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The Best Wave Alternatives

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Best Wave Alternatives

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, 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 the top two free Wave alternatives and the top four paid Wave alternatives, 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 six accounting programs compare to Wave.

Top Free Wave Alternatives

column-headingSlickPieInvoice Ninja

Best Free Wave Alternatives

Best Free Wave Alternatives

ReviewVisit Site

ReviewVisit Site

Pricing

$0 - $19/month

$0 - $12/month

Size of Business

Small

Freelance - Small

Ease of Use

Easy

Very Easy

Customer Service

Good

Good

Number of Users

Unlimited

1 - 2+

Number of Integrations

3

30+

Cloud-Based or Installed

Cloud-Based

Cloud-Based

Mobile Apps

No

iOS & Android

Top Paid Wave Alternatives

headingQuickBooks OnlineZoho BooksQuickBooks Self-EmployedFreshBooks

Best Wave Alternatives

Best Wave Alternatives

Best Wave Alternatives

Best Wave Alternatives

ReviewVisit

ReviewVisit

ReviewCompare

ReviewVisit

Pricing

$20 - $150/month

$9 - $29/month

$10 - $17/month

$15 - $50/month

Size of Business

Small - Medium

Small

Self-Employed

Small

Ease of Use

Moderate

Very Easy

Very Easy

Very Easy

Customer Service

Fair

Very Good

Fair

Very Good

Number of Users

1 - 25

1 - 9+

1

1

Number of Integrations

500+

30+

4

70+

Cloud-Based or Installed

Cloud-Based

Cloud-Based

Cloud-Based

Cloud-Based

Mobile Apps

iOS & Android

iOS, Android, Windows, & Kindle

iOS & Android

iOS & Android

Overview Of Wave

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

While we are quite fond of this 4.5/5 star 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 checkouts feature
  • Positive customer reviews
  • Good support materials
  • Etsy integration

Cons

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

Now that you know the good and the bad things about this popular free accounting option, here are the top alternatives to Wave.

Best Free Alternatives To Wave

One of the biggest appeals of Wave is its price tag — or lack thereof. If you’re looking for a free alternative to Wave, there are two great options that are also free but have better customer support, which may be a good fit for your business.

1. SlickPieBest Wave Alternatives

Best For…

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

Founded in 2015, SlickPie is a new accounting program that has a lot going for it. The software has gained positive customer feedback and press coverage and is proving to be a formidable small business accounting option.

SlickPie is a simple, affordable accounting software offering features very similar to Wave’s. The software is easy to use, has basic accounting features, and also boasts a tempting free plan. The main thing that sets this software apart from Wave is that SlickPie supports unlimited users and has good customer support, making it an ideal Wave alternative for small businesses.

ProsCons

Unlimited users

Limited features

Easy to use

No mobile apps

Good customer support 

Limited integrations

Well-designed UI

Pricing

SlickPie offers a free plan and a paid plan, which costs $19.95/month.

Features

Bet Wave Alternatives

SlickPie 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
  • Bank reconciliation
  • Automatic receipt entry
  • Chart of accounts
  • Accounts payable
  • Inventory
  • Reports

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 (particularly regarding its time tracking feature, lightweight ecommerce tool, and lending). Plus, Wave doesn’t put an invoice limit on its free plan. However, the thing SlickPie has going for it is unlimited users, automatic receipt data entry, and much better customer support.

For small businesses that are drawn to Wave’s simple, easy to use accounting and free price tag — but who also need multiple users — SlickPie is a great alternative. Read our full SlickPie review to learn more.

2. 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 solution with advanced invoicing features, over 30 payment gateways 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 like Wave.

ProsCons

Easy to use

Limited features

Advanced invoicing features

Limited third-party integrations

Good customer support

30+ payment processing integrations

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 ranging between $8 – $12/month. The free plan features unlimited invoices for up to 100 clients. The paid plans add more clients and advanced features. Payments are made monthly, although there is a discount for purchasing an annual subscription.

Features

Best Wave Alternatives

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, so be sure to read our full Invoice Ninja review for all of the details. Here’s are some of the most notable features:

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

How InvoiceNinja 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. 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 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. Read our full Invoice Ninja review to learn more.

Best Paid Alternatives To Wave

Whether you’ve outgrown Wave, need more features, or simply want to explore all of your options, here are the top paid alternatives to Wave. Each is designed for small businesses and could be a good accounting solution for you.

1. QuickBooks Online

Best Alternatives To WaveBest 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. So, it’s no wonder that QuickBooks Online 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.

The software 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.

ProsCons

Strong accounting

Limited customer support

Advanced feature set

Expensive

Strong invoicing

Occasionally unintuitive

Good mobile apps

500+ integrations

Pricing

QuickBooks offers three pricing plans ranging from $20 – $60/month with a fourth larger plan called QuickBooks Online Advanced which costs $150/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 $35 – $80/month plus $4/month per employee.

Features

Best Wave Alternatives

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 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
  • Up to 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 an actual project management feature. QuickBooks Online also offers 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. Read our full QuickBooks Online review to learn if this software is right for you.

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

2. Zoho Books

Best Wave AlternativesBest 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 QuickBooks 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 some of the best invoicing on the market, and Zoho Books becomes a great contender for businesses looking for a Wave alternative.

The software 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.

ProsCons

Excellent customer support

No payroll

Numerous features

Limited integrations

Strong accounting

International invoicing

Affordable monthly cost

Pricing

Zoho Books offers three affordable pricing plans ranging from $9 – $29/month. Each plan comes with unlimited invoices and estimates. The larger the plan, the more contacts and users you have access to. Payments are made monthly, although there is a discount for purchasing an annual subscription.

Features

Best Wave Alternatives

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 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 15 templates to choose from, numerous customizations, autoscheduling for invoices, and even the ability to 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.

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. Read our full Zoho Books review to learn if this software is right for you.

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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 AlternativesBest 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 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.

ProsCons

Suited for freelancers

Limited invoice features

Calculates estimated quarterly taxes

No state tax support

Easy to use

Turbo Tax integration

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

Best Wave Alternatives

QuickBooks Self-Employed’s features are geared directly toward freelancers and address common self-employed issues like 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 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 app for small businesses, freelancers have an entirely different set of business and accounting needs. QuickBooks Self-Employed 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.

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 some extra help managing their business and staying tax compliant, without spending tons of money or hours to do so. Read our full QuickBooks Self-Employed Review for more details.

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

4. FreshBooksBest Wave Alternatives

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.

This app 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.

ProsCons

Easy to use

Expensive

Excellent customer support

Limited users

Good mobile apps

70+ integrations

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.

Features

Best Wave Alternatives

FreshBooks features aren’t as numerous or developed as other options like 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 FreshBooks outshines Wave. FreshBooks has stronger mobile apps, far better customer support, and 70+ 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. Read our full FreshBooks review to learn more about this accounting option.

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Some small businesses may like the simplicity of FreshBooks

Which Wave Alternative Is Best 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 the software. However, that doesn’t mean Wave is right for you. There are many good alternatives out there.

Here’s a recap of the top Wave alternatives:

  • SlickPie: SlickPie rivals Wave’s free pricing and offers good customer support and unlimited users.
  • Invoice Ninja: Invoice Ninja is free invoicing software with good customer support and over 3o payment processing integrations.
  • QuickBooks Online: QuickBooks Online is a comprehensive small business accounting solution with ample features and integrations.
  • Zoho Books: Zoho Books is a small business accounting app with strong features, competitive pricing, and international invoicing.
  • QuickBooks Self-Employed: QuickBooks Self-Employed is tax software designed to help freelancers manage their taxes, deductions, and business finances.
  • FreshBooks: FreshBooks is high-priced accounting software that is incredibly easy to use and offers excellent customer support.

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

Managing Editor - Accounting
Chelsea Krause is a writer who has specialized in accounting for two years and is a QuickBooks Certified User. 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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