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What is the meaning of "to balance the books" idiom?

5 Answers

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Gerund Form of the Idiom:

Balancing the books can provide a sense of relief.
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Idiom Usage:

In some circumstances "balance the books" could mean that there is injustice or imbalance between two people or groups. Perhaps one person owes another a favor, so there is an imbalance in obligations. To balance the books, the person who owes the favor needs to do the favor in order to balance the books.
When a government balances the books, it means that the government has spent the same amount of money as it has received.
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Idiom Scenario 2:

Sarah has just stopped at Tim's house. Tim is working at his home office desk. The desk is covered with papers.
Sarah: "What are you doing?"
Tim: "I got my bank statement yesterday so I am trying to balance my cheque book."
Sarah: "Looks like a lot of work."
Tim: "It should be easy but I forgot to record a couple of cheques and I'm missing some receipts."
Sarah: "I'll make some coffee and see if I can help you balance your books."

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Idiom Scenario 1:

Month end is approaching quickly. Dan the accountant has a lot of work to do ...
Sam: "Hey Dan! How are those books coming along? Month end is Monday.
Dan: "I'm working on them but there are a few problems with accounts payable.
Sam: "Well, you need to get those books balanced or we can't close the month."
Dan: "Absolutely! I will make the necessary adjustments and the books will be balanced on time.

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Idiom Definition:

"to balance the books"
to make the debits match the credits in a set of accounting books thereby providing balanced books

Synonyms: accounting, adjust, align, bookkeeping, journal, reconcile


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