Life at Armstrong Watson

A Career with Armstrong Watson

Are you looking for a fulfilling career? At Armstrong Watson, that's precisely what we offer. We value each other as individuals and we work together to achieve our personal and professional ambitions, so bring your passion, ambitions and inspiration, and together let’s make it happen.

In our business our people really are our biggest asset. For those who thrive on delivering a great service to our clients, the sky is the limit. We offer an exciting range of benefits, flexible working and a personal focus on you, your career and your wellbeing. Most importantly, you will work with really great individuals who make up the Armstrong Watson team.

Employee Benefits

As one of our most valuable assets, we like to offer an exciting range of benefits which include flexible working, a personal focus on you, your career and your wellbeing and much more.

We give you access to the tools you need to stay healthy, enjoy a great work/life balance and take care of your finances now and in the future, and as everyone has different goals, your benefits can be tailored to suit your needs.

Benefits you can expect:

  • Competitive salary, with regular reviews
  • Salary sacrifice Pension Scheme
  • Income protection (if you are unable to work due to ill health)
  • Life assurance
  • Access to a health care cash plan with Healthshield 
  • Access to high street and online discount and cashback scheme
  • Enhanced annual leave with service
  • Ability to purchase 5 days holiday
  • Investment in your development, including full training cost and study time
  • Paid professional membership fees
  • Up to 20 days full sick pay
  • Free eye tests and flu jabs
  • Financial advice provided by Armstrong Watson Financial Planning & Wealth Management 
  • Smart 'Flexible' Working

Our Employee
Benefits Guide
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Smart working at Armstrong Watson

Work is an activity not a place! We believe in smart working, meaning you don’t have to be chained to your desk to make a difference in our business. We see smart working as a win win, as it gives our people the flexibility they need in their life and offers our clients the ability to be seen as and when is best for them.

"Having recently joined Armstrong Watson, it has been brilliant to work where the culture is based around the staff and helping them achieve a work life balance. The flexibility of smart working means I can do the nursery run some days and work longer hours when needed, to give a work life balance that ensures long term sustainability of my career. In addition, being able to work from home a day a week has meant that commuting doesn’t become an issue and gives me more time to focus on getting work done without worrying about getting stuck in traffic on the way to work or getting to nursery on time on the way back."

Rachel Bryant – Tax Consultant, Kendal

Family Friendly Leave

We understand the importance of finding a balance between work commitments and family life.  Here at Armstrong Watson we promote family friendly leave and are keen that all of our colleagues are able to enjoy time off with their family as their circumstances change.

"I was very lucky to be able to take nearly four months out of the business using the shared parental leave option. This allowed my wife to go back to a job she loves and for me to look after our two small children – precious time with them that I would not otherwise have had. Throughout this process Armstrong Watson were great – from the initial conversation floating the idea, where they were very supportive, to remembering to involve me in work events whilst I was away from the office so that I didn’t feel “forgotten about”. I’ve worked in other, much larger firms and I can easily compare the pressure I was put under for daring to take two weeks at one larger firm, versus the ease with which AW accepted a leave request for four months! It’s an example of how flexible the firm is and how different it can be to work here; it’s not just a policy that sits on a shelf."

Tom Blandford, Legal Sector Director

Well-being at Armstrong Watson

Mindful Employer

At Armstrong Watson we recognise that promoting and protecting the well-being of all colleagues is important for individuals’ physical health and social well-being. Much like our physical health, our mental health can go through periods where it is not in optimum condition. By addressing well-being we want to help strengthen the positive, protective factors of work, reduce risk factors for mental unwellness and improve your general health.

We know that everyone has different demands on their personal time (such as caring for dependants) and how important it is to get that balance right.

We have created a workplace environment that promotes and supports the mental well-being of all colleagues. We believe it is important to provide a supportive culture, address factors that may negatively affect mental well-being, and to develop management skills and raise awareness amongst colleagues.

Each of our offices has a Well-being Champion, who is a trained Mental Health First Aider.


 

"My role as well-being champion is to raise awareness around mental health issues and try and break the stigma that is attached. It's also to support any colleagues that are struggling with their mental health, to listen with no judgement and help them get some help. I have seen this to be very successful and have supported quite a few colleagues. Just to have someone there that understands and listens goes such a long way. Armstrong Watson take the role very seriously and have invested time and money into specialist training for all well-being champions as all employees are valued in the firm. The firm aim to support people that are struggling and just because someone is having some mental health issues at a particular time, it doesn’t mean they won’t get that promotion they’re striving for or be viewed in a negative light. It’s very refreshing working for understanding, caring and forward thinking employers."

Rachel Murdoch - Well-being Champion

Culture Champions

Ensuring we have the right culture and behaviours is key to our continued success. With this in mind we have a cross section of colleagues who meet with our Managing Partner to discuss our engagement calendar and any further actions we can take to deliver our aspiration of ‘best employer bar none’.


 

"Being the culture champion for Leeds lets me see first-hand the great causes we go on to help with out charity work and events that we hold throughout the year. It also enables me to speak to more people in my office, and other offices that I wouldn’t normally have contact with. Aside from the charity work, we also get to listen to the wider teams to understand what they believe isn’t working so well and help to implement real change. Thiis really is a fantastic company to work for, and one who cares about giving back to the community and also care about its employees."

Ashley McCartney - Culture Champion

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Working for Armstrong Watson

"When I joined AW (from a big 4 firm), one of my biggest concerns was that the team wouldn’t compare to what I was used to - I shouldn’t have been! The greatest strength of the AW team is that the tax assistance I need is across the desk, not someone I have to look around the office for, and because we’re sat next to each other we talk about the issue at hand. That means not only am I upskilling my corporate finance knowledge, but I’m trusting the person not the brand. Furthermore, as we’re all in touching distance of each other we’re investing in our teams, spending time coaching them and helping them develop. What’s amazing about AW is that we understand who our current clients are and who we want as our clients. OK, I’m no longer working on FTSE 250 clients with complex derivatives, but helping a local engineer secure funding for growth and more resources is just one example of how a change of firm has helped me to make more of a difference than just a box ticking exercise."

Simon Turner, Audit & Assurance Partner

"Studying AAT has given me valuable skills and knowledge that I can apply in my day to day work, and I will now be going on to study the ACA qualification. Working within a professional environment with the acquired skills from AAT has given me the confidence to progress within the workplace and moving forward hope my career will develop with the knowledge and expertise my training has given me."

Abigail Graham, Trainee Chartered Accountant

"Having gained an English Language Degree at Newcastle University, I joined the team in October 2011. Training for the ACA qualification helped me pursue my career goals by allowing me to further develop the skills I gained at University. Armstrong Watson supported and guided me throughout, offering useful learning and development advice during every step of the process. A career in accountancy is never dull, as the day to day workload is varied and continues to challenge me. I now work directly with clients and help provide advice to a very wide portfolio of sectors. Working within a team I feel valued and I have a good peer group who support me."

Rhys Davies, Audit & Assurance Senior Manager

"I joined Armstrong Watson two and a half years ago after completing an Accountancy and Finance degree. What initially attracted me to the firm was the ability to progress and gain experience in a wide range of departments across 14 offices and also feel part of a close team. I joined Armstrong Watson’s Chartered Programme in September 2015 and I am thoroughly enjoying every aspect of my job.

The firm ensure I gain as much experience as possible, tailoring my practical work experience to what I am studying at college, building my knowledge and understanding."

Annabelle Wood, Audit & Assurance Senior

"I joined Armstrong Watson in 2009 excited by the prospect of gaining qualifications as an apprentice while working full time; my preferred approach over University. Over the past nine years I’ve been supported through the AAT and ATT qualifications and given the opportunity to work with some fantastic people in different departments and locations across the firm. I’ve recently progressed to an Accounting Supervisor role advising and supporting mainly agricultural clients in and around Carlisle. The varied workload continues to challenge me day by day; just one of the things which makes Armstrong Watson a great place to work."

Murdo Laurie, Accounting Manager

"My AAT experience has been a never ending journey of challenges and excitement. I study AAT at Carlisle College which is local and friendly. I go to college one day a week and work four days a week. This enables me to apply my knowledge from college to my workplace and visa versa. The teachers at the college are all welcoming and eager for you to succeed, which makes it such an enjoyable place to learn."

Stephanie Gregory, Accounting Assistant

"I applied for the Armstrong Watson chartered Scheme after hearing about the opportunities a friend had been given during her time on the programme. Armstrong Watson are always providing me with a broad range of experience across different offices and departments to help support my chartered studies. Not only has this helped me to put the ACA theory into practice, but it has allowed me to continually build on my professional development in the workplace. I joined the Cumbria Chartered Accountancy Student Society as both ICAEW Student Council (ISC) representative and chair and I thoroughly enjoyed the roles, and the firm fully supported my involvement allowing me time out to travel to London and Cambridge to attend quarterly ISC representative meetings for the student council."

Lauren Graham, Audit & Assurance Assistant Manager

“I was really keen to take up the opportunity offered to me for a secondment in the Kendal office as Accounting Supervisor. I was nervous and not sure of what to expect but I knew the experience would broaden by knowledge, push me and improve my potential . I am always keen to put myself out of my comfort zone, learn new skills and try and better myself. I am only two months in and absolutely loving the Kendal office, the people are amazing, the office is amazing, and I love being a part of their team. Everyday is a challenge, but that’s what drives me, and it really proves that opportunities within the firm are there, you just have to have the right attitude and push yourself.”

Leanne Harkness, Accounting Supervisor

“Earlier this year I was offered the opportunity to move to our Glasgow office to manage the accounting department as the Accounting Manager. This was an opportunity for me to step out of my comfort zone and further my progression within the firm. Over the last 9 months the role has presented me with plenty of new challenges, tasks and increased responsibilities which I’ve enjoyed being able to deal with whilst also helping my own team progress. Personally the time I’ve been in Glasgow has helped me develop my skillsets and broaden my network within the firm with colleagues and clients. Overall this secondment has been a brilliant experience for me, made easier by the great team in Glasgow and the wider support from around the firm.”

Dan Cozens, Accounting Manager