New London ICAEW Council members: Jeannie Okikiolu and Jagdeep Chaggar
In the second of three articles, London Accountant catches up with the six London ICAEW Council members who were elected for the first time as they prepare to take up the roles in June. This month, we speak with Jeannie Okikiolu and Jagdeep Chaggar.
“I stood in the elections as I am concerned about the loss of trust in auditing,” explains forensic accountant Jeannie Okikiolu. “There are serious concerns that auditors are not fulfilling their statutory duties.” Okikiolu observes that ICAEW must assess where and to what extent it can rely on the work of other regulatory bodies; for example, it relies upon the IAASB, the international standard setting body, for the theory behind auditing, but cannot do so for the practice of auditing.
“As a member of Council, I now have the opportunity to influence how ICAEW meets the challenge of maintaining high standards of practice in auditing in partnership with other regulators, and I shall be looking to take part in discussions to determine what sort of action is needed.”
Okikiolu has worked as a forensic accountant for most of her career. She trained with Robson Rhodes (now merged into Grant Thornton) in its audit department before realising she was inclined to ‘be more investigative’ after working on some personal injury cases in the firm’s corporate finance department.
Her work has seen her seconded to the Serious Fraud Office and HM Treasury as well as spending a year in Abu Dhabi investigating matters relating to BCCI, the failed bank. Now she has her own practice, JO Forensic.
Away from investigative work, Okikiolu is an accomplished violinist, playing with a number of orchestras, and acting as a trustee for Philharmonia Britannica.
Maintaining the musical theme, Jagdeep Chaggar studied maths to degree level, but maintained a passion for studying music throughout this time as well. “Mathematics and music might seem like an odd combination, but they sync together very well once you understand the similarities,” Chaggar explained.
Born and raised in London, with Indian and Sikh roots, Chaggar currently works in the internal audit department at Barclays, focusing on conduct, culture and governance, having qualified with PwC in 2014.
Like Okikiolu, he stood in the election for council as he felt that he wanted to be involved in restoring trust in the profession. “We have had the CMA investigation and the Kingman Review, which drew light on issues that I think all those in practice have felt required change at some point. And now in the public eye, trust has been damaged from a handful of really bad examples even though during my time in practice I saw and heard a lot of good examples that are not talked about,” he says. “But if you want to change something, you need to get involved, so I stood in the election with a view to focus on what I like to call the 3Ts, technology, trust and training.”
At 29, Chaggar is possibly one of the youngest Council members to be elected, and through his involvement in areas such as the ICAEW BASE competition is keen to focus on voluntary work. “Volunteering can help take you out of your own bubble and remember what is most important.”
And as if to prove the point, Chaggar has just be elected to act as a trustee for the Road Safety Trust.
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