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Wave VS QuickBooks Online: Which Is The Best Accounting Software For Your Business?

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Erica Seppala

Erica Seppala

Erica is a writer based in Greenville, South Carolina. She is a graduate of Limestone College. Initially determined to be an accountant, she put away the calculator and picked up a laptop to pursue her dream of being a writer. Erica has spent the past 10 years writing blogs and articles for hundreds of private clients, and she loves sharing her love of research and the written word with everyone around her.

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37 Comments

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    mark stutler

    can you automatically upload bank account and credit card transactions into WAVE, like you can in QBO?

      This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

      Jessica Dinsmore

      Hi Mark,

      Live bank feeds are available in the US and Canada and the software should connect with most bank and credit institutions.

        This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

        Alicia Adams

        I have QBO and I honestly hate it. I own a bridal store and I already have an amazing POS system that tracks my inventory and sales. All I really need is to track my P&L. My question is, does Wave make you reconcile your accounts every month?

          This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

          Jessica Dinsmore

          Hi Alicia,
          Wave and QBO both offer a bank reconciliation feature, though neither require it monthly, or at all. Honestly, you could use any accounting program and completely ignore the bank reconciliation features, but it wouldn’t be wise. Reconciling helps ensure that all expenses and income that show up in bank statements each month match what’s in the accounting software — and it’ll help pinpoint any errors (like if the bank charged two fees instead of one, etc.).

            This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

            Ted Moreland

            I have a QBPro from 2008 on my Mac and was running QBP on Parallels. The laptop is getting a little old, so I was considering getting a new version of QBP. I am self employed and run a marketing business. I have about 35 clients, all who receive monthly invoices for my service. I print custom mini menus for restaurants and put them in displays in hotels. The restaurants pay the same price every month, unless we need to print menus.
            It’s not a ton of bookkeeping. With the 35 invoices every month, I have probably 30-40 expenses a month.
            I have an accountant prepare my taxes by looking at my quickbooks account. The reports he runs are on cash basis and it’s typically just P&L Detail and Balance Sheets.
            I like the idea of it always being backed up on the cloud in case my computer crashed and I hadn’t backed up in for a while.
            Do you think Wave could handle that?

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

              Chelsea Krause

              Hi Ted,

              Thanks for reaching out! Wave will definitely be able to handle your invoices and expenses. Wave also supports the reports you need; however, the company’s cash-basis accounting options are a bit limited (you can still run cash-basis reports, but that’s it). The other nice part about Wave is that you can pay for additional bookkeeping or accounting support form Wave experts if need be. I hope this helps. You can read our full Wave review for more information.

              Best wishes,

              -Chelsea Krause

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

                Darin

                I was all set to use Wave for doing the accounting for my wife’s Etsy shop. When I started using it though, there were two things that are making me change my mind:
                1) there is no running balance when viewing transactions in a specific account. I cant see maintaining accurate records and be able to double-check accuracy without this.
                2) The integration with Etsy is not complete. When importing transactions, Wave only brings over some of the data, and leaves out listing fees, shipping charges, and a few other things. This would mean that I would be left entering in many many transactons by hand. No thanks.
                Now I’m trying to figure out how to integrate Etsy with an accounting program, probably QBO, without a bunch of manual spreadsheet gymnastics. I wonder if there is a service that will get all the transactions from the Etsy Payment Account and import them to Quickbooks Online?

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

                  Emily Hale

                  Hi, Darin

                  We aren’t aware of any services that would transfer your information from Wave to QBO, but we suspect you’ll have to export everything first and then upload it all into QBO. If you happen to find a different solution to this issue, we’d be happy to hear what you come across. Best of luck on the growth of the Etsy shop, and finding an easier option!

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

                    Bob Merritt

                    Chelsea; thanks for this article as I’m struggling to figure out what accounting system to use. I currently have a three year old service business and have been using Wave quite successfully. I was considering moving to QBO as my partner thinks they have better reporting and features and also it would integrate with other apps that we may start using for our home caretaking business. My question is, if we do change, I’m afraid that my Wave data is not perfectly accurate or proper and I don’t want to migrate any problems to QBO. Seems i have two choices…i could get Wave to help me fix my issues before the switch which they charge a fee for or, I could just start fresh with QBO on the first of a month and not migrate any data. Any thoughts are appreciated. Bob

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

                      Chelsea Krause

                      Hi Bob,

                      Thanks for reaching out! QuickBooks Online definitely does have more integrations and better reporting if you’re looking to grow your business. In terms of your options for switching over, you’ll really have to weigh how important the existing data you have is for running your business. If you don’t need that data to run your business, you could start fresh in QBO, but if data like your invoices, expenses, and other transactions is essential for running your business (i.e. creating new budgets, maintaining customer records, comparing past periods, etc.) then I’d recommend using Wave’s bookkeeping service to help get your books in order before migrating. If you do choose to start fresh in QBO, I recommend still exporting all of your Wave data for your own personal records.

                      Hope this helps! Let us know if you have any other questions and best of luck.

                      -Chelsea Krause

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

                        Catherine Slade

                        hello – We are a Canadian upscale dog kennel business using a kennel mgmt software called “PROPET” which integrates with QB (only choice at this time but they hope to integrate with WAVE in future). Our customer database, bookings (sales) and invoicing are all done thru the kennel software. Our book keeping needs are simple: we have no retail so no inventory to track but we do have expenses and income to track and sort and approx 20 employees so want a payroll service. We are currently still using dinosaur shoe box paper receipt book keeping and manually doing payroll but looking to change immediately and go back to start of 2019 before it gets any later in the year. I have no background in this area – no idea where to start. Have cooked a crazy idea where I sign on with QB on-line and link up my kennel software. From there will dump in 2019 data and get those 3 months all done up properly. Could then use Zapier to take the QB data over to WAVE. Would mean having to run all 3 programs till PROPET gets integrated direct to WAVE. Not sure if this would work – any point trying?? Other option is just run QB for now and switch in future years to WAVE without worrying about bringing over the history… sorry I know this is a large topic – any advice would be appreciated.
                        thank you.

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

                          Chelsea Krause

                          Hi Catherine,

                          Good question! Personally, I’d just use QBO until ProPet works with Wave to save yourself a lot of time and trouble. You can still bring over some of your history if you switch down the road. Here’s some information about how switching from QuickBooks Online to Wave would work. Hope this helps!

                          -Chelsea Krause

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

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