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 recording. Today is officially the hottest day on the books.
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