WaveApps (also called just Wave or Wave Accounting) is free accounting software particularly suitable for small business owners or budget-minded users.
While it lacks some more comprehensive or complex features and isn't a good choice for businesses that will need to scale significantly in the future.
It's a perfect pick for basic accounting requirements and for freelancers looking for a place to organize their invoices.
- Pricing: 4/5
- Ease-of-Use: 5/5
- Features: 3/5
Free and Easy to Use
WaveApps certainly makes waves thanks to its ease-of-use and fantastic free features, none of which are limited or inundated with hidden fees.
Its invoice templates and controls, charts and analysis tools, and extra paid features make it a great “pay-as-you-go” bit of software.
Too Simple for Larger Businesses
Larger businesses or small businesses looking to scale up will want to pick a different piece of software, as WaveApps doesn’t scale very well and doesn’t work capably for multiple users.
WaveApps Review UK
Free, Intuitive, and Effective
WaveApps is the catchall term for a collection of financing and small business products developed by Wave.
Wave Accounting (also often called “WaveApps” by users) is the flagship product and is what most people start with due to its completely free price tag.
But WaveApps also encompasses a variety of other products and services, including payroll features, financial advisors, and more.
Wave’s primary accounting software is free, excellent for small businesses and independent contractors, and comes with a number of unlimited tools to let you send invoices, organize your finances, and more without having to pay a penny.
The downside is that its tools become much more limited in constraining as your business booms, so you’ll likely need to switch to more comprehensive (and expensive) software in the future.
Totally Free, No Hidden Charges
There’s lots of software out there that's ostensibly free but that actually hides small charges here and there if you want to use its most impressive features.
WaveApps doesn't operate like this – the entire software is free from the get-go, including all of its staple features, such as the ability to create invoices, receipts, and estimates.
Additional controls, like the ability to monitor the status of all your payments and invoices, are included as well for no extra charge. You can even accept payments through credit cards using WaveApps without having to pay an extra penny!
WaveApps is also an advantageous piece of software for small businesses since it barely has any hardware requirements. As it is cloud-based, you won't need to download or install the software after signing up for the service.
So long as you have an up-to-date version of your browser, you'll be set to go. Even better, Wave produces iOS and Android mobile apps so you can use your financing software on the go.
Many small business owners struggle with creating effective invoices and organizing and managing those invoices as business picks up.
WaveApps is a perfect solution for this need – it both produces top-tier looking invoices and makes it easy to keep track of them over the long-term.
Very Easy to Navigate
There’s no denying that WaveApps offers some of the most user-friendly and intuitive accounting software out there.
Thus, it’s a great choice for beginners to small business accounting or folks who don’t have the easiest time navigating through complicated software interfaces.
Comprehensive Help Center
WaveApps is a great tool for independent-minded small business owners. Its comprehensive Help Center offers tutorials and answers to a lot of the most frequently asked questions for the service.
No Time-Tracking Features
The singular negative thing about WaveApps, is that there's no way for users (employees) to track time on their own.
Instead, the owner can manually input time for each employee and manage everything himself.
Some might consider this a positive thing, others might not care about it at all, but, overall, dedicated time-tracking would be a nice thing to have. At least as an option.
How to Use WaveApps
The Quick Run-Through
WaveApps is designed for user convenience and quick signups. So logging into a custom account for your business is quick and simple.
How to Use WaveApps with 3 Easy Steps:
- Sign up for a free WaveApps account
- Access your WaveApps dashboard
- Connect your WaveApps account to your business’s bank account
Sign Up for Free
This first up is pretty simple and obvious. Head to the WaveApps site and click “Sign Up” in the top right-hand corner.
You’ll be taken to a registration page where you can fill out your email, come up with a password, and provide other personal information to complete signing up for your free account.
You will need to provide some information about your business, such as its name and what it provides.
Access the Dashboard
Once your account is complete, you can start using WaveApps’s free accounting software right away!
Remember, it’s cloud-based, so you don’t need to install anything on your computer. Be sure to click on the center icon that appears after completing your registration – it should be titled “organize your finances”.
This will take you to your home screen. On the left-hand side, you’ll notice how similar the dashboard controls are to a typical WordPress dashboard. This will allow you to start tinkering with the software and entering financial information.
Connect Your Bank
Click “connect your bank” on the first screen on your dashboard. This will sync all of your transactions from your online banking records.
You can alternatively upload a bank statement or add your transactions manually, but that last option is likely too time-consuming for comfort.
You’ll need to provide your bank’s routing and account information. The synching of your bank account and WaveApps should happen over the course of a few minutes.
Then you can start using WaveApps’s accounting software in earnest!
WaveApps Pricing and Available Add-Ons
WaveApps is totally free from the get-go if you want only the cornerstone accounting features, like the ability to intake and record payments, send out invoices, and more.
Thus, it’s a great bit of accounting software for small business owners that may not have the budget to purchase accounting software wholesale.
Even better, WaveApps allows you to purchase additional add-ons or packages as you earn money online with your small business.
Larger businesses can jump right into the monthly subscriptions; in this way, WaveApps works for most users depending on their current budget levels.
Pricing and Plans
The free plan comes with all the basics, and it doesn’t put any limits on any of its included features (an annoying tendency that many other types of free software still maintain, even in this day and age).
In contrast, you can pay for WaveApps’s Payroll add-on, which gives the software the ability to handle your payroll and payroll taxes.
This costs $35 a month flat plus another $6 per month per employee and another $4 per month per independent contractor.
Note that you can either have Wave do this for you or you can select self-serve payroll. In this version, Wave calculates your payroll for you, and then you file the taxes yourself.
Payments by Wave is an additional feature you can opt for. This allows payment processing, so you can accept payments straight from your customers. Note that it costs $.30 + 2.9% per credit card transaction.
Wave Advisors is the most expensive add-on for this collection of financing apps, but larger businesses or small businesses looking to scale up may find it valuable. In a nutshell, there are different accounting coach packages you can select:
- Monthly accounting coaching costs $79 per month.
- One-time account coaching costs $249
- Bookkeeping is an ancillary service for $129 a month
- Tax services cost $129 per month
As you can see, each of these additional features could be quite valuable in their own right, but we really like that WaveApps doesn’t make any of them mandatory.
This allows you to pick and choose the features and benefits you need à la carte. For small business owners that need to know where every dollar goes, this is a big deal.
WaveApps Review Top Tip
Wave has some difficulty reading blank lines when linking your bank account or other financial documents to the software.
If WaveApps gives you a “Wave is having trouble reading the transaction amounts” error code, check for blank spots – this could very well be the culprit!
We can't stress enough how intuitive and user-friendly the dashboard really is.
From a single screen, you'll be able to check out charts and graphs to help you get a bird's eye view of your business and make snap decisions about how you want to capitalize on advantages or minimize issues.
Of particular note is the “Expenses Breakdown” section, which is great for small business owners. Using this feature, you’ll be able to see exactly where every penny goes in your business.
WaveApps impresses once again since there are three separate invoice templates to choose from.
Each is fairly customizable and attractive, and you’ll be able to send and receive these invoices right through the main WaveApps software using its intuitive controls.
You can even set up recurring invoices: an excellent feature for small businesses growing through repeat customers.
There is only one minor downside in that you must add sales tax to every item manually.
Charts and Inventories
WaveApps makes it easy as your business grows to keep track of your ever-larger number of accounts in different clients.
The app's "Chart of Account" feature is customizable and lets you keep all of your different clients organized, offering various data points so you can track your expenses, how much each client usually pays, how long they take to pay their invoices, and other highly useful information.
The inventory system is extensive if rather simplistic. Adding item names, descriptions, and sales prices is pretty quick and easy, but note that you do have to manually adjust prices every time something changes with your inventory.
Unfortunately, WaveApps doesn’t have any inventory reminder widgets at this time.
As mentioned, WaveApps actually allows you to perform transactions through the software. This e-commerce tool is called "Checkouts" and it allows you to send a checkout link to your customers or clientele simultaneously.
You can attach the checkout link to texts, emails, or even straight to your website! It’s perfect for businesses that need a way to get paid from their clients more quickly than with a traditional invoice set up.
This special feature is only available if you’re using the Payroll version of WaveApps. It allows you to track your employees’ time.
Is WaveApps Really Free?
Yes, at least for the basic accounting software. There aren't any hidden fees and all of the cornerstone accounting services, features, and controls are not limited by usage amount or anything similarly annoying.
However, you do have to pay extra for certain features that some people won’t want to go without, like payroll organization and so on.
Is WaveApps Secure?
Yes. The company uses comprehensive digital security to protect your personal information and banking records. This is more robust than you might think since it’s all stored over the cloud.
Ultimately, WaveApps ought to be everyone’s number one choice for (mostly) free accounting software that gets the job done without costing too much.
While its features could be a little more comprehensive, you really can’t complain when you consider the asking price, user-friendliness of its dashboard, and excellent invoice organization features.