A Free Cloud-Based Accounting Software for Small Businesses

A Free Cloud-Based Accounting Software for Small Businesses

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Table of Contents

    Key Takeaways

    • This Wave Accounting Review will guide you on how you will conduct your accounting operations using Wave Accounting software at your convenience for free with unlimited expenses, invoices, and receipts. Moreover, millions of users recommend this online accounting software for starters who are struggling with bookkeeping.
    • Wave offers a smart selection of features for every small business and has a good user interface and navigation tools. If you want to use extensive accounting tools, you may purchase paid add-ons such as Wave Payments, Wave Payroll, and Wave Advisors.
    • Like other online accounting software, Wave accounting also has its distinct benefits and drawbacks. But the creators of Wave have constantly been providing updates to make it more efficient and stay inside competition of the various accounting softwares across the globe.

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    Running a small business is a great achievement. However, small business owners like you may encounter many difficulties along the way with a limited amount of time to manage different issues arising in the operations, such as but not limited to organizing your financial records and preparing your financial reports. Your financial situation can sometimes seem difficult, adding to your anxiety, especially when you are not an expert in the field of accounting and finance. But don’t fret! This Wave Accounting Review will guide you on how you will ease your operation using online software.

    Wave is established to assist small businesses’ bookkeeping processes without incurring too much time, and at their convenience. This cloud-based accounting software caught the eyes of millions of users, tiny business owners and freelancers, due to its solid set of free accounting features, which focuses on double-entry. Despite offering free services, it still delivers accurate and efficient results.

    The creators of wave have been providing updates to make it more useful and stay inside the competition of the present accounting software across the world. It aims to provide faster, more capable, and innovative features in succeeding years. Many of its features are focused primarily on small business owners, particularly the multi-line transactions, all-in-one bookkeeping, and bulk-categorization has done smarter.

    Benefits of Wave Accounting

    Now that we’ve gone through the overview of Wave accounting let’s, continue with our Wave accounting software review by discussing what these features mean for your business. First, let’s start with the positives:

    What are the main benefits of using Wave accounting software for your company’s finances?

    Free of charge

    The most significant advantage of Wave accounting software is that it is not costly as it seems. As previously stated, Wave is one of the few accurate free accounting software options available—and despite its low cost, it does not lack when it comes to functionality compared to many paid software systems, such as Xero or Sage, which charge at least $9 to $15 per month for their most basic plans. These plans will restrict your operations and access to features like personalized invoices and multi-currency transactions, but Wave will not.

    Customizable Add-Ons

    Their add-ons are another benefits Wave provides. As stated, wave gives you the option of keeping your accounting software completely free. However, if you want to expand your functionality by adding payment processing and payroll, Wave can help. Furthermore, both of these add-ons are pay-as-you-go, which means the cost is determined by how much you use them.

    Simple to Use

    Wave not only provides an affordable, customizable accounting solution but also provides a user-friendly system. With multiple responsibilities a small business has, the usability of your accounting platform is critical—especially since it’s a system you’ll frequently be using and one that houses essential financial information about your company.

    Wave’s web-based software is intuitive, simple, and overall user-friendly as a system designed for small business owners and entrepreneurs. With Wave, you should quickly and easily set up your account and learn how to use the system.

    Drawbacks of Wave Accounting

    Despite the numerous benefits discussed in this Wave accounting review, there is no doubt that Wave has also its drawbacks to consider. Here are a few disadvantages to consider.

    Tax Capabilities are limited.

    One disadvantage of Wave accounting software is the lack of features to assist with taxes on business. Several accounting software options on the market include features that can assist you in sorting your business expenses for tax filing. Some will even help you in optimizing your Section C filing for the greatest possible return. As a result, if you’re looking for accounting software that can incorporate more tax assistance, Wave might not be a help.

    Not Recommended for Large Groups

    The cost of the payroll add-on is another drawback of the Wave accounting software. Although the monthly fee and per employee fee may not be a concern if you have a small team, it could quickly become expensive if you have a large team with many employees on your payroll. Additionally, the tax-service version of Wave payroll only includes seven states, which means you won’t be able to take advantage of this significant payroll software benefit if you live in one of the other 42 states. As a result, Wave may not be the best option for you if you have a large team or want a payroll system that works with your accounting software and handles taxes.

    A lack of Advanced features

    Another disadvantage you should be aware of is Wave’s lack of advanced accounting features. Although Wave has an excellent capability, especially for free software, it lacks some complex features like inventory tracking, budgeting, and other financial management tools. Nonetheless, if you require more than the essentials from your accounting solution, you may be able to find other, albeit paid, options that can service your business in that regard.

    Unlike many other accounting systems, Wave does not support integration with third-party tools or apps-which could provide you with additional functionality.

    Wave Popular Features

    Since Wave Accounting is free, it does not offer as many features as its competitors in the market. Yet, it can still deliver an excellent accounting service for sales, purchases, accounting, banking, and reports. Now, let’s run through the top three popular features for small businesses to help you decide whether you will choose wave accounting over other online accounting services.

    1. Sales

    This feature enables you to carry out tasks, such as forming an estimate and invoice for a customer who would purchase your goods or services. Thus, it includes custom invoice creation to freely add your business logo and business palette to any invoices to make them look more pleasing and professional. Moreover, when creating an invoice, you could choose from a wide range of invoice presets and add them to your preferences during setup, so you don’t have to pick an invoice layout every time you create invoices.

    2. Purchases

    You can quickly add a merchant invoice to Wave and select the currency you want to pay. The online software also handles uploaded receipts in Purchases automatically, so you may take a picture of your purchase receipt and upload it to be appropriately recognized as an expense. Wave makes it easy to add a merchant, but it simply keeps track of the most basic information for each one.

    3. Accounting

    This feature allows you to link your bank account to your wave account and automatically sync and display your banking transactions with your income and expenses. Aside from this, you can manually upload your bank statement and other manual transactions to the software if you are cautious with your bank or credit card information. Wave also includes a reconciliation option that gives a short tutorial on using the software for beginners. You can also add a new account, modify the name of any statement, or edit the default chart of accounts from your chart of accounts.

    Wave Price Range

    There is numerous accounting software you can choose for your small business to manage your financial records efficiently. However, it can be difficult to decide what fits your business since some of the existing online accounting software plans are expensive. Wave accounting is relatively free accounting software with no hidden charges.

    Aside from Wave Accounting, Wave also offers Wave Invoicing, which is free and provides unlimited invoicing, automatic payment reminders, the capability to turn estimates into invoices, customer management, and accept online credit card and bank payments in invoices while using Wave payment with charge apply. It also has options to sync the invoices and accounting, and you can also create, send, and monitor your status in revenue and then receive a notification from your Wave invoicing app.

    Wave Money is another free wave service, usually used for business banking and working with the entire wave suite. This service caters to your small business by offering free banking, which can boast a total lack of fees with accessible ATM networks and better payment processors.

    On the other hand, Wave also offers paid products, such as Wave Payments, Wave Payroll, and Wave Advisor, in addition to its free services. These paid add-ons are generally advisable for owners who require extensive accounting processes:

    Wave Payments costs vary depending on the payment method you will use. The following estimates are for your reference:

    • For Visa, MasterCard, and Discover payments, you’ll be charged with payment processing of 2.9% plus $0.30 per card transaction.
    • For American Express payments, you’ll be charged with payment processing of 3.4% with $0.30 per transaction.
    • For other bank payments, you’ll be charged with payment processing of 1% per transaction.

    If you avail of this feature, you can now accept credit card payments online or in-person, which can be automatically synced with your wave account.

    Wave Payroll costs $20 per month for self-service, and employees can update bank and contact information and the tax forms and pay stubs. $35 for full federal and state tax service automatically transmitted on your account, plus $6 for the employee or contractor for both self-service and full service. Both services have features of Generate W-2 and 1099 forms, monitor your employees’ time of leaves, automatically sync with your other Wave account product, and pay your employees with direct deposit, access to customer support.

    Wave advisor, the most expensive feature, starts at $149 per month for bookkeeping and payroll support, $1,500 per year for Tax service, and a $229 one-time fee for the accounting and payroll coaching. It provides services of receiving customized support from in-house Wave professionals, outsourcing your bookkeeping with Wave’s bookkeeping service, and you can learn how to do it on your own using accounting coaching, file your tax with the help of a professional. You can also get help setting up your Wave account and learning the basics.

    Other Alternatives: Comparison of prices

    Wave has millions of users and has become one of the best choices for small business owners with its free accounting software solution and limitless features. You only need to pay the processing fees, payroll, and bookkeeping if you require those. But if you require more detailed and additional accounting services, there are several online accounting software to choose from in the market aside from Wave. Still, it requires you to pay to avail their services, such as FreshBooks, with the starting price of $15 to $50 per month; QuickBooks Online ranges from $25 to $80, and an advanced plan costs $180; QuickBooks Self-Employed with pricing from $15-$35; and Zoho Books plan ranges from $0 to $70 per month. Aside from these, Invoice Ninja offers one free and two paid programs at $10 to $14 per month.

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    Final Thoughts

    Wave is designed explicitly for smaller businesses and freelancers to use, regardless of their financial accounting background. The software supports numerous companies and also provides personal accounting. The ease of access to its features and function is noteworthy and has little to no restrictions that provide great experience and convenience to its user. With the Wave account, the user can continuously monitor their income and expenses more accurately and can even manage different businesses just in a single device. The Checkouts feature a unique and notable addition for business owners who need to charge many customers quickly. The company releases significant feature updates for its small business accounting service constantly. It continues to improve its software and address numerous customer complaints in its most recent redesign.

    However, the software still lacks some features, and it affects its usage in managing a business. One of the features Waves accountings lacks is no project management that the user could use. It also has limited time tracking that makes the software unsuitable for many businesses and lacks versatility.

    Wave accounting remains a strong option for small business owners searching for simple, convenient accounting software that isn’t too expensive. Wave’s customer support resources and new Wave Advisor services simplify learning software for business owners with minimal accounting experience. Wave is a good substitute for freelancers and small business owners who value cost-cutting and financial simplification. Wave provides a wide variety of financial tools for free, so it’s worth trying for small startup businesses to figure out everything they need in the accounting department.

    If Wave sounds like it could be a good fit for your company, give it a shot! After all, it’s completely free.

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