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.