Luca for Lion - An Accounting System for Mac OS X Lion Users

Luca for Lion runs on Mac OS X 10.7.x.

OS X Lion Upgrade Notes :
Please read the release notes at the end of this page.

What is Luca?

Luca is an accrual-based accounting system that runs on OS X. It has the ability to handle real-time double-entry postings and multiple currencies, yet we try to make it very easy to use, so that it will require minimal accounting knowledge to operate. It is designed for small and medium-sized enterprises.

Luca's Design Objectives

"The task of the accounting profession, in relation to intangible assets and knowledge-based enterprise, is less about counting than it is about giving an account - telling the story of both tangible and intangible assets in meaningful ways, for both managers and markets." - Accounting for Knowledge Management.

The primary aim of an accounting system should be to help its users understand the financial information better. And we believe there's no finer platform for understanding information design than the Mac.

So we're trying to take advantage of all the wonderful user-interface design technology that is available on a Mac to provide Mac users with an inexpensive, easy-to-use accounting system that has most of the standard accounting features (e.g., double-entry, multi-currency, real-time P&L reporting, the ability to drill down and verify the source of any piece of data), and yet is still recognisably Mac-like in concept and navigation.

We take advantage of multiple windows to allow the user to focus on more-manageable pieces of information at a time, while providing the ability to drill down into the details or bring up related information with just one click. And we take advantage of a Cocoa application's ability to keep all its windows synchronised when you make changes in any piece of data.

Luca also exploits the relational nature of the underlying database to allow the user to analyse the data from any angle – for example, by starting at the Profit and Loss Statement and drilling down to the specific transactions that made up an account, or by starting at a specific transaction (say, an invoice) and looking up all the payment transactions, comparing them against the debtor’s credit history.

Luca has been built on very strong foundations. It has an open architecture, which allows users to choose which database they want to use to store the accounting data. Luca works with the SQLite database, by default, but users can choose to use it with MySQL or PostgresSQL.

Also, Luca is written in Objective-C and can be used as an embedded database in mission-critical applications, e.g., in CRM (Customer Relationship Management) or insurance systems.

Therefore, the way we've envisaged it, a user can begin to use Luca in a non-critical, entry-level setting. And we're hoping to make the data entry as streamlined as a Personal Financial Management Tool. Then if Luca proves to be useful, the user can look forward to exploiting the built-in scaleability of Luca's double-entry engine to handle the accounting requirements of even a large scale business.

The schedule for Luca for Lion's development is to add features like Inventory and Time Billing, and a feature for importing invoices to create associated vouchers automatically, etc.

Other Features

Recurring Vouchers

Recurring vouchers can be created for General Vouchers, Cash Receipts or Disbursements, and Receivables or Payables.

Parameters can be set 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.

Printing and Exporting

The listings e.g. Chart of Accounts, Trial Balance, Journals and Statement of Accounts, etc. can be printed, saved as a PDF file or exported so that you may format it in your preferred spreadsheet application.

Currency Formats

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 the Max fraction digits to 0) :

Fast Start

Luca is designed to make it very easy for novice users to establish an accounting system. When first launched, Luca displays an example Chart of Accounts and sample vouchers (e.g., payments, receipts, payables and receivables) for the current month. 

The Luca for Lion Manual

There is a Luca Quick Start Manual that will use the example Chart of Accounts to show you how you could go about using Luca. You can go to work immediately, following the examples in the Manual. It describes one month's worth of accounting data that's already been entered into the system. And it takes you from the initial setup to handling a variety of common scenarios. The Luca for Lion Manual can be found here.

Release Log

4.0 January 31st 2012. Luca 4.0 for Lion released.

4.0.1 February 14th 2012. Luca looks first for a Lucadb database containing the accounting data next to the app. If it can't find one, it looks for a Lucadb in the user's Documents folder. If it still can't find one, it creates a fresh Lucadb in Documents, with an example Chart of Accounts and sample vouchers (payments, receipts, payables and receivables) created for the current month. Luca can export the Lucadb to either MySQL or PostgreSQL. Changes have been made to simplify this. You choose which place to export the database to. Luca allows you to test the connection (the destination database must already been created, but which can be left empty) first. If the connection is OK, you're allowed to proceed with the export. Once the export finishes, the connection is saved in a pop-up menu, so you can switch to it. This is designed to give Luca only one place where the user can switch databases, so that all the set-up tables and the default currencies are all changed cleanly.

4.0.2 February 17th 2012. Added back the ability to export Lucadb to another SQLite database. Luca now has the ability to save and re-use any number of connections, for people who store different companies' data in different Lucadb's.

4.0.3 February 17th 2012. Luca can now handle exporting to PostgreSQL versions 8.4.x, 9.0.x and 9.1.x databases.

The serial number & download link will be displayed in the browser after payment, and will also be sent via email.

Upgrade for $29

Luca Snow users can upgrade to Luca for Lion for just $29:


Luca for Lion. Please provide the email address you used to purchase the product, together with its serial no:

The latest Luca is 4.0.3

Please check out the Release Log

& the Luca for Lion Owner's Manual.

Bernard Teo


- Chart of Accounts
- Unlimited levels
- Easily re-ordered
   thru (Control-)drag and drop

- Double-entry Accounting
- Real-time Postings
- Real-time P&L Reporting
- Can drill down into details
- Makes it easy to audit

- Tracks Sales, Purchases,
   Receivables and Payables
- Allows partial payment of i

- Allows off-setting between invoices
   of same account

- Multi-Currency
- Billing, Settlement, & Base 
   Currencies can be different
- Calculates Forex Gain/Loss

- Statement of Accounts and
   Aging Analysis can be generated 
   at any time and for any period
- Can manage Budget against
   Accounts, e.g., expenses & rental
- Can set up separate cost
   centres and consolidate them for

- Transactions can be entered for 
   new month without waiting for
   previous month to close
- Accounts for previous month can
   be re-opened and balances are
   auto-updated on close

You can use Luca to work through the examples in the following books:

Essentials of Accounting by Robert N. Anthony - the best guide to learning accounting

The Accounting Game
Basic Accounting Fresh from the Lemonade Stand

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