Scheduled for release on July 30, Aspire has launched its latest version, Aspire 5.7, which includes a number of enhancements to Aspire’s estimating and invoicing functionality to improve the user experience and streamline workflows.
Below are details of key improvements included in this release:
- Import Take-Offs to Estimates
Building estimates for large design/build projects is often time consuming and tedious, particularly when using a separate design-specific software. To help simplify estimating of these projects, the company added a new Estimate Import tool that allows users to upload entire estimates from their design software into Aspire. Using the imported data, the tool will create groups, add services and bulk-add items as well as quantities directly to the estimate. If the uploaded items are currently in a user’s catalog, the system will match them by name and add pricing information automatically; otherwise, if a new item is imported, the tool will create a one-time item for which the user can manually add pricing. In this first iteration of the Estimate Import tool, users can download a generic Aspire-format file directly from the upload dialog. Native support for OnCenter is also built in, so users can now build a design in OnCenter, export the take-off information, and upload it directly into Aspire’s estimating workflow.
- Optional Services on Work Orders
With this release, users can now add optional services to work orders, creating a new workflow path for estimating. Optional services are those items the user would like to show on the estimate to the customer but not include in the total cost. These will appear as line items that customers can select and choose to add during their purchasing decision or at a later time.
- 'Select and Sign' from the Customer Portal
To enhance the user experience and eliminate back-and-forth communication, customers can now accept and approve estimates from within the customer portal. In addition to capturing the customer signatures, the portal will also display optional services that were included on the estimate. Customers will simply log in and click “Select and Sign” to view and select the optional services they wish to purchase.
- Advanced Catalog Search
To streamline the estimating process, users now have the option to utilize an advanced search from within the estimating workflow to bulk-add items to services on the estimate.
- Estimated Tax on Estimates
The estimating process now includes estimated sales tax calculations once an estimate is marked complete. The estimated tax is calculated based on the tax jurisdiction of the property referenced in the opportunity and is then displayed on the estimate screen.
- Invoice Tax Jurisdiction Override
To increase the flexibility of the invoicing process, users can now adjust the tax jurisdiction on certain types of invoices. The estimated tax is then displayed once the invoice is created but before the batch is completed.
- Retainage Invoicing
With this release, Aspire enhanced its retainage invoicing process so that the invoiced revenue is recognized initially when the retainage hold back is collected on the invoice. The retainage maturity date is now visible on the invoicing info screen as well as the Invoicing Assistant to alert the user when retainage is billable to the general contractor. Additionally, retainage will not be present in the aging report until the retainage invoice is generated.
In this release, the company made numerous improvements to Aspire’s T&M estimating and invoicing workflows to improve the user experience and reduce confusion.