The World Bank and the Diffusion of Financial Practices
The more things change, the more they remain the same: the image of David Livingstone toiling in Africa has been replaced by the image of a well-dressed World Bank bureaucrat travelling by jet, dropping in to consult with governments in the developing world before returning home. Likewise, the tools of missionary work have changed. While the promise of betterment and salvation remains, a testament that talks about planning mechanisms, performance indicators and financial reports has replaced the Bible. Through a study of education reform in Latin America, this book examines how these financial missions ‘work’ and the intended and unintended consequences.
The Ethics and Business of Public Accounting
The images will not go away–huge multinational corporations failing, well-dressed executives being led away in handcuffs, and public accounting firms being charged for complicity. How do we make sense of the reality behind these images? Is it, as cynics claim, that public accountants are self-seeking, offering a form of window-dressing for greedy corporate executives? Or is public accounting a profession doing the best it can in the face of difficult circumstances? Are public accountants driven by the profit motive or are they seeking a truth in accounting? Neu and Green argue that it is impossible to answer these questions without examining the historical evolution of public accountancy. Their analysis illustrates that public accountancy is simultaneously a business and a public service–thus to try to understand it in any other way misses the tension that is always present between these two faces of the profession.
Canada’s Bureaucratic Assault on Aboriginal People
Accounting for Genocide is an original and controversial book that retells the history of the subjugation and ongoing economic marginalization of Canada’s Indigenous peoples. Its authors demonstrate the ways in which successive Canadian governments have combined accounting techniques and economic rationalizations with bureaucratic mechanisms–soft technologies–to deprive Native peoples of their land and natural resources and to control the minutiae of their daily economic and social lives. Particularly shocking is the evidence that federal and provincial governments are today still prepared to use legislative and fiscal devices in order to facilitate the continuing exploitation and damage of Indigenous people’s lands.