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Wave review

Make waves by using this free, multi-featured financial management tool

Image credit: Wave

Our Verdict

Wave is a free financial management tool which offers a huge variety of features. It’s only let down by its lack of time-tracking tools.


  • Free
  • Simple dashboard


  • No time-tracking

Wave is a completely free financial management tool which offers invoicing, reporting, sales and purchases. Wave+, Checkouts and banking are also included. Wave integrates with PayPal, Etsy and Shoeboxed.

It even has a payroll feature to which users can subscribe for a fixed monthly fee. 

Wave has its own mobile apps for its frequently used features; reports and invoicing. These are available for Android and iOS.


Image credit: Wave


As mentioned, Wave is completely free to use. You can access invoicing, accounting and receipt scanning without it costing you a cent.

If you want to access their payroll software then you need to pay a monthly fee. There is a 30-day free trial. After this, payroll services start at $20 per month.

Read more: Sage Business Cloud Accounting


Image credit: Wave


Wave walks you through the setup process step by step. Firstly, you need to enter an email address and a password. Next, the platform asks you to fill in details about your business such as company name, industry, country, business and personal currency. 

Once this is completed, you are asked if you want to start billing, organizing your finances or setup payroll.

You can organize your finances. From here, you can connect to your bank, upload a bank statement and add manual instructions.

If you are setting up Payroll, you will be asked a series of questions. These include whether you want to setup direct deposit, if you have already paid employees for the tax year and whether you are paying employees or independent contractors.

Setup takes no time at all. You will find nothing too complicated. Wave makes setting up an account feel like child’s play.


Image credit: Wave


The dashboard is simplistic in design. Your cashflow, bank accounts, credit cards, to-do list, invoices due, net income, expenses breakdown, profit and loss charts are displayed across most of the screen.

You can access sales, purchases, accounting, banking, payroll, reports, Wave+, integrations and settings from the left-hand side of the dashboard.

Wave integrates with Etsy, PayPal and Shoeboxed. You can also connect to Zapier, which allows you to move data between the platform and over 1,000 popular apps such as Shopify, Lemonstand, Pipedrive and Mailchimp.

Wave is only available in English.


Image credit: Wave


While invoices are a common feature of most accountancy software, Wave has a variety of options. 

From the start you are walked through the process such as uploading a logo and selecting a template. You can also choose an accent color. There are three templates, two of which can display your logo. Wave certainly offers a more aesthetically pleasing design than its competitor Kashoo.

After choosing your template, you can enter client details. You don’t need to have clients already added to your contacts to send them an invoice. All this information can be added to the template as you go. 

Beyond basic client information you can add the invoice number, date, due date, item description, cost per item, tax and the currency. You can also add a footer to the end of the invoice.

This can all be done in a matter of minutes as the platform goes through everything in great detail with you. Before sending, you are given several tips on how to get paid on time. These include online payments, automatic payment reminders and overdue invoice tracking. Invoices are automatically setup to allow your customers to pay online. You can preview all your invoices before sending them to customers. 

You can also charge a credit card or record a payment. You can choose from a list of payment options such as check and cash. 

Wave supports recurring invoices. You can charge customer's saved credit card at a set time each day, week, month or year.


Image credit: Wave


Wave recently launched Payments which are still in the beta testing stage. This means you can accept payments directly from your website. No coding knowledge is required.

This is ideal for situations where you want to get paid upfront for a service or product you provide. You create a unique payment link which you provide to your customers or add to your business website. Customers can click on this link and pay by credit card.

Payment links can be created for multiple services/products at varying prices. This is a feature that is not offered by close competitors such as FreshBooks.


Image credit: Wave


Wave now offer users bookkeeping and accounting coaching services. For $149 per month, you can have a dedicated bookkeeper take care of all your financial tasks. 

You can also have a personalized coach provide you with over 120 hours of bookkeeping lessons. You will learn how to setup your online account, learn bookkeeping skills, review and fix your existing account.

Wave offer a 20-minute consultation before committing.

Mobile apps

Image credit: Wave

Mobile apps

The Wave mobile apps don’t support all the features available in the cloud platform. However, there are dedicated iOS and Android apps for invoicing and reporting.  

Invoice by Wave allows you to create invoices, view invoice status and send reminders.

Receipts by Wave uses OCR technology to read photos of receipts taken by your device. These are then stored as expenses.

This is curious, as most accounting platforms offer a single integrated app. 

Final verdict

Wave is an excellent all-round accounting platform. It advertises itself towards small business as well as freelancers and sole traders. 

It has a huge variety of functions for a free accountancy solution. Some, such as Wave+ and Checkouts , are not offered  more costly competitors. However, it’s lack of time-tracking leaves it somewhat lacking for a solution that is geared towards freelancers.