What Does the Expression “Cooking the Books” Mean and Where Did it Come From?

If you know someone using creative accounting to balance the books, they’re probably also breaking the law.

This individual would likely need someone with sophisticated bookkeeping skills comparable to those of a skilled chef who can prepare a dish so artfully that no one can tell how it was done.

If authorities discover that the books have been cooked and criminal charges are laid, it is said that the accountant and the employer have “cooked their own goose.”

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

1 thought on “What Does the Expression “Cooking the Books” Mean and Where Did it Come From?”

  1. My ex-wife is a partner in an hair salon and I know she “cooks the books” because she did when we was married. I know she probably still does. How can I prove she is if I was to report her for this?

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