Wave Accounting Review: Truly Free (And Simple) Accounting Software for Small Businesses

wave-accounting-review

Wave Apps offers several products ranging from accounting platforms to invoicing. Some of the other offerings include lending, payments, payroll, and receipts.

When you think about it, just about all of these can be implemented into an ecommerce system. For example, you can send out digital receipts, manage payments and get your payroll under control.

However, this is a Wave Accounting review, a focus on the easy and free accounting software made just for small businesses. The good part is that you can use the software for both online and brick and mortar companies. Or, it allows you to connect both online and offline sales for the ultimate bookkeeping solution. Overall, each of these products

Or, it allows you to connect both online and offline sales for the ultimate bookkeeping solution. Overall, each of these products are wrapped up into one big accounting suite.

Wave Accounting Review: The Standout Features

As a web-hosted accounting system, Wave Accounting has no software to download to your computer. I enjoy this for two reasons: You can access it from anywhere, and it's pretty much idiot proof.

What other interesting features can you expect from Wave Accounting?

Multiple Mobile Apps

Each of the products offered through Wave have their own mobile apps. For example, Receipts, Invoices, and Payroll all have their own iOS apps. Receipt and invoicing apps are both offered as Android apps as well.

A Beautiful Dashboard

It'd be silly to forget about the dashboard since it's one of the more simple, beautiful options for small businesses. Most small business owners aren't accountants themselves, so it makes sense to clear out the clutter and only focus on the essentials. For example, the dashboard includes tabs for Credit Cards, Expenses, Income and Recent Activity. Other items include Net Income, Bank Accounts and much more.

For example, the dashboard includes tabs for Credit Cards, Expenses, Income, and Recent Activity. Other items include Net Income, Bank Accounts and more.

Sleek Invoicing Templates

Templates matter quite a bit when it comes to accounting software. You want to quickly send out those invoices, and you also want to look branded and professional. Three templates come with Wave, and they all look beautiful and distinct. Customizations come in the form of colors and logos, and you can quickly generate recurring invoices for your most loyal customers. Some other features include options for headers, footers, notes and itemized taxes.

Customizations come in the form of colors and logos, and you can quickly generate recurring invoices for your most loyal customers. Some other features include options for headers, footers, notes and itemized taxes.

Billing

Writing up your bills and paying them on time only takes a few minutes with Wave. I don't see people having any problems with this, except for the fact that recurring billing is not included. I hope this comes along in the future, but you generally have to go in and pay your bills manually each month.

Receipts

The entire Receipt program works through a mobile app. You take a picture of a receipt and it automatically goes into Wave.

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Easy Reports

The reports are one of the main reasons Wave can't be used for larger companies. They are easy but limited. Beginners will find it nice, but some people might be frustrated that the only reports you get are the balance sheet, transactions, and profit/loss reports.

What else?

  • Multiple currencies
  • Importing and exporting
  • Sales tax support
  • Tracking
  • Estimates
  • Tracking of expenses

Wave Accounting Pricing

As I mentioned earlier, Wave Accounting doesn't cost anything. However, that got us wondering how the company makes money. After all, we don't want to see annoying ads or user data being sold to other companies.

Well, it turns out you don't have to worry about your information being sold since Wave makes most of its money on payroll fees and credit card processing transaction fees.

Therefore, the pricing goes as follows:

  • Invoicing software – $0
  • Accounting software – $0
  • Receipt scanning – $0
  • Credit card processing – 2.9% + 30¢
  • Monthly payroll fees – $15 (base fee) + $4 per employee

Keep in mind that discounts are available for payroll if you have more than 10 employees.

The best part is that Wave doesn't have any surprises down the road, so you won't have to worry about random fees on your bill or hidden charges. We're rather impressed with the transparency of the Wave pricing, and it's nice to see that they can still make their money through credit card processing, payroll fees, and the occasional advertisements.

Wave Accounting Support

The Wave blog serves as a solid place to start learning about business accounting. It has articles ranging from loan tips to lessons for a fulfilling career. Along with a social media presence and an FAQs page, the Wave support team has a comprehensive support center for browsing through past questions and submitting your own tickets.

Email addresses are given for contacting the company, but you should know that live chat and phone support are not available.

Overall, this is what I would expect from a free accounting software. It provides the right amount of articles through its blog and support center, so you can complete your own research, then turn to the ticketing system if you need special assistance.

Important: Wave is pretty creative when it comes to making money without having to sell user information. Therefore, you can pay $9 per month for chat support and $19 for both chat and phone support.

Who Should Consider Wave Accounting?

The obvious answer to this question would be any small business on a budget. After all, you're not required to sign any contracts, and the pricing truly is zero for most of the products. I would argue that the payroll pricing is a little higher than I had anticipated, and this is most likely to make up for the revenue lost from the free software.

You shouldn't completely forget about Wave Accounting if you have some solid cash flow either. I like Wave for small to mid-sized businesses, regardless of cash flow. You can save some money with the tool, and it has comparable features next to competitors like QuickBooks, FreshBooks and Xero.

Wave only uses accrual accounting, so if you're a small business with the need for cash basis accounting, this is not the tool for you. Other than that, the main reason I can see people skipping Wave is because it's going to run a little slower than a local software. During my testing it seemed a tad glitchy and slow, but that's often expected with cloud software.

Overall, the speed problems weren't a deal breaker for me, so I would recommend this to any small business that would like to save money and not use the software for cash basis accounting.

If you have any questions about this Wave Accounting review, please leave us a comment in the section below.

Joe Warnimont

Joe Warnimont is a freelance writer who creates tools and resources to help other writers get more productive and market their work.

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