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Wave Review

Christian Rigg

In a Nutshell

Wave is free, easy-to-use accounting software, built for small businesses and entrepreneurs. The accounting features themselves are quite powerful, and easy to set up. The mobile experience could be better, and more integrations would always be welcome, but the bones are all there. Plus, it’s free to use, which will no doubt convince many customers to overlook the 1 or 2 missing features.

pros

  • Software 100% free to use
  • Designed for entrepreneurs & small businesses
  • Unlimited income and expense tracking

cons

  • Missing some features
  • Limited integrations
  • Inventory tracking could be greatly improved

Wave Accounting Wave Accounting Visit Site

Wave at a Glance

Best for: Entrepreneurs
Price range: $0 - $35/mo (payroll)
Key features: Accounting, invoicing, receipt scanning, online payments, payroll
Apps: App, iOS, Android
Integrations: Google Sheets, PayPal, BlueCamroo, Zapier

Wave Ease of Setup and Use

Getting started with Wave is quite easy, especially since the software is free to use. Just click “Get started for free,” and you’re off. You’ll create a profile from scratch or sign in using Google, and be asked to answer a few questions regarding your business and accounting. 

First-timers will love the simplicity, although if you’re moving from another accounting service, you may find the import options a bit limited. The basics are there, though. You can import from Google Sheets easily enough, so it’s a simple matter of exporting from your current software in the right format. 

The platform is visually appealing, clean, and intuitive. Everything is where you expect, which is a real boon when it comes to accounting—a traditionally complicated undertaking where user friendliness often comes second to functionality. Wave may have privileged the former at the expense of the latter in some places, but overall the app feels smooth, familiar, and generally quite powerful. 

Wave Pricing and Plans

Wave has the best price possible: it’s 100% free to use. For entrepreneurs and small businesses, this gives the platform a serious advantage over competitors. So how does Wave make money? If you live in Canada or the United States, Wave also offers a Payroll service for $20/mo in self-service states and $35/mo in tax-service states, plus $6 per employee or independent contractor. 

Wave also charges per transaction if you accept credit card, bank or PayPal payments through the platform, although the rates are decently competitive. They’re not the lowest we’ve seen (and the AmEx percentage, at 3.4%, is pushing the upper limit) but they’re hardly exorbitant.

If you needn’t process online transactions, though, and do your own payroll, you won’t pay a dime. 

Wave Pricing and Plans

Wave Features

Your Wave app is divided into 4 main sections: Sales, Purchases, Accounting, and Reports.

General Ledger and Expense Tracking

Accounting

Accounting includes 3 sections: Transactions, Reconciliation, and Chart of Accounts. In the Transactions section, you can connect a bank account (US and Canada only), import a bank or credit card statement, or, as we’ve mentioned previously, a CSV or Google Sheet of transactions. 

The Reconciliation tab is a useful tool for tracking down errors between your Wave account and real-world expenses and cash flow.

The real meat of the Accounting tab is the Chart of Accounts, which includes an overview of your assets, liabilities (debts) and credit cards, income, expenses, and equity. You can create as many accounts as needed under each category.

Overall, the Chart of Accounts tab, once set-up, gives you an excellent overview of what’s going on in your business. It does a good job of simplifying a complicated task, which entrepreneurs and small business managers can only appreciate. 

Reports

The reports tab gives you an overview of all parts of your business on Wave, split up into useful sections.

You can see Profit & Loss, a Balance Sheet and your Cash Flow, plus Sales Tax, Income by customer and aged (unpaid and overdue) receivables, purchases by vendor and aged payables, and a Dig deeper section with account balances, trial balances (to balance your accounts on a specific date), and account transactions (a list of all transactions and totals by account). 

Inventory Management

It is also through this accounts functionality that Wave proposes to manage inventory, although it’s more of an ad-hoc work-around than a real inventory system. If your personal or small business manages complex or large amounts of stock, Wave may not be the right system for you. That being said, the community forum also has a number of discussions on how this can be accomplished, if you’re willing to put in the time and don’t mind an imperfect solution. 

Billing and Invoicing

Sales

The sales app covers all the basics, including estimates, invoices, and recurring invoices. Creating invoices is straightforward and personalizable: you can add a logo, pick an accent color, and choose from a handful of simple templates.

Add an existing or new client, add columns, choose the currency, and you’re set. You can even add notes and a footer. Of course, you can also convert estimates to invoices, which is a big time-saver. With recurring invoices, you can add card details to get paid based on a chosen schedule.

Purchases

In this tab, you’ll find Bills, Receipts, Vendors and Products & Services. You can create bills easily enough, to keep on top of ongoing and upcoming expenses. Receipts can be added by scanning or sending an email to your account. There are many advantages to going paperless, from the administrative to the environmental, so these are a nice touch. 

As with Sales, you can add and edit vendors, products and services. All of the fields in Estimates, Invoices, Bills and Receipts have an easy-to-use search feature that will find the right customer or vendor. 

Wave Integrations

This is one area where Wave could see some definite improvement. Native integrations are quite limited: an (admittedly quite useful) Google Sheets add-on for importing and exporting data, PayPal, and BlueCamroo, a free CRM.

Additional integrations are provided through Zapier, with links to payment platforms like Shopify, Square and Stripe, appointment schedule through Calendly and Acuity, and a variety of CRM, email marketing, and business management apps, including Slack. 

Wave Mobile Apps

Wave has both an iOS and Android mobile app. They are considerably more limited to the web app, although this can also of course be accessed with any mobile browser. That being said, the web app isn’t particularly well optimized for mobile views, so unless you’re on a tablet, it’s not entirely practical. 

The app (which can be secured with biometric data) includes a tab for viewing and creating invoices, a Customers tab, and Items (to be added to invoices). Under the More tab, you can customize your invoices and payments. That’s about it, so it’s OK for sending an invoice on the fly, but the actual accounting features are restricted to the web app.

Wave Accounting Wave Accounting Visit Site

Wave Customer Support

Support is available through email only which, in our experience, is always slower than online chat or phone support. Many accounting issues, of course, aren’t time-sensitive down to the minute, but during tax season for example, that extra wait time can feel like an eternity. There is, as has become common, a support bot that you can access within the app for basic information. 

On the plus side, there is a good-sized knowledge base with helpful articles. The tone is friendly and reassuring—they’ve definitely nailed the voice for their target audience of accounting newbies. In that regard, they’ve done a good job of putting together plenty of easy-to-read, step-by-step guides for getting basic and advanced accounting tasks done quickly. 

Bottom Line

Wave offers a user-friendly accounting experience, something nobody who’s tackled accounting before can lightly dismiss. The experience is less robust on mobile screens, and we’d love to see more integrations, but the basics are all there. For entrepreneurs and small businesses with simple, straight-forward accounting needs, Wave does the trick—and at a price that’s, by definition, unbeatable. It’s free—give it a try, you may be pleasantly surprised. 

Christian is a freelance psychology and mental health writer with interests in social psychology, psychopathology, and well-being. He holds a degree in Neuropsychology from the University of Toronto and has written for a variety of online publications including PsyPost.org, TrackingHappiness.com, and Top10.com. He can usually be found with his nose in a scientific journal or else gravel biking around the French and Italian rivieras.

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10 months ago

They're friendly and very helpful they are always on time they have good advice

10 months ago

They were very patient and knowledgeable about the issues I was having at the time

a year ago

Invoicing has never been better on using freshbooks it's pretty easy and very fast to make invoices

a year ago

I lost weight on this product very quickly. It didn't take much effort either or dieting

a year ago

Satisfaction and reliability. You see effect of their product in your body without any complication

a year ago

Really good quality of service but to some people can be expensive. It's really fun working with them because I get to work for so many kind people

a year ago

It was alright and overall good. I didn't have a problem using it and I thought the price was okay

a year ago

I love to use the app and how easy it is to sign. Also, it doesn't cost a thing.

a year ago

It's very good it's really helpful in about a month or two I lost like 10 pounds

a year ago

A great program to lose weight fast. Super simple way to lose your weight. And is a great value.

a year ago

I thought it was really easy to use and schedule your appointments. Great staff and they're nice

a year ago

It's the best so far. I love it's service. I Never complain about anything since I started using it's service

a year ago

Mediastinum made me lose so so so so much weight and I look the best I ever have

a year ago

Easy to use pretty self explanatory. It has everything I need to send out invoices to my customers with details of the the load and everything the drivers need to know

a year ago

I have used Freshbooks for just a few months. I have not had any issues of yet. The system is easy to use.

a year ago

Great experience with the interface and through the help I've received over the past months

a year ago

It's reliable and has proven results that can be easily seen over time in my pictures

a year ago

Extremely Happy/ This Service OMG!!! I was super hesitant to try this service but didn't feel like sitting in Urgent Care for hours for my particular issue. The intake process was surprisingly super fast! And the app is very user friendly. Once I completed my medical history and input my insurance information, I spoke with the doctor in less than 5 minutes! And this was around 2:30! Mid-day!!! When it's usually impossible to get in and out of an urgent care facility. the whole process took less than 30 minutes! I promise, I do not write reviews, don't have time, but I had to take a few moments to write this review b/c I was thoroughly impressed! The actual doctor, Dr. Cynthia Horner was AWESOME! She was patient with my explanation for calling in today, I did not feel rushed AT ALL, which sometimes happens in urgent care offices, she was on top of all of my questions and I felt very comfortable with her diagnoses. She even offered some encouragement around my fitness goals! I am so impressed and will definitely tell all of my friends about this experience! Thank you sooo much!

a year ago

It's good for weight loss. The service is good. I like it. Not a lot of money.

a year ago

No issues throughout the entire process. Easy to use service and would recommend.

Wave Accounting