Landscapers must fully comprehend the actual costs of landscaping jobs and services to accurately price landscaping jobs and make more profitable business decisions.
A job costing app built specifically for the landscaping industry enables landscapers to accurately track accumulated costs and revenue in landscaping jobs to stay on budget and remain profitable.
Landscaping contractors who use Aspire’s job costing app gain:
- Automation in cost tracking
- Real-time visibility into data
- Insight to improve future estimates
To help you job cost, or improve your existing job costing process, we’ll share how a landscaping job costing app helps you price jobs more accurately, tips for choosing the job costing app that’s right for your landscaping business, and cover the most frequently asked questions about landscaping job costing apps.
What is job costing software?
Job costing software helps landscaping and lawn care businesses separate and track all the costs and revenue associated with a landscaping job. Key elements of job costing include calculations for labor, materials, and overhead costs. Job costing software increases accuracy by automating the job costing process, so landscaping companies capture necessary data, improve efficiency, and increase profit.
The challenges of job costing
It’s no secret that job costing can be a challenge. If you find yourself juggling the details of multiple projects, hoping for the best, and unsure of your actual profit margin when you complete a job, you’re not alone.
To perform job costing, landscaping companies must first implement thorough recordkeeping and consistent accounting practices. Landscaping business owners, especially small businesses, may find it difficult to devote an adequate amount of staff and time to do this.
Even if a landscape contractor employs bookkeepers or accountants, proper job costing requires recording specific job data, which produces a unique set of challenges. Barriers to job costing can include:
- A disconnect between labor hours and materials on the job site vs. your company’s actual pricing, changing material costs, or purchasing quantities.
- Lack of capability and time for project managers to track detailed job information, as they oversee multiple projects and crews.
- Complex projects, particularly landscape design-build work, which use different pricing rates and tracking for various types of materials, equipment, and labor.
- Unplanned modifications and change orders to a project, which can affect the accuracy of your estimates and produce misleading results when compared to your actual production data.
Often, even if landscapers want to perform job costing, the numerous hurdles make it extremely difficult to accomplish on their own.
8 benefits of landscaping job costing software
Landscape business software removes many of the challenges associated with accurate job costing.
1. Price jobs accurately
When it comes to pricing your landscaping work, you need to know your actual labor and material costs.
Unlike other landscape management software with job costing capabilities, Aspire’s job costing software provides real-time visibility so you can see how estimated labor, material, and other direct expenses measure up to your actual job costs. This gives you greater control in managing costs and budgets for each job.
Equipped with this data, you can adjust your bidding templates, markups, and profit margins to improve accuracy and increase profitability.
2. Create precise estimates more quickly
Landscape software streamlines your workflow, so it takes fewer steps to estimate jobs accurately.
With Aspire landscape estimating software, estimators use templates and kits to combine commonly used services, pricing, and language to quickly estimate a specific type of work. Pre-set profit margins automatically factor into your estimates, so you can see profit projections on every estimate.
Easily track estimates with notifications for follow-up, and approved estimate data automatically produces work orders, enabling you to track actual project costs. Once a job is complete, cost data gives you accurate information for future estimates.
3. Improve cash flow, budgeting, and forecasting
A healthy cash flow, accurate budgeting, and improved forecasting is the key to business success.
Job costing software with expense tracking improves cash flow and reduces financial stress, because you can monitor projects in real time and quickly identify needed adjustments.
Historical job cost data furnishes you with the knowledge you need to improve the accuracy of your pricing and estimating, helping you to grow profits and increase the financial stability of your business.
4. Simplify invoicing with real-time data
Simplify invoicing by using one solution to create, track, and manage invoices. Aspire’s single, cloud-based interface pushes work tickets from estimate to invoice, improving invoicing accuracy and efficiency.
Automating the invoicing process means you save time, eliminate potential manual errors, and get paid faster. In Aspire, color-coding makes it easy to see which invoices are ready to send or remain overdue. You can send one or multiple invoices at once by your customer’s preferred method.
Increase cash flow and improve customer satisfaction with convenient payment processing, allowing customers to view their bills online and make secure credit card payments.
5. Increase efficiency with time tracking
To work efficiently and profitably, landscaping businesses must track and manage labor costs. Field service management tools with real-time labor tracking give an accurate account of hours and costs on each job. It keeps landscapers proactive because they can adjust to work efficiently and stay within budget.
The ability to track time in the field also ensures accurate billing, timesheets, and payroll.
6. Improve accuracy with material tracking
Job costing software helps landscapers track the exact amount of material used for each job, which ensures accurate cost estimates and pricing.
Aspire’s PropertyIntel improves accuracy at the start with precision measuring tools and aerial imagery, enabling estimators to perform takeoffs for maintenance work, design-build projects, or enhancements.
Once a job is complete, material tracking shows exactly how much sod or gravel was used for a particular area, informing future landscaping project estimates.
7. Identify opportunities through reporting and analytics
In landscaping, you can’t grow if you don’t know. Landscaping job costing software lets you pinpoint problems before they hurt your bottom line.
For instance, reporting can help you identify increased expenses, such as a project that required more labor hours than anticipated. Reporting also gives insight into profitable or underperforming jobs, so you can focus on the jobs that generate the most profit.
Aspire job costing software gives you real-time insight into performance, so you can make data-driven decisions and maximize growth.
8. Access data from anywhere with a mobile app
A landscaping mobile app puts information at your fingertips, even when on-site at the job. Aspire’s landscaping app for iOS or Android mobile devices syncs with the desktop version of the software in real time.
Mobile reporting ensures accurate tracking of labor and material costs. With a mobile app, crew leaders can check in and out of work tickets right in the field, reporting accurate labor hours and inventoried materials used on a job.
Tips for choosing a landscaping job costing app
Keep these considerations in mind to choose the right job costing app for your service business:
User-friendliness and ease of use
A landscaping job costing app needs to provide simple and intuitive navigation for its features. It should offer a clear and concise interface and provide accessibility from multiple devices for maximum flexibility.
Cost and pricing options
When it comes to landscape software cost and pricing, consider the number of users and core features. Unlike other software options, Aspire doesn’t add on any per-user charges or block features with a paywall. Consider whether the software provides more value for your money by offering a comprehensive business solution.
Customization and scalability
Since every landscaping business is different, a landscaping job costing app should allow for customization and integrations. In Aspire, you can customize templates and reports to meet your business needs. Integrations, such as with QuickBooks, streamline and simplify your business processes. Aspire’s landscape software helps you scale your business, giving you a comprehensive solution that works as you grow your landscaping business.
Technical support and training
Examine whether software offers technical support and training. AspireCare provides customers with responsive and knowledgeable customer support and training at no additional cost. Aspire also provides ongoing training, webinars, and events so customers gain leading industry knowledge and best business practices for success.
Ready to improve your business? Request a demo to see how Aspire gives you the tools you need to grow.
What should you look for in a landscaping job costing app?
When you’re looking for a landscaping job costing app, you need a solution that works to grow your business.
Aspire business management software streamlines:
- Job scheduling
- Customer relationship management (CRM)
- Crew and equipment management
- Job costing
- Accounting and payroll
Aspire’s user-friendly features improve the efficiency of your operations. Aspire’s end-to-end functionality gives real-time insight into every aspect of your business, so you can drive your business forward.
Is landscape job costing software worth the cost?
Regarding landscaping software, the price—and what options are included in the price—remains key.
Aspire provides multiple solutions for landscaping companies at any stage of growth:
- Crew Control: Built for small businesses and early-growth companies, Crew Control provides what you need to grow your business.
- Corporate: Designed for businesses with annual revenue between $3 million-$15 million, the Corporate plan provides access to all the features.
- Enterprise: Businesses with more than $15 million in annual revenue receive advanced reporting capabilities to continue to scale.
Aspire’s corporate and enterprise plans include an unlimited number of users and full access to features. As you research leading landscape software, consider how the investment will help your business. From 2020-2021, Aspire users reported a 33.3% year-over-year growth rate, compared to 9.6% for non-Aspire clients—a growth rate 3 times higher than the industry rate.
What kind of support is available for landscaping job costing apps?
When choosing a landscaping job costing app, consider the scope of the software provider’s training and support. Many software providers offer limited support or require users to first troubleshoot problems on their own, using online resources.
Unlike its competitors, Aspire offers unlimited access to customer support and training, at no additional cost. Aspire’s responsive and knowledgeable customer support representatives partner with its customers, investing in user success.
Can I integrate job costing software with my existing systems and tools?
Typically, landscapers rely on several different platforms to complete the job costing process.
Aspire’s all-in-one software solution replaces siloed software platforms and associated errors and inefficiencies. Aspire seamlessly integrates business tools to streamline your business, including:
- Accounting integrations, such as QuickBooks and Acumatica
- Takeoff measurements with PropertyIntel
- Payroll management
- Electronic payments
- Credit & collections
- GPS tracking and dash cams
With Aspire’s enterprise-level plan, an open API enables landscape businesses to build tailored solutions based on its needs.
Can multiple users access and use a landscaping job costing app at the same time?
Aspire gives your team what they need to work productively. Aspire’s job costing app works both in the office and the field for an unlimited number of users.
Your crews can check in and out from the field on a mobile device to accurately report labor hours and materials. The mobile app syncs instantaneously with the platform, so your office staff and crews always stay in the loop. Crews can also record notes, photos, and videos from the job site for accurate recordkeeping.
When you give your employees the tools to simplify and streamline their work, you boost performance and success.