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Wave Accounting Software for Small Businesses: Our Review and Recommendations for 2022

A software that is free, secure, intuitive, and easy to use... the advantage is already clear. Read on as we go in-depth about Wave Accounting, and help you decide if it?s the right choice for your small business.

Tamara Cohen
Tamara Cohen
July 30, 2022

Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This may influence which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own.

A man at his desk types on a traditional calculator as he compliments tasks completed with Wave Accounting.

Wave Accounting Review: What You Need To Know

When selecting an accounting software for your small business, you may discover that cost is just as essential to you as functionality. In which case you may look at free accounting solutions.

While a loan is a viable solution, there are very few free accounting software solutions in the market and Wave Accounting is one of them. 

Furthermore, Wave is free and it is also secure, simple to use and intuitive. Plus, it offers extensive accounting features. 

Additionally, along with their free software Wave offers premium add-ons such as Payments by Wave and Wave Payroll. So now you can handle your entire business accounting in one place.

“Millions of individuals use wave accounting software and it's easy to predict why”

Wave Accounting: The Details

Millions of individuals use wave accounting software and it's easy to predict why. This cloud-based accounting software provides a comprehensive set of accounting functions suited for most small businesses. 

Plus Wave is free so these features are very appealing. While you may pay for add-ons like payroll, payment processing or professional bookkeeping all other operations are completely free. And there are no other artificial constraints.

There are still a few areas where Wave may be improved. For example, there is no project management component, no time monitoring, no inventory and insufficient mobile apps.

Wave Accounting Software Activity

When it comes to accounting software, you'll want to know what type of activities you may do with your account. With Wave Accounting you can quickly and easily set up your Wave account.

Connect your company bank account and start using all of the software's features. Once you've linked your bank account your transactions will be instantly reflected in your accounting.

Wave will provide you full access to your account's actions such as revenue and cost tracking, guest collaborators, bank and credit card connections. Additionally, Wave Accounting  allows customizable invoicing and receipt scanning.

As a result, you may connect your firm's accounts and track your spending easily without the fear of exceeding any limitations or incurring any costs.

Wave Accounting Additional Features

In addition to the features mentioned above Wave accounting software has other extra features too. All of which are intended to streamline your company's accounting, tax and general financial operations.

As a result, when you use Wave you get several benefits such as payments in foreign currency with automated exchange rate computations. Plus, exportable accounting reports such as profit and loss statements. Along with which it also gives sales tax reports, cash flow reports and more.

Customizable sales taxes, bill and invoice reminders, journal transactions and the option to link with PayPal, Shoeboxed, and Etsy are just a few of the features available.

Not to mention the option to manage several businesses from a single account, search transaction descriptions, 256-bit SSL encryption, data backup and double entry software.

“You may enhance your capabilities with Wave's premium add-ons”

Wave Accounting Add On Services

You may use Wave's free or pay as you add-ons. 

You may increase your capabilities and execute more of your business accounting activities in one platform by using the add on services.

Wave Accounting Add-On Services Are Provided For Free

Wave has two free add-ons invoicing and receipts that can enhance your accounting skills without increasing your budget. 

Pay As You Go Wave Accounting Add-On Services

In addition to the free Wave accounting software and add-ons for invoicing and receipts you may enhance your capabilities with Wave's premium add-ons. They include Payments by Wave and Wave Payroll.

Although some add-ons are not free, they are paid as you go. Which means that the cost is determined by how often you use them. 

As a result, if you want access to these extra features you don't have to worry about paying an extra charge while you're not using them.

Advantages And Disadvantages Of Wave Accounting

Advantages of Wave Accounting

Simple to Use

Wave not only provides an economical and customizable accounting solution but it also provides an easy-to-use system. 

As a small business owner with several duties the usability of your accounting platform is critical. Especially given it's a system you'll be using regularly and one that holds critical information about your company's finances.

Add-Ons With Customizability

If you wish to keep your accounting software fully free Wave allows you to do so. However, features like payment processing and payroll can only be availed at a certain cost.

Free of charge

The fact that Wave accounting software is free is maybe its most significant advantage. As previously said Wave is one of the few truly free accounting software solutions available. And despite its low cost it is not lacking in capability. 

With the robust accounting skills that Wave can give your company there's no doubt that the cost of Wave or lack thereof can be very appealing to the customer.


Not Recommended For Large Groups

Another potential disadvantage of the Wave accounting software is the cost of the payroll add-on.

Although the monthly cost and per employee charge may not be too much of an issue if you have a small team.

If you have a bigger team with numerous individuals on your payroll it might rapidly become expensive.

Inadequate Advanced Features

Finally, one disadvantage you should be aware of is Wave's lack of complex accounting tools. 

There is no doubt that Wave has outstanding capabilities. And offers some great features for free. But there are several other complex features it does not offer. Such as inventory monitoring, budgeting and vendor management.

Tax Capabilities Are Limited

One disadvantage of Wave accounting software is the absence of capabilities to assist with corporate taxes.

As a result, if you're seeking an accounting software that might contain extra tax aid Wave can be worth considering.

“No accounting software is one size fits all for a small business”

Top Alternatives To Wave Accounting

No accounting software is one size fits all for a small business. Each firm has unique financials and requires unique features from its accounting software.

Here are some Wave options to consider.

QuickBooks Online

QuickBooks Online is one of the most popular accounting systems on the market. It offers the fundamental accounting features offered by Wave. And that too without restricting you. Depending on the number of customers.

QuickBooks Online's higher level plans can enable you to handle invoices, track time, inventory and project profitability among other things.

While QuickBooks Online isn't as straightforward and user-friendly as Wave it is still a tried and tested option.


If you enjoy the ease of use and accessibility of Wave accounting but need to do things like time tracking or project management then FreshBooks is a good option.

FreshBooks even allows you to manage time costs, make online credit card payments, obtain tax data, and interact with over 200 third-party solutions in its most basic edition. 

FreshBooks offers additional features such as client and project management tools plus even budgeting and much more as plan levels improve.

The Bottom Line

Wave is particularly created for small company owners to use regardless of their bookkeeping expertise. 

Wave enhanced its software and addressed numerous consumer issues in its most recent makeover. Nonetheless the platform still lacks a few functions.

Wave's track record for upgrades suggests that these functionalities will be added shortly. 

But Wave is still a fantastic option for small company owners, who are looking for a basic and easy to use accounting software that isn't too expensive. 

Wave's customer support tools and new Wave Advisor services simplify learning the program for users with no accounting background.

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