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Frequently Asked Questions

You've got questions? We've got answers.

Find them here in this library of our most commonly asked questions.

Pricing

How is Aspire priced?

Pricing varies based on company size, complexity, and what solution best fits your business. A single license fee is billed monthly and gives access to all contracted functionality. There is no limit to the number of users.

What is the likelihood of a price increase?

It is impossible to predict how costs and prices will change over time, but your price is protected through the term of the contract. Historically, Aspire has not raised prices and we have no reason to believe that will change in the future.

Do you have a Service-Level Agreement (SLA) guarantee?

Yes, Aspire has a service-level agreement and it is part of your contract. This guarantees a level of system uptime and data security. For more information, please refer to the SLA in your contract.

What is included in Aspire's monthly fee?

Every Aspire customer receives unlimited user licenses, complete implementation and training program, post-implementation support, problem-solving services, and delivery of all future enhancements, upgrades, and new versions.

There are additional services available and priced separately from your contract including electronic payment services, payroll services, and GPS fleet management. These are quoted in addition to the software.

Equipment

How does Aspire handle shop work orders for equipment?

Aspire creates a service ticket for all repeat and preventive maintenance on any piece of equipment that you log into the system. The shop mechanics can log hours and part costs to that service ticket which will create a history of all services performed on a piece of equipment.

Is there a way to set up and track equipment maintenance needs?

Aspire will track any piece of equipment and its history. You can also easily assign a piece of equipment to a specific crew or site. In the case of snow removal, the crew can create a service ticket for repairs from the mobile app.

If you elect to use Fleetsharp's GPS fleet tracking system, meter readings (i.e. miles and hours) can also be tracked and documented for each piece of equipment.

Will the system track small equipment, and how?

Aspire can track any piece of equipment, no matter the size. When you purchase equipment, you can log it into the software and assign it to crews or locations which will allow you to monitor loss, theft, and transfer between crews and locations.

What reporting is available at the equipment level?

Aspire can produce reporting for preventive maintenance, schedules, total repair and maintenance, cost, depreciation, and equipment utilization.

For more in-depth information about equipment, watch this video.

Does equipment integrate with GPS tracking systems?

Aspire has a built-in integration option with FleetSharp's fleet-tracking system. This includes complete integration with crew, time, and attendance reporting. Other tracked data includes driver performance metrics, route history, and equipment utilization.

Does Aspire have a fixed-asset module?

Aspire's equipment module is also a fixed-asset module, allowing you to create depreciation schedules, monitor equipment lifecycle, and manage final asset disposition.

GPS

Who is your GPS Partner?
Is GPS tracking included in the Aspire core subscription pricing?

GPS is an add-on service that is billed and contracted through Aspire.

Who do you partner with for your map interface?
Do you offer a dashcam surveillance system?

Yes, please ask your sales rep for more information.

How does the system work and how quickly will I get updates and alerts?

GPS tracking works off a cell-network system, and you will get updates and alerts as quickly as a text message. Your vehicle/asset's location on the map will update every 60 seconds.

What happens if coverage is lost?

The plug-in will continue to track as if you have coverage and when you return to cell coverage, it will batch update just like when you turn airplane mode off of your phone. We call this 'store and forward.'

Who provides the coverage for the tracking?

AT&T

What if AT&T doesn’t have good coverage in my area?

Although we are operating on AT&T's cell network, our coverage is much more comprehensive than your normal cell phone. Just because you've lost cell service does not mean that your GPS unit has!

What if I have current geofences in my existing tracking software?

We will export these for you. Aspire also automatically creates geofences based on your active properties.

What if an emergency job comes up (i.e. it snowed)? How can I get someone out there as quickly as possible?

You can “dispatch” people through FleetSharp. If a parking lot needs to be plowed as soon as possible, you can type the address into the GPS to locate the vehicle/driver closest to the location. If they have the mobile app, you would be able to dispatch them to that location.

How often does a tracker's location ping?

The FleetSharp portal updates location in real-time and Aspire updates location every 60 seconds.

What kind of reporting does your GPS solution provide?

We provide reporting on everything from idle time, speeding events, harsh braking, tamper alerts, geofence activity, etc. Essentially, you can get a report on any driver's behavior.

Electronic Payments

Is your solution PCI compliant?

CardConnect, our electronic-payment processor, is PCI compliant and stores all sensitive data in their system. We maintain no sensitive data related to electronic payment methods.

Where is the customer’s credit card information stored?

Aspire does not store credit card information within our system (we only store last 4 digits for reference purposes). CardConnect stores the information.

Does Aspire allow us to charge a convenience fee?

Companies can set up a convenience fee within Aspire that carries over to the portal where it is automatically applied to all payments. In the instance that you want to omit the convenience fee for a specific invoice or customer, it can be overridden at the opportunity level.

Does the payment feature cost extra or is it part of Aspire's core subscription?

Aspire does not charge to use this feature. The only cost associated with accepting electronic payments is the processing fee paid to CardConnect.

Can we set up automated payments for customers with service contracts?

Yes and no. We currently do not automatically initiate charges on stored credit cards. However, automatic payments would consist of a curated list of customers to be charged on the same day every month.

How do I know if a card has been declined or a transaction has not gone through?

Aspire will show an error code in the electronic payments log, as well as providing a notification on the home screen.

Where are payment methods stored in Aspire?

Payment methods are stored on the contact level. You can internally add payment methods to a billing contact, or the contact is also able to add payment methods themselves in the customer portal.

When can we expect funding from the credit card processor?

CardConnect provides next-day funding.

How long does the application process take?

You can start processing between 24-48 hours and e-checks/ACH within 5 days.

Can our customers manage (add, update, remove) their own payment methods?

Yes. If you choose to implement the Aspire Customer Portal, your clients will have the ability to update and add their own payment methods as well as paying their own invoices.

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Customer Portal

How customizable is the Aspire Customer Portal?

The customer portal is very customizable and is formatted within your Aspire app. You can set color schemes and logos as well as information that is viewable by the client.

Which of our customers have access to our Aspire Customer Portal?

Access to the customer portal is managed internally. You can invite as many or as few clients as you would like.

Can our customers approve proposals in the Aspire Customer Portal?

Yes. We offer an e-signature option in the portal.

Can our customers submit requests for service in the Aspire Customer Portal?

Yes. There is a tab called "Issues" in the portal where your customer can request service or report issues with services performed.

What information is viewable in the Aspire Customer Portal?

This is up to you. We offer the capability to allow customers to view invoices and proposals as well as issues, but you can customize these permissions when you format the portal.

Can customers pay invoices in the Aspire Customer Portal?

Yes. To use this functionality, you must first set up a merchant account with CardConnect, our partner electronic-payment processor.

Check out the frequently asked questions on electronic payments for more information.

How long can customers access proposals within the Aspire Customer Portal?

Proposals stay in the portal until they are approved by the client or removed by you. The client can also continue to view proposals as work in progress until they are completed.

How long can customers access invoices within our Aspire Customer Portal?

Invoices are accessible until they are paid. Once invoices are paid, the customer is still able to access these in a "paid the last six months" view or "all paid" view.

CRM

Can a sales manager review individual sales members and tasks?

Yes. Aspire's integration with Outlook and Google enables sales managers to view the individual tasks that sales members have lined up.

Is it possible to customize dash reports and dashboards for the selling process?

Yes, Aspire provides reporting at multiple levels that include sales KPIs, account manager KPIs, pipeline lists, and pivot tables, as well as role-specific dashboard reports.

Does the system enable users to track the profitability of each job versus the total customer level?

Aspire allows for job costing and profit tracking at the job level, the customer level, the property level, etc.

What email servers sync with Aspire?

Outlook and Gmail both sync with Aspire.

How does Aspire integrate email tracking with Outlook and Gmail?

The best practice we recommend is sending emails from Aspire. Those emails then go out through the respective servers, leaving a record in both systems. Incoming emails from either Google or Outlook are dropped into an Aspire folder to be recorded and documented with the respective contact and property.

Does Aspire support electronic signatures for proposals and contracts?

Aspire supports electronic signatures through DocuSign and the Aspire Customer Portal.

How many different "tasks" can we set up within a given job? Can different employees be assigned to different tasks from one crew leader?

Aspire will support any level of task granularity. That information is provided to the crews for unique assignment to crew or crew leaders.

Can photos be taken of the property before and after we leave the property in order to clock in and clock out?

Yes. Services can be assigned with the requirement at clock out to record information either photos or forms.

Does the Mobile Time app work in the background? We legally can't track our employees after working hours and since it's GPS enabled, that's a concern.

Tracking of employees commences with the sign-in process that is initiated with a pin number and links directly to the payroll. Only those activities are tracked.

Is reporting on job status updates available for time, materials, equipment used, etc.?

Reporting on crew time, materials, and equipment usage happens in real-time. This feeds job cost and payroll for accurate reporting.

Can crew members clock in and out at different times, for various portions of a job?

Yes. Aspire provides complete flexibility for tracking crews and jobs, simultaneously in sequence.

Can clock time be flagged if an employee exceeded a certain number of total hours in one day?

Aspire provides payroll and clock time reporting that through the use of dashboards can provide alerts in real-time for specific rules set up on the schedule board.

Does the client information come directly from the CRM, without needing to type that information in again?

Aspire is a single integrated database management system. This means customer property contact information is entered one time and is available in all parts of the system.

Are there limits on how many properties we can add to the system?

There are no limits to the number of customers or contact properties that can be added.

How do estimating templates work?

Templates are set up by division. There are no limits to the number of templates by division. Typically, there will be anywhere from 4-15 templates in any division.

Does Aspire support sales planning?

The system provides a unique scorecard and KPI budgeting to set goals and monitor actuals. This is flexible by rep, by branch, and by division.

Where can I find more information about the Customer Portal?

You can access FAQs specific to the Customer Portal here

Estimating

Is Aspire's estimating built for general landscaping services, or would it work for larger construction project estimating?

Aspire's estimating is built for general landscape, enhancement, T&M work orders, large AIA construction projects, and snow & ice management. Aspire uses unique templates created by you, the contractor, to generate contracts and proposals with a high level of consistency. This prevents the need to "recreate the wheel" with each proposal.

What are the statuses of estimates in Aspire and are they flexible?

Aspire provides standard default statuses while also allowing you to customize some. The statuses include: pre-bid, bidding, approval, delivery, signed, production, or lost. This makes it easy to monitor and track proposals as well as opportunity sales pipelines.

For service estimates, does the software keep track of how many services to be performed are remaining? This is important so that we can sell our customers additional mows, etc.

Aspire estimating templates track and manage all services as well as optional services on every maintenance contract. The templates allow the ability to add new service tickets or extra visits inside existing service tickets. That is typically a workflow option the client determines.

Is there reporting for cost of estimates won and lost as well as the total number of estimates won and lost over varying time frames?

Aspire provides full sales and estimate pipeline reporting with filters to isolate estimates by rep, by branch, by customer, by service type, or by desired date range.

Can we create our own calculator/template for rates?

Aspire requires you to create your own templates, services, contract language, and most importantly, pricing rates. This produces both standard and job pricing with gross margin and overhead recovery and net margin reporting.

Templates are completely flexible and will become essential to your standard estimating process.

What things can and can't be customized within the estimates module?

In Aspire, you can customize:

  • your services
  • your service's descriptions
  • pricing and profits
  • invoicing and billing
  • scope and contract language
  • final proposal format and presentation
How does Aspire handle change orders?

Aspire handles change orders in the estimating system by linking every addition, deletion, and substitution to the original job estimate. This makes it easy to track complicated job history and projects that evolve.

What is the max number of production rate calculators?

There is no limit to the number of production rate calculators.

Is there a limit to the number of templates that can be created for estimating?

There is no limit to the number of templates you can create for estimating.

Purchasing

How do we track equipment costs within the system and allocate to jobs accordingly?

Aspire will track and cost equipment as part of the estimate. This means that your equipment must exist in the item catalog with an associated cost to be available for timekeeping within the Mobile Time application.

How specific are the controls related to who can order, pick up, and approve purchase orders?

Aspire provides purchasing management and controls that must be linked to internal organization and workflow processes. Purchasing has several statuses for your operations team to build a workflow around including: uncommitted, committed, received, partial receipt, installed, and approved for payment (which sends a transaction to the accounting system for check writing to your vendors).

How are taxes applied to services in Aspire?

Aspire manages tax jurisdictions and tax types. If taxes are applied to services in those jurisdictions, then Aspire will calculate for reporting and compliance purposes.

Is there somewhere to store items such as uniforms?

Aspire has an item catalog for bidding, costing, and pricing your work. You have the option to make uniforms a catalog item if you would like. Typically, uniforms are not job-costed but are rather managed as an indirect item within your accounting system.

How is inventory filled, tracked, monitored, and then costed to jobs?

Aspire has an inventory management function. Through the purchasing module, inventory can be purchased, costed, and allocated either through the crew mobile application as jobs, as jobs are completed, or by purchasing administrators assigned to jobs.

Does Aspire update pricing when product is received or does pricing need to be manually updated in the catalog?

Aspire updates purchase order pricing when purchase orders are approved for payment to your vendors. The system job costs what you pay to your vendors, not what is in the catalog. Although Aspire has an average pricing function to update catalog costs, we recommend that you review catalog pricing on an annual basis, at a minimum, to improve accuracy.

How are purchase order numbers and vendors tracked in Aspire?

Purchases can be made directly to jobs or to inventory and then allocated to a specific job or work order using the purchase order's unique number. Aspire does not maintain a vendor list. The vendor list is maintained in your accounting system and Aspire simply reads that information to execute purchase orders.

How are we purchasing materials and/or services through subcontractors?

Aspire treats subcontractors like any other vendor. This means the subcontractor must be included in the estimate with proper subcontractor costing for the work. Aspire then treats those costs the same as any other purchase order.

If we are ordering supplies, how do we assign these directly to the general ledger? AP invoice or purchase order?

The standard procedure for non-job-related supplies is to purchase directly through your accounting system.

How do buyers/PMs manage the materials needed for each job?

Aspire's purchasing assistant feature documents all uncommitted materials that are directly related to "won" work. Buyers and PMs simply use the purchasing assistant to plan and purchase based on what's needed for either individual jobs or multiple jobs, type of material, or any future time period.

Can you have materials assigned to some locations and not others? Or none at all?

Aspire provides for multiple inventory locations as well as the transfer among those locations. Aspire inventory balances reflect complete documentation of all in/out transactions of materials.

How are cataloged vs. inventoried items managed?

Catalog items can be inventory items. All inventory items must be in the catalog so they are available for bidding as well as purchasing and costing.

How do we confirm that materials from inventory are used on a job?

Inventory items bid to a job are available to the crew through the work tickets on the schedule board. This means that unallocated inventory items are easily flagged every day through the Mobile Time application review process.

Does Aspire keep records of vendors from whom we have purchased?

Aspire provides a complete history of vendors and past transactions so you can easily view things like prices paid to vendors and how frequently materials are purchased.

How easy is it to look up past materials used on a job?

Aspire provides complete, real-time information on all jobs, including hours, materials, and subcontractors. This is a standard reporting feature in the system.

Can we create a template to charge jobs for materials on a recurring basis? ex. monthly charges for debris, fertilizer, etc.

Aspire provides the functionality to cost materials to jobs, including chemicals, fertilizers, and other like materials on a recurring basis through using the Purchasing Assistant and Crew Mobile Device.

At the end of the job, how are purchase orders reconciled?

Purchase orders are reconciled as part of the daily workflow. While you can reconcile purchase orders at the end of the job, we recommend doing it long before that as part of your standard job management process.

When you say "real-time" job costing, how often does that update—after each clock-out or literally in real-time?

Real-time job costing is driven by two primary transactions:

1. The approval of crew timesheets every day.
2. The receipt of materials for purchase orders.

Aspire will provide a real-time view of crew work in process but the posting occurs when the above transactions occur.

Reporting

Can the dashboard be customized to show data for specific date ranges?

Aspire dashboards are completely customizable. Typical practice is to define a set of 8-10 dashboards per job description, per role, in your company.

For example, account managers will have a different set of dashboards than production supervisors but will also typically share dashboards to create better teamwork, communication, and accountability.

What custom reports can we run if the standard reports do not meet our needs?

Aspire provides two types of built-in reporting:

1. Pivot tables for data mining.
2. A built-in list reporting feature that allows you to customize, share, and save reports with your team for sales, production, or accounting transactions.

Aspire also has many standard reports including financial profit and loss, accounts receivable, sales and commission, taxation, purchasing, renewal, etc.

Does the pivot-table reporting allow for filters and sorting like a standard pivot table?

Yes, it operates with complete flexibility as a normal pivot table does. The pivot tables have unlimited field and filter flexibility allowing you to create, provide, and save different analyses and reports.

Are reports able to be exported into excel?

Yes, all reports can be exported as a PDF or excel file.

Can we lock certain data?

Ex. preventing certain users from viewing and exporting information such as customer price, labor rate, and P&L data.

Aspire provides robust security and permission management that is linked to individual jobs and roles in your company. What this means is that you can limit and define what an account manager can see and do, differently than a crew can do in the system. You control that!

Does Aspire have an open API if we wanted to use Tableau or another reporting tool?

Aspire has an open API as well as a data warehouse option where you can employ Tableau or Microsoft PowerBI to produce your own KPI's or other reports. Ask your sales consultant about adding this to your contract.

Invoicing & Accounts Receivable

Is invoicing in Aspire paperless?

Aspire supports both paper and paperless invoicing. In addition, the Aspire Customer Portal can be used by your customers to view and pay invoices.

How does invoicing information flow to QuickBooks?

All invoicing and payment application information, including account aging, happens in Aspire. No invoice or payment information is transferred to QuickBooks as this creates unnecessary duplication of data. Aspire transfers only deposit information to QuickBooks to true-up cash and account receivable balances.

Can I quickly bill a client for all work in a given month without estimating date ranges?

Aspire provides multiple filtering options, allowing you to invoice work in any fashion desired, through its invoicing assistant function.

Can we batch invoice, or do we need to customize each invoice before sending?

Aspire allows for batch invoicing as well as the option to individually customize them.

Do automatically created payments and invoices sync to QuickBooks?

Aspire maintains all customer and account information. You will not manage any of that in QuickBooks, therefore there is no syncing of data between the two systems.

Can we allow our account managers to only access the properties that are assigned to them?

Yes, Aspire is built on a system of roles, including account manager, that allows you to customize access to the accounts and information you want to share with that user.

How many different "departments" can we set up to track profits?

There is no limit to the number of departments (Aspire calls these divisions) you can set up. Divisions are profit centers where revenue earned and revenue invoiced, along with all job costs, are managed to produce gross-margin reporting.

Can there be different invoicing templates for different seasons or services?

Aspire provides the ability to produce custom customer-facing invoice formats. These custom invoice templates can be seasonal or service-related. There is no limit to the number of report settings that you can create.

Accounting / Payroll

How are pricing and margins managed in Aspire?

Pricing and margins are managed using the multiple overhead recovery system. Aspire uses markup to recover overhead and margins to generate the final price while providing flexibility at the branch, division, service, and customer levels. This approach provides complete granularity and reporting to assess profitability.

Is there a chart of accounts within Aspire?

In Aspire, there is a chart of accounts. Aspire manages and tracks earned revenue, invoiced revenue, and work in progress—all in real-time. This information integrates directly with your accounting system.

Is there a built-in accounting package?

Aspire integrates with multiple accounting systems where your general ledger is managed. Use Aspire as your cost accounting system and easily map revenue, cost of goods, and gross profit directly to your general ledger.

What accounting integrations are offered?

Aspire has native integrations with QuickBooks and Acumatica, but there is potential to build a bridge to connect to other solutions via a third-party integration partner.

Do you provide built-in job costing?

Aspire is your job costing system for maintenance, enhancement, construction, snow/ice removal, and T&M work. The software manages all your job costs in real-time.

Does Aspire manage inventory?

Aspire has an inventory module linked to the purchasing module. You can set up costs for your inventory items to see your estimated vs. actuals for job costing. In addition, Aspire maintains inventory transaction history as well as an average cost function for inventory valuation.

How do you handle different pricing for different customers?

Aspire uses templates to establish contract pricing. There is no limit to the number of templates and, therefore, the kind and type of pricing is based on branch, customer, etc.

Can you have different general ledgers assigned to different locations?

Aspire supports separate branch accounting as well as separate company accounting files.

What information flows to the accounting system and how?

There are 4 primary connections between Aspire and the accounting system:

1. Deposits based on customer payments
2. Payroll based on Aspire payroll reporting
3. Approved purchase order payments
4. Revenue, cost of good, and gross margin information at the branch and division levels

Is budgeting handled in Aspire or our accounting system?

Aspire has a rolling budget management tool. Aspire clients typically build their budgets in their accounting system or in spreadsheets and import those into the rolling budget. From there, the budget information goes into Aspire's overhead recovery markups and profit margins.

Are expenses handled in Aspire or our accounting system?

All job-related expenses are managed in Aspire. All other expenses below the gross-profit line are managed in your accounting system. This eliminates any duplication of data and unnecessary migration of information between the systems.

Company

Does Aspire specialize in the landscape industry?

Yes, Aspire was built by landscapers for landscapers. We solely focus on companies in the landscape maintenance, landscape construction, and snow/ice removal industries. What does this mean for you? We understand how profitable landscaping businesses should operate and our software is customized to meet your needs.

How long has Aspire been a company?

Aspire Software was founded in 2014 by Kevin Kehoe and Mark Tipton. Prior to co-founding Aspire, Kevin was an industry consultant for 25 years and Mark produced and managed a software called Boss LM.

Bonus! Aspire is proud to have team members throughout the company with green industry experience.

How many users does Aspire have?
Aspire has over 41,000 users in nearly 1,000 locations and is used to manage over $3 billion in industry revenue.
What size companies use Aspire?
We have clients of all sizes across the US and Canada, ranging from $1,000,000 to $250,000,000 in revenue. The average size company that uses Aspire has around $15,000,000 in annual revenue.
How many employees work at Aspire?

Aspire currently has over 70 employees and counting! They are organized in 3 areas:

  • Marketing, business development, and sales
  • Implementation, training, and support services
  • Product development, maintenance, and quality control
Where are you located?

Our home office is based in Chesterfield, Missouri, but we have team members working remotely across the US.

What are the company’s growth plans?

Aspire plans to continue investing in building software and providing support and training services to better serve the landscape industry.

Is the company financially sound?

Yes, Aspire is very financially sound. In 2019, Mainsail Partners invested significant capital into Aspire in order to fund the company's growth plans.