Cook the books

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Cook the books

To deliberately falsify the financial statements of a company. This is an illegal practice.
Copyright © 2012, Campbell R. Harvey. All Rights Reserved.

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.
Farlex Financial Dictionary. © 2012 Farlex, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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.
Wall Street Words: An A to Z Guide to Investment Terms for Today's Investor by David L. Scott. Copyright © 2003 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved. All rights reserved.

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.

Dictionary of Financial Terms. Copyright © 2008 Lightbulb Press, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
He said: "Nobody was out to cook the books. Errors crept in."
US stocks lost ground in early trading yesterday after President Bush failed to calm down a scandal-weary Wall Street despite proposing stiff penalties for companies and executives who cook the books.
Is there any possibility someone in the company would say upper management has a motive to "cook the books?"
But the Postal Service has been known to cook the books. Postal investigators recently found that postal workers making "random' mail checks were weeding out late letters from the sample.
Mr Mallon said: "I do not go along with the theory that he is here to cook the books.