The concept of Bait Money!
Bait Money is a security feature used by various Banks/Bank branches. As its name suggests, this money kept with the Banks/Bank branches helps in tracking the culprits in case of any theft provided it has been taken by the thieves.
Bait Money is basically a small pile of currency notes, information w.r.t. which has been duly noted by the designated Bank officials and is kept in safe custody so that in case of any unfortunate happening, such as theft, that information can be used to track the criminals.
Information w.r.t. Bait Money primarily involves currency Note serial numbers and the same can be maintained in following ways, among others:
1. Taking the print of currency Notes designated as Bait Money. However, care has to be taken that the print should not be of the actual size of the currency Note, either size of the print should be reduced or it should be increased as compared to the original currency Note size.
2. Noting the serial number of currency Notes in a Logbook.
3. Putting some distinguishing mark on the designated Bait Money Notes. However, this way is not very safe as the distinguishing mark can easily be copied.
4. A scan of the respective currency Notes etc.
Care should be taken that not too many currency Notes are kept as Bait Money, especially, in the case where the serial numbers of those currency Notes are being maintained in a Logbook. It’s because error might creep in while noting the respective serial numbers.
The best way to go about it would be to keep a print of Bait Money notes and to keep it in safe custody of the designated Bank official.
Our role as Concurrent Auditors!
1. We need to check whether Bait Money is being duly maintained by the respective Bank branch.
2. The way in which the information w.r.t. Bait Money is being maintained i.e. Logbook, Printouts etc.
3. Check whether the information regarding Bait Money is kept in safe custody of the designated official and shall be available at the time when it’s required.
4. Currency Note pile representing Bait Money should NOT be marked “Bait Money – Not for use” or something like it else the entire purpose might fail.
5. Tally the respective information with the respective currency Notes in order to make sure that Bait Money is present in the Bank branch, etc.
Thus, small checks like these will go a long way in ensuring the effectiveness of Concurrent Auditing exercise and safety of the respective Banks.
CA Sahil Jolly