Xero vs Wave Accounting

Which Is Better For You?

With so many fantastic accounting software companies out there these days, it can be hard to pick the best one to fit your specific business needs. Because of this, we’ve created a series of handy comparison articles to help streamline your research.

In this Xero vs. Wave review we’ll go through their similarities, differences, most popular features, pricing, packaging and customer reviews for a grand view to get started. So without further adieu, let’s dig in!

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Xero & Wave Accounting Commonalities

Xero and Wave are pretty new to the industry compared to the likes of QuickBooks, but, that means they have a variety of modern, tech-driven features in common. Some of these include:

1) Learning Resources: If you’re just getting started with online accounting software, Xero and Wave offer fantastic learning tools like webinars, video tutorials, ebooks and more.

2) Cloud-based: Access your account from anywhere with an internet connection.

3) Time Tracking: Keep track of all your billable hours with ease.

4) Bank Integration: Sync all of your bank accounts and easily manage them through either platform.

5) Multi-currency: Conduct business across multiple countries and currencies without hassle.

6) Scalability: Whether you’re a freelancer, small business owner, or long-standing entrepreneur, Xero & Wave have tools for every type of business.

7) Expense Tracking: Follow your money through every stage and easily keep track of upcoming expenses.

Two other similar features our readers adore are their customizable invoices that allow you to put your own branding on them and send in a couple clicks, and their sets of forecasting/budgeting, balance sheets, tax reports, etc.

Where They Differ

While these two do have a number of design features in common, they also differ in quite a few areas. Some of the most important distinctions include:


  • Xero allows for multiple users and expanded collaboration between employees and team members, which Wave Accounting doesn’t support yet.
  • Since many of their members convert from other online accounting software systems like QuickBooks, they offer a conversion tool to help you seamlessly transition.
  • Xero offers an inventory management feature that gives you frequent updates on your transactions and incurred expenses.
  • Their dashboard is super-handy for giving you a snapshot of your finances, upcoming expenses and much more.

Wave Accounting

  • Wave’s initial package is completely free and still offers a number of the most sought after features in the industry such as invoicing and receipt scanning.
  • Unlike the majority of accounting software companies, they offer “pay as you go” options, so as your business grows you can upgrade your package to include things like payroll services for up to 30 employees, etc.

Pricing & Packages

Xero and Wave differ a fair amount when it comes to their packaging. Xero is organized like many of the companies in this industry, and utilizes a tiered subscription structure to charge for their services.

Wave on the other hand, has the pay-as-you-go program set up for a couple of their more premium features. Here’s a quick little breakdown of their packages:

Xero vs Wave Accounting

As you can see, Xero moves up in price depending on package, while Wave’s pricing is dependent on features. Some more price concerns to keep in mind include:

  • Xero doesn’t offer multi-currency features until their Premium package, which is $70 more than you would pay for Wave, so if you’re doing a lot of international business on a budget Wave is a solid option.
  • As mentioned, Wave doesn’t offer multi-user capabilities so if you’re interested in things like collaboration between employees or collaboration between you and your accountant, Xero may be a better choice.
  • Xero is by far the more expensive option, but for the number of features you receive and the opportunities to connect with even more through 3rd party apps, it’s definitely money well spent.

Wave is one of the few software platforms that offers a free introductory package, so you can try this extremely cost effective software out without any risks.

Customer Reviews

Looking at customer reviews, both companies have done an excellent job keeping up with user needs in an online accounting service. Because of this attention to detail, Xero & Wave both have TrustRadius (TR) scores of 8 and above.

Xero Reviews

Xero has one of the highest ratings in the industry, and currently reports a score of 8.9 out of 10. Of the 126 reviews, over 70% give them a score of 9 or higher, and they haven’t yet received any score below 5. Here’s the TR breakdown across all points:

Xero Rating Summary

Their ratings summary provides a snapshot of the best and most well-received features. Xero receives glowing comments on the performance, product scalability and usability of the software.

Wave Customer Reviews

Wave also does pretty well when it comes to reviews, but they haven’t received the buzz that Xero has. They currently have around 60 reviews, earning them an impressive 8.1 out of 10.

Wave Rating Summary

In their ratings summary, we can see customers are extremely likely to recommend Wave Accounting to others, and are mostly impressed with the availability of the software. Because their list of features is rather limited in comparison to Xero, they’re ratings for product scalability and performance are a little lackluster.

Which is Ideal For You?

At the end of the day, it's totally up to you.

However, we’d have to put our vote behind Xero for most of our readers due to its comprehensiveness and the fact that paid software usually means better customer support and better performance. Their impressive list of features and tools allows businesses of all sizes to get the most out of their accounting software.

For more information about either small business accounting software, click the links below to try them free or continue your research. Cheers!

Try Xero Free or Try Wave Accounting Free
Try Xero 30 days free or use Wave free of charge