cook the books

(redirected from cooked the books)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Financial, Encyclopedia.
Related to cooked the books: One Night Stand Investment

cook the books

To falsify financial records for a company or organization. My partner had been cooking the books for years, but because I was the CEO, I got the blame for our company's collapse.
See also: book, cook
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

cook the books

Falsify a company's financial records, as in An independent audit showed that they've been cooking the books for years. This slangy phrase was first recorded in 1636.
See also: book, cook
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

cook the books

1. If someone cooks the books, they dishonestly change the figures in their financial accounts. She knew that when the auditors looked over the books there would be no hiding the fact that she had cooked the books and £3 million was missing. Four years ago, he vowed to strike back after discovering that a promoter was cooking the books. Note: The `books' in this expression are books of accounts.
2. If someone cooks the books, they dishonestly change written records. The committee admitted that, in its recent trials, many officials cooked the books.
See also: book, cook
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

cook the books

alter records, especially accounts, with fraudulent intent or in order to mislead. informal
Cook has been used since the mid 17th century in this figurative sense of ‘tamper with’ or ‘manipulate’.
See also: book, cook
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

ˌcook the ˈbooks

(informal) change facts or figures in order to make the situation seem better than it is or to hide the fact that you have stolen money: The two directors of the company had been cooking the books, a local court heard yesterday.
See also: book, cook
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

cook the books

Falsely adjust the accounts. The verb “to cook” has meant to manipulate ever since the 1600s and continued to be used, especially with reference to changing figures, to the present day. The current phrase popularized the concept, its rhyme more attractive than simply “cook the accounts,” and it has largely replaced other versions since the second half of the 1900s. The 1986 film Legal Eagles had it (“The three partners were cookin’ the books”), as did a New York Times editorial about the Environmental Protection Agency: “The agency was thus ordered to cook the books, deliberately underestimating the reductions that would be possible under alternative approaches . . .” (March 21, 2005).
See also: book, cook
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
See also:
References in periodicals archive ?
John Wyn Williams,prosecuting, said the defendant cooked the books to cover his tracks and presented false accounts to the annual meetings claiming they had been audited.
Along the same lines, Senator John McCain (Republican, Arizona) says that politicians are playing a weak hand when it comes to lecturing anyone about straight forward accounting: "Too often, we have cooked the books, exploited off balance sheet accounting, fudged budget numbers, and failed to disclose fully the nation's assets and liabilities."
A couple who cooked the books at their restaurant were yesterday jailed for a total of 18 months.
Mr Black told MSPs yesterday he had no hard evidence that anyone had cooked the books.
But Ullrich said Deacon has cooked the books by comparing this year's total to how much she had planned to spend last year instead of how much she actually spent.
James "Ted" Ball, 47, accepted pounds 420,000 in backhanders and "cooked the books" of his firm Landhust Leasing to support the Brabham racing team.