Armstrong Watson

Background Summary

A firm of accountants, business and financial advisers, Armstrong Watson has supported and advised clients across the North of England and Scotland since 1867.

Armstrong Watson provides a full range of specialist services and financial advice across four key areas: Accounting, audit and assurance, financial planning and wealth management, advisory services, and outsourced financial services.

Breaking this down further, the group covers accountancy, cloud accounting, audit, tax, payroll, corporate finance, financial planning, wealth management, forensic accounting, and corporate restructuring, recovery, and insolvency services.

The group operates out of 17 regional offices, including (but not limited to) bases in Glasgow, Kendal, Leeds, London, Newcastle, Skipton, and West Cumbria. In September 2023, Armstrong Watson moved its headquarters from its Carlisle Fairview House complex to a new purpose-built premises, James Watson House in Rosehill, Carlisle. The building was named after founder, James Watson.

Armstrong Watson is led by managing partner and CEO, Paul Dickson. Meanwhile, Mike Kienlen was appointed chairman in 2008, adding to his existing roles as partner and head of restructuring.  

The group is a member of a raft of accountancy organisations and associations, including the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) and the MSI Global Alliance.


Armstrong Watson reported an annual turnover of £35.5m for the period ended 31 March 2023, which shows a 14% year-on-year rise.

Recent Coverage

Armstrong Watson has acquired Gibbons Accountants for an undisclosed sum. This deal follows eight acquisitions for the firm in the last three years. It also takes the total number of Armstrong Watson’s regional offices to 19.

Armstrong Watson has acquired Penrith-based 3G Financial. The deal between the two Cumbrian firms took effect on 31 August 2023. Having worked in financial services for 45 years, Charles Graves felt that Armstrong Watson would be “a good fit” for his clients.

Armstrong Watson has moved its headquarters in Carlisle. In 2018, Armstrong Watson’s Rosehill office was closed to allow work to begin on the site, which formed the basis for the reconstruction to create the new head office.

Armstrong Watson has taken on 51 trainees and graduates, a record number for the firm. The firm is now on the lookout for its 2024 intake of ACA trainee Chartered Accountants, with places available at its six offices in Scotland and North of England.

Armstrong Watson has partnered with the Association of Apprentices (AoA) as part of its commitment to provide “top-class” apprenticeships for young people. The AoA supports apprentices by providing additional resources, access to advice and guidance, and connects them with other students and social groups.

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