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Wave VS QuickBooks Online

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Chelsea Krause

Chelsea Krause

Managing Editor - Accounting
Chelsea Krause is a writer who has specialized in accounting for over three 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
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25 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.

    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.

      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

        eri

        Hello,
        I am a lawyer. I need my accounting software that can do the following:
        -produce reconciliations between my general and trust bank accounts
        -maintain separate files/accounts for clients who have multiple cases (eg clt 1 case1, clt 1 case2 etc)

        I use old school spreadsheets (Numbers- on Mac). I cannot use legal accounting software because it is pc-based. I am nervous about using the Cloud — worried all my data will disappear. I also suck at arithmetic, so I’d like my accountant to be able to see where I made any errors, easily (PC Law is poor for this because it uses algorithms and hides errors in your raw data entry).

        I am a sole practitioner, no employees, and also do HST

        I am considering Wave or Clio. What do you recommend?

          Chelsea Krause

          Hi there!

          Thanks for reaching out! I am not incredibly familiar with Clio, but its features sound like they might be a better fit than Wave as the software is designed specifically for lawyers. That being said, Clio isn’t accounting software, so I’d recommend using Clio as well as one of its accounting integrations. Clio integrates with Xero and QuickBooks Online. Of the two, the only program I know of that includes HST support is QuickBooks Online Canada. The software will allow you to perform reconciliations, and you can use the class tracking feature to manage multiple cases.

          To address your concern about using the cloud, here’s a post on explaining how the cloud works and another on how to keep your data safe in the cloud. Hope this helps!

          Best wishes,

          -Chelsea Krause

            Sandra L.

            I use QuickBooks Online everyday on a computer with a Linux operating system. The only slight limitation for any user is that you must use the newest version of Chrome. The operating system doesn’t matter. Your browser matters for best functionality.

              Chelsea Krause

              Hi Sandra,

              Thank you for sharing this with me! I’ll be sure to update our reviews and posts accordingly to include Linux.

              -Chelsea Krause

                MANUEL

                Can I switch from wave to quikbooks?

                What is the best accounting/invoicing software for flipping houses?

                Thanks

                  Chelsea Krause

                  Hi Manual,

                  Thanks for reaching out! You can switch from Wave to QuickBooks Online by exporting your data from Wave and importing it into QuickBooks Online.

                  In regards to your other question, I don’t know of any accounting software that is specific to flipping houses, but QuickBooks Online will have a lot of features that could benefit your house flipping business like classes and locations, progressive invoicing, project management, time tracking, and expense tracking.

                  I hope this helps! Let us know if you have any other questions!

                  If any of our readers are also in the house flipping market, we’d love to hear how you handle your accounting.

                  Best wishes,

                  -Chelsea Krause

                    Linda

                    Thanks for this article! I am a long time QB Desktop user on a MAC using Parallels. But I need to update both QB and Parallels, so have been looking around. I really like a lot about Wave. Wondering about inventory. I only do a physical count of inventory at the end of each year…so if I switch to WAVE what will happen? My tax preparer/accountant will want some kind of report to compare to previous year. Is there a work around with WAVE at all that you know of? Also does wave allow for making General Ledger entries like QB Desktop does. I only use it for inputting Inventory results. Hope you can shed some light to go forward. I still want to do my business even though now semi-retired. Thanks!

                      Chelsea Krause

                      Hi Linda,

                      Great question! Unfortunately, Wave does offer an inventory feature and doesn’t have the capabilities that your business needs. I’d recommend taking a look at QBO or Xero. Or if you want a more affordable software, Zoho Books may be a viable option depending on your business’s needs.

                      Best wishes,

                      -Chelsea Krause

                        Elizabeth Maglione

                        I currently run a 2015 version of machine based Quickbooks. Recently the software crashed and Quickbooks no longer supports this version of their product. If I were to switch to WAVE is it possible to import my existing .QBB files into WAVE?

                        Thanks

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

                          Chelsea Krause

                          Hi Elizabeth,

                          I’m so sorry to hear that QuickBooks crashed on you! While Wave is a great, affordable software, it doesn’t have the best importing capabilities. If you switched over to Wave, you can’t import your full QB company file, but you can import your contacts, past invoices, and bank statements (the contacts need to be in a .csv file while the bank statements can be a .ofs, .qbo, .qfx, .aso, and .csv). Here is an article with more details about how to switch from QuickBooks to Wave. If you have any further questions or end up wanting to look at a different QuickBooks alternative, feel free to reach out!

                          Best of luck,

                          -Chelsea Krause

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

                            Bo j.

                            Hello Chelsea,

                            Thanks for the post!
                            which one is integrates with touch bistro?

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

                              Chelsea Krause

                              Hi Bo,

                              I’m glad you liked the post! Currently, only QuickBooks Online integrates with Touch Bistro. Hope this helps!

                              Best wishes,

                              -Chelsea Krause

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

                                Leda Miller

                                Does Wave have a feature that tracks multiple jobs under one customer name? What about 1099’s?

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

                                  Chelsea Krause

                                  Hi Leda,

                                  Unfortunately, Wave does not have a project management feature and does not support 1099’s at this time. If these are important for your business, I’d consider QuickBooks Online or Zoho Books instead (Xero could also work depending on how large your business is). Please let me know if you have any other questions!

                                  Best wishes,

                                  -Chelsea Krause

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

                                    Lay S.

                                    Hi Chelsea,
                                    I stumble to your post. Are you talking about Canadian QB? I just start a construction company. I only have 2 employees and very little inventory ( mainly iron bar). I am wondering if I can use Wave. I need payroll and want to pay tax and GST online. I don’t care about invoice or POS.
                                    Thank in advance for your help.
                                    Lay

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

                                      Chelsea Krause

                                      Hi Lay,

                                      I’m happy to help! This post is focused on the US version of QuickBooks Online. With Wave, you will not be able to pay your taxes directly online. However, the software will track your taxes. You will just be responsible for filing and paying these taxes on your own. The only exception is that Wave does handle payroll taxes for Canadian users (except for those in Quebec) when you purchase Payroll by Wave.

                                      I hope this helps! Let me know if you have any other questions.

                                      Best wishes,

                                      -Chelsea Krause

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

                                        Jenifer

                                        Hi Chelsea, I am a consulting teacher starting up my own business. I have no employees, no inventory and am only “selling” my services to schools. It seems like Wave might work for me, and be at the right price point for a new business. Do you feel that accountants will be familiar with it and able to work with it?? I’d hate to go for it only to find out down the line that it wouldn’t work for them.

                                        Thanks!

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

                                          Chelsea Krause

                                          Hi Jenifer,

                                          Thanks for reaching out and congrats on starting your own business! To answer your question, it’s really going to depend on the accountant. In my experience, accountants are most often familiar with software like Xero and QuickBooks; however, Wave is incredibly easy to use and learn so if they aren’t familiar with it, I doubt it will take them long to learn. Some accountants may also just ask for your accounting reports, like the balance sheet and income statement, which Wave provides.

                                          Other readers may be able to share their experience with this, but I imagine it won’t be an issue, although I’d verify with your accountant to be 100% certain.

                                          I hope that helps!

                                          Best wishes,

                                          -Chelsea Krause

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                                            Jenna Hunter-Blore

                                            Totally appreciate you writing this Chelsea, I have QB online and have been using it for a year, they keep hiking the pricing every quarter and I’ve already been annoyed with the online software (unlike the store bought software), so when I just got the letter ‘your price is going up again’…. I started hunting and stumbled on your site. Very informative! We have 2 businesses but zero employees, so WAVE might be the better route. 🙂

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

                                              Chelsea Krause

                                              Hi Jenna,

                                              You’re very welcome! I’m glad you found this post helpful. I highly recommend Wave, so long as you don’t need an inventory feature (though you could use an integration from Zapier to manage inventory). Here’s some information on how to switch from QuickBooks Online to Wave.

                                              Best of luck! As always, let us know if you have any questions along the way.

                                              -Chelsea Krause

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

                                                Deborah Tews

                                                Thanks for the info! Chelsea, I appreciate the reading choices listed in your bio!
                                                Questions:
                                                Does WAVE have a payroll feature?
                                                Does WAVE sync with SQUARE POS?

                                                I own a coffee shop and am in my first year, so $50 per month for QB plus another $50 for payroll when I don’t really need invoicing or the in-depth reports QB supports is a lot of money for me.

                                                Thanks!

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

                                                  Chelsea Krause

                                                  Hi Deborah,

                                                  Thanks for reaching out!

                                                  Wave does offer a payroll feature, called Payroll by Wave, which costs an extra $15/mo + $4/mo per employee (if you have more than 10 employees, the price drops to $2/mo per employee). However, Wave does not integrate with Square POS.

                                                  If the Square POS integration is a deal breaker, you could take a look at Xero. Xero offers built-in tax support and integrates directly with Square POS.

                                                  I hope this helps!

                                                  Best wishes,

                                                  -Chelsea Krause

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

                                                    Desiree Israel

                                                    Thank you so much. This helped a lot!!!

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

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