What users are saying about

Accounting by Wave

Top Rated
97 Ratings

Xero

Top Rated
213 Ratings

Accounting by Wave

Top Rated
97 Ratings
Score 9.1 out of 101

Xero

Top Rated
213 Ratings
Score 8.6 out of 101

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Likelihood to Recommend

Accounting by Wave

I have recommended it to many small businesses because first off, it works. Setup and daily use it is easy. There is no cost outside of any payment transaction processing fees. You can probably find lower fees, but they are not out of line with other services.
No photo available

Xero

Well positioned for e-commerce, retail, professional services and restaurantsNot well positioned for manufacturing or companies looking to use a significant number of subaccounts.
Mike Castle profile photo

Feature Rating Comparison

Payroll Management

Accounting by Wave
7.9
Xero
6.7
Pay calculation
Accounting by Wave
8.4
Xero
7.3
Benefit plan administration
Accounting by Wave
7.5
Xero
6.0
Direct deposit files
Accounting by Wave
8.0
Xero
7.2
Salary revision and increment management
Accounting by Wave
7.7
Xero
6.9
Reimbursement management
Accounting by Wave
8.0
Xero
6.1

Customization

Accounting by Wave
9.1
Xero
8.6
API for custom integration
Accounting by Wave
8.9
Xero
8.8
Plug-ins
Accounting by Wave
9.2
Xero
8.5

Security

Accounting by Wave
8.6
Xero
8.8
Single sign-on capability
Accounting by Wave
9.0
Xero
9.0
Role-based user permissions
Accounting by Wave
8.2
Xero
8.7

Reporting & Analytics

Accounting by Wave
8.5
Xero
8.5
Dashboards
Accounting by Wave
8.5
Xero
8.3
Standard reports
Accounting by Wave
8.3
Xero
8.7
Custom reports
Accounting by Wave
8.6
Xero
8.4

General Ledger and Configurable Accounting

Accounting by Wave
8.2
Xero
8.2
Accounts payable
Accounting by Wave
8.5
Xero
8.8
Accounts receivable
Accounting by Wave
9.2
Xero
8.8
Cash management
Accounting by Wave
8.2
Xero
8.2
Bank reconciliation
Accounting by Wave
7.8
Xero
9.1
Expense management
Accounting by Wave
8.6
Xero
7.5
Time tracking
Accounting by Wave
7.3
Xero
6.5
Fixed asset management
Accounting by Wave
6.2
Xero
7.7
Multi-currency support
Accounting by Wave
8.6
Xero
8.2
Multi-division support
Accounting by Wave
7.6
Xero
8.8
Regulations compliance
Accounting by Wave
7.3
Xero
8.1
Electronic tax filing
Accounting by Wave
6.0
Xero
8.2
Self-service portal
Accounting by Wave
9.1
Xero
8.2
Global Financial Support
Accounting by Wave
9.0
Xero
7.0
Primary and Secondary Ledgers
Accounting by Wave
9.3
Xero
9.1
Intercompany Accounting
Accounting by Wave
8.7
Xero
7.7
Localizations
Accounting by Wave
9.5
Xero
8.0
Journals and Reconciliations
Accounting by Wave
8.4
Xero
8.2
Enterprise Accounting
Accounting by Wave
8.7
Xero
8.1
Configurable Accounting
Accounting by Wave
8.5
Xero
8.6
Centralized Rules Framework
Accounting by Wave
9.0
Xero
8.6
Standardized Processes
Accounting by Wave
7.9
Xero
8.9

Inventory Management

Accounting by Wave
8.9
Xero
7.7
Inventory tracking
Accounting by Wave
9.5
Xero
7.1
Automatic reordering
Accounting by Wave
8.0
Xero
7.5
Location management
Accounting by Wave
9.0
Xero
8.4
Manufacturing module
Accounting by Wave
9.0
Xero
8.0

Order Management

Accounting by Wave
7.9
Xero
6.9
Pricing
Accounting by Wave
8.3
Xero
7.5
Order entry
Accounting by Wave
8.3
Xero
7.2
Credit card processing
Accounting by Wave
9.1
Xero
8.3
Cost of goods sold
Accounting by Wave
8.9
Xero
7.7
Order Orchestration
Accounting by Wave
8.0
Xero
6.1
End-to-end order visibility
Accounting by Wave
4.7
Xero
7.0
Order exception Resolution
Accounting by Wave
8.0
Xero
4.1

Accounting Firm BPO Features

Accounting by Wave
8.0
Xero
8.1
Branded client dashboards
Accounting by Wave
8.0
Xero
9.1
Client data roll-up capabilities
Accounting by Wave
8.0
Xero
7.7
Client data consolidation for benchmarking
Accounting by Wave
7.5
Xero
7.7
Configurable alerts
Accounting by Wave
8.0
Xero
7.8
Billing bypass
Accounting by Wave
8.0
Xero
8.5
Client template cloning
Accounting by Wave
8.0
Xero
7.9
Single sign-on
Accounting by Wave
9.0
Xero
9.2
Configurable client onboarding questions
Accounting by Wave
8.0
Xero
6.9
Cross-client workflow management
Accounting by Wave
8.0
Xero
8.4
Industry-specific versioning
Accounting by Wave
8.0
Xero
8.3
Legacy system data migration
Accounting by Wave
8.0
Xero
7.9

Pros

  • The dashboard provides instant views of month-by month income & expenses for the past 12-24 months, a breakdown of current year expense by category, and net income for the past year and year-to-date.
  • Invoicing has easy templated set up has lots of per invoice options such as single/recurring payment options, due dates.
  • Year end reports are easy to generate in either pdf or csv format.
No photo available
  • Cross-app integration: the company boasts native integration with over 350 other cloud apps, but that number is really only about 260 when you count unique apps rather than double or triple counting apps that serve multiple functions. Xero's higher tally also duplicates the same core app if the API integrator differs (i.e. Shopify as three apps if there's an API from Zapstitch, Carry the One, and Stitch Labs rather than Shopify identified as a single SaaS app).
  • Intelligent configuration: allows the true 'under the hood' accounting to maintain integrity while allowing flexibility for advanced users who need to capture and manage specialized aspects of business information. The interface is extremely easy to use, but also robust and technologically innovative behind the UI.
  • Update reliability: I've used dozens of SaaS apps, most of which fail to deliver high quality updates and new features in a timely manner. Xero, on the other hand communicates what's coming down the pike and actually delivers it according to the schedule. When it's available, it's not a bug-filled poorly tested version, but fully tested and debugged, ready for immediate use. When I first begin using Xero, I used draft sales invoices in lieu of quotes, and draft bills in lieu of purchase orders because of the latter choices being unavailable. My "workaround" was more than adequate, but since Xero introduced native purchase order and quote functionality, the actual benefits have greatly exceeded what I would have imagined. The same is true of their inventory functionality. It's simple enough to accommodate flexibility, but also very intelligently designed to allow many who might have previously used a third party app to now track quantities within Xero natively.
Ahmad Abdul-Qadir 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
  • Partner program reps have not always been friendly and responsive (my current one is amazing).
  • Search function in the Help section does not consistently return appropriate results.
  • Lacking functionality of running balances for each account (expenses also, not just bank accounts). This would significantly improve an accountants ability to find and correct errors.
Dan Schmidt, CPA 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
Xero9.7
Based on 24 answers
It is the cornerstone of our business. We are 100% Xero Accountants. Our clients love it, we love it and I do not foresee a day when we will jump to an alternative. Never say never though!
John Cotter profile photo

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
Xero8.3
Based on 20 answers
Easy to use - you almost dont need to know anything about accounting to operate this system!
Jenny Sutton profile photo

Reliability and Availability

Accounting by Wave6.7
Based on 4 answers
WAVE is always available when we need it ! Peter
Peter Cullen profile photo
Xero9.0
Based on 10 answers
We have been actively using and 100% Xero based for our ecommerce accounting practice for over 4 years. There has on been one real outage for more than 5 minutes. Xero was open and transparent about the outage, what they were doing to resolve the issue, and provided 15 minute updates. Showing how they care about their customers and partners. Plus, showing that their customers care too, were understanding, and went surfing or in our case took a nap. Couldn't run our business without Xero as a partner.
Scott Scharf profile photo

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
Xero10.0
Based on 8 answers
In 3 years of use, I've only broken the system once. And that was for 30 seconds.
Dan Schmidt, CPA profile photo

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
Xero8.7
Based on 14 answers
Currently provides email support
Marvin Galang profile photo

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
Xero10.0
Based on 5 answers
All of Xero's training is online and available for anyone (business owner or accountants) to learn and become experts in their system. There is a range of content from product training to real world webinars from their partners. Xero is beautiful accounting software and their training is the same.
Scott Scharf profile photo

Implementation

No score
No answers yet
No answers on this topic
Xero9.5
Based on 9 answers
Have a good plan. Carefully reconcile closing balances with opening balances. Conversion at fiscal year end is ideal if possible
Dave Olsen profile photo

Alternatives Considered

Each one of these cloud-based or desktop accounting services offer different pros and cons. It really comes down to the individual owner's wants and needs. While Wave is not going to be my first choice for a large, complex organization, it really shines when handling a one person shop who wants to keep track of their home and business finances in one place without all the complexity of traditional bookkeeping software. It's far less expensive than its competitors and has made constant strides to improve itself since day one. It also has a very friendly support staff who have a very fast response time.
Eric Matthews profile photo
QBO - UI/UX and integrations are far superior. The only area where QBO is currently ahead is job costingFreshbooks - we recommend for some pre-revenue and solopreneur clients only. Xero provides a full-featured solutionWave - we recommend for some pre-revenue and solopreneur clients only. Xero provides a full-featured solutionIntacct - great functionality but cost-prohibitive. We recommend this service when clients are hitting the limits of the Xero database and ecosystem, or in certain cases where additional tracking and granularity may be required, such as non-profits with significant grant reporting requirements.
Dan Schmidt, CPA profile photo

Rating for Public Practice CPAs

Accounting by Wave8.0
Based on 8 answers
I rated the software an 7 due to its ease of use. It would be rated higher, but I consider this to be a niche product instead of a go to product for all clients. This is the software to use if you want an inexpensive entry level software for an owner managed business.
Randy O'Malley profile photo
Xero9.1
Based on 10 answers
There are two primary reasons for the 10 rating - UI (including platform stability) and the open API/add-on ecosystem. This allows a CPA to provide value-add services beyond traditional bookkeeping, and to truly fill the coveted "trusted advisor" status.
Dan Schmidt, CPA 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
Xero9.8
Based on 6 answers
After 4 years I cannot remember a single moment of downtime. Outstanding reliability!
Doug Fish profile photo

Return on Investment

  • Wave has been ROI positive for our company. With not having to pay for the service we can use our money for growing our business.
  • The fees on credit card transactions for invoices are reasonable especially as we don't pay a monthly subscription.
  • The invoicing feature has made our lives easier for us and our customers. The invoicing piece and AR tracking has been ROI positive as well.
Lukas Sundahl, MBA profile photo
  • Helps us produce accurate, timely financial statements. Admittedly, we moved from a spreadsheet and cash-based system so anything would have been a substantial improvement.
Travis Campbell, CPA, CA 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

Xero

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