on/off the/somebody's books

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off the books

Off the official payroll; paid in cash, without any official employment paperwork. I worked off the books in my uncle's restaurant for a few months during the summer. It's no secret that many migrant workers are kept off the books at major agricultural and construction operations around the country.
See also: book, off

on the books

Set down in writing or an audio or video recording. Today is officially the hottest day on the books. His statement is now on the books, so he can't dispute that he said it.
See also: book, on

on the books

contained in a list of members, employees, or clients.
See also: book, on

on/off the/somebody’s ˈbooks

(business) included/not included in the official financial records of a company: The company falsified its accounts and kept billions of dollars in debt off the books.
See also: book, off, on