What users are saying about

Accounting by Wave

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Top Rated
104 Ratings

Accounting by Wave

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Top Rated
104 Ratings
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Score 9.1 out of 101
24 Ratings
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Score 8.4 out of 101

Add comparison

Likelihood to Recommend

Accounting by Wave

Wave is free to use, and they have some premium features you can pay for. For someone just starting out as a small business, freelancer or independent contractor, this is a Godsend. You can look professional, have something easy to manage, and yet also have excellent records come the end of the year. You won't spend a bunch of time having to learn the program, it's very intuitive and you get a host of great features that will make getting paid easy.
J.P. VanderLinden profile photo

QuickBooks Self-Employed

QuickBooks Self-Employed is a very detailed software to keep track of your finances and tax obligations. I'm reviewing the online version here and honestly, if you are into QuickBooks, it might be worth looking into the stand-alone software version. Ideally, if you work remotely, in various places and on more than one computer (desktop or laptop) then QuickBooks online is a good idea. But the slow interface is troubling to me and I spend a lot of time going through and correcting entries QuickBooks imports from my bank account. In fact, I've gone back to my stand-alone version of Quicken.
Tim Vahsholtz profile photo

Feature Rating Comparison

Payroll Management

Accounting by Wave
7.9
QuickBooks Self-Employed
10.0
Pay calculation
Accounting by Wave
8.3
QuickBooks Self-Employed
10.0
Benefit plan administration
Accounting by Wave
7.5
QuickBooks Self-Employed
10.0
Direct deposit files
Accounting by Wave
8.0
QuickBooks Self-Employed
10.0
Salary revision and increment management
Accounting by Wave
7.7
QuickBooks Self-Employed
10.0
Reimbursement management
Accounting by Wave
8.0
QuickBooks Self-Employed
10.0

Customization

Accounting by Wave
8.9
QuickBooks Self-Employed
10.0
API for custom integration
Accounting by Wave
8.8
QuickBooks Self-Employed
10.0
Plug-ins
Accounting by Wave
8.9
QuickBooks Self-Employed
10.0

Security

Accounting by Wave
8.5
QuickBooks Self-Employed
10.0
Single sign-on capability
Accounting by Wave
9.1
QuickBooks Self-Employed
10.0
Role-based user permissions
Accounting by Wave
8.0
QuickBooks Self-Employed
10.0

Reporting & Analytics

Accounting by Wave
8.5
QuickBooks Self-Employed
7.6
Dashboards
Accounting by Wave
8.4
QuickBooks Self-Employed
7.8
Standard reports
Accounting by Wave
8.3
QuickBooks Self-Employed
7.6
Custom reports
Accounting by Wave
8.6
QuickBooks Self-Employed
7.2

General Ledger and Configurable Accounting

Accounting by Wave
8.3
QuickBooks Self-Employed
8.8
Accounts payable
Accounting by Wave
8.6
QuickBooks Self-Employed
9.9
Accounts receivable
Accounting by Wave
9.2
QuickBooks Self-Employed
9.9
Cash management
Accounting by Wave
8.1
QuickBooks Self-Employed
7.5
Bank reconciliation
Accounting by Wave
7.9
QuickBooks Self-Employed
9.4
Expense management
Accounting by Wave
8.5
QuickBooks Self-Employed
8.1
Time tracking
Accounting by Wave
7.5
QuickBooks Self-Employed
7.0
Fixed asset management
Accounting by Wave
6.6
QuickBooks Self-Employed
10.0
Multi-currency support
Accounting by Wave
8.3
QuickBooks Self-Employed
10.0
Multi-division support
Accounting by Wave
7.4
QuickBooks Self-Employed
10.0
Regulations compliance
Accounting by Wave
7.3
QuickBooks Self-Employed
10.0
Electronic tax filing
Accounting by Wave
6.0
QuickBooks Self-Employed
7.5
Self-service portal
Accounting by Wave
9.0
QuickBooks Self-Employed
9.7
Global Financial Support
Accounting by Wave
9.0
QuickBooks Self-Employed
10.0
Primary and Secondary Ledgers
Accounting by Wave
9.3
QuickBooks Self-Employed
10.0
Intercompany Accounting
Accounting by Wave
8.6
QuickBooks Self-Employed
10.0
Localizations
Accounting by Wave
9.5
QuickBooks Self-Employed
10.0
Journals and Reconciliations
Accounting by Wave
8.2
QuickBooks Self-Employed
2.6
Enterprise Accounting
Accounting by Wave
8.7
QuickBooks Self-Employed
10.0
Configurable Accounting
Accounting by Wave
8.7
QuickBooks Self-Employed
10.0
Centralized Rules Framework
Accounting by Wave
9.0
QuickBooks Self-Employed
10.0
Standardized Processes
Accounting by Wave
8.0
QuickBooks Self-Employed
4.2

Inventory Management

Accounting by Wave
8.9
QuickBooks Self-Employed
10.0
Inventory tracking
Accounting by Wave
9.5
QuickBooks Self-Employed
10.0
Automatic reordering
Accounting by Wave
8.0
QuickBooks Self-Employed
10.0
Location management
Accounting by Wave
9.0
QuickBooks Self-Employed
10.0
Manufacturing module
Accounting by Wave
9.0
QuickBooks Self-Employed
10.0

Order Management

Accounting by Wave
8.0
QuickBooks Self-Employed
10.0
Pricing
Accounting by Wave
8.3
QuickBooks Self-Employed
10.0
Order entry
Accounting by Wave
8.4
QuickBooks Self-Employed
10.0
Credit card processing
Accounting by Wave
9.1
QuickBooks Self-Employed
10.0
Cost of goods sold
Accounting by Wave
8.8
QuickBooks Self-Employed
10.0
Order Orchestration
Accounting by Wave
8.0
QuickBooks Self-Employed
10.0
End-to-end order visibility
Accounting by Wave
5.2
QuickBooks Self-Employed
10.0
Order exception Resolution
Accounting by Wave
8.0
QuickBooks Self-Employed
10.0

Accounting Firm BPO Features

Accounting by Wave
8.0
QuickBooks Self-Employed
10.0
Branded client dashboards
Accounting by Wave
8.0
QuickBooks Self-Employed
10.0
Client data roll-up capabilities
Accounting by Wave
8.0
QuickBooks Self-Employed
10.0
Client data consolidation for benchmarking
Accounting by Wave
7.5
QuickBooks Self-Employed
10.0
Configurable alerts
Accounting by Wave
8.0
QuickBooks Self-Employed
10.0
Billing bypass
Accounting by Wave
8.0
QuickBooks Self-Employed
10.0
Client template cloning
Accounting by Wave
8.0
QuickBooks Self-Employed
10.0
Single sign-on
Accounting by Wave
9.0
QuickBooks Self-Employed
10.0
Configurable client onboarding questions
Accounting by Wave
8.0
QuickBooks Self-Employed
10.0
Cross-client workflow management
Accounting by Wave
8.0
QuickBooks Self-Employed
10.0
Industry-specific versioning
Accounting by Wave
8.0
QuickBooks Self-Employed
10.0
Legacy system data migration
Accounting by Wave
8.0
QuickBooks Self-Employed
10.0

Pros

  • Invoices are so easy to execute. Whether they are one-off or recurring, fixed or variable, single item or multiple line entries, they come out looking professional, polished and they get sent without any fuss. Put your client's info on them, add your logo, describe the services, add notes, set due dates, etc. all without cracking an abacus.
  • It's a little thing but I love how the estimates feature integrates with Invoices. You start by making an estimate for a client, with a defined expiry date. Once they accept, you can convert that estimate immediately into an Invoice and set it up to send.
  • Built-in payment processing is great. I don't have to worry about Paypal or Stripe or anything, Wave just handles my client's credit cards so I don't have to do a thing. They even have recurring billing for my retainer clients!
J.P. VanderLinden profile photo
  • Cross-platform compatibility (Browser, Android) makes it easy to see how my business is doing almost anywhere.
  • Smart enough to recognize and automatically categorize most of my transactions, so I don't have to fuss with spreadsheets at the end of the year.
  • Updates automatically and notifies me when it needs help, so I don't have to spend too much time babysitting it.
  • Integrated with TurboTax and automatically exports year-end tax info for easy filing.
Benjamin E. Jerew profile photo

Cons

  • One area of improvement for Wave would be combining the various mobile applications into one app.
  • Another room for improvement would be on the dashboard level. It would be great if they could use more bar graphs and get away from pie charts for things like expenses.
  • Some of the other areas from improvement have been addressed by recent updates so I am excited to see what else Wave brings out.
Lukas Sundahl, MBA profile photo
  • Doesn't integrate with Mint, which I use for my home expenses. I think this would be a nice addition to the program, so I could keep track of my whole financial situation.
  • A Windows 10 app would be a nice addition to the program, so I could access it securely from my desktop.
Benjamin E. Jerew profile photo

Likelihood to Renew

Accounting by Wave7.8
Based on 3 answers
Easy to use for clients with no accounting background and the price is right.
Jeanne Harris profile photo
QuickBooks Self-Employed10.0
Based on 1 answer
No answer on this topic is available.

Usability

Accounting by Wave5.3
Based on 4 answers
I am a professional bookkeeper and I have no problems using Wave and all of it's features. I can see that certain individuals who have no accounting knowledge might struggle with a few different features and entries, but that is why Wave has an emphasis in connecting users to Wave Pro's who will walk them through things
Melissa Whaley profile photo
No score
No answers yet
No answers on this topic

Reliability and Availability

Accounting by Wave6.7
Based on 4 answers
WAVE is always available when we need it ! Peter
Peter Cullen profile photo
No score
No answers yet
No answers on this topic

Performance

Accounting by Wave2.9
Based on 2 answers
Wave does tend to slow down when filtering your transactions screen especially by date. This is more of an issue when trying to trouble shoot certain transactions or clean-up a set of books.
Melissa Whaley profile photo
No score
No answers yet
No answers on this topic

Support

Accounting by Wave9.0
Based on 1 answer
If they had live chat service then I'd rate this a 10.
Matthew Gehrman profile photo
No score
No answers yet
No answers on this topic

Online Training

Accounting by Wave4.7
Based on 3 answers
easy to use and east to train on ! Our WAVE clients enjoy the ease of use
Peter Cullen profile photo
No score
No answers yet
No answers on this topic

Alternatives Considered

Wave was more affordable and we were already using it for accounting. The services offered are comparable and quite reliable.
Geri Lynn Peak profile photo
To be honest, I haven't shopped around for a bookkeeping package. I've been using TurboTax for well over a decade, and adding on QuickBooks Self-Employed (once I made the switch to freelancing) was a no-brainer. I probably could have used the program to help me keep track of employee expenses as I was working for others in the past.
Benjamin E. Jerew profile photo

Scalability

Accounting by Wave3.0
Based on 2 answers
Once they out grow what is ability to move up to a more robust system?
Penny Breslin profile photo
No score
No answers yet
No answers on this topic

Return on Investment

  • Wave allows me to work from my home and not have to drive to a client's place of business. It is a time management improver for me.
  • It is easy to use and the client sees the results as soon as I finish the month end.
  • Ideal for startups and small businesses. No cost!
Bruce Collie    CPA, CGA profile photo
  • Its has made it easier to concentrate on growing our business as opposed to spending a lot of time trying to manage our financials.
  • Saves us money on having to hire an accountant.
Nathanial Holt profile photo

Pricing Details

Accounting by Wave

General
Free Trial
Free/Freemium Version
Premium Consulting/Integration Services
Entry-level set up fee?
No
Additional Pricing Details

QuickBooks Self-Employed

General
Free Trial
Free/Freemium Version
Premium Consulting/Integration Services
Entry-level set up fee?
No
Additional Pricing Details