Wave Accounting Review: Features, Pricing, & Alternatives

Our Verdict

Streamline bookkeeping with Wave Accounting. Discover its features, performance, and pricing in my comprehensive review. Make informed decisions for your business.

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Wave Accounting Wave Accounting
Software Type: Accounting, invoicing, and payroll
Best For: Contractors, Freelancers, and small service-based businesses requiring free and simple accounting and invoicing.
Pricing: Free - $149/mo
  • Free forever plan
  • User-friendly interface
  • Free for accounting and invoicing
  • Unlimited users and transactions
  • No inventory or time tracking
  • No third-party integrations or add-ons

Are you a freelancer struggling to streamline your bookkeeping tasks, from managing invoices to handling payroll?

The time-consuming process of sifting through piles of paperwork and manually organizing your finances can be exhausting.

With technological advancements, you can now automate and simplify your bookkeeping workflow.

Enter Wave Accounting. This user-friendly SaaS software is designed for freelancers like you.

Wave Accounting combines invoicing, expense tracking, and payroll management into one seamless solution.

But is Wave Accounting the right choice for your freelance business?

How does it compare to other bookkeeping software options regarding performance, pricing, and features?

In this review, we’ll address all these questions and more, providing you with an in-depth analysis of Wave Accounting.

Get ready to make an informed decision and take control of your freelance bookkeeping journey.

SMB Guide’s Verdict for Wave Accounting

We would give Wave Accounting Software a 8.8 out of 10. The software is the perfect accounting solution for freelancers and small service-based businesses.

In this review of Wave Accounting, I’ve followed SMB Guide’s detailed criteria for evaluating the bookkeeping software.

FactorRating (out of 10)
Pricing & Plans8
General Ledger and Chart of Accounts9
Bank Integration and Reconciliation9
Financial Reporting9
AP and AR Management9
Payroll and Tax Management9
User Interface and User Experience9
Integrations, Compatibility, & Supported Platforms10
Customer Support9
SMB Guide Rating8.8

ts essential features include:

  • Invoicing
  • Reporting
  • Expense tracking
  • Bank reconciliation
  • Optional add-ons for payments and Payroll

You can also access its services using the smartphone app. Its user-friendly interface and cash flow tool make it stand out for a free tool.

However, for a fast-growing business, this software falls short. Its limitations include limited customer support.

Also, it doesn’t have audit trails or card reader compatibility.

Pricing & Plans

One of the features that stands out the most is its simple and transparent pricing structure. As stated earlier, Wave Accounting Software comes with a free plan for invoicing and accounting.

It also has two paid services that help with online payment processing and payroll services. Here’s a breakdown of the different plans and their pricing:

Wave accounting pricing

Free Plan

The free plan offers accounting and invoicing solutions like tracking income and expenses.


  • $0 per month


  • Unlimited income and expense tracking
  • Unlimited invoicing and estimates
  • Unlimited receipt scanning
  • Unlimited users and collaborators
  • Multicurrency support
  • Financial reports and analysis
  • Wave Money integration
  • H&R Block integration

Who it’s for: Contractors, Freelancers, and small service-based businesses.

Wave Payments

This pay-per-use service helps you accept online payments from your clients via credit cards or bank transfers.


  • Pay-per-use (2.9% + $0.60 per credit card transaction; 1% per bank payment)


  • Accept online payments from clients using bank transfers or credit cards
  • Instant payouts to your bank account or Wave Money account
  • Automatic reconciliation of payments and invoices
  • Has PCI Level-1 certified security

Who it’s for: Businesses that want to offer their customers a convenient and secure way to pay online.

Wave Payroll

It helps you pay your contractors or employees and handle payroll taxes and benefits.


  • $20-$40 per month base fee. There’s also an additional $6 per contractor or employee. However, it depends on your state.


  • You can pay your employees via direct deposit or check
  • It lets you handle payroll taxes, benefits, and deductions
  • You can generate pay stubs and W-2 forms
  • You can file payroll tax forms and payments automatically or by yourself. However, there are specific states that allow for automatic filing.
  • You can track employee sick leave and time off

Who it’s for: Businesses that need a reliable and compliant payroll service for their contractors or employees.

Wave Accounting

Create beautiful invoices, accept online payments, and make accounting easy—all in one place—with Wave’s suite of money tools.

Sign up for free
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

General Ledger and Chart of Accounts

As a freelancer, manage your business accounts effortlessly with Wave Accounting’s chart of accounts page.

View, edit, and archive accounts for streamlined organization, helping you save time on bookkeeping tasks.

Wave accounting general ledger

Wave Accounting Software has five accounts.

These include:

  • Assets
  • Liabilities
  • Income
  • Expenses
  • Equity

Customize predefined categories and subcategories in Wave Accounting to fit your freelancer needs. Enjoy accurate and enjoyable income and expense tracking by adding new categories and modifying IDs, names, and descriptions.

Under the liabilities tab, you have the sales taxes accounts. When you add transactions to your invoice, the accounts are automatically created. So you won’t have to worry about manual setups and calculations.

Add account IDs to streamline your accounting process. These optional codes enable quick information referencing for your accountant, making work easier.

Customize the format that suits you best, ensuring a consistent and user-friendly chart of accounts, especially when collaborating with an external accountant.

Access the general ledger function under the reports tab in Wave Accounting. It provides a comprehensive view of monthly transactions and balances across various accounts.

Filter the report by date range, account type, or name to gain valuable insights. Export the report as a CSV file for a detailed overview of your finances, empowering you with accurate and organized financial data.

Bank Integration and Reconciliation

Streamline your transactions with Wave Accounting’s bank integration function.

Wave accounting bank integration

Connect your bank accounts to easily import transactions or upload them manually using bank statements.

Ensure accurate accounting with the reconciliation function, comparing Wave transactions to bank statements to identify errors, discrepancies, and missing entries.

You can also make adjustments, resolve duplicates, and manage uncleared checks for precise bookkeeping.

Stay in control of your financial records as a freelancer.

Financial Reporting

The Wave Accounting software has a financial reporting function.

Wave accounting financial reporting

You can use it for viewing your business standard financial statements like:

  • Balance Sheet
  • Profit and Loss Account
  • Cash Flow Statement

You also use it to generate sales tax reports, aged receivables, and account transactions reports.

When it comes to Wave Software, customization takes center stage. It lets you customize the reports to your liking.

How do you want to record your income or expenses? Choose between accrual or cash-basis reporting.

You can also compare your data across different periods or categories using the comparative reporting feature.

This feature is also instrumental in identifying trends and patterns. You can also calculate financial ratios like liquidity using the data you gather from your reports.

Businesses will love the budgeting and forecasting tool. It helps you plan the future of your business. You can create a budget based on your income and expense categories.

You then track the progress of your business against the set goals. The budgeting and forecasting tool also helps you forecast using your historical data.

This allows you to project your future profitability and cash flow.

AP and AR Management

Effortlessly manage your transactions and monitor cash flow with Wave Accounting’s AP and AR Management.

Create and send professional invoices, track and pay bills, all in one convenient platform.

Wave chart of accounts

Vendor management is another powerful feature that streamlines your accounts payable processes. With this function, you can easily perform tasks such as:

  • Add and edit vendor contacts
  • Create and send purchase orders
  • Record and pay bills

We know how important it is to maintain a good relationship with your suppliers. This software can help you with that, as it can track due dates, manage approvals and create payment reminders.

Now you can avoid late fees and optimize your working capital. Wave Account software has a customer management function that helps you customize your invoices.

You can also set up recurring billing and automate late payment notifications. It helps you enhance your overall customer experience.

Payroll and Tax Management

Do you have trouble handling tax-related or payroll processes? Wave Accounting’s payroll and tax management function gives you a seamless process.

You can use it to manage your employee records, calculate wages, and withhold taxes. You can also use this function to file tax forms.

Wave payroll services

The payroll processing function helps you pay your employees in minutes. Furthermore, this feature allows you to edit and add your employee details.

You can also set up direct deposit and generate 1099 and W2 forms. The payroll tax function helps you with compliance.

Wave pays and files your state and federal payroll taxes automatically. However, the automatic feature only works in certain states.

You can also view your tax payments and liabilities on the payroll summary and tax liability reports. Use the tax management function to set up sales for your invoices and transactions.

You can set up reminders for crucial tax deadlines and generate tax forms, 1099s, and W-2s for your employees.

User Interface and User Experience

Enjoy a seamless user experience with Wave Accounting software. Its clean and intuitive design allows for easy navigation, ensuring a smooth and user-friendly interface.

Wave accounting dashboard

Simplify your financial management with a software that prioritizes user experience, making your tasks more efficient and enjoyable.

The dashboard gives you an overview of your business’s finances. You’ll be able to see your income, expenses, and cash flow.

You can also access other features like:

  • Invoicing
  • Receipts
  • Accounting
  • Payroll
  • Reports
  • Payments

The software also comes with a sidebar menu. You can easily switch between different sections like:

  • Sales
  • Purchases
  • Banking
  • Accounting
  • Payroll
  • Reports
  • Settings

You can also access your profile, notifications, help center, and Wave Money account. Make Wave Accounting your own with personalized transaction categories.

Create custom categories that align with your unique business needs. Enhance your invoicing and receipt management by adding notes and attachments for easy reference.

Stay organized and professional with a range of templates and color options for your invoices. Wave Accounting offers the flexibility and customization tools you need to keep your financial documents and records organized to perfection.

You would expect such a tool to have a complex dashboard. However, I’ll admit my first experience with Wave Accounting software was quite easy.

It has an easy onboarding process that guides you through:

  • Setting up your account
  • Connecting your bank accounts
  • Creating your invoice
  • Running your first payroll

Integrations, Compatibility & Supported Platforms

Supercharge your freelancing productivity with Wave Accounting software’s seamless integrations with leading productivity tools.

It uses platforms like Zapier and other partner integrations.

These tools include:

  • Google Sheets
  • Slack
  • Asana
  • Trello
  • Gmail
  • Mailchimp

Developers can also enjoy custom integrations with other tools thanks to Wave Accounting Software’s APIs. You can access the software using your favorite browser and operating system.

You won’t have to carry your laptop for your travels or short trips. That’s because you can still create and send invoices using Wave Accounting software’s mobile application.

Customer Support

Wave Accounting offers 24/7 customer support. The wave chatbot helps you with basic problems, while the Help Center’s friendly staff walks you through complex challenges.

Wave accounting support

The company also supports email and live chat support during business days from 9 AM to 4:45 PM. However, this option is available for the following users:

  • Those who have processed an online payment with Wave within 60 calendar days
  • Payroll subscribers
  • Users who have a business banking account with Wave Money
  • Receipt scan subscribers
  • Users who have bookkeeping or coaching Wave Advisors

There are also self-help resources like guides, documentation, and FAQs. The vibrant community forum is a treasure trove of tips and tricks shared by fellow Wave users, helping you unlock the full potential of the software.

Empower yourself with knowledge and discover new ways to optimize your Wave experience through the diverse range of self-help resources available at your fingertips.

What The Experts Say About Wave

At the time of this review, Wave Accounting has the following ratings:

  • 4.4/5 stars at Capterra (1,500+ reviews)
  • 4.4/5 stars at GetApp (1,500+ reviews)
  • 6.8/10 votes at TrustRadius (160+ votes)

The overall experience with Wave has been very good. With some hiccups on the roadmap, Wave has evolved by leaps and bounds from a pretty basic software to quite a powerhouse, even for the free version. If my business grows and I will feel the need to add more features such as payroll and tax advisor use, I will still remain a Wave believer!

Laura G., Photographer – Verified Capterra review

I’m a sole proprietor of a service-based clinic, and I sell a very small amount of retail product (less than $500 per year). I use Wave to generate customer invoices, track payments, organize expense receipts, calculate taxes payable, and run reports. The app does allow for a “Personal” account which I do not currently use to my advantage but I plan to incorporate that into daily use next year to help keep better track of my overall financial situation.

Corinne P., Owner – Verified Capterra review

Wave Accounting Alternatives

Wave has top competitors and alternatives that you may consider.

Primary Rating:
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$30/mo - $200/mo
$17/mo - $55/mo
$13/mo - $70/mo
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$30/mo - $200/mo
Primary Rating:
$17/mo - $55/mo
Primary Rating:
$13/mo - $70/mo

QuickBooks Online

QuickBooks Online homepage

QuickBooks Online offers more features, support options, and integrations compared to Wave. They include time tracking, card reader capability, project management, and inventory management.

It is more expensive than Wave as its starting cost is $30 per month for the Simple Start plan.

Try QuickBooks Online free for 30 days!


freshbooks homepage

FreshBooks has more third-party integrations than Wave. They include Zapier, Shopify, and Squarespace. FreshBooks is more expensive than Wave as its starting price is $17 monthly for the Lite Plan.

Try FreshBooks free for 30 days!


Xero homepage

Xero has more reports than Wave. They include cash flow statements and budget variance reports. It also offers unlimited users and has a large app marketplace for integrations.

Its starting price is $13 per month for the Early plan.

Try Xero free for 30 days!

More options: See more Wave alternatives

Getting Started with Wave Accounting

Are you looking for an accounting solution with a simple and user-friendly interface? Wave Accounting software offers features like invoicing, reporting, bank reconciliation, and more.

It comes with a mobile app and a no-fee checking account.

Sign up for free and get started with Wave Accounting software today.

Wave FAQs

What are the new features of Wave Accounting?

Some exciting features Wave Accounting introduced in 2023 include:

– Wave Money. This is a no-fee checking account. It integrates with Wave Accounting. It offers instant payouts, automatic bookkeeping, and cash-back rewards.

– The redesigned mobile app lets you scan receipts, view reports, and manage transactions.

– Wave Accounting now partners with H&R Block. This makes filing taxes a breeze for freelancers. You also get expert guidance and discounts.

– A revamped invoice editor. The new invoice editor gives you more customization options. For instance, you can add logos, images, attachments, and notes.

Is Wave Accounting a double entry?

Yes, Wave Accounting is a double-entry accounting system. It follows standard accounting principles.

How does wave accounting make money?

Wave Accounting makes money by offering optional paid services like Wave Payments and Wave Payroll. It also displays ads on its website.

Wave Accounting

Create beautiful invoices, accept online payments, and make accounting easy—all in one place—with Wave’s suite of money tools.

Sign up for free
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
Wave Accounting

Create beautiful invoices, accept online payments, and make accounting easy—all in one place—with Wave’s suite of money tools.

Product Brand: Wave Financial Inc

Editor's Rating:

Jessica Pereira helps SaaS and digital marketing brands build long-lasting customer relationships with meaningful content. Her favorite topics include career development, productivity, and email marketing.