Dean Neu


Dean Neu became a faculty member in the Haskayne School of Business in 1989. Prior to joining the faculty, he completed a PhD in Accounting and Organizational Theory at Queen’s University. Dean has been a visiting professor at the University of Alberta, the University of Toronto and Universidad de Autonoma del Estado de Morelos in Mexico. He is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Alberta

As an accounting scholar and activist, Dean is committed to unveiling the presence of accounting where we might not otherwise expect to find it, he has in numerous articles and public appearances revealed how accounting plays a mediative role between governments and population segments. His research and writing demonstrate how accounting, working hand in hand with bureaucracies, shapes and constructs societal governance. In this work, the disguise of accounting as a boring benign appendage to business and government is stripped away to reveal how accounting numbers play a crucial role in shaping public policy and the perceptions the public has of those policies.

Dean has published more than fifty research articles in the leading academic and practitioner journals in the field. His awards include: the 1997 Distinguished Service Award from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Alberta in recognition of academic and activist contributions, the 1997 Research Award for outstanding research achievements in the previous year, the 2000 recipient of the Dean’s Award for Outstanding Research Leadership, and the 2000 recipient of the MBA society’s award for teaching excellence.

  • Doing Missionary Work

    The World Bank and the Diffusion of Financial Practices

    By Dean Neu and Elizabeth Ocampo     April 2008

    The more things change, the more they remain the same: the image of David Livingstone toiling in Africa has been replaced by the image of a well-dressed World Bank bureaucrat travelling by jet, dropping in to consult with governments in the developing world before returning home.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.

  • Truth or Profit?

    The Ethics and Business of Public Accounting

    By Duncan Green and Dean Neu     January 2006

    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.

  • Accounting for Genocide

    Canada’s Bureaucratic Assault on Aboriginal People

    By Dean Neu and Richard Therrien     January 2003

    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.