To launch Luca, double-click on the Luca application icon.
If this is the first time you are launching Luca, an initial Chart of Accounts will launch.
Luca stores the accounting data in a SQLite database, called Lucadb, created by default in the following Documents folder:
This Documents folder is found in the user's Library folder (~/Library), which is hidden, by default. To unhide the Library folder, go to the user's home folder, choose View > Show View Options from the Finder, then check the box for "Show Library Folder”. You will then be able to navigate to the Documents folder. You will find this step useful when, for e.g., you are making a backup copy of Lucadb database.
An initial example Chart of Accounts and vouchers are created in the default database. Users may modify the Chart of Accounts and vouchers as needed. There is a one-click button in Luca Preferences > Company Data, to remove the vouchers subsequently, leaving the Chart of Accounts intact.
Using a Previous Lucadb
For users who upgrade from previous versions of Luca to access the old accounting data, either:
- Replace the default Lucadb.sqlite in the Documents folder with the previous Lucadb and relaunch Luca, OR
- Change the default database path in Luca Preferences. Click the path icon next to the Database Type, select the database path, and click the "Use this Connection" button to re-load the Chart of Accounts. You can also select the Database Type MySQL or PostgresSQL.
If the chosen database is not compatible with the current version of Luca, you will be prompted and Luca will upgrade the database accordingly.
Setting the Preferences
All the Preference Settings and Utility windows are found in a single Luca Preferences window:
This Preference pane lets you set up the base currency code, default tax percentage, the period in which you start recording transactions in Luca and the start of your accounting month in your accounting year cycle.
You can drag and drop a Company's Logo image file into the box provided in this pane. The Company's Logo image will be printed on listings and printouts. You can also remove the logo by clicking the "Remove Logo" button.
The initial example vouchers are created for the accounting period in which you created the demo data. You may set the default accounting period range in which you are running your accounting reports and statements :
Certain accounts play important roles in the accounting system, e.g., you need to have an account to post Foreign Exchange Gain/Loss amounts to, and you need an account to post the year's Retained Earnings to, and you need to set up Checking Accounts that are linked to your bank accounts. These are set up in the following Preference pane, which you can use to assign a different account to play the selected role instead (if you had not yet made any postings to that special account) :
Currency display formats and decimal number precision can be set for individual currencies (e.g., the Japanese yen has no decimal places and you can set this, as shown below, by setting Max fraction digits to 0) :
Exporting the Database
Luca works with a built-in SQLite database and also with PostgreSQL and MySQL. You can use the following Preference Pane to export the accounting data in Luca's built-in SQLite database to any SQLite, MySQL 5.6 or PostgreSQL 9.3 database for which you have database creation rights:
Select the Database Type of the source database, e.g. SQLite, that you are exporting from (as above). Click the Export Lucadb button. In the panel that follows, choose the Database Type of the database to which you are exporting, e.g. MySQL:
Select the Database Type PostgreSQL to export the Luca database to PostgreSQL. You can access the PostgreSQL database remotely by entering the IP address of the PostgreSQL database machine into the Database URL field.
If you are using MySQL or PostgreSQL with Luca, it needs to be a MySQL5 or a PostgreSQL 9.3.x database. If you can connect to that server from the command line, that same user account and password and server IP address will work in Luca.
Check the firewall (MySQL needs port 3306 to be open on the server, and PostgreSQL, 5432).
Also make sure that the MySQL or PostgreSQL user account that you're using has been given the rights to access the server from any IP address.
Setting the Opening Balances
If you were using an accounting system prior to Luca, you can set up the closing balances from your previous accounting system in Luca, using a General Voucher. First set the Year and Month in the Company Data to match that of the closing balances.
Next, create a General Voucher for the closing balances:
If you are tracking the outstanding invoices of debtors and creditors, enter their outstanding amounts as a historical record of Receivables and/or Payables. This can be entered from Chart of Accounts > Postings > Enter ARAP Historical Record. The outstanding amounts of each debtor and creditor should match the closing balances entered in the General Voucher.
The Chart Of Accounts
You can create new accounts and delete, clone and modify existing accounts.
The Expense Account
This is how the Expense account, 5-1130 Advertising Expenses, was created.
The Debtor or Creditor Account
The following is an example of a Debtor or Creditor (i.e., Customer or Vendor) account.
The Special Accounts
Cash or Bank accounts, Currency Exchange account, Bank Fees or Bank Charges account and Retained Earnings or Unappropriated Profits account are special accounts in the scheme of an accounting system, but they are first created in the normal way, i.e., the same as was shown above. But you need to pay attention to one additional step. They need to have their roles properly assigned in the Special Accounts pane in Luca Preferences, as shown below. This is where the appropriate role for each special account is set.
Transactions that involve these special accounts - e.g., currency exchange gain or loss, bank charges, and retained earnings - will be automatically posted to the appropriate account.
Re-arranging the Accounts Hierarchy
A sub-account can be moved from one header account to another in the Chart of Accounts, by simply holding the ctrl-key and 'dragging and dropping' it. All the subordinate accounts and the postings associated with this account (and its subordinate accounts, recursively) will automatically be moved with it.
The following are transactions created in the Luca demo database. You may view the list of transactions in the form of double-entries from Journal > All Vouchers.
Luca differentiates the types of vouchers by Voucher Type, as seen in the Type column :
Note: In each of the following Journal screens, you can print the Journal in the screen format, or press the Shift key to print in the double-entry format.
Transactions can be entered as double-entries in Journal > General Vouchers. An example of such a transaction is the record, Depreciation of Equipment, as shown here :
However, most transactions are entered through screens where the double-entries are done automatically for you by the system. The examples follow :
Cash Disbursements (Without An Invoice)
To make cash disbursements to one-off vendors, or for expenses without an invoice, use Journal > Cash Disbursements. Examples of such cash disbursements are purchase of postage stamps, purchase of office supplies and transportation expenses.
Cash Receipts (Without An Invoice)
For cash receipts from one-off customers, or for receipts without an invoice, use Journal > Cash Receipts. Examples of such cash receipts are receipt of bank interest and cash sales.
Payables (Credit Purchases From Vendors)
Credit purchases and services from vendors are entered as payables in Journal > Payables.
Receivables (Credit Sales To Customers)
Credit sales and services to customers are entered as Receivables in Journal > Receivables.
Payments & Receipts (Against An Invoice)
In Luca, an invoice can be settled in full in a single payment or receipt. It can also be settled partially in multiple payments or receipts. Multiple invoices from one vendor or customer can be settled in a single payment or receipt, or in any combination of the above.
Plus, in Luca, the billing, settlement and base currencies used can all be different.
The following is an example of a full settlement of a payable invoice.
The following is an example of a partial settlement of a receivable invoice.
An invoice can be settled partially in different payments or receipts. The invoice settlement history can be viewed directly from within the payable or receivable record, as shown below.
Settlement Of Multiple Invoices
Multiple invoices from the same vendor or same customer can be settled in one payment or one receipt.
Settlement In Billing Currency
The following is an example of an invoice billed in a foreign currency, and settled in the same billing currency.
The double entries for the above settlement are automatically generated by the system, as shown below, when the transaction is saved.
Settlement In Base Currency
The following is an example of an invoice billed in a foreign currency, and settled in the base currency.
Settlement In Other Currency
The following is an example of an invoice billed in a foreign currency, and settled in a currency different from the billing currency and base currency.
Offsetting Outstanding Invoices
The following is an example of a creditor (vendor), who is also a debtor (customer). Outstanding invoices from the same creditor or debtor can be used to offset one another in the system.
Settlement With Over-Payment
In Luca, when a cheque is received with the amount greater than the invoice amount, a Credit Note can be generated to record the over-payment by the debtor (customer). Similarly, when a payment is made with the amount greater than the amount owing to the creditor (vendor), a Debit Note can be generated.
Transactions entered in the system can be viewed in different consolidated forms for analysis.
As the double-entry postings are immediate, the Trial Balance, Balance Sheet and Profit and Loss statements can be viewed at any time.
The following are examples of a Trial Balance and a Profit and Loss statement.
The Profit and Loss statement shows the up-to-date Net Profit or Net Loss for the current period and year-to-date.
Analysis By Account
Transactions can be viewed by individual accounts and by different accounting periods by drilling into the Chart of Accounts.
The Aging Report gives a consolidated view of the Accounts Payable and Accounts Receivable situation.
Statement Of Accounts
Double-clicking on the debtor's or creditor's aging record will get you the Statement of Accounts for that debtor or creditor. Alternatively, the Statement of Accounts can be launched by choosing Analysis > Statement of Accounts from the Menu Bar.
Creating Recurring Vouchers
Recurring vouchers can be created for General Vouchers, Cash Receipts or Disbursements, and Receivables or Payables.
The recurring voucher is created as you would for a normal voucher. The parameters for generating recurring vouchers is configured by selecting the "Edit..." option from the pull-down menu for repeating a voucher.
Parameters can be configured to repeat a voucher daily, weekly, monthly or yearly over a number of periods. Vouchers can also be set to repeat at intervals, e.g. at a bi-weekly or 6-monthly interval.
Note: Check the checkbox "On the last day" for recurring voucher dates to fall on the last day of the month.
The base voucher that created the repeated vouchers can be launched from any occurrence of the voucher by clicking on the "Repeat" label.
Any changes to or deletion of one of the recurring vouchers will be applied to the future occurrences of the voucher.
The accounting rules of updating or deleting a voucher apply to all occurrences of a recurring voucher. That is, if the accounting period of one of the future occurrences of the voucher is closed, the "Save" and "Delete Voucher" buttons will not be enabled. Changes to the parameters of repeating a voucher is also disabled unless the accounting period is re-opened. For receivables and payables, the system checks that no payments have been made to any future occurrences of the recurring voucher before any changes or deletion is allowed.
Printing And Exporting
Most of the lists of transactions can be printed and exported. Select Print Listing from the File Menu to print. Select Export Listing to export the data to a text file.
The export facility allows listings to be exported in either Comma Separated Values (CVS), or Tab Delimited format. The user has the option to export or leave out the column headers and totals, if any.
Closing Of Accounting Periods
At the end of each accounting month, the accounts need to be closed to freeze changes to the transactions for that accounting month.
During the year-end closing at the end of the accounting year, the net profit or net loss are brought forward as Retained Earnings for the next accounting year.
Closed months can be re-opened to allow for changes. At the same time, transactions for the future accounting months can be entered even before the current month is closed.
The closing and re-opening of accounts is found in the Preference Pane for Periods.
Setting Up Multiple Companies
Multiple companies can be set up in separate databases. You can choose from the list of saved connections in Luca Preferences, and use the connection to access the company's data.
To create a database for a second company, you can either:
1. Create a new demo database, OR
2. Copy from an existing database.
Once created, save the connection by clicking the "Use this Connection" button. You can then remove the unwanted vouchers and set up the company's data, as described in the topic on Setting The Preferences.
Trimming Saved Connections
Databases that are no longer in use or that have been deleted can be removed from the saved connections list, using the "Trim Saved Connections…" button.
Backing up Lucadb
Backups of Lucadb can be performed within the Luca Preferences > Luca's Database panel. From the list of saved connections, choose the database to backup and select "Copy To…" from the Finder menu. Save the file in the desired location and name.
To share the Luca SQLite database file in iCloud with Luca on your other Macs and iPad devices, choose the file from the saved connections list in Luca Preferences and select "Move To…" from the Finder menu. Navigate to the iCloud location and save.
To access other Luca SQLite database files in iCloud, click the Path Finder icon in the Luca's Database pane and click the "Show iCloud Files" button in the panel that follows. Choose the file to use.
The iCloud file connection can be saved in the list of saved connections by clicking the "Use this Connection" button.
To Start Using Luca
This concludes the Quick Tour of Luca. To start using Luca for your own business, remove all vouchers from the demo database and leave the Chart of Accounts intact.
You can start modifying the Chart of Accounts to meet your own needs and then create vouchers of your own. You can check the Trial Balance that the transactions always balance, and you can get an immediate view of the Profit and Loss situation and the Balance Sheet.