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Wave vs Quickbooks Online: A Comparison Of Accounting Software

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Nowadays, thousands of apps available on the online market that are created to assist small business owners in managing their businesses. You can find apps for invoicing, time tracking, and even for bill payment and paying employees. Nevertheless, not only one but a lot of problems need to be cared for by small business owners, and it would be better for them to have accounting software that serves most of the work for you.

Are you having some targeted accounting apps but still are not sure which product is right for you? Yes, we all know that apps are great if you need to perform particular functions that your current software currently can not cover. If apps can not function well, it will even confuse the situation and make a great amount of busywork for your business. So, choosing a good and suitable accounting tool to spend more time working on your business and less time on accounting is what we absolutely need to care for.

To make things a bit easier, I have this Wave vs Quickbooks Online: A Comparison Of Best Accounting Software article today, which will offer you a comparison of the two apps. Let's figure it out!

What you need to consider before choosing an accounting tool?

First of all, we should not skip through the criteria that should be considered before choosing an accounting tool as each business is so different, along with their different needs and different employee skill levels. You should keep in mind that an accounting product that offers inventory management is not that important if you are a service business. Below are five things that I think you should care about whether an application is your choice:

1. Detailed features to your needs

Do you sell goods? If you do, so an application with a nice inventory module would be perfect for you. Do you have to pay employees? An application equipped with payroll is a great choice. So, try to find out what features are most crucial to you and your business, then you will be able to locate the application that is right for you easily.

2. Ease of use

If you are new at starting your business or managing the bookkeeping and accounting yourself, a complicated application would be so painful for you to navigate. Hence, giving an application a test run before deciding to buy it to know whether it is easy to use for you is very necessary.

3. Accessibility

If you are a person that is always on the go, so an accounting application that sticks you to the office is not recommended. Instead of that, a cloud-based application that includes a good mobile app would help. You have to ensure the mobile app has the same specifications that can be seen on the full version.

4. Price

Pricing is not the most critical factor, but it can be crucial when considering purchasing accounting software. Startups and businesses with limited cash flow also need to consider this. Keep in mind that the most expensive software is not the best product for your business, but the one that fits your needs and your budget does.

5. Scalability

In case you are a one-man or one-woman show, you don't really have to consider scalability. However, if your business plan includes growth, make sure you will have to figure out an application that can grow with your business.

What is Wave?

Let's start by going through the Wave accounting app and the details of this software. Wave accounting software is totally free and you can sign up for an account on their website at ease without any credit card required. Overall, Wave is a web-based software, which means you can log in to your account at any time, with any device as long as you have an internet connection. Also, Wave does provide a solid feature set to assist you to simplify and control your business accounting processes.

Overall, its advantages are: free of charge, the customizable add-ons, so easy to use. However, the disadvantages that you should also consider are little Tax capabilities, not suitable for large reams, and it lacks advanced features.

What is Quickbooks Online?

QuickBooks is a small business accounting software program businesses that are utilized for controlling income and expenses as well as keeping track of the business' financial health. So, it can be used to invoice customers, pay the bills, develop reports, and prepare for taxes for your business. Also, the QuickBooks product line equipped with some solutions that efficiently work for anyone, any business size. You will have to pay for using QuickBooks services, and a free 30-day trial is available for you to utilize full function of QuickBooks without entering your credit card number.

Wave vs Quickbooks Comparison

Ease of use

What Wave offers

Users often get started at The Wave Launchpad section. It enables you to import the customers and much other information into Wave when you are from other applications utilizing a CSV file. From the vertical menu bar to the left of the main screen, the product features can be accessed, which will also help you from any screen in the application.

What QuickBooks Online offers

Just like Wave, QuickBooks Online enables you to enter the bare minimum during the setup process and also insert the rest to the web as you go. QuickBooks Online is just like Wave by having a vertical menu bar to the left of the screen that provides you with access to all system functions. The clear difference in QuickBooks Online comparing to Wave is that it has a category that will take you to the main page of that category rather than to the feature.

Data can be also imported data from other applications by utilizing the Import Data option in QuickBooks Online and a Microsoft Excel file or a CSV file, just in case you get stuck so that you will be able to access the support from any screen.


In the end, both Wave and QuickBooks Online provide easy setup and system navigation; they both have a mobile app for iOS and Android smartphones. So, the two are all easy to use and help you find your way around without any troubles.


Speaking about features, Wave offers a wide range of features such as accounting, payroll, invoicing, payments and receipts. Meanwhile, QuickBooks Online providing quite the same amount but with a few additional ones including easy bill payment and full-service payroll. Nevertheless, if you have so many bills to pay, Wave lacks bill payment might be a problem for you.

What Wave offers

The best feature in Wave might be its invoicing capability, especially its custom invoices. With Wace, users are able to customize their invoicing experience by using its intuitive design features.

You can see the complete invoice customization capability from the photo above of Wave, as it allows you to insert your logo and your company's accent color to any invoice you have. Wave also has a wide range of templates available for you to use, or just take you a few minutes to generate a new, custom template. So, Wave will help you get paid faster by creating an online payment option for your customers, with the link for you while emailing your invoice.

Wave allows you to make an invoice recurring when you need to bill clients a flat fee each month. So, you will be able to connect your financial institutions to Wave with automatic transaction import or utilize the Add Manual Transactions feature to track the banking transactions manually. There is also a non-compulsory payroll feature available in Wave if you have any employees you request to pay.

Besides, estimates can be created for your customers and upload receipt images to record expenses. Checkouts, a new feature on Wave, was created to allow your customers to tip for products or services from your website in a direct way, banishing the demand to invoice. In Wave, there is also an option to record bills but it requires the payment made to be entered manually because there is no option to run checks to pay for the sellers; meanwhile, the customer and seller management is available to allow you to track minimal information.

What QuickBooks Online offers

Similar to Wave, QuickBooks Online is designed to track and control your income and expenses, import receipt images, receive online payments, and connect your banking information. You'll be able to pay your vendors with a sign on QuickBooks Online, which is something Wave doesn't allow you to do.

In QuickBooks Online, the Sales feature also provides some incredible functions, such as solid customer management capability and good invoice creation and management capability. The Invoice screen in QuickBooks Online provides you with a summary of the status of all invoices within the software, so you'll be able to send a reminder to your customers via email, or follow up with a telephone for those seriously late. You'll be able to create a custom invoice in QuickBooks Online and supply a web payment link when the invoice is emailed.

Another handier option available on QuickBooks Online is that it enables you to feature a MasterCard number or inspecting account number on to the invoice for cash. Another convenient feature is that the option to have online payments automatically applied to an impressive invoice, or manage the method manually as it will confirm the proper application of the payment.


Overall, QuickBooks wins this feature part. Basically, Wave provides many similar features, and more complete versions of these same features are available in QuickBooks Online, for example, the bill payment capability as well as better customer and seller management capability.

Customer support

The majority of accounting applications on the market today are created to be so easy to use, which needs little training or support for users. Nevertheless, as it is easier, it doesn't mean we don't care about product support. In this section, both Wave and QuickBooks Online provide a great selection of tools and resources, which help you make it easy to go through, and robust user communities available to help you have well-informed users. However, there is no replacement for live product support, here we go for it.

What Wave offers

Wave allows users to submit a request for support from Wave's website. In addition to that, it will give new users access to chat about the support for the primary 60 days of their contract. When that 60 day is over, you'll only have access right to the chat if you subscribe to Wave Payments or Wave Payroll. Additionally, Wave does provide some further support, which is Featured articles, In-product help, Waveguides, User community, and Searchable cognitive content.

What QuickBooks Online offers

There are a large number of support options available on QuickBooks Online for its users, which are: the User community, Featured articles, Product training options, In-product help, Searchable knowledge base, ability to connect with a support agent through email, Ability to connect with a support agent through messaging, Ability to connect with a support agent by telephone and many more. Just like Wave, this application is cis intended to assist users in getting the answers to their questions by using a variety of resources, so this feature encourages users to access live support as a final resort.


Yes, QuickBooks Online is the winner here in this category as it supplies more help and support resources than Wave does, particularly for a free application.


In terms of price, Wave is a free application, which requires you to pay nothing to use all accounting features. Meanwhile, QuickBooks Online provides a more extensible product, which enables single user able to scale up to a more robust version without the risk of losing data or having to start from the start with a different application.

What Wave offers

All accounting features in Waves are completely free, just in case you want to utilize the Wave Payments (or another payment system) to get paid online, you will have to pay 2.9 percent plus 0.30 dollars for each transaction.

What QuickBooks Online offers

There are four plan options provided on QuickBooks Online, which has the closest plan choice to Wave's free account being its Simple Start plan, which requires you to charge 12 dollars each month and supports one user. The next option is Essentials with a fee of 20 dollars per month, and it supports up to three users. Next is the Plus option, which is 35 dollars each month, with support for up to five users. The last is the Advanced option, requiring you to pay 75 dollars per month, and it can support up to 25 users.

So, with the Simple Start plan, you are allowed to track both income and expenses, and it helps you generate invoices, process basic reports, track sales tax, and control receipts, with extra features like seller payment and time tracking available within the stronger plans.


So, Wave is the winner of this Pricing part. However, it is hard to compare one free app and the other that requires payment. Even in terms of the transaction fees, which you will pay in QuickBooks Online (or any comparable product), too, Wave still wins.


Both the two Wave and QuickBooks Online apps provide quality integration with other software apps.

What Wave offers

In Wave, it provides the integration with PayPal, Stripe, Etsy, and Shopify, together with numerous CRM and email marketing apps. What is more, more than 1000 apps are available on this app that allows integration with Wave through Zapier to connect the web in an automatical way.

What QuickBooks Online offers

QuickBooks Online provides integration with hundreds of apps, which are Stripe and PayPal, lots of expense-tracking apps including Expensify and Concur, yet as invoicing, HR, CRM, time tracking, as well as eCommerce apps. The apps category on the navigation bar is also available to enable you to connect QuickBooks Online to any apps immediately.


In the end, QuickBooks Online wins here. Though Wave provides more apps with potential integration, QuickBooks Online provides more app integration in one less step than app integration using Wave.

When to choose Quickbooks Online?

First of all, QuickBooks Online might be the most comprehensive accounting tool on the market, so it would be suitable for you if you want a detailed application, and especially if you are equipped with the budget and requirements to charge for the higher price plans.

Overall, QuickBooks Online has been designed for small business owners, sole proprietors, offering a single-user plan, and growing businesses. However, Quickbooks is also able to scale up to a plan compatible with up to 25 users, which is an ideal number for growing businesses. With QuickBooks, you can make use of advanced reporting, inventory management as well as the mileage tracking and so many more.

When to choose Wave?

If you are the one who wants to save money, then Wave is a better choice for you as it is actually free with unlimited provided accounting and invoicing software, so you are given a lot of instant accesses to all features after signing up. So, Wave was created for micro-businesses and sole proprietors, which helps them easily recording their finances. If you want to accept online payments, it only requires you to pay the normal transaction fees by using any other application.

Hence, if you are a small business with one to nine employees, and is ideal for freelancers, designers, consultants, content writers as well as small agencies. Wave's features can perfectly match to make the process simple and still can fully customizable invoices for a wide variety of goods and services. However, just in case you envision for the business is to grow and expand, you might not choose Wave as you need a product that can grow along with you.


Finally, the choice is depending on you for choosing Quickbooks Online or Wave. You need to make the decision based on your business size, industry, and the features that you care about the most. For early-stage businesses and freelancers, Wave is incredible for it, meanwhile, QuickBooks can beautifully scale for many accountants.

Just keep in mind, small business accounting does not need to be tangled, especially when you have found the tools that are perfect for your business. Let's kick the start button by making a list of the features that are most crucial to you, then you should search for the applications that provide these features, and test it a few days to get the most suitable one for your business.