to cook the books

Idiom Definition

Idiom Definition - cook the books

"to cook the books"

to dishonestly change the figures in accounting records


Related words and phrases:

Idiom Scenario 1

Idiom Definition - cook the books

Two colleagues are talking ...

Colleague 1: The company is going out of business. Better start updating your resume.

Colleague 2: I thought the company was doing really well. Profits have been at record highs for the past three quarters.

Colleague 1: Management was cooking the books so they could claim huge performance bonuses.

Colleague 2: I can't believe they cheated like that. The people in accounting must have colluded with management.

Idiom Scenario 2

Idiom Definition - cook the books

Two friends are talking ...

Friend 1: Have you invested in Bob's company recently.

Friend 2: Sure. He showed me his financial statements last week and told me it was a fantastic opportunity to invest and make a lot of money. The company stock are just about to split. I will end up with twice as much stock as I bought.

Friend 1: If Bob does not get caught. He has been cooking the books for more than a year now.

Friend 2: Seriously? I can't believe Bob would deliberately alter the accounting records just to trick people into investing.

Test Your Understanding  

to cook the books - Usage:


Usage Frequency Index:   363   click for frequency by country

to cook the books - Gerund Form:

Cooking the books is a fraudulent act that can have serious legal consequences.

to cook the books - Examples:

1)  There's no doubt we're propping up fiascoes like the Tar Sands by cooking the books. We use a confusing mix of subsidies, deferred taxes and postponed ...

2)  ... on the charity of fellow-Europeans who Greece has, frankly, defrauded for decades by cooking the books to get access to loans at German rates.

3)  ... manipulate interest rates; hyping your failing company while secretly selling your own stock; cooking the books; ...

4)  ... and cooking the books to conceal its true magnitude - has been a product of collusion between ...

5)  ... chance of paying off these debts, but they kept lending and lending, even cooking the books to hide the true size of the deficit.

6)  Let's hope members don't find out their leaders have been cooking the books to hide payoffs from large corporations to misrepresent members' views.

7)  ... the secretaries learn that the boss has been cooking the books and stealing from the company.

8)  ... federal regulators testified to this fact and stated further that Fanny's managers were also cooking the books in order to give themselves huge bonuses. 

9)  ... are those who think the Bureau of Labor Statistics has been cooking the books on the unemployment rate to make Obama look good.

10)  I always kept the real numbers in case I was ever questioned about cooking the books.

11)  ... predicting a fall in revenue of $20-25 billion and claiming the government would try to cook the books by changing public service accounting treatments.

12)  As I explained in a previous post, universities cook the books by counting casuals and part-time academics in their academic staff numbers.

13)  ... find shifty accountants and attorneys to help you "cook the books" and sell your soul to the devil?

14)  ... congress blocked every attempt to stop the bubble and went out of their way to cook the books to hide it. 

15)  ... really have had the temerity to cook the books in order to inflate the sale price of Autonomy last summer?

16)  ... has been in cahoots with our independent accountants to cook the books, and all are involved in a mega-conspiracy to undermine ...

17)  If anyone in private business tried to cook the books this way, they would be up on fraud charges.

18)  Evidence please! Too many people involved in it to cook the books and not get caught. 

19)  He foolishly goes the Enron route, attempting to cook the books to avoid failure, and is found out and arrested.

20)  ... how to cook the books long enough to hang themselves with debt and expose the fatal flaw in ...