Wave vs QuickBooks: Which is best for you?

Panna Kemenes

Wave and QuickBooks Online are accounting tools that offer a suite of features for business owners. If you want to manage your professional finances, both tools are solid options.

However, each tool offers different methods for tracking finances and staying on top of your books.

This post will cover the main similarities and differences between Wave and QB Online, so you can make an informed decision.

Need to manage international bills?
Connect Wise with QuickBooks Online

Wave vs QuickBooks: Quick comparison

WaveQuickBooks Online
✅ Great for:Small business owners with a low budget and basic accounting needsScaling companies and freelancers with international or recurring clients
💰 Price:Free to use. To accept online credit card payments, there’s a pay per transaction fee¹Plans start at $25/month per user. Promotional offers are available on the site²
🔑 Key selling point:Free accounting software for small businessesEstablished service with many features, integrations, and resources
📞 Customer service:Live support Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.mReal-time support all day Monday to Friday

Wave vs QuickBooks features

Before drawing any conclusions about the two tools, it's worth considering the main features of each.

Wave key features

Track income and expenses

Wave allows you to stay on top of your company’s cash flow, so you can manage what’s coming in and what’s going out at all times(see Wave Accounting alternatives).

With the Wave expense tracker, you can stay on top of money going out. As for money coming in, you can track invoices, payments, and income too.

Create professional invoices

Wave‘s invoice software lets you create customizable invoices to send to customers. The software sends out reminders when payments are overdue. It also allows you to receive payment via credit card.

You can set up recurring invoices, too, if you have repeat business from some customers.

Offer payment plans

Use Payments by Wave to reach a wider audience and accept credit card payments. Get paid within two business days.

🔍 Is Wave Accounting free?
Yes, the basic features of Wave Accounting are free to use. If you want to accept online payments, though, there is a pay-per-use charge for each credit card transaction.¹

QuickBooks Online key features

Inventory management

If you sell products, QuickBooks Online’s inventory management feature can help you manage your stock.

This feature will auto remind you whenever stocks are running low and you need to restock. It will also provide you with information on what you buy and sell.

Job costing and estimates

QuickBooks Online lets you track how much each job costs you, and how this weighs up to your initial budget estimates.

The smart dashboard presents information about jobs you’ve taken on in a single display. The hourly cost rate calculator provides a clear idea of how much you’re paying on employee wages and taxes.


QuickBooks Online benefits from integration with all QB’s other digital products.

It also integrates with third-party tools ranging from time trackers to payment processors. As such, you can create a digital hub from which you can conduct your business.

💡 Connect QuickBooks with Wise to track international bills
    When deciding between Wave vs QuickBooks, having international customers can be a deciding factor.
    QuickBooks Online opens the opportunity to sync bill payments in real-time. Connect QuickBooks Online to Wise Business, and track international bills and payments with ease.
    Bill payments you make with Wise are matched to QuickBooks Online. This can help you stay on top of overseas bill payments and reconcilliation.

Wave vs QuickBooks similarities and differences

Wave and QuickBooks Online have several overlapping features, but they also have their differences.

How Wave and QuickBooks are alike

There may be a difference in pricing models, but this doesn’t mean each software offers the same features.

🔍 Is Wave the same as QuickBooks?
    The short answer is no, but each tool is alike in some aspects.
    For example, both Wave and QuickBooks Online offer the basic accounting features. These include invoice management, bill entering and tracking, and an integrated payroll system.
    As such, both can fulfill basic business bookkeeping needs.

Wave vs QuickBooks differences

The two tools operate in their own ways and differ in what features they offer.

QuickBooks Online is the more comprehensive of the two solutions as it offers more features. For example, it allows users to manage their business inventory, and carry out job costing, whereas Wave doesn’t.

With that said, QuickBooks Online is the more expensive of the two tools, since Wave is free to use. Even though it’s free, Wave allows for an unlimited number of users whereas QuickBooks Online has a limit of 25.

The differences between the two tools mean that each is more suitable for a different type of business. Wave is better suited to the small business or freelancer. QuickBooks Online, meanwhile, caters to medium-sized businesses and large enterprises.

Conclusion: Is Wave better than QuickBooks?

Wave accounting vs QuickBooks: which tool comes out on top?

It’s difficult to draw a conclusion on which accounting solution is better. This is because both tools accommodate different types of businesses and business needs.

Is Wave better than QuickBooks?

  • Wave accounting software is great for any business seeking a free accounting solution for general bookkeeping activities. It’s also a suitable option for freelancers and sole proprietors for this reason. The software also supports customer invoicing, payments, and finance management.

  • QuickBooks Online is a good option for businesses that need a comprehensive accounting solution. It also works well for those who already use other QuickBooks products.

The QB ecosystem can make it easy to combine activities and data between tools. There are also many online resources and tutorials available for QuickBooks accounting tools and products.

💡 You should also consider QuickBooks Online if you trade overseas. The multicurrency feature helps you track transactions in different currencies. QB Online integrates with Wise Business for tracking and paying bills overseas at the real mid-market rate.

Join Wise Business today 🚀


  1. Wave Pricing
  2. QuickBooks® Online | Official Site | Compare Plans

All sources checked June 2, 2022.

*Please see terms of use and product availability for your region or visit Wise fees and pricing for the most up to date pricing and fee information.

This publication is provided for general information purposes and does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its subsidiaries and its affiliates, and it is not intended as a substitute for obtaining advice from a financial advisor or any other professional.

We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether expressed or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

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