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.

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

Well-being at Armstrong Watson

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

Corporate Social Responsibility

We are continually working towards minimising any negative impact of our business on our environment and work to support our communities, with our first volunteering initiative starting in spring 2019.

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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 Director

"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