Simple and Straightforward Accounting Software for Entrepreneurs
Updated March 16, 2016

Simple and Straightforward Accounting Software for Entrepreneurs

Melissa Whaley | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Modules Used

  • Payments
  • Receipts
  • Accounting
  • Invoicing

Overall Satisfaction with Accounting by Wave

Wave is my primary accounting program for my business. I am a sole-proprietor business with no employees and prefer cloud based software so I can jump between working on my desktop, laptop, and tablet. I am able to use Wave accounting for all of my invoicing, receiving credit card payments, and tracking expenses. Because it is a full featured double entry accounting program it also is capable of tracking depreciable assets which many other paid online accounting programs do not do.
  • Wave invoicing is clean and easy to use to invoice all my clients, including using their mobile app.
  • Wave payments is great because you can see the payment details including when the money will deposit into your bank account. It also allows you to save payment methods for recurring payments.
  • Wave has excellent customer support, there are various subscription options if you need more dedicated support.
  • Wave does a great job of meeting the needs of small business owners by integrating receipts, invoicing, bank import, payroll, and expense tracking.
  • There are no preset date options for reports. It would be nice if you could select a quick option when running a report like "this month", "this quarter", "last month", "last quarter". It can bee a little cumbersome to manually enter the dates for a report especially when looking for previous years.
  • As a Wave Pro, I have clients who use Wave for Payroll. Under my "collaborator" access I cannot assist them with running payroll or view any payroll reports I have to use their personal login to access payroll. It would be nice to have an option to grant a collaborator more access including Payroll.
  • It would be really great to add a credit memo option. That way you could show that a client has a positive balance on their account. I know there are some funky work-arounds for this, but it's not worth the work to use them.
  • Bank reconciliation technically exists, but it's not intuitive for someone who is used to reconciling in a desktop software such as Quickbooks.
  • Wave has allowed me have a clear picture of my revenue and allowed me to make better business expense decisions.
  • Wave has saved me a lot of money because it is a free service. It saves me a lot of time because it automatically imports my bank transactions.
  • FreshBooks,QuickBooks Online,LessAccounting
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
-Freshbooks wins for invoicing because it gives you multiple options for payment processing integration and it gives you an audit trail on invoices to show when a client has viewed as well as paid. It also has a project time tracking option that you can then invoice time entries.
-Wave wins the accounting side because it actually tracks assets and liabilities, not just income and expenses.
-As far as user friendly and accounting knowledge necessary to use, Freshbooks is slightly easier for those with no accounting knowledge.
-Wave allows bookkeepers to use their own account access through the collaborator feature, Freshbooks has "accountant" access but you can only view reports and export journal entries. If someone wants help editing transactions they have to share their login info.

Wave vs Quickbooks Online
-Quickbooks Online wins for customization and range of features especially custom reports, sub-accounts in the chart of accounts, and traditional bank reconciliation.
-Wave is better in ease of use
-Wave Payroll offers a Tax service that automates payroll tax filing, Quickbooks Payroll does not do that you still have to hit send

Wave vs Less Accounting
- Overall I found LessAccounting and Wave very comparable products, but LessAccounting is a paid product and Wave's base product is free w/ advertising on the sidebar.
-In the range of features, Wave has more integrated options such as Payroll and Payment Processing.
-LessAccounting has a strong emphasis on education and tries to educate the user on basic bookkeeping processes within the software
-LessAccounting has a slightly better bank reconciliation feature, but only slightly better because you enter the starting and ending statement balances. Neither product are strong on true bank statement reconciliation.

Wave is ideal for the solo-preneur service based start-up. It is meant for businesses who have operated out of a shoebox, or Excel spreadsheet, in the past and are looking to step up their game. It is not dummy proof so you still have to understand the very basics of accounting especially if you have bank accounts and credit cards auto importing transactions.

Wave does not have project management, or timed billing, like some other programs do, so if that is a high priority there may be other accounting software that fit their needs better. The bank reconciliation feature is a little weird so it might not be as strong for corporations that need to keep on top of account balances for tax reporting.

Wave Accounting Feature Ratings

Accounts payable
Accounts receivable
Cash management
Bank reconciliation
Expense management
Fixed asset management
Multi-currency support
Regulations compliance
Self-service portal
Not Rated
Order entry
Not Rated
Credit card processing
Cost of goods sold
Pay calculation
Benefit plan administration
Not Rated
Direct deposit files
Salary revision and increment management
Not Rated
Standard reports
Custom reports
API for custom integration
Not Rated
Role-based user permissions
Single sign-on capability
Not Rated

Using Accounting by Wave

1 - Owner and sole-proprietor. I have no other employees at this time so I take care of my own bookkeeping and invoicing.

Accounting by Wave Implementation

Using Accounting by 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.
Like to use
Relatively simple
Easy to use
Technical support not required
Well integrated
Quick to learn
Feel confident using
  • Invoicing
  • Transaction Entry
  • Receipt upload
  • Journal Entries
  • Credit Memos
Yes - There are three separate Mobile apps for Wave Accounting: Invoicing, Receipts, and Payments (integrates with Stripe).
The invoicing app is really great and easy to create and send invoices to existing clients from the app. It also allows to set up notifications for items such as overdue invoices and payments.
The receipt app has issues with crashing on occasion, but usually is quickly resolved with logging out and and back in. You can quickly snap a photo of a receipt to send to the web app. You still need to login to the web app to review and accept the receipt details.
The payments app is great because it does not require a card reader and uses the phone's camera or allows manual card number entry.

Accounting by Wave Reliability

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.