To launch Luca for Lion, double-click on the Luca application icon.
If this is the first time you are launching Luca for Lion, you will be required to enter the Serial Number that you have purchased. You will then be able to choose how you would like to set up the Luca database:
- "Create basic accounts in database" lets you create a minimum Chart of Accounts to start using Luca. You may modify the Chart of Accounts as needed.
- "Create demo data in database" lets you create an initial example Chart of Accounts and vouchers. You may modify the Chart of Accounts and vouchers as needed. There is a one-click button to remove the vouchers subsequently, leaving the Chart of Accounts intact.
- "Import into LucaDB from an older LucaDB" lets existing Luca users import data from previous Luca versions.
To import data from the previous Luca database, leave the lucadb file in the newly unzipped Luca for Lion folder (i.e. don't remove it from the folder or replace it with the old lucadb file, because it contains the new, changed data structure). Then import the old db file from the panel, and choose the "old" lucadb file when asked in the File open dialog.
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.
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) :
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) :
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 MySQL 5.0 or PostgreSQL 8.1 database for which you have database creation rights. And you can use it also to upgrade an older Luca database, if you are already a Luca user :
To update an older MySQL database, re-import it back into LucaDB, the built-in SQLite database, using the second button shown above. And then Export it back into MySQL. That should effect the database change. (But remember to back up the older MySQL database first).
Use the new "Export to PostgreSQL" button 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.
The "Import into LucaDB from an older LucaDB" button, shown above, is to allow you to re-use an older SQLite-based Luca database, by reading it into LucaDB. Just click on the button and show Luca where that older SQLite database is stored.
Some MySQL and PostgreSQL Notes
If you are using MySQL or PostgreSQL with Luca, it needs to be a MySQL5 or a PostgreSQL 8.4.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.
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, 5-1160 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 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 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 :
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. At the same time, balances are brought forward to the following month.
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.
To Start Using Luca
This concludes the Quick Tour of Luca. To start using Luca for your own business, either remove all vouchers from the demo database and leave the Chart of Accounts intact, or let the system create a fresh minimum Chart of Accounts with no vouchers.
Either way, 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.