Best Free Small Business Accounting Software | Waves Review 2022


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Wave also offers optional additional services that you can add to your accounts, such as online credit card processing for bills, payroll, and outsourced accounting, although these services come at a cost. You can pay for additional features, including a few payroll-related ones, if you want to use Wave but need more than what the free version offers.


Wave accounting is free, which is unusual for well-designed cloud software with mobile apps. There are no monthly or annual fees and no software licenses to purchase. The only costs are for additional company services, which are optional. Here is more information about Wave’s costs and services:

  • Wave Financial accounting software and mobile apps are free. You can create an account and use the software free of charge. There is no limit to the number of transactions, invoices or users your account can have.
  • Online credit card processing for bill payment is an optional service and costs 2.9% plus 30 cents per credit card transaction, or 1%, with a $1 minimum charge, for ACH bank transfers. There are no contracts to sign or monthly fees to pay to use this service.
  • payroll services are optional and cost $20 or $35 per month (depending on your state) plus $4 per employee or contractor.
  • Wave+ Bookkeeping Services are optional; costs start at $129 per month. Wave assigns a dedicated accountant to your account who keeps your books up to date – categorizes transactions, reconciles accounts, and organizes your tax returns and balance sheet – and calls you monthly to review your account.
  • Wave+ Accounting Coaching is an optional service that costs $249. For this one-time fee, you receive 120 minutes with a Wave expert who teaches you accounting. You also get 30 days of email support. Wave can also help you set up your account, migrate your data from another accounting platform, and check your Wave account for errors.


Like other leading accounting apps, Wave has several time-saving features. For example, when you create a quote, you can convert it to an invoice in just two clicks. If you want to rearrange the line items on the invoice, just drag and drop them into place.

Here are some additional features that will help you complete your accounting tasks quickly:

  • You can create recurring invoices (or convert existing invoices to recurring invoices) and schedule them to be automatically sent to your customers, which is a useful feature if your business sells goods or services by subscription. If you use Payments by Wave, you can schedule automatic payments for your recurring bills, helping you get paid faster.
  • Automatic payment reminders allow you to schedule follow-up emails to be sent to your customers. You can choose to send them before, on and after the due date. You can also send reminders manually at any time. Wave has a pre-written email that you can use as is or customize, and you can preview the message before sending it.
  • Wave connects to your bank and credit card accounts and automatically downloads your transactions. You can also link your PayPal account to sync transaction data (but not to accept payments). The software automatically categorizes transactions. You can recategorize them if necessary, and the software remembers these changes so that it can correctly categorize future transactions. You can also reconcile your accounts using Wave.

Wave can track your expenses and you can upload receipt images using your computer or mobile device with Wave’s receipts app. You can also email receipt images to this accounting software. Wave uses optical character recognition to translate images into text for expense transactions and, according to the company, it has a 70% accuracy rate. It attaches the receipt image to the expense transaction so you can view it later if needed.

Here are some other Wave features:

  • This online accounting software allows you to manage suppliers and track invoices.
  • You can generate a dozen different reports using Wave, including general ledger, balance sheet, profit and loss, sales tax, revenue by customer, and accounts receivable reports.
  • Invoices are customizable. You can upload your logo, choose between three invoice templates, and add an accent color. You can decide the column names and columns to include or hide. You can also change the document title and add a subtitle, footer and memo to your invoices.
  • Wave integrates with Etsy, PayPal, Shoeboxed, and Zapier. While these are fewer direct integrations than many Wave competitors offer, you can connect to hundreds of third-party apps through Zapier.

Benefits of the wave

One of the benefits of Wave is that it’s easy to set up and requires minimal information about your business to create an account. After entering basic contact information, you select your business type from a drop-down menu. Wave adds your business contact information to your invoices and other documents, and uses your business type to customize the dashboard with the features you’ll need.

The dashboard is attractive and easy to navigate. It displays your business’s key metrics: cash flow, profit and loss, account balances, invoices and overdue bills, net income, and a graph showing the breakdown of your expenses. The menu bar on the left side of the screen gives you quick access to all features.

For a free accounting software solution, the user experience is excellent. Since Wave is free, no trial period is necessary. If you start using the software and decide you don’t like it, it won’t cost you anything but time.

Wave supports multiple companies, which is a useful feature if you run multiple companies. From your account, you can switch business profiles, so you don’t need to create separate accounts and logins for each of your businesses. However, you cannot see an overview of all your businesses from one screen. You also cannot move transactions between companies.

There is no limit to the number of collaborators (accountants, business partners or employees) you can invite to your account. However, user access controls are more limited than in other programs, so you’ll want to be very selective about who you add to your account. There are three user roles. Viewers can view deals and reports but cannot create or edit them, while editors can view and edit deals and reports. Payroll administrators can access payroll functions.

Disadvantages of waves

A disadvantage of Wave is that it does not track inventory quantities. The knowledge base offers suggested workarounds for businesses with limited inventory, but it’s not ideal for businesses that need real-time information on how many products they have in stock. He also cannot create purchase orders and print checks to pay suppliers.

Another potential downside is that while it lets you capture receipts and create expenses, you can’t automatically convert the expense transaction to an invoice. If there are charges that you need to pass on to a customer, you must manually add a line for the expense to an invoice. You also can’t track billable hours using Wave, but instead you’ll need to manually track and add that information to an invoice.

Finally, the software does not manage fixed assets. Again, workarounds are available, but the software does not calculate depreciation for you.

If you’re looking for extensive functionality and detailed accounting reports, Wave probably isn’t for you. If you’re a freelancer, entrepreneur, or very small business, however, Wave Financial is a great option worth considering.

Customer service

In our experience, getting in touch with Wave has been difficult, unfortunately, as the program does not offer many direct forms of communication.

Wave communicates through email, and when we reached out to them as an interested small business owner in need of help, the process took longer than other accounting programs.

Although it’s difficult to get in touch with someone at Wave, the company offers several online help resources, including a knowledge base, blog, user forum, getting started guides, and video tutorials. Within the software, the company’s WaveBot suggests tips when using a feature for the first time. It also has a help button that you can use to access the help page of the website or user forum.


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