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Armstrong Watson is a leading independent audit firm with offices across North of England and Scotland and ranked in the top 30 firms of accountants and business advisors.

Our people and culture are at the heart of what we do. We recognise the unique impact our employees have on not only our clients but also colleagues and the communities in which we operate. Our success depends on every one of us behaving consistently across four values; Honesty, Humanity, Passion, and Trust.

We have plans for growth that are not only ambitious but well within our reach. We're going places and are looking for motivated individuals to join our growing team to help us get there!

The role

We are currently looking for our next exciting year of Graduate/Trainee Chartered Accountants to start with us in July 2024 although typically we would look to bring in successful individuals over the spring months if available. We have positions available across our Glasgow, Leeds, Manchester, Carlisle & Newcastle offices.

We’ve designed our three-year programme to take you on a journey to become a professionally qualified business adviser. You will help us provide market leading business advice and service to support our clients’ growth. It’s a busy 3 years with lots of exciting challenges and rewarding career development opportunities.

With full study support for the ICAEW ACA qualification, you will pack in lots of learning and new experiences alongside your formal study and revision for exams.

Sitting in our Audit and Assurance team you will work with our larger clients and will often be based at client sites as part of a wider team. Our onsite teams are a minimum of 2 up to teams of 8! Most of the time you will be facing and interacting with our clients, and therefore being well presented with a professional attitude and great communication skills are a must.

Having the ability to think commercially about how a business operates, whether to increase market share and / or increase a profit, will give you an advantage. Additionally thinking how a business can manage its risk through its systems, controls and processes is equally as important; business owners don’t want to be susceptible to fraud!

The candidate

We want candidates who are team players, who are driven to succeed with a can-do positive attitude and strong work ethic. This is an exciting opportunity with mind stimulating challenges and rewarding career development opportunities.

Throughout the training scheme you may also be given the opportunity to gain experience across a variety of specialist service lines including Restructuring & Insolvency, Tax Consultancy, Corporate Finance and Financial Planning depending on business needs and workload.

We aim for colleagues to have two service-line rotations throughout the three-year learning period for a period of 4-5 weeks each time however this subject to business demands.

Candidates must possess either a 2:1 degree or above (achieved or predicted) in any discipline or the full (Level 4) AAT qualification. Candidates must also hold at least 7 GCSEs at Grade 5 (C) or above (including Maths, English and at least one Science) or a minimum of 6 National Fives (including Maths, English and at least one Science). They must also possess a minimum of 110 UCAS Points (obtained at A or AS Level).

You must also possess a full and valid UK Drivers Licence before July 2024 and have access to vehicle which can be used to travel to client sites.

Recruitment process & how to apply

If you think this is the right opportunity for you and your career, please apply online with our simple application form where you will also be asked to upload a copy of your current CV.

We kindly ask you please only apply for ONE of our vacancies (as there are 5 different vacancies listed due to multiple office options). You will be given the option to state your first and second preferences with regards to office location but applying for only one role will ensure you aren’t receiving duplicate emails throughout the recruitment process.

The closing date for applications is midnight on Sunday 26 November 2023. For anyone that misses this deadline in November, we may run a second intake later in the year so we will encourage you to apply to our “Speculative Graduate / Trainee Chartered Accountant” role on our website so that we can keep your details on file.

If we shortlist your application, you will be invited to complete some online assessments which will help us to measure your numeracy and problem-solving skills.

Following on from successful completion of the online assessments, we will invite you to attend a group video interview (using Microsoft Teams) with a member of our Audit & Assurance Team. During this interview, you will be given the opportunity to ask any questions that you have about the firm and the role itself.

Should you then be successful following the group video interview, you will then be invited to attend one of our Assessment Centres. The Assessment Centre involves a competency-based based interview, a presentation, and a career discussion with our Head of Audit & Assurance.

Assessment Centres for these vacancies are expected to take place during the early part of January 2024. Confirmation of exact dates and full arrangements will be provided at the earliest opportunity if you are to be successful in reaching that stage of the recruitment process.

All successful candidates will be expected to commence their employment either on or before Monday 1 July 2024 as that is the official commencement date of the ACA Training Contract.

Please note before applying for one of these vacancies, we are not a registered employer, therefore we are unable to offer visa sponsorship to candidates.

We kindly ask for any candidates who apply but then secure another position elsewhere and/or wish to withdraw their application in respect of these positions to please email our Talent Acquisition Team via careers@armstrongwatson.co.uk

The benefits of working for AW

In return for your hard work helping us shape our future growth and development; we will provide a competitive salary and a positive benefits package which includes:

  • 3.1% Employer Contribution Pension Scheme including Life Cover and Income Protection
  • Enhanced Annual Leave which will increase throughout your length of service and option an Annual Leave Purchase Scheme allowing you to buy up to 5 additional days annual leave each year
  • Flexible & Smart Working - giving you the ability to work flexibly for personal appointments and flexible with locations etc.
  • Life Cover of 4x your salary
  • Health Shield Cash Plan (provides cash back on a range of Health benefits and discounts on fashion, entertainment, holidays etc)
  • Introductory Commission Scheme (financial reward if you refer a new client)
  • Employee Assistance Programme (confidential support for emotional wellbeing)
  • Employee Referral Scheme (financial reward if you refer new AW colleagues) of up to £2,500
  • Detailed and thorough on-the-job training
  • Reviews and appraisals with your management team to ensure regular communication and providing you with a platform to enhance your career

In addition to all the benefits you would expect from an award-winning employer, you will be given the utmost encouragement and support to develop your career. Salary details will be confirmed if you are to be successful in progressing through to the online assessments stage of our recruitment process.

If you have any questions or would like confirmation of any additional details before submitting an application for one of these vacancies, please contact a member of our Talent Acquisition Team via careers@armstrongwatson.co.uk.