FreshBooks vs Wave: which one is right for you?

Find the ideal accounting solution for your business needs. Learn more about features, pricing and more.

FreshBooks and Wave Accounting are both good choices for freelancers, independent contractors, and small businesses that need accounting software. Both have the same number of stars, but that doesn’t mean that their strong points are the same. FreshBooks is great for small businesses that only need simple inventory management, project tracking, and time tracking. Wave, on the other hand, is great for entrepreneurs who only need to be able to send invoices and not much else.

Wave and FreshBooks are two of the best small business accounting software choices. Small business owners, especially freelancers, can use Wave Accounting’s free program to track their finances, send invoices, and get paid for free. FreshBooks starts at $17 per month and has more tools for billing, as well as different plans that can be upgraded to help growing and midsize businesses.

FreshBooks vs Wave: Pricing and Plans

Starting price is $17 per month or $183.60 per year if paid all at once. Prices for FreshBooks’s four plans are pretty normal for the business world. Their features range from simple invoicing and accounting to financial reporting at the business level:

  • FreshBooks Lite costs $17 per month and lets you track sales tax, income, and expenses without limits.
  • FreshBooks Plus costs $30 per month and has features like automating tasks, making financial reports more detailed, and keeping books in two ways.
  • FreshBooks Premium costs $55 per month and lets you track your profits, keep track of your bills, and add more changes to your invoices.
  • FreshBooks Select is a plan that is made just for businesses that need a unique quote.

FreshBooks has many sales throughout the year. For the first six months, new users can get as much as 60% or 70% off. If a business pays once a year instead of every month, they can also get a 10% refund.


Price: Always free

Wave Accounting only has one plan, which is free forever. When you sign up for Wave, you don’t have to give any credit card information, and the software itself doesn’t cost anything. When you use Wave Accounting, the only fees you should expect are the standard transaction fees that come with all kinds of online payment acceptance. In the case of Wave, these fees are:

  • 1% for purchases using ACH.
  • 2.9% plus $0.60 for Visa and MasterCard purchases that aren’t made with an AmEx card.
  • For all AmEx credit card transactions, the fee is 3.4% plus $0.60.

Wave Payroll is the only paid program Wave offers. It starts at $20 per month plus $6 per employee for self-service payroll and $40 per month plus $6 per employee for full-service payroll.

FreshBooks vs Wave Comparison Table

The table shows the differences between two well-known accounting software programs, FreshBooks and Wave. FreshBooks makes it easy to send invoices and keep track of expenses, and it has advanced tools that are good for small businesses. Wave, on the other hand, offers free bookkeeping tools that are great for freelancers and new businesses, though they don’t have as many features as FreshBooks.

InvoicingCreate professional invoices with customization options.Create and send invoices with basic customization.
Expense TrackingTrack business expenses and categorize them for tax purposes.Categorize and track business expenses.
Time TrackingRecord and bill time spent on projects and tasks.Track time spent on projects and tasks.
EstimatesCreate and send estimates to clients for project proposals.Generate estimates for client projects.
Payment ProcessingIntegrated payment gateways for online invoice payments.Payment processing available, fees may apply.
ReportingProvides financial reports for insights into business finances.Offers basic financial reports and summaries.
Mobile AppMobile app for iOS and Android devices for on-the-go access.Mobile app for managing accounting tasks.
CollaborationInvite team members or accountants to collaborate.Limited collaboration features.
Bank ReconciliationBank connection to reconcile transactions easily.Bank reconciliation for accurate records.
PayrollNo built-in payroll functionality.Offers a separate payroll service, fees apply.
Self-Employed SupportDesigned for freelancers and self-employed individuals.Suitable for small businesses and freelancers.
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FreshBooks vs Wave: Ease of Use

FreshBooks vs Wave

FreshBooks is easy to set up. You can easily add information about your business, such as the name, location, and phone number. On the main page, there are also shortcuts like the “+New” button that make it easy to do things like make a new invoice or add a new user or bill. All of the most important parts of FreshBooks, like Banking, Sales, Cashflow, Expenses, Projects, and Payroll, are in the left side bar.

The problem with FreshBooks is that unless you sign in as an accountant, you can’t change the chart of accounts or import a chart of accounts. This can be annoying if you’re moving from another accounting program to FreshBooks.

Wave is a free accounting tool that is one of the easiest to use on the market. You’ll start by going to the Wave Launchpad to set up your account. From there, you can choose one of the choices shown and set up the rest of the process. Like FreshBooks, the Wave panel is easy to use because it has clear menus and buttons that make it easy to find what you need. Even if you’re a beginner, you’ll quickly understand how to automate tasks like adding a new client, adding a new bill, making an estimate for a job, and sending an invoice.

FreshBooks vs Wave: Integrations

FreshBooks is able to automate a variety of business operations that are outside of its scope by integrating with hundreds of different pieces of third-party software. Shopify, Square, Bench Bookkeeping, Zapier, Calendly, Mailchimp, HubSpot, Gusto, and PayPal are just a few of its many popular connectors. Others include Stripe and PayPal. Wave’s direct connectors are extremely limited, however the platform may be connected to thousands of other apps through Zapier. Integrations with platforms like as PayPal, Square, Stripe, Etsy, HubSpot, Slack, Google Sheets, and Pipedrive are among its most well-known offerings.

FreshBooks vs Wave: Accounting and Bookkeeping

FreshBooks vs Wave

Both systems have a variety of accounting features, such as bank reconciliation, financial reporting, and the ability to sort expenses into different groups. FreshBooks makes it easy to keep track of financial transactions. Users can create and modify invoices, keep track of expenses, and make important reports. Wave, on the other hand, is great because it is easy to use.

It gives small businesses and freelancers tools for double-entry accounting, tracking income and expenses, and making financial statements. FreshBooks is all about the user interface and how easy it is to use. Wave, on the other hand, is all about giving you the most important financial tools without the hassle. Depending on how complicated your business’s financial needs are, both platforms can help companies streamline their accounting processes in a good way.

Expense Tracking and Management

When deciding between FreshBooks and Wave accounting software, it’s important to think about how they track and handle expenses. FreshBooks has a simple interface that makes it easy to add costs and put them in the right category. The platform makes it easy to track both work and personal expenses and makes it easy to upload receipts. Wave, on the other hand, has a strong system for managing expenses, with tools like scanning receipts and automatic categorization.

It makes it easier to keep track of expenses and makes sure that financial records are correct. Users can quickly keep track of their spending habits and make expense reports to learn more about their finances. Both platforms focus on making it easier to handle expenses, but FreshBooks stands out for its easy-to-use interface and Wave stands out for its automation features. This means that each is a good choice for different business needs.

FreshBooks vs Wave: Mobile Apps and Accessibility

Both FreshBooks and Wave have powerful mobile apps that let users handle their finances while they’re out and about. The FreshBooks mobile app has a simple interface that makes it easy to make and send invoices, keep track of expenses, and handle clients. The app’s design makes it easy to do things like track time and share receipts from a mobile device. Wave’s mobile app, on the other hand, is designed to be easy to use and lets users access important financial features from their phones. It makes it easy for users to send invoices, scan receipts, and keep track of costs.

Both apps can be used on iOS and Android devices, so the experience is the same on both. Whether you’re a freelancer, a small business owner, or an entrepreneur, FreshBooks and Wave’s mobile apps make it easy to stay in touch with your financial data and run your business from anywhere. This increases your total productivity and efficiency.

FreshBooks vs Wave: Customer service

Wave Accounting is a free program, so it doesn’t have great customer service. Users can always look at Wave’s online resource library or email the customer service team, but Wave doesn’t have phone or chat help.

FreshBooks has a large online library of resources and a simple assistant that can help with problems. The most important thing is that it has phone and email help. Your FreshBooks homepage has quick links to the FreshBooks help center, where you can ask for help right away.

FreshBooks: Pros and Cons


  • Great tools, customizations, and automations for invoicing.
  • The design and mobile app are easy to use.
  • Multiple ways to get in touch with customer service that is quick to respond.
  • There are more than 100 connections with other services, like Gusto and SurePayroll.


  • Far fewer third-party integrations than most competitors (especially Xero and QuickBooks).
  • No accountant access or double-entry accounting with basic plan.

Wave: Pros and Cons


  • Accounting program that is completely free.
  • Accounting with a general book and a chart of accounts, which is called “double-entry.”
  • Simple connection with Wave Payroll.
  • You can have as many users as you want, and you can run your business with it.


  • Limited email-only customer service.
  • One plan (not scalable for growing businesses).

FreshBooks vs Wave: which one should you consider?

Choosing between FreshBooks and Wave relies on your business needs and budget. FreshBooks’ project management and pricing options make it ideal for freelancers and small enterprises that need complete financial management. However, Wave’s free option appeals to lone entrepreneurs and small businesses. Its receipt scanning app and payroll services are useful.

FreshBooks may be better for businesses prepared to pay in more advanced capabilities, while Wave is a good choice for those seeking cost-effective solutions without losing usability and fundamental functionality. Consider your business’s needs and how each platform fits your financial management goals before choosing.


What is the difference between Wave and FreshBooks?

The biggest difference between Wave and FreshBooks is who they are for and how much they cost. Both systems are good for freelancers, small businesses, and one-person operations, but FreshBooks has four plans that can be changed as your business grows.

What are the cons of FreshBooks?

The biggest problems with FreshBooks are that it has a limited number of users and paid clients. All plans except the Select plan, which allows two users, come with one user. Each extra user costs $11 per month.

Why is wave accounting free?

The company makes money from its credit card processing, Wave Payroll, and accounting services, and it uses this money to keep the software free. You can always close your account.

Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff
The Bollyinside editorial staff is made up of tech experts with more than 10 years of experience Led by Sumit Chauhan. We started in 2014 and now Bollyinside is a leading tech resource, offering everything from product reviews and tech guides to marketing tips. Think of us as your go-to tech encyclopedia!


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