SARAS to lighten KSEB's accounting load

SARASNumber crunching is all set to become easier and faster at the Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) with the organisation readying to roll out an accounting software designed at the board's regional IT unit in Kozhikode. The Structured and Real Time Accounting System (SARAS), developed on the Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) platform, would become operational in three phases in 138 account rendering units (ARUs — major offices where bill payments and purchases are done).

Once SARAS is installed, each ARU would switch over to a digital version of the ‘day books'; the initial entry of any new activity in an ARU is made daily in these bulky books. The issue and processing of imprest would get automated and so would the generation of all vouchers. All work bills and purchase bills would be processed by the software. SARAS also offers the facility to verify, pass, cancel or temporarily suspend any transaction in the ARU.

Perhaps, the greatest and most visible result of the SARAS rollout would be the near-instantaneous tallying of accounts in the KSEB. “In some ARUs, there is a delay of many months in the compilation of accounts,” joint director of the regional IT unit J. Sathyarajan told The Hindu. The rollout of SARAS would begin at 23 electrical circles of the KSEB on May 1 this year. Then it will be the turn of the 65 electrical divisions. In the third phase, which would begin on July 1, the rollout would be done at the offices of chief engineers, head office units, transmission circles, civil circles and generation circles numbering 50.

The software has been piloted in 11 types of ARUs in the State. Though it would initially run on a Local Area Network of an ARU, it can be made to run on a Wide Area Network once all its offices are networked.

Data entry for the rollout would be done by KSEB employees; 80 ‘master trainer' employees will provide training to 2,000 otheremployees in various ARUs. Mr. Sathyarajan said the KSEB would gain Rs.4 crore to Rs.5 crore through the use of a software developed in-house.

Source- Hindu 23-04-2010
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