FreshBooks vs Wave Accounting Comparison


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Wave helps small businesses and freelancers manage double-entry accounting. It features a simple UI and applications for payroll and online payments and includes 2 months of free chat support. For very small businesses that rely mostly on invoicing, QuickBooks Online’s additional features might be overkill.

inventory tracking

Another difference is that QuickBooks is one of the most comprehensive finance tools on the market, while Wave is a better choice if you want simplicity instead of complexity. For small and growing businesses, QuickBooks Online can give you a way to manage your business today and grow along with your business tomorrow. While Wave’s reports are adequate, you have much more data at your fingertips with QuickBooks Online’s reporting capabilities. Currently, Wave only offers 12 reports; though they are useful reports, with limited capability to customize the report. You can export any report to a CSV file for customizing, or save any report as a PDF.

Read our review of QuickBooks Online to see why it’s our overall best small business accounting software. FinancesOnline is available for free for all business professionals interested in an efficient way to find top-notch SaaS solutions. We are able to keep our service free of charge thanks to cooperation with some of the vendors, who are willing to pay us for traffic and sales opportunities provided by our website. It’s hard to beat free accounting and invoicing software, especially if you’re a freelancer or very small business. However, Wave cannot – and shouldn’t – offer every possible feature for niche use cases. QuickBooks can be quite heavy for freelancers and very small businesses, even when using its Essentials plan.

Wave VS QuickBooks Online Features

Compensation may impact the order of which offers appear on page, but our editorial opinions and ratings are not influenced by compensation. Try it today and find out how it can save you time and money. Wave has two payroll options, although these are not included in the free plan.

  • Both Wave and QuickBooks Online offer good integration with other software apps.
  • Native integrations, including connections to 400+ business apps.
  • Unfortunately, time tracking is another feature that Wave lacks.
  • With Wave, you receive a lot of features, like unlimited invoices and unlimited users, that are not always included with paid accounting software plans.
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Moreover, Wave is rated at 99%, while QuickBooks is rated 96% for their user satisfaction level. Jump ahead to our pricing comparison of Wave vs QuickBooks to find out what Wave charges for and how they make money. QuickBooks is designed to get you in the best possible position when tax time rolls around, but it also keeps you up-to-date throughout the rest of the year. Both applications make it easy to get started and find your way around without any issues.


Other features you may want to consider include whether the software has a mobile app, how good its customer service is and how well it does with accounts receivable (A/R) and financial reporting. Features worth noting include customizable invoices, automatic sales receipts, inventory tracking, project management, and hundreds of integrations. The numerous features, add-ons, and integrations make QuickBooks Online your one-stop cloud-based accounting shop. QuickBooks Online is suitable for businesses of all sizes, as it supports up to 25 users based on the plan you select. Inventory management, project tracking and time tracking, FreshBooks delivers better than Wave. While Wave has competitive invoicing capabilities, it’s lacking when it comes to much else beyond basic reporting, bank reconciliation and income and expense tracking.

These solutions are integrated within your dashboard and you’ll access them both through your single Wave login. Allows an unlimited number of users; ideal for very small service-based businesses, freelancers or contractors; not ideal for businesses with more than a handful of employees. Must pay extra for phone support; live chat support only included with paid services . For micro businesses and self-employed entrepreneurs who just need the essentials, this free accounting software is a great option. This may influence which products we review and write about , but it in no way affects our recommendations or advice, which are grounded in thousands of hours of research. Our partners cannot pay us to guarantee favorable reviews of their products or services.

  • None of FreshBooks’ plans include an audit trail that accountants can review.
  • Very small businesses and self-employed professionals needing basic invoicing may do well with Wave.
  • It’s free to use, and the clear user interface makes it easy for anyone to adopt and navigate, so you can spend more time offering your services and less on managing your business.
  • All plans include 24/7 live chat support; phone support is available 5 a.m.

FreshBooks’ Lite plan falls short for reasons aside from its billable client limit. It’s also missing basics like double-entry accounting reports (i.e., a chart of accounts and general ledger), accountant access and bank reconciliation tools. These features shouldn’t require a plan upgrade and Wave offers them for free, making it a better deal than FreshBooks’ Lite plan. Project tracking tools in higher-tier plans; lacks industry-specific reports and transaction tracking tags; users with multiple businesses must pay for separate subscriptions.

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Kelly is an SMB Editor specializing in starting and marketing new ventures. Before joining the team, she was a Content Producer at Fit Small Business where she served as an editor and strategist covering small business marketing content. She is a former Google Tech Entrepreneur and she holds an MSc in International Marketing from Edinburgh Napier University.

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Support for non-paying users is limited to the chatbot and self-service Help Center. 4.4 out of 5 stars based on user reviews collected by G2Crowd as of Spring 2022. With Wave, you don’t need to choose the package that’s right for you. Invoicing and accounting are free and unlimited for everyone. You can just create your free Wave account, set up your business in minutes and see for yourself.

As Wave is so easy to set up and use, it’s a better choice than QuickBooks if you’re not sure what you’re looking for or are less tech-savvy. Wave is free forever, so you don’t need a trial or demo to get started. Once you’ve signed up, you have access to all the features you need. QuickBooks also offers 50% off for your first 3 months if you buy without a free trial period. Wave edges ahead of QuickBooks when it comes to ease of use and ease of set up, while QuickBooks wins on its range of features.

If you want a budget-friendly accounting and invoicing solution, Wave is a great free alternative to QuickBooks. Wave’s average rating of 4.4/5 stars from 200 reviews showcases its small but passionate fanbase, while QuickBooks’ 4.0/5 stars from a whopping 2,349 reviews reveals its huge satisfied user base. Only has built-in and supported integrations with Google Sheets and PayPal, but you can sync it to your other apps using solutions like Zapier (best for one-way trigger-action automations). If you don’t have seamless processes for managing the flow of money in your business, you have trouble on your hands. All of HubSpot’s marketing, sales CRM, customer service, CMS, and operations software on one platform. QuickBooks Online offers more than 50 standard reports that can be customized within the application, exported to Microsoft Excel for further customization, or saved as a PDF.

The Premium plan adds more features, such as workers’ comp administration and same-day direct deposit. The top-level Elite plan gives you access to features, including a personal HR advisor, customized setup, and 24/7 customer support. As you would expect, these services are not included in your monthly QuickBooks Online subscription fee and must be purchased for an additional monthly cost. The best accounting software programs all provide similar features, so when considering which one is best for your business, you need to consider which features are the most important to your situation. This will help you decide which accounting software meets your needs best.

Another convenient feature is the choice to have online payments automatically applied to an outstanding invoice, or handle the process manually, in order to ensure proper application of the payment. Designed for micro-businesses and sole proprietors, Wave makes it easy to keep track of your finances. Includes project tracking tools in higher tier plans; has transaction tracking tags; lacks industry-specific reports; users with multiple businesses must pay for separate subscriptions. Both Wave and QuickBooks Online have all of the features you’d expect from accounting software, including invoicing, expense tracking, reports, and tax support.

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Wave offers its own in-house payroll and payment processing, but it doesn’t integrate with third-party apps. This can be limiting for small businesses that use separate software for inventory management, customer relationship management or payroll. Additionally, it doesn’t integrate with card readers for in-person payments, which rules it out as an option for many retail stores and pop-up shops. Wave’s free pricing and easy-to-use software make it a standout among other accounting software. Add in a good public reputation and a load of great features, and it’s easy to see why Wave is a top choice among small business users. On the other hand, Wave’s lack of integrations and advanced features such as project management can be a dealbreaker, particularly for larger businesses.

QuickBooks offers four pricing plans with monthly subscriptions. All plans include customer support, integration with apps you already use, and secure bank connection. Discounts are regularly offered and a free 30-day trial is available. Announced Wave Money in June 2020, their take on “the future of small business banking”. This will offer their customers a business bank account with a debit card and mobile app with built-in bookkeeping. We’re really excited to see how this benefits Wave users as it becomes more widely available.

Wave doesn’t include a time-tracking feature, so you’ll have to track hours separately and enter them manually for hourly work. Wave is an up-and-coming contender in invoicing and payments software for small businesses. It’s primarily devoted to freelancers and small single-owner businesses, offering a single free plan that lets you send invoices, track expenses, receive online payments and run financial reports. Has a strong invoicing feature; app lets users send invoices on the go; offers significantly fewer reports than competitors; no inventory tracking. However, if you have a lot of bills to pay, the lack of bill payment capability in Wave may be an issue.

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The potentially good news, though, is that Wave has been known to listen to its customers and update the software to include new features. So it may be possible that time tracking will be added to the software further down the road. As for Wave, this is one area where the software falls short. Whether or not Wave will add this in the future is unknown, but as of this time, businesses that need even basic project management features will need to look elsewhere. Fortunately, this will be sufficient for many businesses, as the most common reports are included. You can customize reports, easily compare your data to past periods, and create customer statements.


This website is using a security Bookkeeping to protect itself from online attacks. The action you just performed triggered the security solution. There are several actions that could trigger this block including submitting a certain word or phrase, a SQL command or malformed data. Tim is a Certified QuickBooks Time Pro, QuickBooks ProAdvisor, and CPA with 25 years of experience.