by July 9, 2003 0 comments



Kalculate (version 2.0) works on various Linux distributions and is easy to install. It comes in five editions, and we reviewed the single-user PRO version on PCQLinux 8.0. It uses PostgreSQL as the back-end database. It also includes Inventory Management capabilities. So you get inventory-related features like Unit Master, Item Master, Inventory Flow setup in the
Masters module and includes MIS reports like Sales Tax/VAT register and Service Tax Register. 

You start by setting up details of a company and move on to creating users, who will have right to add, modify, delete and print the accounting data pertaining to this company. There is no option to only allow ‘View’ rights, though. You can then set up various masters according to your company’s requirements. The Unit Master in particular, is a good feature and is well presented. 

Coming to vouchers. We were able to make simple as well as compound voucher entries but with some effort. The effort went in figuring out that the Cash Receipt/Cash Payment option of voucher entry just allows you simple Cash Debit or Credit.

To make compound cash receipt/paid entries, you need to select the Journal Voucher. To browse existing vouchers, the user has to go to the registers option. From there, you can access the entry and make modifications. Reports are generated in PostScript format and can be converted into PDFs using any simple conversion tool. However, we found the software lacking on a few fronts. First, it’s not easy for data-entry, because of its dependence on the mouse. It’s also slower to select items from drop-boxes.

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Price : Rs 10,000 (Pro Version 2.0); SOHO edition (single company/single year): Rs 500; Standard edition (multiple financial years): Rs 2,000; Multi-user versions: Rs 20,000 to 25,000
Meant for : Enterprises
Pros : Multi-financial year accounting and inventory management
Cons : Heavy dependence on mouse, MIS Report formats not useful
Contact : Indserve Infotech, New Delhi
Tel : 29544681—85
E-mail : sudhir@netshooter.com 

Apart from standard reports, there are some MIS Reports like TDS register, Service Tax Register, Sales Tax/VAT register, depreciation statement, etc. But, these reports do not contain even the bare minimum required fields they should comprise. For instance, the Sales Tax Register should have included details like: Name and full address of Party, Invoice Number and Date, Sale Amount and Tax Amount. But none of these are present in the report format. 
Serial number/identifier/primary key type fields like Invoice Number etc should ideally be auto-generated, so that the data entry operator does not goof up by entering the same number for more than one invoice, for instance. But they are not. The Stock Valuation can’t be done on Average basis, there’s only FIFO and LIFO. This is also a serious limitation. While generating an invoice, there is no check for negative stock. You can easily enter an amount greater than the stock you have with no warnings whatsoever. Your stock-in-hand report eventually shows negative balance. 
Another very simple thing with serious consequences: it does not warn before deleting records while in Add mode. While browsing you do get the warning. It’s just odd that while adding records, if you select the ‘Delete’ tab, you will lose all that you’ve typed in till that moment. Also there’s no error-handler for data-entry in the figures fields. You can enter something like 70*9 and get an effect for Rs 630 in one part of the transaction and on the other side it takes 70! 

The Bottom Line The software is a good attempt to provide a much-needed financial accounting package for Linux, but it falls short on ease of use and value-adds like proper MIS report formats. You may want to wait till a few essential features are improved in this package. 
Shruti Pareek

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