Armstrong Watson

Who are Armstrong Watson?

A firm of accountants, business and financial advisers, Armstrong Watson has supported and advised clients across the North of England and Scotland for over 150 years.

Headquartered at its Carlisle Fairview House complex, the group operates out of 17 regional offices, including but not limited to bases in Glasgow, Kendal, Leeds, London, Newcastle, Skipton, and West Cumbria.

Armstong Watson is led by Paul Dickson, chief executive and managing partner at the company. Meanwhile, Mike Kienlen was appointed as the group’s 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.

What do they do?

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.

Being “experienced to work alongside any size of business”, Armstrong Watson supports organisations across 17 sectors, such as family businesses, agriculture and farming, energy and renewables, landed estates and rural estate owners, charity, hospitality, leisure, and tourism.

Recent financials

The group saw its FY20 revenues climb 2.5% year-on-year to £17.6m, up from £17.2m the year before. Moreover, Armstrong Watson’s operating profit for the year ended 31 March 2020 climbed 20% year-on-year from £2.49m in FY19 to £3.06m.

Despite the firm’s fixed assets rising in FY20 from £1.06m to £1.34m, its current assets fell 6.7% year-on-year to £10.8m.

Although the results do not take into account the full impact of the Covid-19 crises, Armstrong Watson claimed that the group is “well placed” to navigate the ongoing pandemic.

It said: “The view of the management team is that, while they acknowledge the significant disruption that the pandemic will bring over the coming weeks and months, the management team feel that the LLP is well placed to negotiate the unique set of conditions currently facing the UK economy.

“The LLP has continued to trade positively after the year end, the current level of cash is positive, and the LLP has been able to operate throughout the pandemic whilst maintaining a reasonable level of income, which has exceeded operating costs.” 

In the news

Armstrong Watson completed its acquisition of Patricia J Arnold and Co on 1 March 2021, in turn expanding the group’s Hexham office to become its largest team in the North East. The deal saw Tricia Arnold, owner of the family practice, join Armstrong Watson alongside 14 additional staff members.

The company also expanded its Quayside base in Newcastle via a relocation to the city’s City Quadrant as part of an “ambitious” growth plan for the region towards the end of last year.

As for appointments thus far in 2021, Chris Archer joined as a new corporate finance partner in February, while Rhys Davies and Helen Robinson were promoted to audit and assurance director and accounting director respectively.

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