Cook-the-books Definition

verb

(idiomatic) To manipulate accounting information, especially illegally.

Enron Corp., once a major U.S. corporation, is now famous for cooking the books.
Wiktionary

(idiomatic, by extension) To falsify an account of an event.

Wiktionary

Origin of Cook-the-books

  • From the mid-17th century. A metaphor for cooking, whereby ingredients are changed, altered and improved by the process. Thus financial statements can also be so modified to the benefit of the "cook".

    From Wiktionary

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