Wave Accounting Review: App Features, Pricing, Pros & Cons

Last Updated:Thursday, November 9, 2023

Accounting software is essential for freelancers, contractors, and businesses in general. However, sometimes an accounting software system can be pricey. The great news is there’s a free app called Wave to help you handle bookkeeping.

In this Wave accounting review, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about this user-friendly, free accounting software.

We’ll show how the app keeps track of your cash flow, and go over the most important app features, pricing, and pros and cons.


Wave accounting review 2023: Is Wave accounting any good?

Wave is a double-entry accounting website designed for freelancers, self-employed contractors, and small businesses. Our Wave accounting review finds the best things the app has going for it are its excellent features and the fact the basic software’s completely free. Paid features include payroll and customer payments. 

Wave was founded in Toronto, Canada in 2009. The first iteration of the software was released in 2010 as a free accounting website. After offering free online accounting software for a time, the platform grew to include many tools for double-entry bookkeeping as well as other financial services like payment processing.

In July 2019, H&R Block acquired Wave, and the website gained more tools and features, such as the integration with H&R Block for tax filing, an improved transactions page, a new Activity tab in the expanded customer profiles, and the ability to attach receipts to transactions.

Today’s Wave Accounting offers robust invoicing, accounting, and receipt tracking functionality. It’s a good option to think about if you're a small business owner looking for free cloud-based accounting software. Indeed, it’s earned a place on our accounting software for small business best of list. 

The app offers a user-friendly, feature-rich application that works for those who don't have much accounting experience. It's one of the few really free choices available and may help you handle all of your accounting tasks in one simple location.

Keep reading our Wave bookkeeping review to find out more about the pricing plans as well as the most prominent features of this software.


Wave accounting pricing plans

First of all, how much does Wave accounting cost? Let’s first review Wave accounting prices:

Wave Accounting Plan

Monthly Pricing


Invoicing features



Accounting features



Banking features



Credit card payments

starts at 2.9% + $0.6 per transaction


Bank payments

1% per transaction



starts at $20



starts at $149


How much does Wave accounting cost for nonprofits?

Wave accounting is free, and makes a point of its everyday usefulness for nonprofits, noting that users don’t need training as an accountant to implement it. Additionally, Wave’s double-entry accounting makes it easy to pass books on to an external accountant when that becomes necessary.

You can check out the vendor website for more points on why Wave can work for nonprofits.


Are there any Wave accounting software coupon codes or promo discount vouchers?

We did the research, and it seems there are no Wave accounting coupon codes or discount vouchers at this time.


Wave accounting overview: what is Wave accounting & what is the Wave accounting system used for?

Wave accounting is a cloud-based accounting website designed for freelancers, self-employed contractors, small business entrepreneurs, and startup owners. Wave is best known for two things—its free version and ease of use.

The platform is broken down into five suites of financial tools. There is a basic accounting suite. It lets you manage all your expenses and track your income. You can create customizable invoices and monitor their payments. 

Wave accounting integrates with bank accounts, and can accept credit card payments as well as online bank transfers to your business. It lets you do payroll and calculate taxes. You can also manage paying outside contractors, and send and manage receipts. 

Mobile apps for Android and iOS devices are also provided. 


Wave accounting software free vs paid: what’s the difference?

The main difference between Wave accounting free and paid is that the latter provides access to additional features, such as Wave payroll, payments, and invoicing. With the free version of Wave, you can still do your bookkeeping and track expenses. However, you won’t be able to send invoices or process payments. 

While most small business accounting software charge for their services—from $4.99 per month for GoDaddy Bookkeeping’s base product to $80 per month for QuickBooks Online Plus—Wave Accounting is free invoicing software.

When it comes to Wave payroll, the monthly fee starts at $20 plus $6 for each employee or contractor for states where payroll taxes must be paid and filed manually. 

However, if you live in Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, New York, North Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin, your monthly fee starts at $35 plus $6 for each employee or contractor.

There are certain fees associated with payroll and payments. Credit card processing costs 2.9% plus 60 cents for each transaction. The cost is slightly higher for American Express (3.4% plus 60 cents per transaction). There is a $1 minimum fee and a 1% charge for bank transactions.

Another significant difference is the customer support. Wave accounting provides different levels of support for customers who use different parts of Wave. 


Wave accounting features list

The Wave accounting system comes with a wide range of features, such as invoicing, expense tracking, and bookkeeping. With Wave, you can also accept payments, run payroll, and get access to advisors. 

The main features of Wave accounting are:

  • Invoicing

  • Accounting

  • Banking

  • Payments

  • Payroll

  • Advisors

1. Invoicing

Wave invoicing allows you to create and send professional invoices in just a few clicks. The software also allows you to set up recurring invoices and track payments. 

Wave invoicing offers customizable invoices and allows you to add your branding to invoices. If that’s not something you are interested in, you can always use the premade invoice templates and look professional.

2. Accounting

Wave’s double-entry accounting system is designed to help you keep track of your cash flow and manage your business finances. With Wave, you can connect your bank account and credit cards, track expenses, and run reports. 

In addition, Wave allows you to add an unlimited number of partners, collaborators, or accountants. This accounting software also offers integrations with popular accounting software, such as QuickBooks and Xero.

3. Banking

Say goodbye to traditional bookkeeping with Wave. This free accounting software allows you to connect your bank account and track your transactions. All debit card purchases automatically get logged and categorized. 

You can also reconcile your accounts, up automatic payments, and track your invoices. In addition, the receipt scanning feature allows you to attach an image to each invoice.

Another great feature for small business owners is that they can separate business and personal expenses to simplify sales tax and tax filing. Last but not least, WaveApps for smartphones allows you to deposit checks and track your income with a tap on your phone.

4. Payments

Wave payment processing feature allows users to accept credit card and ACH payments. Wave users can accept all types of payments including via bank deposit, credit card, and Apple Pay. 

The best part is that you can stay cash flow positive as this accounting software ensures you get your money in as fast as 1 business day (Canada) or two business days (US).

The software also allows you to set up recurring billing and payments for retainer clients. Last but not least, Wave invoice payments automatically sync to your accounting dashboard.

5. Payroll

Wave’s payroll feature allows you to run payroll and pay your employees and contractors with more ease than ever before. You can use the software to deposit payments into employees’ bank accounts with one click. 

Wave payroll provides you with a tax service in a way - you will gain access to important tax forms and documents. Also, employee portal access to paystubs and tax forms will make everybody happy.

For these reasons, Wave ranks as one of the best payroll software for small business.

6. Advisors

Get support from Wave’s team of bookkeeping, accounting, and payroll experts. This feature is perfect for those who are just getting started with accounting. The best part of Wave advisors is that they are available year-round and will provide advice tailored to your business goals.

The Advisors feature also includes accounting and payroll coaching for a one-time payment of $329.


Wave accounting pros and cons

Here are the advantages and disadvantages of Wave accounting:

Wave Accounting advantages

We’re beginning to sound like a broken record, but yes, with Wave, you’ll be able to take care of your accounting and bookkeeping for free. That’s worth reiterating over and over, because it’s hard to find functional accounting software tools without ponying up for some recurring payments. 

And further to that point, it’s hard to beat free accounting software with plenty of features, and Wave offers an excellent range of them for freelancers, contractors, and small businesses.

Wave accounting free features include expense tracking and income and sales tax tracking. You also get unlimited bank and credit card connections, and integrations with PayPal, Stripe, and more. Then there’s the mobile apps for iOS and Android, double-entry accounting, and automatic backups.

Another big advantage of the app is it’s straightforward to use. The software has a clean and user-friendly interface that makes navigation simple. Even if you’ve never used accounting software before, you’ll be able to figure out Wave with ease. There’s also a dedicated invoicing mobile app to keep you going on the go. 

The paid options give you unlimited invoicing with customizable templates and payment terms, as well as unlimited income and expense tracking.

Last but not least, Wave integrates with popular accounting software. If you’re already using QuickBooks or Xero, you’ll be happy to know that Wave has add-ons to integrate with both of these popular accounting software platforms.

Wave Accounting disadvantages

One of the biggest disadvantages of Wave is that it doesn’t have any dedicated time-tracking features. If you need to track your time for billing or invoicing purposes, you’ll need to use separate time-tracking software.

Another downside of Wave is that its mobile app is limited in terms of features.  Wave does have a dedicated invoicing app, but it doesn’t offer the same comprehensive accounting features that the desktop software does.

Also, Wave’s subscription plan structure gets pricey fast. For example, if we compare Wave vs FreshBooks, the latter provides a four-tiered subscription schedule. For example, Bookkeeping support costs $149 per month, which can be a lot for small businesses. 

Even though Wave’s greatest advantage is that it can be used free of charge, prospective customers that need its premium features could probably save more elsewhere. 

Finally, Wave’s customer service is somewhat limited. While the company does offer email and live chat support, there is no phone support available.


Wave accounting complaints & praise (from real Wave accounting software reviews)

Reviews of Wave accounting are very positive in general. Most users are very satisfied with the features they get entirely for free. In addition, what users also praise is the ease of use. It’s very easy to get used to the WaveApps interface, as it is intuitive and straightforward.

Users are also thrilled with other Wave features. What many point out is that it is easy to automate bookkeeping and billing with Wave, as the software automatically syncs accounting and invoicing. In addition, users are very pleased with the fact that invoicing features are unlimited and customizable.

However, there are also a few negative Wave accounting reviews. What users are not satisfied with is the Wave accounting app, as it is not as fast as the website version. Also, it seems to lack certain features that are available on the desktop version.

In addition, what some users complained about was the scalability of the accounting software. Wave is excellent for small businesses. However, there are no advanced plans for businesses looking to grow.

Last but not least, the users seem to be dissatisfied with customer service, as it is available only in the form of emails and chatbot. There is no phone customer support.

Review of Wave accounting support

Wave offers customer support only in the form of email and live chat. There is no phone support available, which might be an issue for some users.

For customers who only use our free Wave Accounting or Invoicing products, support is self-service with assistance available in the Help Center and through the chatbot, Mave.

Users who subscribe to Payroll, Payments, Advisors, and banking products, can access email support and live chat through the chatbot, Mave, from Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST. Wave doesn’t provide phone support.

The customer support team is very responsive and helpful, according to most Wave accounting reviews. They seem to be knowledgeable about the software and able to solve most issues quickly.

However, some users complain that the customer support team is not always able to solve more complex issues.

The greatest issue with Wave accounting support is that users who don’t pay for any premium features receive support in the form of self-service with assistance available in Wave Help Center and through the chatbot. 

Free users don’t receive support in the form of emails and live chat with Wave representatives.


Is Wave accounting worth it? Our conclusion

To recap, Wave can manage invoicing, track expenses, and do bookkeeping. You can create customizable invoices and monitor payments. It’s a solid platform for basic accounting needs, but it doesn’t go in for so many advanced features. The vendor also provides expert accounting coaching by real advisors, which is a great resource. 

You can create customizable invoices and monitor their payments, and accept credit card payments as well as online bank transfers. The app has payroll functionality (the payroll suite starts at $20 per month) and lets you calculate taxes. You can do your payment of outside contractors in-app as well.

In short, it’s a great all-in-one accounting app that won’t break the bank. 

Even though Wave may not be the most supercharged, sophisticated accounting software ever developed, it’s a very competitive accounting solution due to its free and great invoicing, banking, and accounting features.

So yes, it’s excellent accounting software for small businesses, freelancers, contractors, and sole proprietorships. It’s very easy to use; it has all the features you’d need. 

However, Wave might not be the best choice for businesses that are looking to grow big, as there are no advanced plans available. In addition, Wave doesn’t have any dedicated time-tracking features, which can be an issue for some businesses.

So, if you’re wondering is Wave accounting worth it, in general, the answer is definitely yes. It may not be the best accounting software ever, but it’s an excellent starting point for all those who are just getting started with accounting and bookkeeping for their business. Wave is packed with great (free) features, including creating invoices and tracking transactions.

As noted up and down this article, Wave has become one of the most popular accounting software platforms for small businesses and freelancers out there. So there’s your solid real-world endorsement.

And for those who are interested in paying for premium Wave features, they definitely won’t be disappointed by what this accounting software has to offer. However, we do suggest checking out Wave accounting alternatives, as they may provide the same features but for a slightly more affordable price. In addition, other accounting software may be more suitable for larger businesses and those looking to grow.