We’ve covered Wave Accounting pretty thoroughly, but what about Wave’s other products? Let’s look closer at two of Wave’s most important offerings for budget-conscious freelancers, contractors, and solopreneurs: invoicing and payments.
Along with offering unlimited free invoicing, Wave’s invoicing software also lets you create fully customized invoices. You can add your logo, use your colors, and customize the columns to look however you want. You can also quickly transform estimates into invoices and set up automatic recurring invoices and billing.
Unlike Wave Accounting, Wave Invoicing has a perfectly functional app so you can send invoices on the go and get mobile notifications when a customer opens, views, and pays their bill. Wave Invoicing also syncs automatically with its accounting counterpart; you won’t have to juggle multiple providers to turn your invoices into trackable accounting data.
FYI, Wave customers occasionally report that their invoices end up in their clients’ spam or junk mail folders. If you use Payments by Wave (which we discuss below), you might have to follow up with clients to make sure they’ve received your invoices. But since you should get a notification when a client opens their invoice, you can follow up pretty quickly if the notification never comes.
Of course, being able to send invoices isn’t all that great if you can’t use Wave to accept and track customer payments too. That’s where Payments by Wave comes in—and unlike Wave’s other freelance-friendly products, it’s not 100% free.
With Payments by Wave, customers can pay straight from the invoices you send them, and the payments automatically sync with your Wave accounting software. At 2.9% + $0.30 per credit card transaction and 1% per bank transaction, Wave's fees are fairly standard. We also like that Payments by Wave doesn't cost a monthly base fee, unlike accounting software that bundles invoicing and payments in with accounting features.
Yes, Wave’s accounting software does automatic double-entry bookkeeping, which is an accounting process that includes two entries for every financial transaction—one entry on the credit side of your ledger and one on the debit side. The goal of double-entry bookkeeping is to minimize your chance of errors and ensure your account balances correctly (you can learn more about this principle in our balance sheet article).
Alas, like most accounting principles, double-entry bookkeeping is a lot more complicated than this simple explanation. If you’re not a bookkeeper or accountant, the system can feel daunting, so it’s nice that Wave takes care of it for you for free.
While competitors like QuickBooks Online let you choose which accounting system you want to use, Wave offers only accrual-based accounting, not cash-based accounting. If you want Wave but also want to use cash-based accounting, check out Wave’s customer support forum to get advice on workarounds.
Not sure on the difference between the two accounting systems? That's not a huge deal—you can just go with what your accounting software provides—but you can also check out our article on accrual vs. cash accounting to learn more.
Yes, Wave really is free, if you’re referring to Wave Accounting, Invoicing, and Receipt Scanning. All three products include unlimited invoicing, receipt scanning, credit card and bank account syncing, and contacts. You don’t have to enter a credit card number when you sign up, which means there’s no risk of unexpected fees.
If you use Payments by Wave, you’ll be charged a fee with each transaction. Payroll by Wave costs a monthly fee plus a fee per employee or independent contractor, and you can also get professional bookkeeping and accounting help through Wave Plus.