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

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, published 1913 by G. & C. Merriam Co.
References in periodicals archive ?
We know the Chancellor likes to cook the books, but his train of thought is a little hard to swallow.
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."
COOK THE BOOKS: A GOURMET GIRL MYSTERY provides the fifth installment of the culinary mystery series pairing recipes with drama.
* Dishonest executives of Chinese ventures can cook the books just like those of their U.S.