Aanu’s passion for giving back started early. During her childhood in Nigeria, her father and mother raised their kids with a strong sense of community, “Everything we did was rooted in giving back and showing gratitude.” Aanu’s family was active in local community organizations, as well as finding ways to help closer to home: They spent their mom’s birthday every year cooking and sharing food with those in need.

At age 10, Aanu’s world shattered when she tragically lost her mom. But she found strength in family. Her father dedicated himself to his new role as primary caregiver, raising Aanu and her siblings with a caring hand, constant calm, and strong values — like the value of a good education, which guided Aanu to New York City to earn a degree in architecture. It was there that she discovered her love of accounting. “It wasn't so much about the numbers; it was more about the placement of the numbers. It made sense to me.” Aanu switched gears and began pursuing a career in accounting — a goal that led her across North America. She began with an internship at KPMG in the US's New York office, then moved to the Chicago office. After she met her future husband, a Canadian, she moved to Vancouver and began working with KPMG in Canada.

A decade later, she has built her life and family in Vancouver, working as a Senior Manager in Audit, focusing on the public sector, “I am passionate about my work because I believe that the public sector is vital to the social, and the economic well-being of our society.” Growing up in West Africa, Aanu has a keen understanding for how an under-developed public sector creates an inadequate system, so she dedicates herself to elevating the public sector one audit at a time. She provides every client with a truly well-rounded experience by enhancing processes and procedures in relation to an established standard, tackling challenges with them to ensure they meet their stakeholder’s expectations, staying up to date with the latest technology, and retaining the best talent – drawing on support from KPMG’s extended networks when necessary. She finds solutions for her clients that will benefit not only their people, but the communities they serve. For Aanu, client relationships (and all relationships, for that matter) come down to one important fact, “At our core, everyone wants to be heard, everyone wants to be seen, and everyone wants to be respected.”

She brings this understanding into the work she does with several non-profits, many of which focus on supporting new Canadians, working to lift mothers out of poverty by providing educational and leadership opportunities to young girls and women. “I have had exceptional mentors and sponsors at KPMG throughout my entire career, but I have not had the chance to have a mentor or a sponsor that looks like me. I want to change that for the next generation of Black people that aspire to a career in accounting.” Aanu co-chairs the GVA chapter of the Black Professionals Network, a KPMG national community, whose mandate is to promote the advancement of Black professionals through building strong networks, providing career development, and mentorship opportunities.

From her volunteer work to striving for equal opportunities for everyone in her day job, Aanu’s passion for forming genuine connections shines through everything she does. It’s how she can offer clients a truly unique audit experience, one centered around building bonds rather than crunching numbers. “It's developing those relationships. Clients know that if something happens, I'm going to pick up the phone and I’m going to help find a solution for them.”

Aanu is dedicated to making an impact in this world. But if you ask the clients she helps, the young professionals she mentors, and the new Canadians she supports — she already has.

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