It’s impossible to think of a task that QuickBooks Online can’t handle—it outperforms Wave in practically every accounting area. QuickBooks Online is for you if you’re prepared to pay for robust, all-in-one accounting software. Wave and QuickBooks Online are two of the most popular accounting software systems for small businesses available today. The most significant distinction between Wave and QuickBooks Online is that Wave is free, while QuickBooks Online is not.
Intuit also has a freelance plan called QuickBooks Self-Employed, which helps freelancers track expenses and taxes but does little else. QuickBooks Self-Employed starts at $15 a month, but Wave Accounting has more features at a better price. You can also create a custom invoice in QuickBooks Online and provide an online payment link when the invoice is emailed. Since its beginning, QuickBooks products have been designed with the small business owner in mind, and QuickBooks Online is no different.
- Starting at $25 per month, it’s the priciest tool for small businesses that we reviewed, but in this case, you definitely get what you pay for.
- Wave is completely free, requires no contract, and doesn’t feature any hidden fees, while QuickBooks starts from $30 per month on its Self Employed plan.
- Professional bookkeepers and accountants we interviewed were very complimentary of QuickBooks Online, emphasizing the platform’s capabilities and power.
- QuickBooks Online is the leader in accounting software for small businesses.
Both Wave and QuickBooks Online offer good integration with other software apps. You can also import data from other applications using the Import Data option in QuickBooks Online and a CSV file or a Microsoft Excel file, and if you get stuck, you can access help from any screen. QuickBooks Online, like Wave, is designed to help users find answers to questions using a variety of resources, and it encourages users to access live support as a last resort.
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Wave allows you to stay on top of your company’s cash flow, so you can manage what’s coming in and what’s going out at all times. QuickBooks may be occasionally confusing, but it does have a live chat support feature to help you out of a pickle. You can get answers from a bot, guided to tutorials, or actually chat with a real live human.
There may be a difference in pricing models, but this doesn’t mean each software offers the same features. You can set up recurring invoices, too, if you have repeat business from some customers. You can automate workflows between the two platforms to create and send a QuickBooks invoice for every new Wave invoice and more—no code required. No matter which platform you choose, Wave and QuickBooks both integrate with Zapier, so you can create automations to spend less time on bookkeeping (yawn) and more time growing your business.
Wave vs. QuickBooks: Comparing Small Business Accounting Software
QuickBooks Online’s reporting section is leaps and bounds ahead of Wave’s, with more than 70 reports included in the basic reporting feature. On top of that, there’s also a section where you or your accountant can create customized reports, just in case there’s something on top of the 70 that you’ll need. As mentioned above, this dashboard is extremely valuable even though you can’t drill down into every section.
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This safety feature means you can pick and choose who sees which business or personal accounts. Once added, they can receive notifications for updated records and files you share with them. Collaborators can have view, edit, and send permissions, but don’t worry, collaborators don’t have access to your banking or credit card numbers. That said, collaborators can see the whole set of accounting tools for every account you add them on, so be sure that you’re ok with them having view access.
Wave & QuickBooks Online Feature Comparison
Designed to be easy for freelancers and small business owners to use, while making accountants happy with robust reports and functionality. With QuickBooks, your online payments will be deposited into your connected bank account within the next business day, or you can pay a 1% fee for instant deposit understanding real vs. nominal interest rates (free with a QuickBooks Checking account). You’ll pay a 2.9% plus $0.25 per transaction fee for invoiced credit card payments; and 1% (up to $10) for ACH payments. This is especially useful for freelancers and small business owners who need to send invoices to clients while on the move.
Wave Payroll makes it easy to pay independent contractors and regular employees. If you can, decide from this list which plan fits your business right now. Also, be aware that QuickBooks online frequently changes their prices with promotions, so it’s worth keeping an eye on their sales throughout the year. It’s important for you to know your needs before you start shopping around for an accounting platform. You might want to ride the Wave for now and hop on the QuickBooks train later. We spoke with a few Wave customers who raved about the tool, praising its ease of use and flexibility.
This makes it better suited to businesses with complex accountancy requirements than Wave, which lacks some basic features like stock tracking and budgeting. Both QuickBooks and Wave excel in different areas, so scroll down to find out how the two solutions compare when it comes to accountancy features, advanced capabilities, affordability, and support. You can also use our comparison guide to see how the providers fare against their competition, or check out our table below. These integrations can help you sync your data across different platforms and automate your tasks more easily.