What users are saying about

Accounting by Wave

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Top Rated
102 Ratings

Xero

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Top Rated
222 Ratings

Accounting by Wave

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Top Rated
102 Ratings
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Score 9.1 out of 101

Xero

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Top Rated
222 Ratings
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Score 8.6 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

Xero

It works very well for multi-user environments where users are in different physical locations. Also it has a very good API that allows for robust integrations with external systems. These 2 areas where our key criteria when choosing a new accounting system a few years ago. Our specific accounting needs are very basic so really any accounting system would handle our accounting needs. Ease of use, multi-user access from different locations and a good API where what we needed and xero delivers.
Patrick Cranston profile photo

Feature Rating Comparison

Payroll Management

Accounting by Wave
7.9
Xero
6.6
Pay calculation
Accounting by Wave
8.3
Xero
7.3
Benefit plan administration
Accounting by Wave
7.5
Xero
6.0
Direct deposit files
Accounting by Wave
8.0
Xero
6.9
Salary revision and increment management
Accounting by Wave
7.7
Xero
6.7
Reimbursement management
Accounting by Wave
8.0
Xero
6.2

Customization

Accounting by Wave
9.0
Xero
8.6
API for custom integration
Accounting by Wave
8.9
Xero
8.6
Plug-ins
Accounting by Wave
9.1
Xero
8.5

Security

Accounting by Wave
8.6
Xero
8.9
Single sign-on capability
Accounting by Wave
9.1
Xero
9.0
Role-based user permissions
Accounting by Wave
8.1
Xero
8.7

Reporting & Analytics

Accounting by Wave
8.4
Xero
8.3
Dashboards
Accounting by Wave
8.4
Xero
8.3
Standard reports
Accounting by Wave
8.3
Xero
8.7
Custom reports
Accounting by Wave
8.6
Xero
8.0

General Ledger and Configurable Accounting

Accounting by Wave
8.2
Xero
8.1
Accounts payable
Accounting by Wave
8.6
Xero
8.8
Accounts receivable
Accounting by Wave
9.2
Xero
8.9
Cash management
Accounting by Wave
8.0
Xero
8.3
Bank reconciliation
Accounting by Wave
7.8
Xero
9.2
Expense management
Accounting by Wave
8.5
Xero
7.6
Time tracking
Accounting by Wave
7.3
Xero
5.8
Fixed asset management
Accounting by Wave
6.3
Xero
7.4
Multi-currency support
Accounting by Wave
8.5
Xero
8.2
Multi-division support
Accounting by Wave
7.5
Xero
8.6
Regulations compliance
Accounting by Wave
7.3
Xero
7.9
Electronic tax filing
Accounting by Wave
6.0
Xero
7.8
Self-service portal
Accounting by Wave
9.0
Xero
8.4
Global Financial Support
Accounting by Wave
9.0
Xero
7.2
Primary and Secondary Ledgers
Accounting by Wave
9.3
Xero
9.2
Intercompany Accounting
Accounting by Wave
8.7
Xero
7.7
Localizations
Accounting by Wave
9.5
Xero
8.3
Journals and Reconciliations
Accounting by Wave
8.1
Xero
8.1
Enterprise Accounting
Accounting by Wave
8.7
Xero
7.3
Configurable Accounting
Accounting by Wave
8.5
Xero
8.4
Centralized Rules Framework
Accounting by Wave
9.0
Xero
8.3
Standardized Processes
Accounting by Wave
8.0
Xero
8.8

Inventory Management

Accounting by Wave
8.9
Xero
7.7
Inventory tracking
Accounting by Wave
9.5
Xero
7.0
Automatic reordering
Accounting by Wave
8.0
Xero
7.5
Location management
Accounting by Wave
9.0
Xero
8.3
Manufacturing module
Accounting by Wave
9.0
Xero
8.0

Order Management

Accounting by Wave
7.9
Xero
7.1
Pricing
Accounting by Wave
8.3
Xero
7.7
Order entry
Accounting by Wave
8.3
Xero
7.6
Credit card processing
Accounting by Wave
9.1
Xero
8.2
Cost of goods sold
Accounting by Wave
8.8
Xero
7.7
Order Orchestration
Accounting by Wave
8.0
Xero
6.6
End-to-end order visibility
Accounting by Wave
4.8
Xero
7.0
Order exception Resolution
Accounting by Wave
8.0
Xero
5.2

Accounting Firm BPO Features

Accounting by Wave
8.0
Xero
7.7
Branded client dashboards
Accounting by Wave
8.0
Xero
8.5
Client data roll-up capabilities
Accounting by Wave
8.0
Xero
7.4
Client data consolidation for benchmarking
Accounting by Wave
7.5
Xero
7.6
Configurable alerts
Accounting by Wave
8.0
Xero
6.9
Billing bypass
Accounting by Wave
8.0
Xero
8.5
Client template cloning
Accounting by Wave
8.0
Xero
6.7
Single sign-on
Accounting by Wave
9.0
Xero
7.8
Configurable client onboarding questions
Accounting by Wave
8.0
Xero
6.8
Cross-client workflow management
Accounting by Wave
8.0
Xero
8.4
Industry-specific versioning
Accounting by Wave
8.0
Xero
8.2
Legacy system data migration
Accounting by Wave
8.0
Xero
7.7

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
  • The user interface is very easy to understand an is not cluttered.
  • The API is easy to use and allows for integrations with external systems
  • Multi-user access with different roles is also nice.
Patrick Cranston profile photo

Cons

  • My biggest request is that they add a way to link invoice payments with the bank deposits . When a payment is made through Wave, they show the income and it is marked with the invoice number, but when they transfer the money into the bank, the credit is not tied to the invoice(s). You have to figure out by hand and delete the transaction from the bank to prevent getting double credit on it
  • It would be good to have a field for CC email on each customer. Currently you have to add any CC when sending.
  • On the Transactions view, a few more search options would be helpful.
No photo available
  • Using an accounting system in a web browser versus a standalone app can be a little clunky when it comes to navigation or having multiple windows open at once. This is more a function of using a web browser then a knock against xero itself. For us this is just a minor annoyance having come from a desktop based system before.
Patrick Cranston 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
Simplest answer - it works for us. For our own company, I don't think we are looking for any options other than Xero right now. Everyone in our company uses it - Finance uses it for bookkeeping and follow ups, Sales for quotes through to invoicing customers, we all use it for individual expense claims. So far so good! No reason to change.
Neethu Stephen 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
Xero is awesome. Easy to use and understand.
Shelly Lingor 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
Xero support for a cloud based software with hundreds of thousands of users is about as good as it gets. There is always room for improvement though.
John Cotter 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
No it is very straight forward.
John Cotter profile photo

Alternatives Considered

Zoho has many modules that can be integrated, including CRM, but Wave is pretty much ready to use 5 minutes after signing up.
No photo available
Xero hits our "maximum point" on the curves of simplicity, usability, and feature set. In my opinion it is by far the best in class, and the only reason it hasn't taken over Quickbooks entirely is that industry-standard products, no matter how inferior, are difficult to dislodge. Quickbooks needs to go away. Xero is amazing.
Matt Heerema 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
Processing efficiency, accessibility, focus on client servicing and not on network administration, customer service and account management focused on helping your practice grow, innovative, continuous improvement on solutions focused on accountants. And most importantly, it makes you be cool!!!
Marvin Galang 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
Xero9.9
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 removed several of the stresses of running my own business and helped me collect payment from a variety of local and national clients in one easy space.
  • Wave has helped give me eyes in on how my money has been allocated, and how the business expenses have been tracked.
  • Wave is a good self-service tool, that can do much of the work Quickbooks does for others, but as a free solution provider.
Carl Grivakis profile photo
  • We stopped paying for a software that gave us more issues than help
Daniela Belevan 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