Purpose: In this paper, the authors explore racialisation through human-centric counter-accounts (counter-stories) to bring together critical race theory (CRT) and counter-accounting. Design/methodology/approach: The authors utilise CRT to demonstrate the emancipatory role of counter-stories in (re)telling racialized narratives, specifically the narrative of asylum seekers who arrive by sea and are subjected to the inhumane and oppressive nature of the Australian government's policy of offshore immigration detention. Findings: Counter-stories, as tools of accountability, can make visible oppressive forces and the hidden practices of racialized social practices and norms. Research limitations/implications: This paper emphasises that we are not in a post-racial world, and racialisation remains a fundamental challenge. We must continue to refute race as an ontological truth and strive to provide a platform for counter-stories that can spark or drive social change. This requires allies, including academics, to give that platform, support their plight, and offer avenues for change. Originality/value: The authors introduce CRT as a theoretical tool for examining racialisation, opening space for a more critical confluence of accounting and race with potentially wide-reaching implications for our discipline. The paper also contributes to the limited accounting literature concerning asylum seekers, particularly in the use of counter-stories that offer a way of refuting, or challenging, the majoritarian/dominant narratives around asylum-seeking.