A husband-and-wife accounting team say their relationship has helped their business grow during the pandemic.

Howard Bedford set up HMB Accountants 24 years ago to provide a range of accountancy, tax and business services across Teesside and North Yorkshire. He was joined by his wife Sarah, who has over 28 years of experience in accountancy, in 2015.

The couple say that their marriage has helped them weather the storm of Covid, and they are looking forward to continuing to build the business over the next 12 months.

Sarah said: “Because we come as a team, we have been able to better serve our clients, as we weren’t impacted by social distancing.

“When working from home, we could still take advantage of the working relationship between us, and, now we have returned to the office, Howard and I were less restricted by social distancing rules, enabling us to collaborate more easily.

“While we did lose some long-term clients over the course of the pandemic, we gained new ones too.

“This has helped us regain our focus in the services we offer and how we deliver them to our clients and we can now see light at the end of the Covid tunnel and a bright future for Teesside.”

The firm has also taken on a new member of staff, Rowena Hunaishi, to help deal with the workload, but the other secret to their success is a little more surprising.

In the wake of the changing working practices, the pair decided to move to Manor Way, on Belasis Hall Technology Park in Billingham – where their office features their own replica of a Tardis.

Lifelong sci-fi fan Howard said: “Our new premises have slightly smaller footprint than the previous space, however it is a better lay-out, making it seem bigger on the inside than the outside, just like a Tardis.

“Our new offices have a large open plan office space for the team to work together and the model Tardis will be in the main office, forming the entrance to the dedicated meeting room.”

Sarah added: “The Tardis idea came about when we were looking at furniture options.

“We decided to use The Optimum Group, who said they’d be able to make us a model and the idea spiralled from there.

“We spend a lot of time at work and need to enjoy being here, so we anticipate it will make us smile every time we come in.”

Commenting on HMB Accountants’ office move, Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said: “We are bouncing back and it’s great to see Howard and Sarah move into new offices and create opportunities by taking on a new member of staff.

“Firms have faced unprecedented challenges, but in Teesside we know our comeback is always greater than the setback.”