Wave Accounting vs FreshBooks

Which is Better for You?

Online Accounting Software is indispensable to serious entrepreneurs, but it can be difficult (and time consuming) to figure out the perfect fit for you and your company’s needs. To help you in this search, we’ve created a series of comparison articles to quickly break everything down.

In this Wave Accounting vs. FreshBooks comparison review, we’ll go through some of their important similarities and differences, popular features, pricing, packaging and customer feedback for a well-rounded view. So without further adieu, let’s get started!

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Wave Accounting & FreshBooks Commonalities

The first two things to know are that both are cloud-based accounting software, and they both offer great mobile apps. Ultimate accessibility! Along with these two basics, here’s a number of other similarities that define their core functionalities:

1) Customizable Invoices: Edit and update their invoice templates to reflect your brand and send it off to clients in minutes.

2) Bank Integration: Sync all of your business accounts and keep an eye on all your finances from their platform.

3) Multi-currency Support: Both companies offer multi-currency support for international business.

4) Expense Tracking: Keep an eye on all upcoming expenses with their expense tracking tools.

5) Reminders: Schedule any upcoming bills and payments and receive regular reminders so you can stay on track.

6) Time Tracking: Make note of all of your billable hours with their time tracking tools.

7) Scalability: Wave and Freshbooks both offer suitable features for everyone, from freelancers to accountants.

8) Reports: Generate a number of financial reports like balance sheets, account summaries, and detailed transactions.

Where They Differ

Although there are a number of areas where they share features, from here they represent rather different approaches. Let’s take a closer look:

Wave Accounting

  • Instead of a traditional subscription structure, Wave offers their base software and setup for free. This package includes invoicing, basic accounting, receipt scanning and more.
  • If you’re an accountant looking for clients, Wave can help connect you with entrepreneurs in need of financial management help.
  • They also offer business loans through their partnership with OnDeck. You can apply through their website and manage everything from their platform.
  • Additionally, they offer premium features like payroll and credit card processing for a small monthly fee.


  • They offer a payment history features that allows you and your clients (if you give permission to do so) to see the details of previous transactions.
  • Like having a paper copy? FreshBooks allows you to request copies of expenses or other financial reports and have them mailed directly to your doorstep.
  • Their billing system is extremely efficient, making it super-easy to balance multiple clients and contracts.
  • While both companies allow you to personalize your invoices, FreshBooks customization is far more involved and allows you to fully create your ideal invoice layout.
  • From what we’ve seen, they have fantastic customer support that’s ready to help you at every step of the way.

Pricing & Packages

As we mentioned previously, Wave and FreshBooks differ quite a bit when it comes to pricing. FreshBooks, like many others in the industry, offers a tiered, subscription-based structure, with three main packages for members to choose from.

Wave on the other hand, differentiates itself by offering their software for free, and only charging small fees for more premium features. Here’s a quick way to break it down:

Wave & Freshbooks

Because these two plans are so different from each other, it can be hard to see at first glance what the better bargain is. And the answer to that question is: it depends. There are some important aspects that will impact how much you’ll end up paying for each, including:

  • If you’re looking for the basics, or just trying to manage and record your financial information, Wave’s software is ideal, and free!
  • While FreshBooks does help you track logged hours for your employees, they don’t offer an actual payroll service yet. They do however have affiliations with other third party programs that can manage payroll for you. But, if you want to keep everything on one platform, Wave offers payroll for up to 30 employees.
  • Speaking of payroll, Wave has a rather interesting setup in place. They charge a base fee of $15, plus $4 per employee for the first 10. After the first 10, the price drops to $2 per employee. They have a graphic on their website that allows you to input the number of staff members and then automatically generates the amount you’d pay each month.
  • If you’re processing a large number of credit card payments, you might want to look at FreshBooks. While Wave’s fee may look small at first, those little charges add up.
  • Overall, FreshBooks and Wave have many of the same features, the real difference is in how much you can do with these features. FreshBooks offers a more robust platform, so if you're a larger business, their capabilities might suit you better.

Customer Reviews

A comparison review wouldn’t be complete without looking into what their customers have to say. Both companies fair pretty well, and have TrustRadius scores above 8 out of 10. We’ve included a few screenshots to give you an idea of what members are saying about their services and features.

Wave Customer ReviewsWave receives an 8.1 out of 10 on TrustRadius, and has gathered 64 customer reviews that make up this score. Here’s how they break down into specific points:

Wave Rating Summary

Looking at their customer reviews, they fare pretty well, with only a few concerns. Customers took note of some issues with product scalability and performance, mostly because of the limitations that the free software has. Outside of that, members are extremely likely to recommend Wave and renew their subscriptions.

Freshbooks Ratings

FreshBooks is also in a very similar spot when it comes to reviews, and holds a score of 8 out of 10, which consists of 78 reviews. However, things get a little more interesting when you look at how their breakdown shifts things a bit:

Freshbooks Rating Summary New

FreshBooks rating summary is much more consistent overall, and they’ve received perfect scores for availability and implementation.

Which is Right For You?

Wave Accounting and FreshBooks both offer wonderful accounting features, but we’d have to put our vote behind FreshBooks. Their robust platform offers tools for all businesses and sizes, so they can scale as your business expands.

At the end of the day though, choose the best accounting software for you. By using the links below you can visit either site and grab a free trial for yourself.
Try FreshBooks Free or Try Wave Free
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