FreshBooks vs. Wave Accounting

Overview
ProductRatingMost Used ByProduct SummaryStarting Price
FreshBooks
Score 6.1 out of 10
Small Businesses (1-50 employees)
FreshBooks is an accounting service for small businesses. The solution enables users to send and manage invoices, track billable time and collect online payments. The vendor’s value proposition this that their solution provides a straightforward service that simplifies the billing process.
$15
per month
Wave Accounting
Score 6.3 out of 10
N/A
Wave Accounting is a free, cloud-based accounting platform exclusively for small businesses. It supports double-entry bookkeeping and permits unlimited user access, invoicing, and expense management. Wave Accounting integrates with Wave's invoicing, receipt scanning, payment processing and payroll apps.N/A
Pricing
FreshBooksWave Accounting
Editions & Modules
Lite
$15
per month
Plus
$30
per month
Premium
$55
per month
Select
Custom Pricing
No answers on this topic
Offerings
Pricing Offerings
FreshBooksWave Accounting
Free Trial
YesNo
Free/Freemium Version
NoNo
Premium Consulting/Integration Services
NoNo
Entry-level Setup FeeNo setup feeNo setup fee
Additional Details
More Pricing Information
Community Pulse
FreshBooksWave Accounting
Considered Both Products
FreshBooks
Chose FreshBooks
We evaluated a few different solutions before landing on Freshbooks. Part of the reason we decided on FB were the integrations offered with PayPal (which we were already using) and with other apps through Zapier. It connects to our legacy Google sheets, and to the time tracker …
Wave Accounting
Chose Wave Accounting
I trialled FreshBooks a while back but they pack too much into the system for what it is. Wave has a super simple UI and dashboard and doesn't feel overly complicated to navigate yet offers all the features everyone is looking for. Being able to customize the system to brand …
Chose Wave Accounting
The best feature about wave is that they let you use it for free for basic accounting and pay per use payments. But based on my horrible experience with how they cancelled my payments feature, I would never use them again!
Chose Wave Accounting
Basically, we selected Wave because it was a free accounting system. We have not tried another accounting system that is so much better than Wave Accounting that we should leave Wave Accounting. Every time, we find another online accounting system we do a review of the system …
Chose Wave Accounting
Wave's biggest selling point is by far it's price, because their base product for free. Most people sign-up because of that advantage. But here are my opinions of Wave Vs these three other programs I've worked in.

Wave vs Freshbooks
Chose Wave Accounting
entry level software - does not yet compare to XERO
Chose Wave Accounting
Back then I was freelancing and it was great for that. But after incorporation I needed more features and Wave has them for free.
Chose Wave Accounting
Wave has advanced from its early days by adding features that put it on a parallel with the bigger software packages such as QuickBooks and Xero. It doesn't have time tracking like FreshBooks does but it brings a lot more to the table in terms of financial reporting.
Chose Wave Accounting
Accounting by Wave has a similar target market to FreshBooks, however Accounting by Wave is a full GL solution whereas FreshBooks provides cash flow and receivables tracking. I would definitely recommend Accounting by Wave over FreshBooks for that reason. Also FreshBooks isn't …
Chose Wave Accounting
I've used Freshbooks and Freshbooks is just a glorified invoicing tool and not a true accounting system.
Chose Wave Accounting
It is hard to compare Wave to many of the QuickBooks products because QuickBooks desktop products have a different feature set and client focus. Clients already using QuickBooks likely would not switch to Wave. Wave is designed as an entry-level accounting software for recent …
Top Pros
Top Cons
Features
FreshBooksWave Accounting
Customization
Comparison of Customization features of Product A and Product B
FreshBooks
1.1
32 Ratings
145% below category average
Wave Accounting
8.5
13 Ratings
21% above category average
API for custom integration1.127 Ratings9.99 Ratings
Plug-ins1.123 Ratings7.011 Ratings
Security
Comparison of Security features of Product A and Product B
FreshBooks
6.2
38 Ratings
24% below category average
Wave Accounting
9.6
43 Ratings
20% above category average
Single sign-on capability10.01 Ratings9.830 Ratings
Role-based user permissions2.438 Ratings9.534 Ratings
Reporting & Analytics
Comparison of Reporting & Analytics features of Product A and Product B
FreshBooks
4.5
52 Ratings
49% below category average
Wave Accounting
8.3
70 Ratings
11% above category average
Dashboards4.552 Ratings9.568 Ratings
Standard reports4.250 Ratings9.667 Ratings
Custom reports4.82 Ratings5.734 Ratings
General Ledger and Configurable Accounting
Comparison of General Ledger and Configurable Accounting features of Product A and Product B
FreshBooks
4.5
51 Ratings
46% below category average
Wave Accounting
6.9
73 Ratings
4% below category average
Accounts payable1.136 Ratings9.556 Ratings
Accounts receivable2.250 Ratings9.667 Ratings
Cash management7.03 Ratings9.559 Ratings
Bank reconciliation7.02 Ratings9.663 Ratings
Expense management2.546 Ratings9.761 Ratings
Time tracking3.039 Ratings9.611 Ratings
Multi-currency support7.01 Ratings10.019 Ratings
Regulations compliance1.118 Ratings6.815 Ratings
Self-service portal9.13 Ratings1.739 Ratings
Fixed asset management00 Ratings9.612 Ratings
Multi-division support00 Ratings7.19 Ratings
Electronic tax filing00 Ratings5.914 Ratings
Global Financial Support00 Ratings9.02 Ratings
Primary and Secondary Ledgers00 Ratings7.04 Ratings
Intercompany Accounting00 Ratings4.05 Ratings
Localizations00 Ratings5.23 Ratings
Journals and Reconciliations00 Ratings6.228 Ratings
Enterprise Accounting00 Ratings4.07 Ratings
Configurable Accounting00 Ratings5.516 Ratings
Centralized Rules Framework00 Ratings1.03 Ratings
Standardized Processes00 Ratings4.317 Ratings
Order Management
Comparison of Order Management features of Product A and Product B
FreshBooks
3.8
44 Ratings
61% below category average
Wave Accounting
7.6
52 Ratings
7% above category average
Pricing2.034 Ratings9.926 Ratings
Order entry1.234 Ratings10.018 Ratings
Credit card processing2.136 Ratings2.345 Ratings
Cost of goods sold10.01 Ratings10.033 Ratings
Order Orchestration00 Ratings5.85 Ratings
End-to-end order visibility00 Ratings8.24 Ratings
Order exception Resolution00 Ratings7.02 Ratings
Payroll Management
Comparison of Payroll Management features of Product A and Product B
FreshBooks
-
Ratings
Wave Accounting
6.2
24 Ratings
15% below category average
Pay calculation00 Ratings7.123 Ratings
Benefit plan administration00 Ratings7.54 Ratings
Direct deposit files00 Ratings1.220 Ratings
Salary revision and increment management00 Ratings7.712 Ratings
Reimbursement management00 Ratings7.48 Ratings
Inventory Management
Comparison of Inventory Management features of Product A and Product B
FreshBooks
-
Ratings
Wave Accounting
8.1
11 Ratings
19% above category average
Inventory tracking00 Ratings5.68 Ratings
Automatic reordering00 Ratings9.95 Ratings
Location management00 Ratings8.12 Ratings
Manufacturing module00 Ratings9.01 Ratings
Best Alternatives
FreshBooksWave Accounting
Small Businesses
QuickBooks Self-Employed
QuickBooks Self-Employed
Score 9.3 out of 10
QuickBooks Self-Employed
QuickBooks Self-Employed
Score 9.3 out of 10
Medium-sized Companies
Accounting Seed
Accounting Seed
Score 8.3 out of 10
Accounting Seed
Accounting Seed
Score 8.3 out of 10
Enterprises
Oracle Fusion Cloud ERP
Oracle Fusion Cloud ERP
Score 8.0 out of 10
Oracle Fusion Cloud ERP
Oracle Fusion Cloud ERP
Score 8.0 out of 10
All AlternativesView all alternativesView all alternatives
User Ratings
FreshBooksWave Accounting
Likelihood to Recommend
1.4
(70 ratings)
3.4
(79 ratings)
Likelihood to Renew
7.6
(18 ratings)
7.8
(3 ratings)
Usability
4.8
(15 ratings)
6.1
(15 ratings)
Availability
10.0
(2 ratings)
6.7
(4 ratings)
Performance
8.0
(1 ratings)
2.9
(2 ratings)
Support Rating
4.5
(11 ratings)
2.4
(12 ratings)
Online Training
-
(0 ratings)
4.7
(3 ratings)
Implementation Rating
10.0
(1 ratings)
-
(0 ratings)
Product Scalability
-
(0 ratings)
3.0
(2 ratings)
User Testimonials
FreshBooksWave Accounting
Likelihood to Recommend
FreshBooks
FreshBooks is the perfect tool for businesses who have hundreds of clients and customers whom they invoice regularly. It removes the need to manually send invoices to clients and customers, by streamlining inputted information to create an automated invoicing system which keeps clients and customers up to date with their bills. It is also a great tool for managing expenses, especially for companies with different teams working on varying projects, ensuring these teams do not exceed the budget ceiling.
Read full review
Wave
Wave Accounting was used for a small practice without a lot of the accounting considerations a large company would have. For the price, you really can't beat what Wave offers out of the box. All of the basic tools for things like invoicing and expenses are all easy to use. End of year accounting is easy with exports of data.
Read full review
Pros
FreshBooks
  • FreshBooks is pretty intuitive to use. I did have some questions when I first started using the system, but it wasn't a long learning curve.
  • FreshBooks provides more capability than other billing applications such as PaySimple or BlinkSale. FreshBooks does provide an easy invoicing function. It's easy to create invoices that can be sent via email or snail mail to one or more individuals (for example, the decision-maker and the accounting dept). Clients can pay online or send a check and then I note that the payment has been received. If paid by credit card, the system automatically marks the invoice paid. Your business accounts such as bank accounts can be linked to FreshBooks. Then, the system can automatically draw in expenses and will create simple P&L reports, overdue invoices, client history, etc. If you don't have inventory and complex payroll, etc. FreshBooks provides just the right level of capability to make financial tracking simple.
  • FreshBooks integrates with a number of credit card companies. I use Stripe, which has fees similar to Paypal, but much more reliable processing. I can accept all credit cards, including American Express, for a reasonable fee.
Read full review
Wave
  • Reconciliation is very difficult with multiple Wave transactions that need to be deleted or merged before it can be matched to a bank transaction.
  • Payroll worked fine for us but took several days to get it set up. We have switched to another bookkeeping system and another payroll system. Canceling with Wave took several days and they charge $6 for something even though the month was paid for in advance.
  • Credit card processing is nice and worked fine for us.
Read full review
Cons
FreshBooks
  • I can brand invoices with my business logo, but I might like to change colours of the invoices themselves to match the rest of my business documents. That isn't a major point at all, but it's something that I'd like to see.
  • Freshbooks doesn't remember the categories that similar expenses were previously assigned to. It would be nice if Freshbooks would suggest a category for an already saved vendor, to ensure the consistency of expense reporting.
  • The home page of a Freshbooks account has a great graph display of expenses and income, but it only shows the last 6 months. This is still very useful, but I'd like to be able to see this kind of graph for different periods of time.
Read full review
Wave
  • I know that credit card processing is a way for Wave to make money, but I really wish they offered ACH payment on Invoices.
  • I do cash-based accounting, which means I have to make little journal entries at the start and end of each year to get my books to balance because Wave wants to do everything differently. This should just be a setting to flip, whether you want cash-based or accrual-based.
  • They use Yodlee for bank connection, which doesn't play nice with 2FA. Pretty much every time I log in I have to re-enter credentials, get a code sent to me, reauthenticate, and know that I'm going to have to do it again next week. Not really on Wave, but wish they could get it together nonetheless.
Read full review
Likelihood to Renew
FreshBooks
At the current needs of our business, FreshBooks suits us perfectly - it allows online access by our accountant to the system for GST purposes, easy input of expenses and tracking of Profit and Loss statements. FreshBooks customer service is great as well - very understanding and accommodating.
Read full review
Wave
Easy to use for clients with no accounting background and the price is right.
Read full review
Usability
FreshBooks
FreshBooks is very easy to use even for novices. If you're looking for an online accounting software that is full of features, has great aesthetics and is user-friendly, then this is definitely the software for you. I've been using it for several years now and despite being tempted to switch by other vendors, I like the feel of FreshBooks and it's mobile features.
Read full review
Wave
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
Read full review
Reliability and Availability
FreshBooks
FreshBooks is easy to use and always works!
Read full review
Wave
WAVE is always available when we need it ! Peter
Read full review
Performance
FreshBooks
No answers on this topic
Wave
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.
Read full review
Support Rating
FreshBooks
I think the support level for FreshBooks is on par with a 6 because the folks behind this application do a fairly good job at providing support for their customer base. I still don't think they are at an elite level when it comes to supporting but are getting there although too slow in my opinion.
Read full review
Wave
I never had to call Wave Support as we barely experienced any support-related problems on our side. However, I do know a few people that complained about Wave support. It would be nice as well, though if they could have more in your face tutorials for new users or how-to videos should we struggle to do something
Read full review
Online Training
FreshBooks
No answers on this topic
Wave
easy to use and east to train on ! Our WAVE clients enjoy the ease of use
Read full review
Implementation Rating
FreshBooks
I haven't changed my mind since my first evaluation. Freshbooks is still meeting my needs, easy to use, etc.
Read full review
Wave
No answers on this topic
Alternatives Considered
FreshBooks
We do not consider other options since our client wants the implementation of this platform in order to use it in the two countries where it has operations.

At the moment, full integration was not possible and we still share the information with a Mexican system to complete everything necessary.
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Wave
Wave is FREE for most functions. Payment processing costs no matter where you go (as does payroll or taxes). Wave rises above tools like QuickBooks Online because they know that for our small firm, being nimble is the name of the game. We don't need exhaustive reporting and management like QB offers and we certainly don't want to pay for it
Read full review
Scalability
FreshBooks
No answers on this topic
Wave
Once they out grow what is ability to move up to a more robust system?
Read full review
Return on Investment
FreshBooks
  • Freshbooks saves me time compared to when I managed to invoice without an app.
  • Freshbooks make keeping my invoices organized which saves me time.
  • Freshbooks helps me to know who is late on payments. When I was doing this by hand, some invoices would get lost in the clutter and I would not find out I haven't been paid until much later.
Read full review
Wave
  • 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.
Read full review
ScreenShots

FreshBooks Screenshots

Screenshot of DashboardScreenshot of Invoice OverviewScreenshot of Beautiful, Customizable InvoicesScreenshot of Invoice seamlessly across devicesScreenshot of ExpensesScreenshot of Time Tracking