Wave is an online accounting software program that can be accessed on Windows and Mac OS X computers. The program is geared primarily toward very small businesses, such as independent contractors, freelancers, sole proprietors and businesses with less than five employees. Unlike most other accounting software programs, the basic accounting functions of Wave are accessible free of charge. Ads are displayed on the web pages to gain revenue.
With Wave, small businesses can complete a number of key business accounting tasks. The program offers accounts receivable, accounts payable and general ledger functionalities. Invoices can be generated and sent via email to customers right from within the online interface. Users can also produce a number of simple reports with the program, including balance sheets and sales tax reports. There is also a convenient personal finance module included to benefit sole proprietors, independent contractors and freelancers.
Getting started with Wave is very simple for small businesses owners. The website can import data from a number of sources, including many banks and credit card companies. PayPal transactions can be instantly integrated to benefit online sellers, and data can also be imported from Excel files.
For an additional fee, Wave users can access two additional services. One is payroll, an add-on that makes it possible to calculate employee earnings and either process payments by direct deposit or check. The second paid service is payment processing, which gives users the ability to accept credit cards and have the funds deposited into their business checking account.
Wave is a small business accounting program geared toward one-person businesses and very small businesses with only one or two employees. The program is solely an online application with complementary web apps available; there is no desktop version offered.
There are many pros to choosing Wave, the biggest of which is that the majority of the accounting functions can be accessed completely free of charge. Unlike other programs that are advertised as free, the program does not have any upgrades or hidden content that must be purchased. The only features that are fee-based are payroll and credit card processing. In exchange for using the free program, though, users must put up with ads being on the pages while they work.
Wave is prized for being very simple to use. Most small business owners will be able to begin using it to the fullest right away due to how intuitive it is. The mobile apps allow business owners to complete all accounting tasks right from their phones.
While Wave can be an excellent choice of small business accounting software for very small businesses, it does have a few drawbacks. The website is often slow and sluggish, so it can take a long time to complete even very basic tasks. There is also very little ability to customize the experience to suit a specific industry. Businesses with more than 2 or 3 employees will likely need more than what Wave can provide. Still, for the right small business with only minimal accounting needs, Wave can be a very practical, cost effective option for accounting.