Choosing Between Wave Vs Quickbooks Online

wave accounting vs quickbooks

New business owners, companies on a tight budget, smaller businesses that don’t need comprehensive tools. This may influence which products we review and write about , but it in no way affects our recommendations or advice, which are grounded in thousands of hours of research.

wave accounting vs quickbooks

She holds a Bachelor’s degree from UCLA and has served on the Board of the National Association of Women Business Owners. She also regularly writes about travel, food, and books for various lifestyle publications.

Wave Accounting, however, offers every single accounting feature for free. Income and expense tracking is unlimited, and you can even manage multiple businesses in your Wave account. QuickBooks is an accounting software that is designed for small businesses and growing businesses. It provides a robust feature set, attractive invoices, 550+ integrations, and strong accounting features. Furthermore, QuickBooks provides ready-to-use templates for creating charts, spreadsheets, and so on. Both Wave and QuickBooks are set up for professional-grade accounting with double-entry ledgers, connections to your bank and credit card accounts, and the ability to build budgets. They also both offer support for multi-currency accounts, so local businesses with complicated currency situations or online shops can still use the tools.

Go From Proposal To Payment To Tax Season Without Headaches

On the other hand, Wave’s lack of integrations and advanced features like project management can be a dealbreaker, particularly for larger businesses. Features worth noting include customizable invoices, automatic sales receipts, inventory tracking, project management, and hundreds of integrations.

  • Both integrate seamlessly with their corresponding accounting software, and while both have perks to recommend them, we tend to prefer QuickBooks Payroll over Wave Payroll.
  • This add-on allows you to set up customer-specific recurring billing with automatic payments as well.
  • The comparison between Wave vs QuickBooks tells which one is suitable for your business.
  • While free software can have limitations, Wave has become popular for freelancers, solopreneurs, and even small businesses because it makes accounting accurate and simple.
  • I’m an owner as well, and I was once just like you—doing my homework to make sure I make the best choice for my bottom line.

In fact, Wave provides you with the essential bookkeeping and accounting functions you need to manage your finances—from transactions to expenses to invoices. Like Wave, QuickBooks Online allows you to track and manage your income and expenses, import receipt images, accept online payments, and connect your banking information. You can also pay your vendors with a check in QuickBooks Online, which is something you can’t do in Wave.

Wave & Quickbooks Online Feature Comparison

Unless payroll is required, this service can be completely free and provide data access that is like what QuickBooks is able to provide. Just wave accounting vs quickbooks select the credit card and the client that needs to be paid monthly and you can even set the specific date when that client will get paid.

To create a fair comparison, I’ll do the same overview of Wave following the same format as I did above for QuickBooks and end the piece with a side-by-side comparison from a third-party reviewer. Quickbooks Capital is a service offered by Intuit Financing, Inc., a subsidiary of Intuit Inc., that income summary can help get you the capital you need to grow your business. You have probably arrived at this article because you want to know which solution is best for your business. I’m an owner as well, and I was once just like you—doing my homework to make sure I make the best choice for my bottom line.

wave accounting vs quickbooks

When users review products on our site, we ask if they would recommend this product to a friend/colleague. Top 20 Reports identify the top 20 products in a software category based on user reviews and web search interest. Wave’s target market is small business owners (1-9 employees), freelancers and solo entrepreneurs. Wave has users in 200 countries around the world and our ecosystem is 4 million strong.

Their 4 packages provide the most flexibility when it comes to which features you want to pay for and allow you to add features as you need them. The feature set of the higher-end packages is a contender among accounting solutions. It is free to use all of their base features, and they charge a payment processing fee of 2.9% + $0.30 for credit cards and 1% for bank payments. This plan works great for solopreneurs, freelancers, and brand new businesses. But as your business grows, you could wind up paying a lot more in payment processing fees than a subscription plan on Xero or QuickBooks Online. Of any free accounting software solutions on the market, Wave is probably going to be the best option you’ll find. Although Wave is free, it doesn’t lack the functionality small business owners need.

Payments By Wave

Wave is a great choice for service-based businesses with standard accounting needs. This tool isn’t ideal for businesses that sell physical goods, because the inventory management features are lacking. However, the other features like the dashboard, invoicing, and expense tracking are modern, streamlined, and very easy to use. Millions of users choose Wave because it offers accounting features for free and you can add tax or accounting services. An accounting software meant to provide various accounting services to small scale businesses with professional expertise and quality.

Plus, although for the purpose of this discussion we’ve focused on QuickBooks Online, QuickBooks does, in fact, offer multiple versions of their Desktop solution as well. The versions of QuickBooks Desktop, like their online counterparts, also vary in price and capabilities. If you’re looking for the right business accounting software, you’ve probably come across QuickBooks. All plans include customer support, integration with apps you already use, and secure bank connection. Discounts are regularly offered and a free 30-day trial is available.

Because payroll is complicated by tax and regulatory issues, it can be a bear to tackle. That’s why most small business accounting software companies will charge an extra fee to manage payroll. All of the features in this section come at an extra fee on top of general accounting and invoicing. QuickBooks has a full and inclusive feature suite that encompasses invoicing & estimates, downloadable transactions, and accepting credit card payments.

wave accounting vs quickbooks

QuickBooks Online’s reporting section is leaps and bounds ahead of Wave’s, with more than 70 reports included in the basic reporting feature. On top of that, there’s also a section where you or your accountant can create customized reports, just in case there’s something on top of the 70 that you’ll need. As mentioned above, this dashboard is extremely valuable even though you can’t drill down into every section. The dashboard interface is pleasing to the eye and easy to navigate, and CARES Act includes the most important graphs and line items to track the state of your business financials. Professional bookkeepers and accountants we interviewed were very complimentary of QuickBooks Online, emphasizing the platform’s capabilities and power. However, all of the small business owners that we spoke with reported that it’s not as user-friendly as other options. To look at a variety of accounting software that will meet your business’s needs, check out our Product Selection Tool.


This costs an additional $200-$600/month and is based on your volume of monthly expenses. The potentially good news, though, is that Wave has been known to listen to its customers and update the software to include new features. So it may be possible that time tracking will be added to the software further down the road. Wave Accounting, on the other hand, gives freelancers a lot more to work with for absolutely nothing. Wave’s customizable unlimited invoices and easy billing are more user-friendly than QuickBooks’ corresponding features.

Choose QuickBooks Online for the most reliable, feature-rich accounting software on the market. Customers told us that QuickBooks Online is the least user-friendly accounting platform, so the easy-to-use features are worth noting.

Most Comprehensive Features: Quickbooks Online

With Wave, you get access to unlimited invoicing and accounting right away with no credit card required. QuickBooks Online offers integration with hundreds of apps, including Stripe and PayPal, expense-tracking apps like Expensify and Concur, as well as invoicing, time tracking, HR, CRM, and e-commerce apps. There’s also an Apps category on the navigation bar that lets you immediately connect QuickBooks Online to any available apps. Wave’s accounting features are completely free, but if you want to use Wave Payments to get paid online, you’ll have to pay 2.9% plus $0.30 for each transaction. You can also create a custom invoice in QuickBooks Online and provide an online payment link when the invoice is emailed.

Quickbooks Self Employed Vs Wave Accounting

With Wave Payments, you can accept credit cards and bank payments from your customers online, connected directly to your Wave accounting software. This add-on allows you to set up customer-specific recurring billing with automatic payments as well. Invoicing provides in-depth invoicing capabilities—allowing you to customize, track, and send invoices to your customers in multiple ways.

Pricing Model

On the surface, Wave and QuickBooks offer many of the same capabilities—however, at the end of the day, QuickBooks’ offerings and functionality are simply more advanced than Wave’s. This being said, when it comes down to Wave vs. QuickBooks, QuickBooks most greatly stands out in terms of advanced functionality and variety of options. QuickBooks Online comparison, let’s dive deeper into the details of the Wave software. With this Wave accounting vs. QuickBooks guide, we’ll help you answer those questions. We’ll explore everything both Wave and QuickBooks have to offer and highlight their most notable differences—so that you’ll have all of the information you need to decide which is right for you.

If you want your accounting software to integrate with your other small business software and apps, you’re likely out of luck with Wave. However, it does have a Zapier integration, so you can connect with over 1,000 add-ons.

Let’s discuss in detail about the two prominent accounting software by discussing their usages, key features, similarities and differences. QuickBooks has some relatively pricey fees per month, with up to $150 for all of the features, but they support up to 25 users at a time to compensate, along with other features. However, that does mean you won’t gain access to many of QuickBook’s handy tools unless you have money to spare. You’d think that for a free service, Wave would only be able to provide bare-bones solutions, but that’s not the case at all. You can get comprehensive invoicing and accounting services all for free.

Author: David Ringstrom


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