- 30 Jul 2021
Finance and Accounting
- Updated on 30 Jul 2021
Interface to Accounting and Payroll Systems
- Transmission of new vendor names from the accounting system to Aspire is initiated from the Purchase Receipt screen in Aspire.
- Chart of Accounts to support account selection for the transfer of monthly journal entries.
- Purchase receipt transactions that have been approved in Aspire are sent over to the accounting system for payment.
- Monthly export/import of journal entries from Aspire to the accounting system.
- Customer payment transactions recorded in Aspire are sent to the accounting system for recording.
- Transmission of payroll time entries from Aspire is initiated to the payroll system from the Weekly Time Review screen in Aspire.
The Earned Revenue Model
Many companies manage their businesses based on the amount of revenue that the company has invoiced because they have easy access to information about what invoices have been sent to customers. Aspire additionally allows a company to manage based on the amount of revenue they have earned as reflected by work complete and materials consumed. This approach provides a much more accurate picture of gross margin because the cost is tied to the revenue at the time that it is earned. Additionally, the revenue ties much more directly to the estimate allowing visibility into the accuracy of the company’s estimating.
Earned revenue is the revenue that has been earned for each work ticket (can be aggregated up to the job) based on the amount of work complete relative to the anticipated revenue estimated for the work ticket. Work complete is determined based on hours spent and the cost of materials that have been applied to the job relative to the expected total cost. The calculation for earned revenue is:
- Earned Revenue = Percent Complete * Total Estimated Revenue
- Percent Complete = Actual Cost to Date / Expected Total Cost
If during the course of completing the job, the cost goes up or down relative to the original estimate, Aspire allows the user to adjust the Expected Total Cost on which Aspire calculates earned revenue throughout the system. These cost expectation adjustments are entered on the Construction WIP Adjustments Report. Calculations of percent complete and earned revenue in the following locations within Aspire are impacted by these expected cost adjustments:
- The new Construction WIP Adjustments Report
- The Opportunity Search List
- The Work Ticket Search Lists
- The Work Tickets Pivot Report
- The Work Ticket Visits Drill Down Report
- Job Report available for work orders from the Opportunity screen
Sales Tax Setup
Aspire helps landscapers ensure that sales taxes are properly collected from their customers. This is facilitated by setting up tax jurisdictions and the associated tax entities and then associating each property with the appropriate tax jurisdiction based on its location.
Services are set up to specify which types of items; material, labor, subcontractor, equipment, or other should be taxed in each state in which a landscaper does business. Sales tax setup is very simple for companies that are not required to collect sales tax.
The article, Sales Tax Setup, explains how to set up Aspire to properly calculate taxation on services the company provides. This article includes instructions on properly setting up tax jurisdictions, tax entities, and tying tax jurisdictions to properties.
Accounting Period (Calendar Month or 4-4-5)
When you initially implement the Aspire system, there are two options for setting up monthly accounting periods: standard calendar months or 4-4-5 periods. Both options provide twelve accounting periods per year.
It is most common to use standard calendar months for monthly accounting periods. However, to improve weekday alignment across accounting periods, (i.e. all accounting periods start on a certain day of the week), some companies choose to use a 4-4-5 calendar year where accounting periods alternate with the first and second periods being four weeks, the next period being five weeks, and then alternating from there.
Aspire does not provide a user-interface option to specify the accounting period. Rather, this is an option that the system administrator works with the Aspire account manager to establish during deployment. At that time, you define the “seed date” which determines the day on which the initial accounting year begins to begin the 4-4-5 cycle.
The accounting period selected affects the following areas of Aspire
- Date filters for the P&L and End-of-Month reports – For companies who choose the 4-4-5 accounting period, an additional option will be available for the date range called, Custom - Accounting Periods which makes the available selection of start period and end period that the report should span. Periods in the selection list are displayed in the form “Pn-yyyy (mm/dd/yyyy-mm/dd/yyyy).” For example, the period might be “P2-2016 (01/31/2016-02/27/2016).” Also, the time period displayed in the report header will reflect the appropriate accounting period.
- Closing Period Financials – When closing a month’s financials in Aspire from the options menu at the bottom of the End-of-Month report, the label and format of the selection for the period to close is specific to the definition of the accounting period.
- Date fields in pivot reports – Each of the pivot reports includes Accounting Period date fields on which the user can filter or display information. For 4-4-5 systems, these periods represent the periods throughout the year. For standard calendar month systems, these periods represent the months of the year.
- Invoicing Assistant – For standard monthly calendar systems, the invoice date determines the month in which the invoiced revenue is recognized. For 4-4-5 systems, when generating an invoice, Aspire allows the user to recognize the revenue in a period different from that determined by the invoice date. This specifically provided for border-line cases in which invoicing occurs on the first of the month calendar, but the new period that is being invoiced and in which revenue should be recognized does not begin for a couple of days.
- Purchase Approval – When 4-4-5 accounting periods are being used, it is more likely that the invoice from the vendor will be dated in a closed accounting period. During the purchase approval in these cases, Aspire will recognize the expense in the period following that indicated by the vendor’s invoice date and will provide a message notifying the user of that fact.
Month End Close
The article, Ticket Management and Month-end Close describes best practices for managing the Aspire system to support efficient, accurate, and robust monthly financial close. It is a comprehensive article and specific sections of it are referenced in multiple places throughout this user guide.
The article, EOM Accounting Export from Aspire provides information about extracting information from Aspire at the end of the month to update the accounting system.