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FreshBooks vs Xero 2024 Comparison

wave vs xero

To compare Xero and Wave, we prioritized our own hands-on experience with the software by setting up a free account with Wave Accounting and signing up for a 30-day free trial with Xero. You can also customize Xero’s reports to fit your business needs and hone in on the most important insights for growing your business. Looking at customer reviews, both companies have done an excellent job keeping up with user needs in an online accounting service. Because of this attention to detail, Xero & Wave both have TrustRadius (TR) scores of 8 and above.

wave vs xero

You can add as many organizations as you like, but you must choose a separate pricing plan for each one. If we compare Xero vs Wave in terms of pricing, they have their differences. Setting Xero up for your business is easy because it follows a step-by-step process. However, Xero provides a side-by-side presentation in reconciling bank and book items for you.

If you run an e-commerce or physical products business, you shouldn’t use Wave. The platform is designed for service businesses and has minimal inventory management features. You can track the time spent on different tasks right within the platform, so timesheets become a thing of the past. This allows you to easily juxtapose the hours against the expenses and the payments, so that you can dynamically track the profitability of projects. QuickBooks by Intuit is a mainstay in online invoicing and accounting for small businesses.

What features should I look for in accounting software?

You can access the time tracker in Xero Projects which is within the Xero app. Both services let you track time for a project, meaning you’ll know exactly how long a certain job takes. However, FreshBooks seems to have more in-depth client features, as it lets you store their contact info, communications and any internal notes you might have about them. You can  view and reconcile your payroll transactions and easily access Gusto from the Gusto payroll tab in Xero. You’ll also be able to give your employees online access to their pay information.

Through Wave, you can onboard and pay employees and independent contractors via direct deposit. Wave also handles payroll taxes in 14 states, but all other states are self-serve (the platform continues to add more full-service states). In full-service states, payroll in Wave costs $35 plus $6 per employee or contractor per month. In self-serve states, the cost is $20 plus $6 per employee or contractor per month. Wave deposits money into your connected bank account within two business days of payment. Instead, they integrate with Gusto, a full-service payroll solution for $39 per month + $6 per month per person.

Wave Accounting is an intuitive accounting ERP for small businesses, freelancers and entrepreneurs. Users also fancy the program’s user friendliness, documenting every task a user conducts and relaying accurate data. Although some users wish this solution had time tracking, job scheduling and recurring bills, the bulk of users find Wave Accounting a robust bookkeeping tool.

wave vs xero

One of Xero’s biggest bragging points is their marketplace, which has more than 800 pre-built integrations with nearly any tool that businesses would need to integrate with accounting. Applications are also divided into type and business category, so for example, all hospitality-related applications are in the same group. Some of the links that appear on the website are from software companies from which receives compensation. This site does not include all companies or all available Vendors.

Wave has a lot of limitations, which we’ll discuss in detail in the following sections. We have an extensive history of reviewing small business accounting software, and we stay up-to-date with the latest features and enhancements. Our first-hand experience, guided by our internal case study, helps us understand how the different products compare with each other and how they work in real-world scenarios.

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There are several actions that could trigger this block including submitting a certain word or phrase, a SQL command or malformed data. Xero is the better option for users who prefer working in desktop accounting software rather than in online apps, as it’s the only one of the two that has desktop apps. Xero’s user interface (UI) is modern, intuitive, visually appealing, and well-structured. However, the software has a steeper learning curve than other accounting software.

  1. We prefer Xero if you’re a larger business looking for more potent features, such as bank account reconciliation and Gusto payroll software.
  2. The software comes with several tools that help automate the reconciliation process.
  3. The software must have features that allow users to set sales tax rates, apply them to invoices, and enable users to pay sales tax liability.
  4. In full-service states, payroll in Wave costs $35 plus $6 per employee or contractor per month.

The Expenses mobile app lets you claim expenses and mileage, as well as approve, edit, and decline claims. Wave is the better option if you’re a beginner to online accounting software and need a more lightweight solution. Xero might be a better pick if you have some experience in using accounting software. Wave is designed for ease of use and is accessible to those with no prior accounting software experience.

Wave works best if you wait for transactions to flow through from your bank account rather than enter them when paid. If you process a lot of bank transactions daily, Xero is the better option since it’s easier to reconcile. It scores high in banking and cash management because of its easy-to-use cash management and bank reconciliation features. Xero is a complete accounting solution with extensive features, such as fixed asset management. However, it has a steep learning curve and might take time to get used to for beginners. Xero may not have built-in payroll but can integrate with Gusto for your payroll needs.

Popular Wave Alternatives

We went to user review websites to read first-hand reviews from actual software users. This user review score helps us give more credit to software products that deliver a consistent service to their customers. When we compare Xero vs Wave in terms of ease of use, we call it a draw. It offers a slightly more modern look than Xero and deviates from using tabular presentations in some modules. If you don’t mind missing out on advanced features in exchange for easy to use software, then we suggest going with Wave. Users can enter logged time in invoices for client’s billable hours and monitor time spent on projects.

When it comes to accounting and financial statement preparation, Xero has a clear advantage over Wave. The software’s comprehensive features and tools allow for precise transaction categorization and the creation of detailed financial statements. This is especially valuable for businesses that need to present a clear financial picture to stakeholders, investors, or regulatory bodies. Wave Money, the business banking feature offered by Wave, is a bank account with built-in bookkeeping. There are no monthly fees or minimum balances, and it’s FDIC insured. Though this is currently in a limited release and offered only to single-owner businesses in the United States, Wave intends to make it more widely available soon.

The multi-currency accounting feature in Xero supports over 160 currencies. This allows you to monitor the impact of currency markets on your cash flow and profits and view reports in local or foreign currencies. Additionally, you can assign a default foreign currency to specific contacts to ensure that invoices, quotes, bills, and purchase orders are in the appropriate currency. Xero is superior in this category, as Wave doesn’t offer inventory management features. While there’s no desktop app for Wave, the web-based platform is designed to be user-friendly and accessible, so you’ll be able to complete accounting tasks from anywhere at any time.

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Both made our list of the top invoicing software, however, so you really can’t go wrong with either. Wave’s receipt management feature is more basic and only allows you to upload receipts manually. While Wave does offer Wave+ — with their own in-house bookkeepers and accountants — it is the least flexible solution. You’ll likely outgrow it as soon as you start hiring more than a couple of employees, as their feature set and reporting capabilities are the most limited. Xero’s reporting functionality, while more limited, is visually appealing and easier to use. If you want the most robust and customizable reports, QuickBooks is hands down the best option of the three.

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