Returnship programme

Forvis Mazars returnship programme helps talented professionals find their way back to work after taking an extended career break.

Find out more about our returnship programme, read about Allison Sinnott's experience.

How did you get involved in the programme?

I got involved in the programme as I had previously completed two weeks of work experience in Mazars during March 2019 as part of an office administration course that I was doing.

I was then contacted by Mazars to see if I would be interested in taking part in a new returnship programme they were setting up. I went for an interview and was offered a position as a returner when my course had finished.

Allison Sinnott

What did a typical day look like for you during this programme?

My hours were 9.00 am to 1.00 pm Monday to Friday. When I first started, I was in accounting and outsourcing (AOS) and payroll departments.

I learnt how to navigate my way through the various software systems such as Microsoft Word and Excel, Europay, Payflow, Sage 50 and Practice Engine. I completed an online training course on Xero, which is a cloud-based accounting system Mazars recently partnered with.

Every day, I was given a variety of jobs to complete. At first, I was preparing client due diligence forms and looking after client administration tasks for the AOS department while assisting with bookkeeping tasks on Sage 50 and Excel. After a few weeks, I received training on the payroll Europay system and was given my own payrolls to process.

What supports were available to you as part of the programme?

I had several supports available to me throughout the programme.

My team mentor allocated suitable work to me and ensured I received training on the systems I would be using.

The HR senior manager was my coaching mentor. I found these sessions extremely helpful as they helped me to see how much I had achieved by making the move to go back to work and what my goals were for the future.  Aoife was very encouraging throughout the programme and helped me to achieve these goals.

I met with the HR mentor a couple of times throughout the programme for an update on my progress and to discuss any issues that I might have. She was also very encouraging and always replied to any queries that I had.

Claire Browne was responsible for showing me her daily routine regarding office administration tasks e.g. post, binding, photocopying and preparing tender documents.

What was my overall experience of the programme, and would you recommend it to others?

My overall experience of the programme was a very positive one. Yes, I would certainly recommend it to anyone who is thinking about returning to work after a long period.

The programme has given me back my confidence as I was out of the working environment for the last 13 years when I chose to be a stay at home mother. I was given so much support and encouragement throughout this programme from my various mentors and the staff in Mazars. 

The staff in Mazars are extremely professional and I learnt a lot during my 20 weeks on the returnship programme.

General Overview of what I’m doing since the programme

I am now currently employed as a trainee in the outsourced payroll department of Mazars. I am also doing an IPASS payroll course and have successfully completed Stage 1 and have further exams coming up. This is another challenge for me regarding my work-life balance as I am now working part-time, doing a payroll course and running a home. I am confident, however, that I will be able to manage all these aspects of my life.