Last Updated 03 July 2017 | By:

Wave Accounting Review

Is It Right For You? (Pros, Cons & More)

Wave Accounting ReviewInterested in small business accounting software but unsure which is the best option for you and your company? There’s so many, and each is a little different, who’s the ideal option? With their free app and “pay for what you need” pricing, Wave is worth consideration.

In this Wave accounting Review, we’ll be going over some of their pros & cons, important features, pricing, and customer feedback so you can see exactly how they stack up in the industry. Without further adieu, let’s see if they’re right for you!

Basic Wave Pros & Cons


  1. Free: Their introductory package is totally free! Accounting and reports, sending invoices, receipt scanning and email support are included as well.

  2. Lightweight: Their mobile app is easy to navigate and their software is quite compact in comparison to other, more involved platforms.

  3. Instantly Sync: All of your data, from invoices to payroll, syncs instantly to their platform.

  4. Financials: Wave allows you to hook up all your business credit cards, PayPal and more so you don’t have to manually input every charge.

  5. Multi-Currency: They currently serve over 180 countries, have multi-currency capabilities, and are equipped to handle regional sales tax/VAT.

  6. Automated Reports: Wave generates automatic balance sheets, sales tax reports and more so you can stay on top of your finances with ease.

  7. Guides: Brand-new to accounting software? No problem. Their “Get Started Guide” is easy to follow and walks you through all Wave’s features.

  8. Expense Tracking: See exactly where your money is going and when, and set helpful reminders throughout each month.

  9. Small & Personal: Wave is designed for smaller operations. They’ve simplified complex jargon and put together a platform ideal for businesses with under 10 employees.

  10. OnDeck Partnership: Few companies within this industry have money lending capabilities. Recently, Wave has partnered with OnDeck to allow you to apply and receive funding for your startup in as little as 24 hours.


  1. Credit Notes Feature: They don’t yet have a credit notes feature available yet, but you can still keep track of debts against invoices to stay on top of negative income.

  2. Capability: Additionally, there’s a number of other features that we would love to see in an accounting software program like Wave that aren’t available, such as customizable invoices and audit history.

  3. Scalability: You’ll end up paying considerably more per month the more employees you have using their payroll functions. Each additional employee adds $2-4 to your monthly statement, which adds up quickly.

  4. Speed: If you’re processing a high volume of transactions their platform slows down considerably.

Wave Pricing & Features

Wave’s pricing scale has much more versatility in terms of pricing, their mobile app is completely free, and they’re exceedingly transparent with their software capabilities. Here’s a great “feature wall” screenshot to checkout:

Wave Invoicing Features

Any of your accounting software invoicing or receipts are free with Wave, the exceptions are when you get into credit card processing and payroll. We’ll talk more about this below, but these are the primary categories they cover.

  • Accounting
  • Payroll
  • Invoices
  • Lending
  • Receipts
  • Payments

Within each, there are smaller charges that add up as you add different services.


Available Software Plans

As mentioned the software itself is free. From here, you can see how prices begin to add up.

Wave Available Software Plans

We love that they’ve included pricing options for 24 currencies/regions. For those of us in the U.S., the two big ticket items are credit card processing and payroll services.

  • Per transaction Wave charges 2.9% + 30 cents, so if you’re not making too many transactions throughout the month their plan is extremely cost effective.

Additionally, they charge for payroll services.

  • The base fee is $15 + $4 for the first 10 employees. After that, they charge $2 per employee. And, if you’re a resident of New York, California, Florida or Texas, you can add full payroll tax services for an additional $10.


A Quick Look Inside Wave

We can talk all day about their features, but a screenshot’s worth a thousand words. We’ve included these so you can familiarize yourself with the look/feel of the dashboard, how data is represented and the platform is organized.

A look inside Wave

As you can see, the sidebar provides easy access to all the necessary tabs, including accounting. Here you can see an overview of all your assets, liabilities, income and expenses. And, if you’d like to save this page you can export and open them in Excel, csv or PDF.

The accounting tab also has multiple pages that allow you to see account balances and journal transactions. In addition, you can access settings in the top right-hand corner. The setup is easy to move through and the whole platform is set up in this similar, intuitive style.

Wave Dashboard

Directly below accounts, you can also access reports. You may not need them, but all 11 report types are available for free.

Wave Reports

Overall, the folks at Wave have done a great job organizing and displaying the information in a way that is surprisingly easy to digest, even for those with little to no experience in small business financing and accounting.

Wave Customer Reviews

Wave Customer Reviews

They do moderately well when stacked up against some of the bigger accounting software companies. Wave doesn’t yet have the hundreds or thousands of customer reviews, but what they do have are positive.

TrustRadius also allows reviewers to rate the platform on different aspects and features. We’ve included a screenshot of them below.

Wave Rating Summary

They excel in categories like ‘Likelihood to Recommend’ and ‘Likelihood to Renew’ but have difficulty in terms of performance and product scalability. This is mostly due to their issue with handling a large volume of transactions.

They also cater to smaller business, so some reviewers questioned how they would handle larger operations.

Wave Feature Rating Summary

Moving on to features, they receive high ratings in payroll management, but have difficulty with inventory management. This is likely because they don’t have inventory tracking.

Reviewers have been thorough in their evaluations of this software and quick to praise a number of features, while indicating that there’s room for improvements (as always).

How Does Wave Compare?

Wave ComparisonWhen looking at comparative platforms, there’s two things to keep in mind: Pricing & Features. The folks behind Wave’s accounting software are extremely passionate about disrupting the usual payment plans that other companies offer.

  • Other companies like Quickbooks and Freshbooks have more features/versatility for partnerships and customization because they’re larger companies.
  • Instead of charging $20/mo for their services, they’re changing it up with their pay-as-you-go plan. FreshBooks, Xero, and QuickBooks are all specific packages only.
  • While QuickBooks can sync with everything under the sun (Google Suite, Excel, Shopify, square, etc.), Wave only connects to a couple – PayPal & Google Suite.

To summarize, depending on your needs, Wave could be a great fit. If you’re in the beginning stages, only have a few employees, and aren’t yet confident in your accounting skills, this software could be a great choice.

Note: Xero only offers multi-currency features in their higher-tier plans ($30-$70), while Wave includes them for free.

The big point here is that if you’re a bit bigger operation and need a fuller, more advanced platform, Wave likely won’t cut it. You’ll need to look instead at software like FreshBooks & Xero.


  • Pricing

  • 2.3 million+ users so far

  • Perfect for:
    Anyone looking for 100% free fully functional accounting/invoicing software

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  • Pricing Starts at

  • 600,000+ users so far

  • Perfect for:
    Anyone needing affordable, comprehensive & flexible accounting software

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Frequently Asked Questions

Do I Really Need Accounting Software?

This depends on how confident you are in your accounting skills. It’s possible to handle basic financial management on your own but it’s incredibly time consuming. For the basics, you can use some of Wave’s key services without paying a cent.

Any Hidden Fees?

Nope, but their payment plan is different than the typical flat monthly charge. Depending on your business and the features you use, you’ll pay a different amount. Wave is upfront and transparent about charges though, so no surprises.

Do I Still Need an Accountant?

No, but if you’re a larger company that needs a custom approach to financial management, an accountant is the way to go. If you’re just getting started and don’t quite have the budget for an accountant yet, Wave packs incredible value.

How Secure is Wave?

Wave is committed to working with privacy consultants and international experts so they can create the most secure platform possible. They use encryption and security controls, as well as third party sources like TRUSTe to stay up to date with privacy certification.

Ready To Ride The Wave?

If you’re looking for simple, easy and free accounting software for business, Wave could be the perfect match. On the other hand, if you need comprehensive and complex, larger platforms like Xero or FreshBooks would be wiser.

To get started with Wave, or continue shopping around, use the links below. Trust your gut and good luck!

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