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The Best Wave Alternatives

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With over 3 million users, Wave is quickly becoming one of the favorite choices for small business accounting — and it’s easy to see why. The software offers strong accounting, an attractive UI, unique features like an ecommerce Checkouts tools, and even built-in lending. Oh, and it’s completely free.

But while we are quite fond of this 4.5 star software, it does have its drawbacks. Wave has limited time tracking, only four integrations, and slow customer service. In addition, the software doesn’t have a full inventory feature, doesn’t offer project management, and doesn’t support multiple users.

Whether you’re looking for more advanced features, more users, more integrations, or simply want to check out all of your options before committing to Wave, there are plenty of great alternatives out there. We’ve given you seven Wave alternatives that cover a variety of business sizes and needs, so you can find the perfect software to fit your business.

Compare each alternative in the chart below and read on to learn more about how these seven accounting programs compare to Wave.

Top 4 alternatives to Wave:

QuickBooks OnlineZoho BooksQuickBooks Self-EmployedSlickPie

QuickBooks Self Employed vs. Xero TaxTouch

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Business Size

Small - Medium

Small

Freelance

Small

Best For

Small to medium-sized businesses in need of full-featured accounting software with ample features and built-in lending.

Small businesses looking for affordable, full-featured accounting software with amazing invoices and international invoicing.

Freelancers and independent contractors who need to manage their expenses, deductions, and self-employment taxes.

Microbusinesses and small businesses looking for free, easy-to-use accounting software with unlimited users.

Pricing

$15 - $50/mo

$9 - $29/mo

$10 - $17/mo

$0 - $9.99/mo

Ease of Use

Easy

Very Easy

Very Easy

Very Easy

Customer Service

Poor

Very Good

Poor

Good

3 more excellent alternatives to Wave:

Column HeadingFreshBooksXeroInvoiceNinja

Best Xero Alternatives

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Business Size

Small

Small - Large

Small

Best for

Small businesses that don't need full accounting software but want invoicing and basic bookkeeping along with strong mobile apps.

Medium to large businesses looking for full-featured accounting with unlimited users, or small businesses needing a scalable accounting solution.

Small businesses looking for free invoicing software with ample automations and light ecommerce tools.

Pricing

$15 - $50/mo

$9 -$180/mo

$0 - $12/mo

Ease of Use

Very Easy

Moderate

Very Easy

Customer Service

Very Good

Poor

Good

1. QuickBooks Online

Best Alternatives To Wave
Best For…

Small to medium-sized businesses in need of full-featured accounting software with ample features and built-in lending.

QuickBooks Online is one of the biggest names in accounting — and for good reason. The software has an incredible number of features, strong accounting, good payroll and tax support, and tons of integrations, giving it the Merchant Maverick title of Best Accounting Software For Small Businesses. So, it’s no wonder that QuickBooks Online the top alternative for Wave.

Best Wave Alternatives

Pricing

QuickBooks offers three pricing plans ranging from $25 – $50/month. The larger the plan, the more features and users you are allowed. Payments are made monthly and no annual contracts are required.

Payroll costs an additional $39 – $99/month depending on which service you choose.

Features

QuickBooks Online offers an incredible number of features. Some of the advanced features are restricted to the more expensive version of the software so be sure to read our full QuickBooks Online review for all of the details. Here’s a list of QuickBooks Online’s features:

  • Invoicing
  • Estimates
  • Client portal
  • Contact management
  • Expense tracking
  • Bank reconciliation
  • Accounts payable
  • Chart of accounts
  • Inventory
  • Time tracking
  • Project management
  • Reports
  • Budgeting
  • Journal entries
  • Packing slips
  • Tracking categories
  • Print checks
  • Tax support
  • Sales tax
  • Multi-currency support
  • Lending

How QuickBooks Online Compares To Wave

QuickBooks Online and Wave have similar offerings. Both provide invoicing, contact management expense tracking, accounts payable, and even lending.

However, QuickBooks Online offers better invoice templates and automations, more reports, more developed time tracking and inventory features, and an actual project management feature. QuickBooks Online also offers far more integrations than Wave.

The only thing Wave has that QuickBooks doesn’t is a free pricing plan and a lightweight ecommerce tool called Checkouts. Granted, Wave is also easier to use than QuickBooks Online, but QBO is still fairly simple to navigate once you spend some time getting familiar with the software.

Takeaway

QuickBooks Online is one the best accounting software options out there for small businesses. While it’s more expensive than Wave’s $0/month, your money goes a long way in terms of features. QBO is a great choice for business owners who were drawn to Wave for its invoicing, but want more features and additional users without sacrificing lending or ease of use.

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One of the best accounting software options out there for small businesses

2. Zoho Books

Best Wave Alternatives
Best For…

Small businesses looking for affordable, full-featured accounting software with amazing invoices and international invoicing.

Zoho Books is the silent underdog of the accounting world. While not as well-known as QBO or Xero, the software offers almost all of the same features at a much more affordable cost. Add strong mobile apps, excellent customer service, and the best invoicing capabilities I’ve ever seen, and Zoho Books becomes a great contender for businesses looking for a Wave alternative.

Best Wave Alternatives

Pricing

Zoho Books offers three affordable pricing plans ranging from $9 – $29/mo. Each plan comes with unlimited invoices and estimates, as well as all of the basic features, so larger plans just add more contacts and users. Payments are made monthly, although there is a discount for purchasing an annual subscription.

Features

Zoho Books’ feature set gives programs like QuickBooks Online and Xero a run for their money. The software also offers the best invoicing capabilities on the market. Here are the features you can expect with Zoho Books:

  • Invoicing
  • Multiple invoice languages
  • Estimates
  • Client portal
  • Contact management
  • Expense tracking
  • Bank reconciliation
  • Chart of accounts
  • Accounts payable
  • Inventory
  • Time tracking
  • Project management
  • Reports
  • Journal entries
  • Print checks
  • Tax support
  • Sales tax
  • Multi-currency support

How Zoho Books Compares To Wave

Zoho Books and Wave have many similarities like invoicing, expense tracking, contact management, and ease of use. Both programs are well-loved by their customers and receive positive customer reviews.

However, Zoho Books offers more features, stronger mobile apps, and better customer support. Zoho Books has unbeatable invoicing with 15 templates to choose from, numerous customizations, the ability to autoschedule invoices and even send invoices in multiple languages. The software also offers better time tracking and inventory and an actual project management feature.

The only drawback of Zoho Books is that there’s no payroll support. You’ll also lose the lending feature of Wave. If you’re incredibly attached to Wave’s lending, you might be better off with QBO (and QuickBooks Capital) instead, or you can take a look at some of the other great small business loans out there.

Takeaway

Zoho Books is an incredibly powerful small business software with ample features and great customer support. It offers some of the best invoicing and mobile apps on the market at an affordable cost. Zoho Books could be a great Wave alternative if you’re looking for more features without the high cost of QBO, so long as you don’t need payroll.

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Offers some of the best invoicing and mobile apps on the market at an affordable cost

3. QuickBooks Self-Employed

Best Wave Alternatives
Best For…

Freelancers and independent contractors who need to manage their expenses, deductions, and self-employment taxes.

When it comes to managing their business, and especially their taxes, freelancers have a very specific set of needs. QuickBooks Self-Employed was designed to address those needs by providing expense tracking, tax support, deduction tracking, and even a direct Turbo Tax integration for filing taxes online through QBSE. While QuickBooks Self-Employed isn’t accounting software, this easy-to-use tax software is a great option for freelancers and independent contractors in need of affordable bookkeeping and tax support.

Best Wave Alternatives

Pricing

QuickBooks offers two different pricing plans: the Self-Employed plan is $10/month and Self-Employed Tax Bundle is $17/month. The main difference between the two is that the $17/month plan adds a Turbo Tax Integration and the ability to pay your quarterly estimated taxes online. The $10/month plan will still help you calculate your taxes; you’ll just be responsible for filing them.

Features

QuickBooks Self-Employed’s features are geared directly toward freelancers and address common self-employed issues like managing expenses, tracking deductions, and handling self-employment taxes. Here are the features QuickBooks Self-Employed offers:

  • Invoicing
  • Estimates
  • Client portal
  • Expense tracking
  • Track deductions
  • Fixed asset depreciation
  • Reports
  • Tax checklist
  • Tax support

How QuickBooks Self-Employed Compares To Wave

QuickBooks Self-Employed and Wave are a bit tricky to compare because they are completely different programs for different audiences. Wave is accounting software designed for small businesses. QuickBooks Self-Employed is tax software with some bookkeeping and accounting features tossed in.

While Wave is a great free software for small businesses, freelancers have an entirely different set of business and accounting needs. QuickBooks Self-Employed still offers invoicing, estimates, and expense tracking like Wave, but it adds key features like tax deductions, self-employment tax calculations, and the ability to track deductions.

Takeaway

For freelancers who were drawn to Wave because of its price, QuickBooks Self-Employed and its features are designed specifically for you at a small monthly cost. The software is a great choice for freelancers needing some extra help managing their business and staying tax compliant, without spending tons of money or hours to do so.

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A great choice for freelancers needing some extra help managing their business

4. SlickPieBest Wave Alternatives

Best For…

Small businesses looking for free, easy-to-use accounting software with unlimited users.

SlickPie is a simple, affordable accounting software whose offerings are the most similar to Wave’s. The software is easy to use, offers basic accounting features, and also has a tempting free plan. The main thing that sets this software apart from Wave is that SlickPie supports unlimited users and has excellent customer support, which is why it’s one of the top alternatives to Wave.

Bet Wave Alternatives

Pricing

SlickPie offers a free plan for businesses needing up to 100 invoices a month. The paid plan costs $9.95/month and upgrades you to unlimited invoices. Both plans offer unlimited users, which is impressive for any software, let alone one with a free plan.

Features

SlickPie’s offerings may look humble compared to QuickBooks Online or Zoho Books, but the software covers all of the basic accounting features needed to balance the books. Here are the features you can find with SlickPie:

  • Invoicing
  • Estimates
  • Contact management
  • Expense tracking
  • Automatic receipt entry
  • Chart of accounts
  • Accounts payable
  • Inventory
  • Reports
  • Sales tax
  • Multi-currency support

How SlickPie Compares To Wave

SlickPie and Wave have similar features, including invoicing, expense tracking, items lists, contact management, and even the same number of reports. Both also lack a project management feature.

Wave outshines SlickPie in a few areas with a time tracking feature, a lightweight ecommerce tool, and lending. Plus, Wave doesn’t put an invoice limit on their free plan. However, the thing SlickPie has going for it is unlimited users, automatic receipt data entry, and much better customer support.

Takeaway

For small businesses that are drawn to Wave’s simple, easy to use accounting and the free price tag — but who also need multiple users — SlickPie is a great alternative. The software’s free plan rivals Wave’s, and their paid plan is still an incredibly affordable option for basic small business accounting.

5. FreshBooksBest Wave Alternatives

Best For…

Small businesses that don’t need full accounting software but want invoicing and basic bookkeeping along with strong mobile apps.

FreshBooks may not be true accounting software, but that doesn’t stop it from being a well-loved invoicing and basic bookkeeping tool. The software is easy to use, boasts incredible customer support, and has strong mobile apps. While the company has raised their prices, the high cost might be worth it for some small businesses.

Best Wave Alternatives

Pricing

FreshBooks offers three pricing plans ranging from $15 – $50/month. Payments are maid monthly. FreshBooks’ pricing is on the high-end, especially considering that it isn’t a full accounting software, but the company does offer a generous referral program that could help you save a bit of money.

Features

While FreshBooks doesn’t offer all of the features you’d expect to find with true accounting software, it does offer basic bookkeeping and financial management features for businesses. Here’s what FreshBooks’ features look like:

  • Invoicing
  • Estimates
  • Client portal
  • Contact management
  • Expense tracking
  • Charts of accounts
  • Items
  • Time tracking
  • Project management
  • Reports
  • Sales tax
  • Multi-currency support

How FreshBooks Compares To Wave

First off, FreshBooks isn’t true accounting software, so Wave has it beat there. FreshBooks doesn’t offer double-entry accounting or bank reconciliation. It does offer some accounting reports and a chart of accounts, which is a step in the right direction, but that’s about it.

Accounting aside, FreshBooks and Wave both offer easy to use software with professional invoices and good expense tracking. They each offer contact management, strong client portals, and time tracking as well. Neither software offers a project management feature, and neither is optimized for multiple users.

There are a few places FreshBooks outshines Wave. FreshBooks has stronger mobile apps, far better customer support, and 70+ integrations as opposed to Wave’s four. Of course, you’re paying for these at a premium, instead of Wave’s free monthly cost.

Takeaway

While I almost always recommend true accounting software for all businesses, some small businesses may like the simplicity of FreshBooks. If you were drawn to Wave’s ease of use and invoicing, FreshBooks matches those features plus adds far better customer support and mobile apps, which may more than make up for the expensive plans.

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Some small businesses may like the simplicity of FreshBooks

6. XeroBest Wave Alternatives

Best For…

Medium to large businesses looking for full-featured accounting with unlimited users, or small businesses needing a scalable accounting solution.

Xero is one of the most popular, fully-featured cloud accounting programs on the market. The software offers strong accounting, advanced features, and scalable pricing to grow with your business. In addition, Xero offers an impressive number of integrations, a nice support center, and unlimited users, making it one of our highest-rated accounting programs and our top pick for the Best Accounting Software For Larger Businesses.

Best Wave Alternatives

Pricing

Xero offers five scalable pricing plans ranging from $9 – $180/month. Payments are made monthly, and the company offers a 25% discount for nonprofits and a 15% discount for users with multiple companies registered on Xero.

In the past, payroll has been included with all plans except the smallest for no additional cost. However, the company has announced that their pricing structure will be changing November 1, 2018, and payroll will need to be purchased separately.

Features

Xero is by far the most developed program on this list and offers ample features. Unlike QuickBooks Online, these features aren’t restricted to the more expensive pricing plans, so any size business can benefit from these advanced accounting features. Here is what to expect with Xero:

  • Invoicing
  • Estimates
  • Contact management
  • Expense tracking
  • Bank reconciliation
  • Charts of account
  • Accounts payable
  • Inventory
  • Time tracking
  • Project management
  • Reports
  • Class tracking
  • Print checks
  • Tax support
  • Sales tax
  • Multi-currency

How Xero Compares To Wave

While Wave has an incredible number of features, especially for a free software, Xero’s feature set is far more advanced and developed.

Both programs offer invoicing, contact management, expense tracking, bank reconciliation, and time tracking, but Xero adds project management, tax support, and class tracking to the mix. Xero also has better time tracking, full-fledged inventory, 65 reports to Wave’s 12, and offers far more integrations.

Granted, Xero is quite a bit more difficult to learn than Wave, and Wave does have a couple unique touches that Xero lacks, like lending and Checkouts. Wave is also far cheaper, but there’s no doubt your money goes a long way with Xero.

Takeaway

Xero is a great option for medium to large businesses that need more features and more users than Wave can offer. Xero is also a great alternative to Wave for small businesses that are planning to see a lot of business growth and want a more scalable accounting option.

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Offers strong accounting, advanced features, and scalable pricing to grow with your business

7. Invoice NinjaBest Wave Alternatives

Best For…

Small businesses looking for free invoicing software with ample automations and light ecommerce tools.

Invoice Ninja is an easy-to-use invoicing software with advance invoicing features, numerous payment gateways integrations, and good customer service. The software was only founded in 2014 but is already making an impact with its impressive feature set and free pricing plan.

Best Wave Alternatives

Pricing

Invoice Ninja offers free open-source invoicing software for users who want to download and self-host the program.

For users looking for cloud-based software, Invoice Ninja offers one free plan and two paid plans. The free plan features unlimited invoices for up to 100 clients, as well as basic Invoice Ninja features. The paid plans add more clients and advanced features like estimates. Payments are made monthly, although there is a discount for purchasing an annual subscription. Invoice Ninja also offers a generous referral program to help you save even more.

Features

For an invoicing software, Invoice Ninja offers a surprising amount of features and plenty of business automations. Some of the advanced features are restricted to the more expensive version of the software so be sure to read our full Invoice Ninja review for all of the details. Here’s a list of Invoice Ninja’s features:

  • Invoicing
  • Estimates
  • Client portal
  • Contact management
  • Expense tracking
  • Items
  • Project management
  • Reports
  • Listening commands
  • eCommerce buttons
  • Sales tax
  • Multi-currency support

How InvoiceNinja Compares To Wave

Like with FreshBooks, Wave has Invoice Ninja beat on the accounting front. Invoice Ninja is not accounting software as it does not have double-entry accounting, accounting reports, journal entries, or bank reconciliation.

However, Invoice Ninja has Wave beat in terms of invoicing. Invoice Ninja offers more invoice templates that are highly customizable. Invoice Ninja also offers a basic project management feature, which Wave lacks. In addition, Invoice Ninja has more payment processing options, better customer service, and a cool listening commands feature.

Both programs support expense tracking, client portals, items, and a similar number of reports. Invoice Ninja is also the only other software to offer an ecommerce feature similar to Wave’s Checkouts. Wave, however, has InvoiceNinja’s free plan beat as Wave doesn’t put any artificial limits on their paid plan.

Takeaway

If your business only needs invoicing software but doesn’t want to pay an arm and a leg for FreshBooks, Invoice Ninja is a great alternative. Invoice Ninja keeps one of the most appealing points about Wave — the free plan — and gives users a strong invoicing solution. For users who need the upgraded features of paid plans, this software could still be an affordable option.

Which Wave Alternative Is Best For You?

Now that you know more about the top Wave contenders, how do you choose which software is right for you?

Consider why you’re looking at Wave alternatives in the first place. Are you an existing Wave user who is discontented with a certain aspect of the software? Are you a potential user who is worried Wave won’t have all the features you need? If you can pinpoint the issue you have with Wave, it’ll be easier to find a program that eliminates that problem.

You’ll also want to consider:

  • Which features you need
  • How many users you need
  • Your budget

For more help selecting the best accounting software for your business, check out our Complete Guide To Choosing Online Accounting Software. And don’t forget to use our comprehensive accounting reviews to help you learn more about your favorite Wave alternative.

Chelsea Krause

Chelsea Krause

Head Accounting and Invoicing Writer
Chelsea Krause is a writer who has specialized in accounting for two years. She has a BA in English & Creative Writing from George Fox University and studied at the University of Oxford as well. She has been quoted in Forbes and her work appears in Startup Nation, Small Business Bonfire, and Women on Business.
Chelsea Krause
Chelsea Krause

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3 Comments

Responses are not provided or commissioned by the vendor or bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the vendor or bank advertiser. It is not the vendor or bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

    Cammy Ang

    Great reviews. We’re currently using BillyApp, no free version, but grabbed myself an Appsumo deal for $39 only. Read a comment above Slickpie, and it seems promising. Looking to test it out aswell.

      Alcott Clarke

      I have been using Slickpie(www.slickpie.com) free online accounting software for about a year. I enjoy that it’s possible for me to change the invoices theme templates. I basically use it for online invoicing and billing. The document upload feature is really handy.

        Angela

        An interesting article. I have just been looking at Wave for a client after not reviewing it for a couple of years. Wave has moved on and in my opinion, will suit a lot of small businesses. Xero is an alternative, but many small business owners do not want the expense. On an initial consultation with clients it often comes down to cost in choosing the suitable software.

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