Wave is a cloud-based accounting suite that allows users to manage their income and expenses. Its features include bill and invoice reminders, dashboards, invoicing, recurring billing, automatic exchange rate calculations, and receipt scanning. Its core features are free to use, and it is best for freelancers, solo entrepreneurs, and small businesses.
Wave Pros and Cons
User-friendly and easy to set up
Difficult to categorize expenses
Easy to customize invoices
Free to use
Who Wave Is Best For
- Freelancers, solopreneurs & small businesses: Wave’s free accounting, invoicing, and receipt products, as well as its affordable payment and payroll services, are designed for those who handle simple financial transactions.
- Entrepreneurs that are on the go: Wave allows users to send invoices and scan receipts with the use of their iOS or Android mobile phones.
The Wave pricing guide shows that its core features are free to use. Other fees include 2.9% + 30 cents per credit card transaction, 1% per automated clearing house (ACH) bank transaction, $15/dispute, and $5/returned item. Wave offers coaching services that start at $20/month. Its low cost is one reason users like Wave vs QuickBooks.
Accounting, Invoicing, Mobile Invoicing & Receipts
Credit Card Payments
2.9% plus 30 cents per transaction
ACH Bank Payments*
1% per transaction
Starts at $20 per month
Starts at $129 per month, billed annually
Looking for a company that scales as you grow? Check out QuickBooks.
*ACH bank payments have a minimum fee of $1.
Accounting, Invoicing, Mobile Invoicing, Receipts
Users are allowed to utilize its accounting, invoicing, mobile invoicing, and receipt scanning products for free. This includes unlimited numbers of invoices, estimates, bank and credit card connections, and more.
Though its accounting software is free, users are billed payment fees that cost 2.9% plus 30 cents per credit transaction and 1% per ACH bank transactions. Users can get paid out in two business days for credit card payments while those paid via bank are paid out in two to seven business days.
Wave’s payroll pricing guide shows two options: Tax Service States ($35 per month) and Self-Service States ($20 per month). Additional fees include $4 per active employee and another $4 per independent contractor paid.
Wave transfers tax payments automatically and files paperwork for Tax Service States users, such as those in states like Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, New York, North Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin. However, users need to pay and file paperwork themselves if they are in the other 36 self-service states.
Wave offers three coaching products: Bookkeeping (starts at $129 per month when billed annually), Tax Service (starts at $129 per month when billed annually), and Accounting Coaching ($279). Users may contact the provider to request a customized quote and ask about its month-to-month plans for bookkeeping and tax services.
Other fees include dispute ($15) and return fee ($5 per item). One-time dispute fees are charged when the account holder disputes a payment transaction. Users are billed with return fees if their ACH bank payments are returned for various reasons, including having a closed account.
Businesses that want the most widely used small business accounting software that scales as they grow
Solopreneurs and freelancers who need to streamline customer invoicing and payment collection
Businesses in the nonprofit, manufacturing & distribution, professional services, contracting, and retail industries
Businesses that use other Zoho products like Zoho CRM
Wave offers a comprehensive set of accounting and invoicing features for small businesses that allow users to accept online payments, manage their income and expenses, and more. Here are Wave’s most essential features.
Wave allows users to connect an unlimited number of bank accounts, sync income and expenses, balance books, customize sales taxes, and more. It also provides exportable accounting reports that include information on profit and loss and cash flow.
Wave provides customizable invoice templates that users can quickly edit and send to their customers using a desktop browser or mobile phone. Users may also set recurring billing for their repeat customers. All invoices and payment information are synced automatically with Wave’s accounting software.
Wave’s payroll features include payments to employees and contractors, W2 and 1099 form generation, and automatic filings and payroll journal entries. However, those under self-service states need to file and pay themselves. Wave also helps small businesses simplify annual audits with workers’ compensation.
Wave provides a mobile app that enables users to scan receipts anytime and anywhere through a smartphone’s camera. All scanned receipts through the app—either online or offline—are synced with a user’s Wave account. Receipts stored in the inbox may also be emailed to Wave for the information to be automatically saved into a user’s account.
Which Accounting Software Provider Is Right for You?
Most Helpful Wave Reviews
Users who gave positive Wave reviews said that it is user-friendly, allowing them to manage their financial transactions easily and quickly. Others like that they can send invoices anytime and anywhere through its mobile application. Meanwhile, there are few negative Wave reviews online, though some mentioned that it lacks customization capabilities, especially for its reporting features. Others said that they wish it was scalable.
Intuitive and has a responsive customer support team
“This is an excellent product—very user-friendly and easy to use. Customer service is excellent as well. I noticed a bug in the system, and customer service was great helping me work through it and fix it in a timely manner.”
— Elizabeth Hankins
Has very basic invoicing features and not enough customization capabilities
“The invoicing feature is also very basic with not enough customization overall. There also aren’t enough integrations yet. Wave isn’t bad by any stretch of the imagination, but it definitely has only the features you would expect of a free platform.”
— Marly DiFruscio
Wave Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Are users’ data on Wave secure?
Yes, as Wave is a Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS) Level 1 Service Provider. Its servers are protected both electronically and physically, and all connections are secured with a 256-bit secure sockets layer (SSL) encryption.
What credit cards are supported by Wave for online payments?
Wave accepts online credit card payments of its users’ customers through Discover, Visa, American Express, and Mastercard.
What file types are available for Wave’s invoice templates?
Wave’s invoice templates are available in the following file types: Microsoft Word and Excel, Google Docs and Sheets, and PDF.
Our Top Accounting Software Picks
If you aren’t sure if Wave is right for you, this article on the 9 Best Accounting Software for Small Businesses 2020 is a review of our top choices. Our team looked at a variety of solutions and narrowed down our recommendations based on price, features, and customer support.
Disclaimer: The following information was provided by Wave and does not necessarily reflect the views of FitSmallBusiness.com.
What is Wave?
Wave offers 100% free, real double-entry accounting for small businesses. As a cloud-based software, Wave allows you to access your data from anywhere, add unlimited collaborators and work on all of your businesses from a single login. Wave eliminates data-entry and puts the financial reports you need at your fingers tips, allowing you to spend more time doing what you love. Your accounting is also seamlessly integrated with invoicing, receipt scanning, payment processing and payroll.
Wave News & Activity
Keep up to date with Wave on our Blog
Wave Customer Service
Wave Unique Features
Wave began with a vision which was rooted in the belief of providing free accounting software for small businesses. In 2010, this vision came to fruition, and since then Wave has expanded into a fully integrated solution for small businesses, offering accounting, invoicing, payroll, payments services and more!