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Ready To Leave Wave? Here Are The Best Wave Alternatives

Take a look at the top 5 Wave Accounting alternatives to see which is right for your small business.

    Erica Seppala
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Advertiser Disclosure: Our unbiased reviews and content are supported in part by affiliate partnerships, and we adhere to strict guidelines to preserve editorial integrity.

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. Wave is completely free, with no limits, gimmicks, or tricks. Small business owners looking to save a dime or two enjoy Wave’s competitive features, but is free always better?

When it comes to accounting software, there are several alternatives to Wave worth considering. 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 a mix of the top paid and free Wave alternatives, so you can find the perfect software to fit your business.

Learn More About Our Top Picks

CompanyBest ForNext StepsBest For
FreshBooks

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Best Wave alternative for customer support
Best Wave alternative for customer support

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QuickBooks Online

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Overall best Wave alternative
Overall best Wave alternative

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Zoho Books

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Best Wave alternative for invoicing
Best Wave alternative for invoicing

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QuickBooks Self-Employed

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Best Wave alternative for freelancers
Best Wave alternative for freelancers

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Invoice Ninja

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Best free Wave alternative
Best free Wave alternative

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Read more below to learn why we chose these options.

Wave Overview

Wave is a free accounting software solution that doesn’t skimp on features or accounting. The software offers an impressive number of features, an attractive UI, unique capabilities (such as an eCommerce tool), and even built-in lending. The only things users need to for are payment processing fees, payroll, and professional bookkeeping if they need these add-ons.

While we are quite fond of this software, it does have its drawbacks. Here’s a breakdown of Wave’s pros and cons:

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Free
  • Strong accounting
  • Good invoicing
  • eCommerce checkout feature
  • Positive customer reviews
  • Good support materials
  • An Etsy integration

Cons

  • No project management
  • Limited time tracking
  • Limited integrations
  • Doesn’t support multiple users
  • Slow customer support

When To Leave Wave & Choose A Different Accounting Software

While many users praise Wave, there comes a time when this free software just won’t cut it. Here are some reasons to leave Wave and find a better accounting alternative:

  • You need project management
  • You need more developed time tracking
  • You need multiple users
  • You’re tired of slow customer support
  • You need more complex accounting features & reporting
  • You want more integrations
  • You want better mobile apps

If this is you, there are plenty of more scalable and capable accounting software options out there. Read on for the best alternatives to Wave.

The Best Wave Accounting Alternatives

Wave is a great free accounting option for small businesses just starting out, but it isn’t for everyone. Here are the best Wave alternatives including QuickBooks Online, QuickBooks Self-Employed, Invoice Ninja, and more.

1. Wave Alternative With The Best Customer Support: FreshBooks

FreshBooks



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Best for small businesses willing to pay a premium for excellent mobile apps and customer support.

FreshBooks has been a long-time favorite of small businesses, and with the recent addition of double-entry accounting, this cloud-based software is finally a full-fledged accounting solution. The software is easy to use, boasts incredible customer support, and has strong mobile apps.

FreshBooks is ideal for small businesses that don’t want or need the complexity of QuickBooks and are looking for an easy-to-use basic accounting solution.

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Excellent customer support
  • Good mobile apps
  • 70+ integrations

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Limited users

FreshBooks Pricing

FreshBooks offers three pricing plans ranging from $15-$50/month. The larger the plan, the more features you have access to; the smallest plan lacks double-entry accounting, so only the two more expensive plans work as a complete accounting solution. Payments are made monthly, and additional users cost $10/month.

FreshBooks Features

freshbooks: best wave alternative for customer support

FreshBooks’ features aren’t as numerous or developed as other options (such as QuickBooks Online or Zoho Books), but the software still has a lot to offer, including an incredibly well-developed proposals feature. Here are some of the features you can expect with FreshBooks:

  • Invoicing
  • Estimates
  • Proposals
  • Contact management
  • Expense tracking
  • Charts of accounts
  • Items
  • Time tracking
  • Project management
  • Reports

How FreshBooks Compares To Wave

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.

There are a few places where FreshBooks outshines Wave. FreshBooks has more robust mobile apps, far better customer support, and 200+ integrations as opposed to Wave’s four. FreshBooks also offers project management and the option to add more users. Of course, you’re paying for these at a premium instead of Wave’s free monthly cost.

If you were drawn to Wave’s ease of use and invoicing, FreshBooks matches those features and adds far better customer support and mobile apps, which may make up for the more expensive cost. For a more detailed look, check out our FreshBooks VS Wave comparison post.

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2. Overall Best Wave Alternative: QuickBooks Online

QuickBooks Online



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Best for small to medium-sized businesses in need of full-featured, scalable 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. It’s no wonder, then, that QuickBooks Online is the top alternative for Wave. QBO is also the only other app on the list that can match Wave’s lending service with its built-in financing option, QuickBooks Capital.

QuickBooks Online is ideal for small businesses looking for comprehensive accounting software and is a great option for businesses that have outgrown Wave or need a project management feature.

Pros

  • Strong accounting
  • Advanced feature-set
  • Strong invoicing
  • Good mobile apps
  • 650+ integrations

Cons

  • Limited customer support
  • Expensive
  • Occasionally unintuitive

QuickBooks Online Pricing

QuickBooks offers three pricing plans ranging from $25-$80/month and a fourth larger plan called QuickBooks Online Advanced, which costs $180/month. The larger the plan, the more features and number of users you are allowed. Payments are made monthly, and no annual contracts are required. Payroll costs an additional $45-$125/month plus $4/month per employee.

QuickBooks Online Features

quickbooks online: best wave alternative

QuickBooks Online offers an incredible number of features. Some of the advanced features are restricted to the more expensive version of the software. Here are some of QuickBooks Online’s features:

  • Invoicing
  • Estimates
  • Contact management
  • Expense tracking
  • Bank reconciliation
  • Accounts payable
  • Chart of accounts
  • Inventory
  • Time tracking
  • Project management
  • Over 80 reports
  • Budgeting
  • Tax support

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 a project management feature. QuickBooks Online also has far more integrations than Wave.

The only things Wave has that QuickBooks doesn’t are a free pricing plan and a lightweight eCommerce tool called Checkouts. Granted, Wave is also a lot easier to use than QuickBooks Online.

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 ease of use. While it’s more expensive than Wave’s $0/month, your money goes a long way in terms of features. For our full comparison guide, check out Wave VS QuickBooks Online.

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3. Best Wave Alternative For Invoicing: Zoho Books

Zoho Books



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Best for small businesses looking for affordable, full-featured accounting software with great mobile apps and international invoicing.

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

Zoho Books is ideal for small businesses in need of affordable accounting software with strong accounting and a good selection of features. The software is also great for international invoicing.

Pros

  • Excellent customer support
  • Numerous features
  • Strong accounting
  • International invoicing
  • Affordable monthly cost

Cons

  • No payroll
  • Limited integrations

Zoho Books Pricing

Zoho Books offers three affordable pricing plans ranging from $0-$70/month. The larger the plan, the more invoices, features, and user seats you have access to. Payments are made monthly, although there is a discount for purchasing an annual subscription.

Zoho Books Features

zoho books: best wave alternative for sending invoices

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

  • Invoicing
  • Estimates
  • Contact management
  • Expense tracking
  • Bank reconciliation
  • Chart of accounts
  • Accounts payable
  • Inventory
  • Time tracking
  • Project management
  • Reports
  • Tax support
  • Send invoices in multiple languages

How Zoho Books Compares To Wave

Zoho Books and Wave have many similarities when it comes to invoicing, expense tracking, contact management, and ease of use. Both programs are well-loved by users and receive positive customer reviews.

However, Zoho Books offers more features, stronger mobile apps, and better customer support. Zoho Books has unbeatable invoicing with 16 templates to choose from, numerous customizations, auto-scheduling for invoices, and can even send invoices in multiple languages. The software also offers better time tracking and inventory and a project management feature.

The only drawback of Zoho Books is that there’s no payroll support. You’ll also lose Wave’s lending feature. 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.

Zoho Books could be a worthy Wave alternative if you’re looking for more features without the high cost of QBO so long as you don’t need payroll. For a more detailed breakdown, visit our Zoho Books VS Wave comparison.

Get Started with Zoho Books

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4. Best Wave Alternative For Freelancers: QuickBooks Self-Employed

QuickBooks Self-Employed



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

When it comes to managing their businesses, and especially their taxes, freelancers have a particular 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.

Pros

  • Suited for freelancers
  • Calculates estimated quarterly taxes
  • Easy to use
  • Turbo Tax integration

Cons

  • Limited invoice features
  • No state tax support

QuickBooks Self-Employed Pricing

QuickBooks offers three different pricing plans ranging from $15 – $35/month. The main difference between the plans is that the second tier gives you access to Turbo Tax, and the third tier includes live tax support from a CPA.

QuickBooks Self-Employed Features

quickbooks self-employed: best wave alternative for freelancers

QuickBooks Self-Employed’s features are geared directly toward freelancers and address common self-employment issues, such as managing expenses, tracking deductions, and handling estimated quarterly 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 an accounting program designed for small businesses. QuickBooks Self-Employed is tax software with some bookkeeping and accounting features tossed in.

While Wave is a great free app for small businesses, freelancers have their own unique business and accounting needs. QuickBooks Self-Employed offers invoicing, estimates, and expense tracking like Wave, but it adds key features, such as tax deductions, self-employment tax calculations, and the ability to track deductions.

If you 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 extra help managing their business and staying tax compliant, without spending tons of money or hours to do so.

Get Started with QuickBooks Self-Employed

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5. Best Free Wave Alternative: Invoice Ninja

Invoice Ninja



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Best for small businesses looking for free invoicing software with ample automations and light eCommerce tools.

Invoice Ninja is an easy-to-use invoicing solution with advanced invoicing features, over 40 payment gateway integrations, and good customer service. The software was founded as recently as 2014 but is already making an impact with its impressive feature-set and free pricing plan.

Invoice Ninja is ideal for small businesses that need invoicing and basic financial management but aren’t quite ready for a full-on accounting program such as Wave.

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Advanced invoicing features
  • Good customer support
  • 30+ payment processing integrations

Cons

  • Limited features
  • Limited third-party integrations

Invoice Ninja 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 starting at $10 and $14/month. The free plan features unlimited invoices for up to 100 clients. The paid plans add more clients, advanced features, and multiple users. Payments are made monthly, although there is a discount for purchasing an annual subscription.

Invoice Ninja Features

invoiceninja dashboard

For invoicing software, Invoice Ninja offers a surprising number of features and plenty of business automations. Some of the advanced features are restricted to the more expensive version of the software. Here’s are some of the most notable features:

  • Invoicing
  • Estimates
  • Contact management
  • Expense tracking
  • Items
  • Project management
  • Reports
  • Listening commands
  • eCommerce buttons

How Invoice Ninja Compares To Wave

Since Invoice Ninja is solely invoicing software, Wave has Invoice Ninja beat on the accounting front. Invoice Ninja is not accounting software, as it does not offer 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 provides a basic project management feature, which Wave lacks. Additionally, 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 limit on invoices.

Invoice Ninja copies one of the most appealing aspects of Wave — the free plan — and gives users a strong invoicing solution, making it ideal for a small business looking for basic, affordable invoicing software.

Get Started with Invoice Ninja

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Which Wave Alternative Is Right For You?

It’s no wonder Wave has been such a success in the accounting software world. With a free pricing structure, strong accounting, and numerous features, it is easy to see why over 3 million people use it. However, that doesn’t mean Wave is right 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.

Wave Accounting FAQs

Is Wave really free?

Yes, Wave really is free! The company makes their money off of additional services like their bookkeeping advisors.

Is QuickBooks better than Wave?

QuickBooks Online is better than Wave for businesses that are growing and need a scalable accounting software that supports multiple users with strong user permissions. Wave is better if you don’t have additional users and need a simple, free accounting software or need a way to send invoices for free.

What is the best alternative to Wave Accounting?

QuickBooks Online is the best Wave alternative for small to medium-sized businesses, while QuickBooks Self-Employed is the best Wave alternative for freelancers and independent contractors.

Is there a good free accounting software option besides Wave?

While Wave is one of the best free accounting software options, it isn’t the only option. ZipBooks and AND CO are two great free Wave Alternatives. Invoice Ninja is also a great alternative to Wave if you just need invoicing software rather than full accounting software.

Read our list of the best free accounting software to learn more.

In Summary: The Best Wave Accounting Alternatives

  1. FreshBooks: Best Wave alternative for customer support
  2. QuickBooks Online: Overall best Wave alternative
  3. Zoho Books: Best Wave alternative for invoicing
  4. QuickBooks Self-Employed: Best Wave alternative for freelancers
  5. Invoice Ninja: Best free Wave alternative
Erica Seppala

Erica Seppala

Expert Analyst & Reviewer at Merchant Maverick
An expert in accounting, finance, and point of sale, Erica has been researching and writing about all things small-business since 2018. Erica's insights into personal and business finance have been cited in numerous publications, including MSN, Real Simple, and Reader's Digest. She is a graduate of Limestone College.
Erica Seppala
View Erica Seppala's professional experience on LinkedIn.
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5 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.

    Kevin Luck

    You should probably now add to the WAVE Cons that Wave is “Only available to businesses in the USA and Canada”.

      This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

      Seyi Oyebode

      Wonderful Article!
      Very useful
      THank you

        This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

        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.

          This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

          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.

            This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

            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.

              This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

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