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Choose the Best Accounting Software For You

The company also offers its own Wave Payroll solution — just keep in mind that it only handles payroll taxes in some states and isn’t free. This will help you decide which accounting software meets your needs best. 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. Conversely, Wave offers invoicing, expense tracking, recurring billing, and automatic payments for free. Many users choose Wave because those essential accounting features are entirely free, and additional features like payroll, payment processing, and bookkeeping services can be purchased.

  1. She also regularly writes about business for various consumer publications.
  2. 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.
  3. The Lite plan is $17 per month, and includes core features such as custom invoicing and unlimited estimates, but is capped at just five billable clients.
  4. Paid plans start at $40 per month, with an additional $6 for each active employee or independent contractor.
  5. FreshBooks offers the ability to customize reports on some plans (Plus, Premium, and Select) but Wave doesn’t offer custom reporting on any plans.

FreshBooks includes 14 standard reports, with limited customization available, though you can export any report to Microsoft Excel for customizing. FreshBooks does offer a nice report screen, where you can save favorite reports for easier future access. The Wave Launchpad serves as a good starting point for new users, guiding you through the system setup process. Once setup is complete, the Wave dashboard serves as the homepage, offering a summarized view of your business. Even with the availability of easy-to-use applications such as these, there remains a need for adequate product support. No matter how many resources are provided, it’s always nice to have the option to call support and talk to someone about a persistent problem.

Wave’s dashboard also offers a nice snapshot of your business, including both overdue bills and invoices, cash flow, and current bank balances. Recent updates in Wave include enhanced system navigation, easier journal entry capability, and a rebuilt reports page that is better organized for easier report access. Wave Accounting’s only built-in integration is with its payroll product, Wave Payroll. And while Wave Payroll is perfectly serviceable, that’s about all it is. The software includes only basic payroll features like paycheck calculation, direct deposit, access to one payroll report and end-of-year W-2 form generation. If you want multiple eyes on your accounts without paying extra, Xero has unlimited users.

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For a more in-depth overview of Wave’s features, check out the full Wave review. The company aims to be an all-in-one financial management solution for small businesses and has earned an “A” rating from the BBB. However, many users criticize Wave for its poor customer service, citing slow email responses and less-than-knowledgeable support staff. Technical issues are another concern; users complain about persistent bugs and functional limitations, including problems with connectivity to American Express accounts. Despite these criticisms, Wave has a loyal user base among freelancers and sole proprietors who appreciate its free basic features for straightforward financial tasks.

This scalability ensures that the software remains a valuable asset as the business changes. We went to user review websites to read first-hand reviews why you have to file a tax return from actual software users. This user review score helps us give more credit to software products that deliver a consistent service to their customers.

What customers are saying about FreshBooks

FreshBooks, on the other hand, charges $11 per month per additional user and is better suited for contractors and freelancers. Each FreshBooks plan comes with just one user with the exception of the custom Select plan, which includes two. While FreshBooks also has different subscription tiers, its reporting capabilities and other functions aren’t as varied or advanced as QuickBooks. FreshBooks has one of the easiest invoicing features across accounting software tools.

Alternatives to Wave and FreshBooks

However, with four plans available, FreshBooks can also be used by growing companies. Because of its simple and intuitive interface, FreshBooks is perfect for those entering the business world for the first time who know nothing about accounting. Wave was designed for freelancers, small firms, and sole proprietors. Accounting capabilities in Wave are absolutely free; therefore, you’ll only pay for the application if you use Wave Payments or Wave Payroll. Wave is a suitable option if you intend to stay as the sole proprietor.

FreshBooks vs Wave: Mobile App Functionality

Once a project is done, you can generate an invoice directly from this screen, where all information will be pulled to the invoice and you can send it with just a couple clicks. FreshBooks pricing begins at $15 per month for the Lite Plan and costs up to $50 per month with the Premium Plan. There is no free plan however, there’s a 30-day free trial period to test out FreshBooks, thereafter, a plan has to be purchased. Compare ZoomInfo vs Apollo to decide which platform is better suited for your business needs. Learn how CRM for private equity firms revolutionizes investor relations, deal management, and portfolio tracking. FreshBooks wins this round because it integrates with more apps directly than Wave.

Lastly, our expert opinion score is our subjective rating based on our experience in trying the software. The software must have enough reports that can be generated with a few clicks. Moreover, we’d also like to see customization options to enable users to generate reports based on what they want to see. This section focuses more on first-time setup and software settings.

If you have a limited budget and require free accounting and invoicing software, Wave may be a better solution. FreshBooks has an advantage here because it offers phone support, whereas Wave offers chat and email. FreshBooks wins this round since it is the only one of the two that has project management features.

You’re not just choosing software; you’re choosing a financial partner for your business. Top Consumer Reviews has reviewed the best small business accounting software solutions to help you make this choice. The banking section of this case study focuses on cash management, bank reconciliation, and bank feed connections. The software must have bank integrations to automatically feed bank or card transactions. The bank reconciliation module must also let users reconcile accounts with or without bank feeds for optimal ease of use.

In this blog post, we’ll compare FreshBooks and Wave, going over their features, advantages, and disadvantages. Our goal is to assist you in making an informed decision that makes financial management easier for you. 4.4 out of 5 stars based on user reviews collected by G2Crowd as of January 2024.

You can send one-time invoices or schedule recurring invoices for repeat clients. For recurring invoices, you can set how many need to be sent, the sending schedule, and the issue dates. FreshBooks operates on a plan pricing tier, while Wave is priced per feature. Quick descriptions of each tool’s payment options are outlined below. While weighing your options between FreshBooks and Wave, we encourage you to explore our comprehensive list of the best online accounting for small businesses. This list lets you compare FreshBooks and Wave alongside competitors like Xero, Zoho Books, and QuickBooks Online.


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