Wave vs QuickBooks: Which Tool Is Best For You?

Table of Contents

Last Updated: April 2024

When it comes to streamlined financial management, your business’s success hinges on choosing between Wave vs QuickBooks

In today’s fast-paced market, picking the correct accounting software is more than just a choice—it’s a strategic investment. Wave and QuickBooks are both industry giants, each bringing distinctive features and advantages to the table. 

However, determining which one suits your business needs perfectly can be a daunting task. Let’s unravel the Wave vs QuickBooks dilemma and steer you toward the optimal solution for your enterprise.

Wave vs QuickBooks Feature Comparison

1. General Ledger


    • Real-time Updates: Wave offers real-time updates to your general ledger, ensuring accurate and up-to-date financial records.
    • Easy Transaction Recording: A User-friendly interface makes it simple to record transactions, categorize expenses, and maintain ledger accuracy.
    • Custom Chart of Accounts: Customize your chart of accounts to align with your business structure, allowing for tailored financial tracking.
wave vs quickbooks


“It is free which is fantastic in comparison to some of the bigger players in this space and it allows me to work in the general ledger when it’s required.”

⭐ 5/5 Kayle P.


    • Comprehensive Ledger Management: QuickBooks provides a robust platform for managing your general ledger, accommodating complex financial data with ease.
    • Automated Transactions: Automated features reduce manual data entry, saving time and minimizing errors in ledger maintenance.
    • Detailed Audit Trails: QuickBooks offers detailed audit trails, allowing you to track changes and maintain a comprehensive record of all financial activities.
wave vs quickbooks

“It has a great chart of accounts which is very detailed and can capture as many general ledger accounts as possible.”

⭐ 5/5 Martin M.

2. Accounts Receivable


    • Invoice Customization: Wave enables you to customize invoices with your branding, creating a professional image for your business.
    • Automatic Payment Reminders: Set up automatic payment reminders to reduce overdue payments and improve cash flow.
    • Online Payment Options: Wave allows clients to make payments directly through invoices, offering convenience and speeding up the payment process.


“Easy desktop and app platforms. Can upload your logo, create recurring invoices, track reports, accounts payable and receivable, all in a super easy format.”

⭐ 5/5 Kaile B.


    • Invoice Tracking: QuickBooks tracks invoice status, indicating whether an invoice has been sent, viewed, or paid, allowing for efficient follow-ups.
    • Recurring Invoices: Set up recurring invoices for regular clients, automating the billing process and ensuring timely payments.
    • Late Fee Calculations: Automate late fee calculations, encouraging clients to pay on time and discouraging overdue payments.

“We use QBO for all our accounts receivable and expense management.”

⭐ 4.5/5 Alicia H.

3. Accounts Payable


    • Expense Tracking: Track business expenses efficiently, categorizing and organizing them for clear financial insights.
    • Supplier Management: Manage supplier information and payments, keeping all vendor-related data in one centralized location.
    • Bills and Receipts: Record bills and upload receipts, maintaining a complete record of payables for future reference.
wave vs quickbooks

“Very easy and practical to use, you don’t have to have an accounting background to be able to use Wave. I found it useful using it to invoice my clients and track payments, etc.”

⭐ 4.5/5 Rebecca F.


    • Bill Management: QuickBooks allows for comprehensive bill management, enabling the tracking of pending payments and due dates.
    • Supplier Communication: Send messages and queries directly to suppliers from QuickBooks, streamlining communication regarding invoices and payments.
    • Expense Reports: Generate detailed expense reports, offering a comprehensive overview of all business expenditures.
wave vs quickbooks

“This software application allows me to track accounts payable.”

⭐ 4.5/5 Stephan N.

4. Reporting & Analytics


    • Basic Financial Reports: Wave provides essential financial reports such as balance sheets, profit and loss statements, and cash flow reports, offering insights into your business’s financial health.
    • Visual Data Representation: Graphical representations help in understanding financial data at a glance, simplifying complex information for better decision-making.
    • Tax Reporting: Generate tax-related reports, aiding in the seamless filing of business taxes.

“Helps me keep my small business books on track and helps visualize the numbers with their graphs and reports.”

⭐ 4/5, Verified User


    • Customizable Reports: QuickBooks offers a wide array of customizable reports, allowing businesses to tailor their analytics based on specific needs.
    • Advanced Financial Analysis: Advanced financial tools and forecasting features enable in-depth analysis, helping businesses plan for future growth and make informed financial decisions.
    • Export and Sharing: Reports can be exported and shared easily, facilitating collaboration and ensuring stakeholders are on the same page.

“QuickBooks Online provides standard financial reports, such as profit and loss statements and balance sheets.”

⭐ 5/5, Lincoln B.

5. Integration


    • Limited Integrations: Wave offers basic integrations with a few third-party apps and services, focusing primarily on essential business functions.
    • Bank and Payment Gateway Integration: Seamless integration with banks and payment gateways allows for automatic transaction syncing, reducing manual data entry.

“But I love all the seamless integration they’ve included, such as syncing bank accounts, and uploading receipts directly from the free mobile app.”

⭐ 4.5/5, Verified user


    • Extensive App Selection: QuickBooks connects with over 700 applications, ranging from payment gateways like Stripe to inventory management and time tracking tools, providing businesses with diverse and adaptable choices.
    • Multi-Purpose Capabilities: QuickBooks seamlessly integrates with a variety of apps, including CRM systems, payroll software, and e-commerce platforms, streamlining tasks and optimizing overall business efficiency.

“It monitors the inventory count and has an integration span that works with various tools and other software, which is excellent for the company to continue its business.”

⭐ 4.5/5, Rose J. W.

Wave vs QuickBooks Comparison of Pricing



Wave is a versatile invoicing and accounting software that offers both free and paid services tailored to meet your business needs. 

While the basic platform is free, additional features such as payments, payroll, and expert advisors are available at competitive rates, ensuring you have access to comprehensive financial solutions.

With this table, you can easily compare the pricing and services offered by Wave for different aspects of financial management.

1. Payment Processing 
  • Bank Payments
1% per transaction ($1 minimum fee)
  • Credit Card Payments
2.9% + $0.60 per transaction
  • American Express
3.4% + $0.60 per transaction
2. Mobile Receipts 
  • Monthly Subscription
$8 (billed monthly) or $96/year
  • Annual Plan
$72 (billed annually, saving 25%)
3. Payroll Services 
  • Tax Service States
$40 monthly fee + $6 per employee/contractor
  • Self-Service States
$20 monthly fee + $6 per employee/contractor
4. Advisor Services 
  • Bookkeeping Support
$149 monthly fee
  • Accounting & Payroll
$379 one-time fee (multiple packages available)


QuickBooks Online offers three pricing options tailored to various business requirements:

  1. Simple Start: Designed for individual users, this plan is priced at $15 per month.
  2. Plus: For $45 per month, this plan caters to up to five users and provides expanded features.
  3. Advanced: Tailored for larger businesses, this plan supports up to 25 users and is priced at $100 per month, offering advanced functionalities.
wave vs quickbooks

Regardless of the chosen plan, QuickBooks Online provides essential features including income and expense tracking, invoicing, payment acceptance, estimates, sales tax tracking, and receipt organization. 

If your business demands more advanced capabilities like inventory management, custom user permissions, and accelerated invoicing, upgrading to higher-tier plans will unlock these additional features.

Wave vs QuickBooks Comparison Table

PricingFree basic; Paid add-onsSubscription-based plans
Ease of UseBeginner-friendlyUser-friendly, some learning
Mobile AppBasic featuresFeature-rich, mobile access
InvoicingBasic, with customizationAdvanced, recurring invoices
Bank ReconciliationYesYes
Expense TrackingYesYes
Reports & AnalyticsLimitedComprehensive, customizable
IntegrationLimited integrationsExtensive third-party apps
SupportEmail, community forum24/7 customer support

That wraps up our analysis of Wave vs QuickBooks, offering valuable insights to aid your decision-making process.

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Key Features

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Opt for Wave if:

  1. You are a small business or freelancer on a budget.
  2. Your business is stable, and you need basic, free bookkeeping services.
  3. Prefer a straightforward, user-friendly interface.

Choose QuickBooks if:

  1. You run a medium to large business or are rapidly expanding.
  2. You require advanced features and scalability.

Consider your business’s unique needs to make the right choice, ensuring efficient financial management and growth.



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