quickbooks vs wave

While both software programs allow you to import your bank transactions, issue invoices, and pay bills, they’re far from equal in these key areas. QuickBooks Online is more comprehensive and can handle nearly any situation that might arise in your day-to-day business. The cost—yes, I’ll pay for the payment feature, but the overall cost of using Wave versus QuickBooks will be less annual for the small business owners with zero W2 employees and inventory to manage. Many users commented on the attractive professional templates for invoicing, they praised Wave for the receipt scanner and easy expense tracking, and they liked how the dashboard is easy to navigate.

quickbooks vs wave

Their self-service payroll option is $18 per month + $4 per employee per month. While QuickBooks offers help support documentation, you will need to set up and file your own W2 and payroll taxes. They also have a full-service managed payroll solution for $40 per month + $4 per employee per month. In addition, if you hire a lot of 1099 contractors, their advanced plan comes with 1099 vendor management including contractor payments and filing 1099s for tax time.

Youre Our First Priority Every Time

QuickBooks Online has a time tracking feature provided that you are an Essentials, Plus, or Advanced customer. This feature allows you to create single-time activities or timesheets, and tracked time can be attached to projects. How does QuickBooks Online stack up against Wave, a free online accounting software? With Wave, you get access to unlimited invoicing and accounting right away with no credit card required. Wave has very limited customer service options, which only include a chatbot, in-product help guides, and a searchable knowledge base with how-to articles and troubleshooting tips. QuickBooks Online customer support is much better, with the option to talk to a real agent. Both Wave and QuickBooks have a downloadable mobile application that you can use to perform certain tasks using your mobile device.

quickbooks vs wave

Wave has two payroll options, although these are not included in the free plan. Wave’s payroll starts at $20/month plus $6/month per employee or independent contractor. Since it’s free, give it a spin to see if it’s the right choice for your business. QuickBooks Online is also easy to use — especially when compared to QuickBooks Desktop, which can prove to be challenging for beginners. If you have prior accounting experience, you might not encounter any challenges with setting up and using QBO. One thing to note is that some features are hidden and may be difficult to find. However, QuickBooks’ built-in help option makes it easier to navigate and use the software without the need for endless clicking and searching.

Accounting Features

It offers the most features every business needs, such as overdue items, accounting notes, contact data, and more. With a new Pay Now link, users can connect their invoices to credit cards and bank accounts.

Currently, she’s Business.org’s accounting and payroll staff writer. Her work has been featured on SCORE.org, G2, and Fairygodboss, among others. Instead, while you can use Wave Accounting to store and organize receipts, you’ll need to photograph and upload receipts yourself instead of on Wave’s app. While its cheapest plan still starts at $25 a month, its three pricier plans start at $10 to $20 more. We compared https://wave-accounting.net/ Wave’s and QuickBooks’s accounting features, pricing, plans, customer reviews, and ease of use to help you decide which product works best for you. If Wave and QuickBooks Online seem quite similar up until this point, the number of integrations definitely separates the two. If you want your accounting software to integrate with your other small business software and apps, you’re likely out of luck with Wave.

With Wave, Invoicing and accounting are free and unlimited for everyone. Sign up to receive more well-researched small business articles and topics in your inbox, personalized for you. Tim is a Certified QuickBooks Time Pro, QuickBooks ProAdvisor, and CPA with 25 years of experience.

quickbooks vs wave

For one, they are the only one out of the three that supports accrual accounting. QuickBooks has the most robust software and quickbooks vs wave professional infrastructure around it. Most accountants, bookkeepers, and financial advisors are familiar with QuickBooks.

Similar Apps

Additionally Wave offers less scalability options in terms of adding users. It offers support for a single user while QuickBooks can include up to 25. While Wave focusses on email support, QuickBooks brings emphasis to phone support. Taking the Wave vs QuickBooks comparison further, Wave is not only wallet-friendly but also beginner-friendly – the dashboard and features are very easy to understand and pick up.

Let’s take a look at QuickBooks vs. Wave and see what features and downsides each has to offer. Meanwhile, QuickBooks Online’s cheapest small-business accounting plan starts at $25 a month. The Plus plan costs $80 a month, while the Advanced plan starts at $180 and maxes out at 25 users. You’ll get plenty of accounting features and multiple users with each of these plans, but they come at a high cost. Wave will definitely be able to handle your invoices and expenses.

  • Creating invoices, contacts and other features are allowed as far as you need and entirely free of cost.
  • Wave also provides several useful features, such as accessible automated tax filings for fourteen states.
  • Wave’s free pricing and easy-to-use software makes it a standout among other accounting software.
  • In an instant, you can view the health of your business using QuickBooks.

However, it does have a Zapier integration, so you can connect with over 1,000 add-ons. Like Wave, QuickBooks also offers professional bookkeeping through its QuickBooks Live service. This costs an additional $200-$600/month and is based on your volume of monthly expenses. If you want to accept online payments, QuickBooks Payments integrates with your software. Payroll users will pay $20 to $35 per month based on whether they operate in a self-service or tax service state. In addition to this monthly fee, all users must pay an additional $6 per active employee and independent contractor. Whether or not Wave will add this in the future is unknown, but as of this time, businesses that need even basic project management features will need to look elsewhere.

Applicant Tracking System Ats For Small Businesses

Free, basic accounting system that’s easy to use and set up, even for first-time sole proprietors. One plan with the same features for businesses of all sizes, with upgraded modules available.

  • The software is constantly updated to include newer, more convenient features and helps new business owners in particular to develop a strong foundation for their financial management activities.
  • Let’s start with Wave, which has an overall favorable public reputation, scoring high marks across review sites, such as G2Crowd, Trust Radius, and Software Advice.
  • They also feel the third-party integrations are lacking, and some reported issues with slow servers and downtime.
  • Wave also has a payroll add-on, which is just a bit cheaper each month.
  • In addition to this monthly fee, all users must pay an additional $6 per active employee and independent contractor.
  • Don’t get us wrong, Wave doesn’t fall short because it’s free – it offers an incredible amount of features and contends with many paid accounting apps.
  • The Wave payroll system offers various other services for businesses with employees.

If integration with other applications is a priority, QuickBooks may be a better option. If an easy to use interface with limited feature options is what your business needs right now Wave may be a better choice.

Wave Pricing

When you take advantage of the free trial, take note that no further discounts will be offered, and you will pay the full price for your subscription. It’s also worth noting that QuickBooks Self-Employed is an option if you’re a freelancer.

Add in a good public reputation and a load of great features, and it’s easy to see why Wave is a top choice among small business users. On the other hand, Wave’s lack of integrations and advanced features such as project management can be a dealbreaker, particularly for larger businesses. At Fundera, Randa specializes in reviewing small business products, software, and services. 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.

Many small businesses go for the Plus plan, which includes access for up to five users and advanced features, including inventory, project accounting, and unlimited reports. As a writer, I don’t have any inventory to track, no employees to manage, and my billing is straightforward, so the advanced features aren’t worth the additional cost. Wave helps manage invoices, credit card payments, accounting & payroll.

Start Here

But as someone who has used both for two years now, I’ve found that the simplicity becomes a burden after time. This is because I’ve grown into more of a power user of sorts who needs quicker access to more information at once. One of best things about Wave Financial is that they are still a relatively young company with an aggressive “startup” feel to it. This is really nice because it’s easy to feel the energy behind this company, and it shows with the frequency of new features that are rolled out on a regular basis.


Check out our growing YouTube channel where we go deeper into the digital tools and share more of our personal experiences growing our businesses. If you’re sold on the first three features of Wave , then you might want to continue riding the Wave with their Payroll and Receipt features. Using a smart device, you can capture a signature, take photos of receipts and other information, and convert the estimate into an invoice to start the job immediately. In an instant, you can view the health of your business using QuickBooks. I love how easy it is to customize reports to view how my business is performing.

Now that we have a solid sense of Wave accounting software, let’s explore more about QuickBooks Online, so that we can accurately compare Wave vs. QuickBooks. In exploring Wave vs. QuickBooks, we’ll see that the two platforms have more than these basic differences, and yet, both can well-serve a wide range of business owners with their offerings. QuickBooks is more suited to a larger company involved in more economic activities like staff, contractors, physical or digital shopfront products and multiple tax reporting responsibilities. Compare more market leading accounting services with our buyer’s guide to the Top Accounting Software For Business. QuickBooks API is also available for app developers to build integrations between their systems and connect customer data with REST-based API. 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 includes the most important graphs and line items to track the state of your business financials.

Wave can also file your taxes, conduct quarterly reviews, and perform other tasks through its tax service, with prices starting at $1,500/year. If you want to tackle the books yourself but don’t know where to start, you can take advantage of accounting and payroll coaching for a one-time fee of $229. There are two plans available based on the state in which you operate. Tax service payroll handles your payroll and files your payroll taxes. Business owners in the remaining states can sign up for self-service payroll, which requires you to file your own payroll taxes. Wave offers free access to its accounting, invoicing, and receipt scanning software.

There is still a pretty steep learning curve when it comes to QuickBooks Online, so you should be prepared to take the time to learn the ins and outs of the program. But this extra effort is worth it to many business owners (more than 2.2 million, to be precise) as a trade-off for a plethora of features you won’t find when using other software. Tim worked as a tax professional for BKD, LLP before returning to school and receiving his Ph.D. from Penn State. He then taught tax and accounting to undergraduate and graduate students as an assistant professor at both the University of Nebraska-Omaha and Mississippi State University. Tim is a Certified QuickBooks Time Pro, QuickBooks ProAdvisor for both the Online and Desktop products, as well as a CPA with 25 years of experience.

Wave Receipts

Even users with no prior accounting experience find that Wave’s well-organized UI is easy to navigate and use. If you get stuck, there are a variety of customer support options available to help you get the most out of the software. This post is going to dive into the specifics of each software option to help determine which is the right choice for your business. Specially designed for small businesses, Wave’s mission is to make accounting easy to use and for their accounting software to be intuitive. Their website claims you can get started in seconds, your data is always protected, and it’s backed up automatically. Wave uses real, double-entry accounting and has many reporting options that are customizable to fit your needs.

To read about all the features offered by QuickBooks Online, check out the full QuickBooks Online review. Kylie McQuarrie has been writing for and about small businesses since 2014.

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