One on One: Wave

One on One is a series of reviews. Instead of a long-winded breakdown, I give you a quick summary along with one positive and one negative.


Name: Wave

Description: Wave is a bookkeeping service. It handles all aspects of small business bookkeeping. It handles invoicing, syncs and downloads transactions from your bank accounts, and even keeps track of your personal finances in a separate tab.

Cost: Wave is completely free for the core bookkeeping services. It also offers an optional payroll service for a (very) small fee based on number of employees, and they have paid premium training provided by accounting professionals.

One Positive: The transaction reconciliation screen has been improved dramatically over the years and just might be my favourite implementation across all the bookkeeping services I use. If you have a large list of transactions to categorize Wave does a great job of selecting, categorizing, and approving multiple transactions at once. If it was to implement a rules system like Xero uses it would be pretty close to perfect.

One Negative: The way Wave displays reports drive me bonkers. To be honest, no bookkeeping software does reports the way I'd prefer, but this one is particularly bad. The big thing I dislike is the way they're actually displayed. Income Statements will tend to default to either sorting the accounts by account number or name. I find it important to give the option to toggle between these two, but I can live with one or the other. For some reason Wave doesn't do either. The accounts seem to be displayed randomly, and the only way to display them properly is to download them to Excel and sort them there.

Final Thoughts: If you are running a small business on a budget and would like to keep all your bookkeeping in one app, I think you should take Wave for a test drive.