stuart Bayley and Kirsty Curnow-Bayley, with the aim of designing and creating innovative architecture for the residential housing market.
At Living Space Architects, the team handles all aspects of the project for their clients, from early concept drawings to finishing the job on-site and handing the keys back to the client at the end. Most projects take an average of two years to complete, with their fees spread out across the whole process.
Condy Mathias has been the accountancy firm for Living Space Architects since the beginning of their adventure and has witnessed the practice go from strength to strength. Stuart and Kirsty joined Condy Mathias after a recommendation from a friend who worked there. Since then, they have worked closely with Condy Mathias, who has assisted them with their accountancy requirements for the past two decades.
One of the key areas of the business that Condy Mathias assists with is payroll.
“As a small family business, I always felt it’s quite important to have someone independently doing all the payroll,” says Stuart. “So whenever there was a problem from a member of staff, we had someone independent who was looking after it for us.”
Payroll isn’t the only area of the business Condy Mathias is involved with, dealing with Living Space Architects’ end-of-year accounts, but Stuart feels that help in general matters that they receive from Condy Mathias has been just as important.
“Lee Williams (Operations Director) and certainly John Hillier (Managing Director) have been quite helpful along the way,” says Stuart. “When we’ve had to cut our cloth accordingly or take a longer-term view, we start to worry a bit. They’ve generally been a calming presence for us and help us see the bigger picture, which allows us to plan our finances accordingly. I think that’s where they’ve been the most helpful.”
Alongside the day-to-day tasks such as payroll, Condy Mathias has been able to help Living Space Architects with their research and development (R&D) claim, a tricky process that Stuart says has benefited them immensely.
“Helping us with our R&D claims has enabled us to offset some of our tax liability against the sort of unique research work that we do,” he says “particularly on our listed buildings and passive house projects. That’s really the main thing that Condy Mathias has helped us with over the past 12 months.”
With a business relationship of nearly 20 years, Stuart doesn’t imagine anything changing with Condy Mathias anytime soon.
“I have no wish to change anything with Condy Mathias at all,” says Stuart. “They are very approachable and extremely happy to help wherever they can. Their availability is incredibly important to us. They’re helping us out, moving forward”.