Wave vs Quickbooks: An Honest Review of 2 Powerful Accounting Tools

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Although Wave provides free accounting software that is simple to use, can it compete with QuickBooks, which is highly regarded for its features and integrations?

Let’s take a look at the argument of Wave vs QuickBooks to discover which is a better fit for your company. 

Since 2004, QuickBooks has established itself as one of the most popular tools in the accounting industry. It’s long-standing years in the industry definitely adds to the backing of support behind this tool.

On the other side of the ring, Wave is a cloud-based accounting system that gives small business owners a comprehensive solution for their financials in one package. A unique selling point for this firm is that their software is free and so users won’t have to compromise on quality in exchange for savings. These impressive features include cost tracking, payment processing, invoicing, and even financing.

Wave is challenging QuickBooks for first place in the small company accounting market.


Wave’s well-organized user interface (UI) is simple to navigate and use, even for those who have no prior accounting expertise. In addition, there are a range of customer assistance alternatives available to assist you in getting the most of the program if you run into any difficulties.

Along with being inexpensive, this program is highly user-friendly, irrespective of your accounting experience. Wave has various features, many of which are comparable to those found in commercial accounting software.

Unlimited invoicing, expenditure recording, payment processing, bill pay, and a simple inventory list are some of the most prominent and helpful features. 

Wave vs QuickBooks Dashboard Comparison


Even if you don’t have any prior accounting or bookkeeping expertise, you are probably at least aware of QuickBooks, the program that many business owners consider to be the “gold standard” in the field of accounting software.

You’ve undoubtedly also heard stories about how difficult it may be to understand and utilize new software programs. If this makes you feel uncomfortable to start something new, don’t be!

In comparison to its desktop predecessor, QuickBooks Online is a cloud-based application that is simpler to learn and use. However, that does not imply that it is the most user-friendly program you will ever come across.

Wave vs QuickBooks Dashboard Comparison


Accounting software such as Wave and QuickBooks Online provides all of the functionality you need for total financial control of your business.

Besides invoicing and contact management, both applications provide expenditure monitoring, inventory reporting, sales order management, and tax assistance. 

Both programs also provide built-in loans, making it easier for customers to obtain company funding more straightforwardly.

In addition to more complex functionality, QuickBooks provides two additional features that are not available in Wave: project management and time tracking. Let’s take a closer look at some of the unique features of Wave and QuickBooks Online. 

Wave vs QuickBooks – Ease Of Use

Once you’ve factored in cost, it’s critical to assess the user-friendliness of the system. After all, low-cost software might appear to be an attractive option on the surface, but if the program is cumbersome to use, is it even worth the trouble?

Fortunately, Wave’s freshly updated user interface (UI) is simple to navigate even with little accounting experience or financial management knowledge. As a result, setting up an account is straightforward, and starting up takes little time at all.

Wave vs QuickBooks – Accounting

QuickBooks Online allows you to pick your accounting approach because it supports real money and accrual accounting techniques. In addition, Journal entries, a comprehensive ledger of balances, and bank reconciliation are included in this software package.

Wave also uses cash-basis accounting as well as accrual accounting. The one disadvantage is that this program only permits you to create reports on a cash-based or an accrual basis, which is not ideal.

Invoicing with Wave and QuickBooks

In Wave, you’ll spend the vast majority of your time classifying transactions so that you can quickly review them for tax preparation. This management happens on the main dashboard, where you may see transaction details and options for classifying your input.

Wave can quickly obtain this financial information from your linked bank accounts. However, Wave has a read-only link to your accounts for security reasons. So that just means that you will not be able to use Wave to transfer cash between accounts.

Wave vs QuickBooks – Invoicing & Payments

With invoicing and payment tools, both Wave and QuickBooks assist you in alleviating this time-sucking situation. Both systems provide invoice generation at no cost. Although they also both have fees when being used as a third-party service provider for credit card transactions.

Wave and QuickBooks credit card processing fees are varied, but both are lower than the rates you would pay if you worked directly with the credit card providers.

Automated Payments

Several automated functions are built into Wave’s invoicing and payment system, such as the ability to categorize your accounts and remind customers to make payments. Wave also provides automated recurring billing, which allows you to assure that you will get paid by repeat clients on a monthly, weekly, or quarterly basis.

Customers may pay directly from QuickBooks invoices, and they can pick from a variety of payment alternatives, such as ApplePay, PayPal, and credit cards. Customers can also pay directly from QuickBooks invoices. 

Another impressive accounting software to improve your invoicing process is FreshBooks. Learn more about this tool by clicking HERE!

Wave accounting vs QuickBooks for Ecommerce Professionals

Wave Payroll vs QuickBooks

The Wave payroll system offers various other services for businesses with employees. In addition to a nearly automated payroll system with rapid confirmations, they also provide an employee self-service site for receipts and banking details, direct payments, and specific settings to give workers perks and vacations.

Important to Note: Wave charges a fixed monthly cost and a fee for each active employee that works for the company.

Wave also provides several useful features, such as accessible automated tax filings for fourteen states. 

What are the 5 eCommerce job descriptions you need on your team? Top 5 Ecommerce Job Descriptions You Need To Hear Now

Payroll services are available on two levels in QuickBooks – Enhanced and Full Service. However, it is crucial to note that integration is definitely not as user-friendly even at the Enhanced level compared to Wave payroll. 

Unfortunately, you will have to manually import or input time from your time tracking program for each pay period, which can be inconvenient. Tax filing, on the other hand, is straightforward since QuickBooks will immediately produce your tax forms.

Wave Accounting vs QuickBooks – Project Management 

In comparison to other accounting software, QuickBooks Online offers an excellent project management function. However, if you run a project-based firm, you may still want a complete solution to meet your needs. Either the Basics, Plus, or Advanced subscription is required to access these features.

While Wave is capable of many things, project management is not available with this software. Even if Wave decides to implement this in the future, it will most likely be pretty basic.

Wave vs QuickBooks – Collaboration 

In Wave, you’ll need to enable your tax accountant or “collaborator” to each account that you want them to be able to see for full access. While tiresome, with this security feature, you have complete control over who has access to which corporate or personal accounts.

Collaboration rights include the ability to read, modify, and transmit content, but don’t worry, collaborators do not have access to your financial or credit card information.

That being said, QuickBooks includes a whole other piece of software developed just for accountants, allowing them to handle many client accounts from a single interface. 

Wave vs QuickBooks: Customer Support

Wave Accounting vs QuickBooks – Customer Service & Support

In terms of customer care and support, the best part for Wave customers is that they have various services at their disposal.

One of Wave’s most significant shortcomings in terms of customer care and support seems to be that chat and phone assistance are only available to those who purchase credit card processing or wage bill services via the company. QuickBooks Online customers face the opposite dilemma. The company provides phone assistance; however, there is no option for email support.

While QuickBooks’s customer care and assistance have significantly improved in the coming days, there are still certain things to keep in mind when working with the software program.

Luckily for new users, wait times have decreased and the actual usefulness of QuickBook’s customer care representatives has increased. In addition, QuickBooks has several useful tools and resources for users, including in-software support and video courses.

Wave vs QuickBooks Pricing

Wave vs QuickBooks – Pricing

Wave derives its revenue from the processing of payments and the administration of payroll. The QuickBooks Online payment system is an optional add-on that your company may find helpful and would like to use. 

Payment processing is charged on a per-transaction basis and is 2.9 percent plus $0.30 for Mastercard, Credit card, and Discover payments and 3.4 percent depending on the card type. Payments made using ACH are 1 percent each transaction.

If you want a higher level of customized care, Wave can provide it for a cost through three distinct package options. The three options range in price between $45 to $125 each month, with an extra $4 to $10 for each employee on top of the monthly fee.

If you do not register for the trial period, you may be ineligible for savings on payroll services, which are available to those who do. 

Wave vs QuickBooks, How to Choose?

Let’s start here first, you really can’t go wrong.

There are pros and cons with each tool but ultimately what the decision of Wave vs QuickBooks comes down to is what your business needs. Is credit card payment processing crucial? Do you require a strong support team? How large is your business? Do you have employees?

These are all great questions to ask yourself to make this decision.

If you’re still eager to learn more, check out: FreshBooks vs QuickBooks: The Ultimate 2021 Cheat Sheet

BeyondSixFigures Answers the question of Wave vs QuickBooks

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BeyondSixFigures is a company dedicated to helping eCommerce business owners develop and scale their businesses. The 6 Months Mastermind Coaching program, led by eCommerce expert Justin Woll himself, will provide you with all the tools you need to launch a successful online store. Let Justin help you answer these tough questions such as whether to go with Wave accounting vs QuickBooks or whether you need that more comprehensive tool.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Is Wave as good as QuickBooks?

The most significant difference between the two accounting systems might be that Wave is free, but QuickBooks is not, as previously stated earlier in the article.

Another variation is that QuickBooks is among the complete financial management programs available, but Wave is a better alternative if you choose simplicity over complexity in your financial management.

Is Wave really free?

Because Wave is entirely free, it differs from other free accounting applications in that it does not impose artificial restrictions on the number of invoices, accounts, goods, or other features.

It is only necessary to pay for payroll, payment processing, and professional bookkeeping services if you want to expand your business.

Is Wave Accounting good?

Wave is a fantastic, free accounting service that caters to the needs of freelancers. Its invoice production and administration features are also rather decent, albeit the invoices themselves might be a little more customizable in their design.

Can you switch from Wave to QuickBooks?

It is possible to scan receipts and attach them to expenditure entries by transferring from Wave to QuickBooks utilizing the QuickBooks Desktop inventory tracking and receipt management software.

You may import lists such as clients, suppliers, charts of accounts, goods, services, and other information when migrating from Wave.

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