cook the books


Also found in: Financial, Idioms, Wikipedia.
make fallacious entries in or otherwise manipulate a financial record book for fraudulent purposes.

See also: Book

References in periodicals archive ?
Here's an idea: instead of allowing them to cook the books (a la Google), why don't we do to the rich what we do to benefits claimants: Demonise them, fine them, threaten them, evict them and jail them.
While they cook the books in this shambolic way, we are left wondering what the outcome will be for our essential blue light service.
Dishonest executives of Chinese ventures can cook the books just like those of their U.
We need a commitment to tackle the causes of poverty, unfortunately what we get from spin-obsessed Labour is a proposal to cook the books.
Deaton's mission would be tricky: Cook the books so that the utility can continue to ratchet up rates and funnel more money into the city's general fund while concealing the waste and bureaucratic decadence that might enrage the public.