FreshBooks vs Wave

January 30, 2023
Laura Smith

Accounting software helps small business owners and freelancers run their businesses without the additional expense of accountants.

Hunting for accounting software and narrowing it down to FreshBooks and Wave?  We look at the features you need to look at to accurately compare both pieces of software.

If you run a very small business, you might be able to manage your bookkeeping with accounting software, saving yourself time and money by using free options. 

FreshBooks & Wave are great accounting software: so how do you choose between them?  

To save you precious time here is our summary: FreshBooks is the best free tool for tracking invoicing, and Wave is the best accounting software for retail operations. 

So, if your small business is centred around selling products opt for wave. If on the other hand, you are a service-based business opt for FreshBooks. And here's why.

FreshBooks and Wave have loads of like-for-like functionality, such as the ability to send unlimited invoices. If you run a business that could benefit from extra features like basic inventory management, project tracking and time tracking, FreshBooks delivers much more than Wave. 

When it comes to value, Wave offers slightly better pricing and support. Wave is a great choice for businesses on a budget with basic needs while FreshBooks is ideal for service businesses needing to invoice time to customers. Wave offers an incredible number of accounting and invoicing features for free and is a fully-loaded, powerful, and professional small business software. 

However - if your business model is to sell products then FreshBooks remains a better pick. It offers inventory management tools in all its plans, while Wave doesn't allow inventory management at all. FreshBooks' inventory tools on all plans are key for tracking retail sales. 

The main differences between Wave and FreshBooks are:

Best for those on a budget: FreshBooks No Free Plan vs Wave Free Plan

Winner: WAVE 

Best for those with a service: FreshBooks Time Tracking Functionality vs Wave No Time Tracking

Winner: FreshBooks

Best for those with employees: FreshBooks No PayRoll vs Wave Has PayRoll

Winner: WAVE

Best for those tracking expenditures: FreshBooks Full Invoicing and Expense Reporting vs Wave No Such Functionality

Winner: FreshBooks

Both sets of accounting software have apps which are really helpful, although FreshBooks’ mobile app capabilities go a step further by letting you snap photos of receipts and track mileage - another tick in the box for those offering services or going to see clients.

It's a very competitive market when it comes to accounting software.  If you are still undecided have a quick read of our guide to choosing the right accounting software for your small business. If you are not sure where to start let us support you through the research and decision-making process to ensure that the software investment you make works for your small business long term. 

We have tried and tested the easiest accounting software for small businesses so that you can make an informed decision based on your individual needs.

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