Wave is a newer option for accountants, bookkeepers and small businesses and was founded in 2010. It’s a unique option because it’s accounting software is 100% Free. That might sound too good to be true, but wave allows users to manage expenses, have unlimited users, and integrate as many bank accounts as they want. They also don’t cap the number of invoices sent per month, which is a nice feature compared to other alternatives.

Keep in mind that they charge a credit card processing fee of 2.9% + 30 cents per transaction along with a 1% for Bank ACH transfers. Their credit card processing fee is pretty standard among the industry with notable companies like Paypal having the same fee. This platform is good for a small business or freelancer that doesn’t need payroll nor invoice too frequently.


Besides offering free accounting software, Wave also offers a paid monthly option that helps business manage payroll. It charges a higher rate for non-self-service states like California and a lower rate for self-service states. Each option charges the uses $4 per active employee or independent contractor.

Like other apps, it also offers receipt scanning to help organize business transactions. This is very useful especially when it comes to business meals and entertainment deductions. In the past, it was common to keep shoeboxes full of receipts which would lead to errors and unnecessary stress around the tax deadline.

This platform offers cloud accounting which means a user can access it from the computer or smartphone, provided he or she has an internet connection.

Check out our roundup of the Best Small Business Accounting Software


It might seem tough to believe, but Wave’s accounting, receipts, and the basic platform are free. This option has revolutionized online bookkeeping and is great for those that don’t need payroll. It also provides free invoicing and estimates. However, it charges to credit card processing fees along with ACH transfer fees.

It charges $35 for self-service states like California, Florida, New York, Texas, Illinois, and Washington. It charges higher for these states because it automatically transfers tax payments and files necessary paperwork in these states. The other 44 states are self-service states, which requires the user to file taxes and paperwork by him or herself. The base cost for the self-service states is $20per month and it charges an additional $4 per month per employee or contractor.

Customer support

Wave offers email support for its free users and phone along with online chat support for its paid (payroll) users. Its customer service isn’t as strong as other paid alternatives, with customers complaining about slow response times. It can take at least a day or so for a representative to answer any questions.

A new option, Wave +, allows customers to consult with a competent bookkeeper or accountant. The bookkeeping option is available for $149 per month and consulting an accountant costs a flat fee of $249. The accounting option includes 2 hours of live coaching and 30 days of email access to the Wave account.


  • Free: Wave has made itself known as being a quality free accounting software. It used to have ads within the system, but these were scrapped once it added Wave + and payroll services.
  • Wave +: Accounting and bookkeeping can be difficult subjects to learn. Luckily, Wave has realized this and offers professionals to guide novices. This professional help allows people to reduce the learning curve and accurately calculate their financial situation.


  • Few customizable reports: This might not come as surprise since this software doesn’t charge users for the basic package. Unlike more comprehensive competitors like Xero, it doesn’t have project management options. This would make Wave unsuitable for most large, publicly-traded firms.
  • Lackluster customer service: Wave has okay customer service for a free platform. However, it doesn’t offer free users phone nor chat support.

Rating breakdown

  • Overall: 4.125
  • Features: 3
  • Price: 5
  • Ease of Use: 5
  • Customer Service: 3.5