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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 client receives unlimited user licenses, complete implementation and training program, post-implementation support, and problem-solving services as well as 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 in Aspire?

Aspire will track any piece of equipment and its history. You can also easily assign a piece of equipment to a specific tech, team, crew, or site. And in the case of snow removal, the crew can easily 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 techs, teams, crews, or locations, which allows monitoring of loss, theft, and transfer between techs, teams, 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 employee 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 Aspire's GPS partner?
Is GPS tracking included in Aspire's core subscription pricing?

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

Who does Aspire partner with for your map interface?
Does Aspire offer a dashcam surveillance system?

Yes, please ask your Aspire 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 GPS 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 off 'airplane mode' on 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 geo fences 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. For example, in snow removal, 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 can 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?

Fleetsharp GPS provides 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?

Clover Connect, Aspire's 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). Clover Connect 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 Clover Connect.

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

Yes and no. Aspire currently does 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 display 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?

Clover Connect provides next-day funding.

How long does the application process take?

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

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

Yes. If you choose to utilize Aspire's customer portal, your clients will have the ability to update and add their own payment methods as well as paying their own invoices.

We believe Aspire will help your company grow and thrive.

Grow faster, increase profit margins, and improve processes with an end-to-end business management platform, built to power remarkable companies.

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Customer Portal

How customizable is Aspire's customer portal?

The customer portal is very customizable and is formatted within your instance of Aspire. 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 your Aspire customer portal is managed internally by your company. You can choose to invite as many or as few clients as you'd like.

Can our customers approve proposals in our Aspire customer portal?

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

Can our customers submit requests for service in our Aspire customer portal?

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

What information is viewable in our 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 your Aspire customer portal.

Can customers pay invoices in our Aspire customer portal?

Yes. To use this functionality, you must first set up a merchant account with Clover Connect, Aspire's partner electronic-payment processor.

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

How long can customers access proposals within our Aspire customer portal?

Proposals stay in your Aspire customer 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 within 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 allows customers to electronically sign proposals and contracts through 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 team or crew leader?

Aspire will support any level of task granularity. That information is provided to the employees for unique assignment to tech, team, or crew as well as team 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 in Aspire with the requirement of recording information either via photos or forms at clock out.

Does Aspire's mobile 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.

Aspire's mobile tracking of employees commences with the sign-in process, which is initiated with a pin number and linked directly to payroll. Only those activities are tracked.

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

Reporting on time worked, materials, and equipment usage happens in real-time. This data is used for job costing and feeds payroll for accurate reporting.

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

Yes. Aspire provides complete flexibility for tracking techs, teams, or 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 to Aspire.

How do estimating templates work?

Templates are set up by division, and there are no limits to the number of templates you can create by division. Typically, companies will create anywhere from four to 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 within Aspire?

FAQs related specifically to Aspire's customer portal can be found 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 maintenance or cleaning contracts, enhancement or tag-on jobs, T&M work orders, large AIA construction projects or large-scale ancillary services, 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 'reinvent 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, including those that are optional, on every maintenance or cleaning contract. The templates also 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, 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
  • Service 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 in Aspire.

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 in Aspire.

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 Aspire's mobile 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 the platform 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 a job-costed item but rather are managed as an indirect expense within your accounting system.

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

Aspire has an inventory management function. The purchasing functionality in Aspire allows inventory to be purchased, costed, and allocated either by purchasing administrators assigned to the jobs or through the Aspire mobile application as the jobs are worked on or completed.

Does Aspire update pricing when purchased items are 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 ensure 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; that list is maintained in your accounting system and Aspire simply reads that information to execute purchase orders.

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

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

If we are ordering supplies not related to a job, 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 them directly through your accounting system.

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

The 'purchasing assistant' feature in Aspire documents all uncommitted materials or supplies 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 supply, or any future time period.

Can you have materials or supplies 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. Inventory balances in Aspire reflect complete documentation of all in/out transactions of materials or supplies.

How are cataloged vs. inventoried items managed?

Catalog items can be inventory items in Aspire. 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 items 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 during the review process when using Aspire's mobile app.

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 or supplies are purchased.

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

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

Can we create a template to charge jobs for items used on a recurring basis? (ex. monthly charges for debris, fertilizer, ice melt, cleaning supplies, etc.)

Aspire provides the functionality to cost materials or supplies to jobs, including chemicals, fertilizers, ice melt, cleaning supplies, and other similar materials, on a recurring basis either through the purchasing assistant or devices running Aspire's mobile application.

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 well in advance of job completion 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 in Aspire is driven by two primary transactions:

1. Approval of crew timesheets every day
2. Receipt of materials for purchase orders

Aspire provides a real-time view of crew work in process, but posting occurs when the above transactions are completed.

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 features two types of built-in reporting:

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

Aspire also offers 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, Aspire's pivot-table reporting operates with complete flexibility, just like a normal pivot table. The pivot tables have unlimited field and filtering flexibility to allow you to create, provide, and save different analyses and reports.

Are reports able to be exported into excel?

Yes, all Aspire reports can be exported as a PDF or an Excel file.

Can we 'lock' certain data within Aspire? (i.e. to prevent certain users from viewing and exporting information, such as customer price, labor rate, and P&L data)

Yes, you can control that! Aspire provides robust security and permission management that is linked to individual jobs and roles in your company. This means you can define and/or limit what an account manager can see and do in the system versus what a crew member can do in the system.

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 KPIs 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, your customers can view and pay invoices within the Aspire customer portal.

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 providing you with the option to individually customize them.

Do automatic payments and invoices sync to QuickBooks?

Aspire maintains all customer and account information. You will not manage any of that in QuickBooks; therefore, there's 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 managers, that enables you to customize access to the accounts and information you want to share with each specific user.

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

There is no limit to the number of departments (or 'divisions') you can set up in Aspire. 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, and 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?

There's a chart of accounts in Aspire. The system 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, so you can 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 offers 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 or tag-on, construction or ancillary, snow/ice removal, and T&M work. The system manages all your job costs in real-time.

Does Aspire manage inventory?

Aspire has inventory functionality that is linked to the purchasing module. You can set up costs for your inventory items to allow you 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 does Aspire handle different pricing for different customers?

Aspire uses templates to establish contract pricing. There is no limit to the number of templates; 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 individual company accounting files.

What information flows to the accounting system and how?

There are 4 primary connections between Aspire and your 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 within Aspire or in 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 to eliminate any duplication of data and unnecessary migration of information between the two platforms.

Company

What industries does Aspire serve?

Aspire was originally built by landscapers for landscapers. After focusing solely on companies in the landscape maintenance, landscape construction, and snow/ice removal industries, Aspire announced its expansion into the janitorial industry in 2021. The company continues to add individuals with deep landscape and janitorial business knowledge to our team to ensure we fully understand the challenges our customers face, no matter the industry.

What does this mean for you? Aspire understands how profitable landscaping and janitorial businesses should operate and our software is continually evolving to meet your needs.

How long has Aspire been a company?

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

Today, Aspire is proud to employ many former landscape- and janitorial-industry professionals across every area of the company, which means we have a first-hand understanding your business and its challenges.

How many users does Aspire have?
As of May 6, 2022, Aspire is trusted by more than 70,000 users in nearly 1,500 locations to manage over $4.5 billion in client revenue.
How many employees work at Aspire?

Aspire currently employs nearly 200 individuals, and we are actively growing! The company's employees are organized across three functional areas:

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

Aspire's home office is based in Chesterfield, Missouri, but we have numerous team members who work remotely across the US.

Is the company financially sound?

Yes, Aspire is very financially sound. In 2021, Aspire agreed to become part of the ServiceTitan family of solutions through acquisition. With the investment and support of ServiceTitan, Aspire continues to accelerate growth and product development to better serve our customers.