Wave vs QuickBooks – How to Pick the Perfect Accounting Software

wave vs quickbooks

Every business owner knows the importance of managing the money flow. Various financial software programs have emerged in recent years to assist with this task. Among them, QuickBooks offers a comprehensive accounting system with a wide user base. But it’s not the only option available. Wave vs QuickBooks is another free accounting program offering many similar features.

Comparing Wave vs QuickBooks will help you determine the right software for your needs. This article will focus on the critical features of these solutions. By the end, you will know exactly which software to pick— to streamline your accounting processes.

Wave Vs QuickBooks – Important Features at a Glance

Wave is an ideal free accounting software for SMBs and freelancers. It has a simple user interface and invoicing features. It also makes it easy to manage multiple businesses and users.

“QuickBooks Online is ideal for businesses with complex accounting needs. Its key features include time and expense tracking, integrated payments, and online invoicing. Wave is free, while QuickBooks is available in various plans such as QuickBooks Essentials, QuickBooks Plus, and QuickBooks Advanced”

QuickBooks Vs Wave – Detailed Comparison of Features

Now we’ll go over all the important features of both software solutions, such as quickbooks invoicing, expense tracking, and payroll, among others.


QuickBooks is scalable, catering to complex businesses. It has some impressive functionalities, like:

  • Options for customization
  • Creation of recurring invoices
  • Automatic calculation of accurate tax on every sale
  • Time tracking
  • Item-based pricing
  • Client database

In contrast, Wave offers simple invoicing, which lets you make and send emails and print invoices. It also offers invoice customization. It’s ideal for entrepreneurs and freelancers.

Ease of use

When it comes to comparing QuickBooks vs Wave accounting in terms of ease of setup and use, Wave scores high. It offers easy company setup, cloud-based accessibility, shortcut buttons, and a customizable dashboard. Wave also employs a simple language for users to understand. It offers complete guidance for setting up multiple integrations.

Conversely, setting up a company file in QuickBooks Online is not very simple. You get a mobile app and an import file tool. Still, learning Wave is far easier for new users.

Also. read : quickbooks downloads 


Wave offers 12 reports, but with a restricted ability for customization. Customizing reports is limited to exporting them to a CSV file or saving them as a PDF.

On the other end of the spectrum, QuickBooks Online gives you over 50 customizable reports. You can save them as PDFs or export them to Microsoft Excel.


An assessment of Wave accounting vs QuickBooks Online is impossible without examining the payroll feature. Wave offers payroll at a low cost. If you take the full-service plan, $35 per month, along with a per-person fee for automatic tax filing, will be at your expense. If you choose the self-service states, you can leverage the payroll features for $15 less per month.

On the other hand, QuickBooks plans begin at $45 to $125 per month. Only elite plan members benefit from tax penalty protection. The quickbooks payroll issues depends on your specific plan. It  includes HRM benefits, contractor and employee payroll, automatic payroll, payment and tax filing, and employee time tracking.

Time and expense tracking

If you charge your clients hourly, QuickBooks is a suitable option because it has a time tracker for hourly pricing. Surprisingly, Wave doesn’t have this functionality.

There’s no clear winner when comparing Wave vs QuickBooks Online for expense tracking. Both allow business owners to track expenses. You can link those expenses to your bank account to import transaction data automatically.

However, if you need to add bill management, stock, and job costing efficiencies, consider QuickBooks. Its add-on accounting feature allows you to manage bills, inventory, and job costs.

Integrations with apps  

When you examine Wave vs QuickBooks on this parameter, you’ll find QuickBooks a clear winner. Wave integrates with the following applications.

  •  Equity Scheduling and Calendly for appointment scheduling
  • Shopify, PayPal, Stripe, Etsy, and Square for payments and e-Commerce.
  • Automational, SendPulse, and MailChimp for email marketing
  • Pipedrive, Harvest, and HubSpot for CRM
  • ShipStation, Google Sheets, Slack, and eEndorsements for business management and automation.

This might seem impressive, but it’s hard to ignore the extensive integration offered by QB. It connects with both third-party tools and internal software like QuickBooks Payments, QuickBooks Time, QuickBooks Payroll, and QuickBooks Commerce. Here are the third-party tools it connects with.

  •  WORKetc, Insightly CRM, and Capsule CRM for CRM
  • Shopify, eBay, and Amazon FBA, among others, for inventory tracking.
  • eBillity and ClockShark for time tracking
  • Paychex and Gusto for payroll
  • Qvinci and Syft for analytics
  • BigTime, Jobber, and Service Trade for project management


Open a checking account free of charge and integrate it with your invoicing account using Wave and QuickBooks. There are certain distinctions when you look at QuickBooks vs Wave in terms of banking for seamless bookkeeping. Wave Money is an account that integrates with your Wave account. Using it, you can get invoice payments quickly.

Also, read : setup quickbooks bank feeds

But if you use QuickBooks Checking, you have access to not only integrated bookkeeping but also instant payment deposits and 1% APR on the balance.

Accounts Payable 

Both QuickBooks and Wave allow easy tracking of bills and monitoring of outstanding ones, but QB Online offers more features. Through it, you can make POs and turn them into bills.

Here is a closer look at QuickBooks vs Wave accounting with regard to accounts payable.

  • Both QB Online and Wave have the feature to record an expenditure without paying.
  • You can capture expense receipts in both programs.
  • Partial payment of an invoice is available in QB Online and Wave.
  • You can view unpaid bills in both.
  • QuickBooks offers the feature to track payments to contractors, while Wave doesn’t.
  • Wave doesn’t offer the ability to create recurring expenses, while QB does.
  • You can enter a vendor credit in QuickBooks Online but not in Wave.

Customer service Both of these solutions include a comprehensive set of tools for easy navigation. If you compare Wave Accounting vs QuickBooks Online for customer support, the winner is QuickBooks Online. However, for a free application, Wave does offer significant support.

With Wave, you can access featured articles, guides, user communities, in-product help, and a knowledge base. But QuickBooks Online offers a multitude of options apart from what Wave offers. These include product training options and the ability to connect with a support agent via telephone messaging and email.


Cost is paramount, especially for entrepreneurs. The base-level accounting that Wave offers is entirely free. You can use Wave until a certain point in your business. If you experience growth, you’ll inevitably need to move to QB.

QB Simple Start begins ate $12.50 per month for first three months. It then goes up to $25 per month. QuickBooks Essentials starts at $20 per month for the first three months. The price goes up to $40 monthly. QuickBooks Plus begins at $35 per month for the first three months. The cost increases to $70 per month.

Feature  Wave QuickBooks Online
Banking Option to open an integrated checking account for free Option to open an integrated checking account for free
Number of Users Unlimited
  • Simple Start – 1
  • Essentials – 3
  • Plus – 5
  • Advanced – 25
Credit Card Processing
  • 2.9% + 30 cents (most cards)
  • 4% + 30 cents  (American Express) per transaction
  • 2.4% plus 25 cents (swiped)
  • 2.9% plus 25 cents (invoiced)
  • 3.4% plus 25 cents (keyed)
Bookkeeping Begins at $149 per month Begins at $200 per month
Monitor Quantity Exchanged Wave doesn’t provide this feature. Quickbooks allows monitoring of the quantity exchanged.
Monitor units and expenses No option to find this in Wave. QuickBooks allows you to track units and costs.
Add project estimate No way to add an estimate in Wave. QuickBooks has the feature to add project estimate
Assign Labor to Project You cannot assign labor to a project. Users can assign labor to projects.

Final Verdict

Now that you know how Wave vs QuickBooks compare, you can make a better choice. Wave is best for a small business owner on a budget who wants to quickly and easily set up and use the software for basic accounting. QuickBooks Online is good for a rapidly scaling business with more complex accounting processes. Talk to a QuickBooks technical expert if you still have doubts about the one that’s best for your needs.

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