Cook the books

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Cook the books

To deliberately falsify the financial statements of a company. This is an illegal practice.

Cook the Books

Informal; to falsify an accounting statement deliberately. Cooking the books usually involves overstating revenue and/or understating expenses. A person can use aggressive accounting to cook the books by using creative ways to make a company look healthier than it is. More directly, a person can simply lie on a financial statement. Cooking the books is illegal.

cook the books

To distort a firm's financial statements. For example, a manager may intentionally overstate sales or understate expenses in order to create high net income.

Cook the books.

When a company cooks the books, it is deliberately -- and illegally -- providing false information about its financial situation to bolster its stock price, often by overstating profits and hiding losses.

A company may also cook the books to reduce its tax liability, but then it stirs in the opposite direction by underreporting profits and overstating losses.