October 23, 2013

Own A Small Business? KDE's Kraft Is Here To Help With Document And Invoice Generation

One of the issues facing small and middle-size businesses is how to create and manage all of the necessary documentation in order to run your business. Additionally, you also want to look good while running your business. By this I mean looking professional. Like a good website, nice looking letters, forms, and invoices are necessary in order for you to convey the right image. A tool to help design and manage all of your forms would be great, as long as it was also easy to use and still powerful. Enter Kraft.

Simply put, Kraft is a free software tool for managing documents in small companies. Highlights include document creation, template management, simple calculations, customer document generation as emailable PDF, and automatic archiving via PDF. Another plus for Kraft is the fact that it utilizes various KDE technologies such as KAdressbook (optionally).

It's worth noting that you will find most of the default terminology to be for the construction industry with such terms as labor, time, and materials. These can be changed however. In testing the software out, I was able to add items named "pieces" with a default price and quantity. It appears that with a slight learning curve Kraft should be able to adapt to most small business needs. A recent bug-fix release was issued that fixed a minor user-reported issue.

It might be worth looking in Kraft if you need to generate invoices on the fly using templates that you set up utilizing a catalog of items that you define. Other defaults such as V.A.T. and tax rates can be set up and adjusted. I will be using Kraft and will provide a follow up report after a few weeks of use.

The first set-up screen that you will see upon
launching Kraft for the first time
Setting the default tax rate in Kraft

Showing the system information within Kraft

A simple invoice generated within a few minutes
of getting Kraft set up

Getting it in Kubuntu:

Kraft 0.51 can be installed by adding the following PPA to your Kubuntu sources for releases Precise through Saucy: 
ppa:rohangarg/kde-extra 
This version is a few bug fix releases behind, but I would think the application should be updated to the newer version soon. Of course the application can be installed from source as well. If you have any experience with Kraft, please let us know. We would love your feedback.

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