2014 Review of Wave Accounting

Strengths:

  • Includes books for the owner’s personal and business finances, and supports reclassifying transactions from one set of books to another from within the application.
  • Users with multiple companies associated with a single e-mail address (login) can switch between companies using a simple drop-down menu, and they are not required to log in with a different set of credentials.
  • Has an ecosystem of integrated add-in solutions, including Wave Payroll, Wave Payments (merchant services), Wave Receipts (mobile document capture), Wave Invoicing (A/R management), and Wave Personal (personal finances).
  • Like many other online tools, Wave Personal, Wave Accounting, and Wave Receipts do not charge a monthly subscription fee, although there are additional charges for using Wave Payroll and Wave Payments.

Potential Limitations

  • Wave’s application program interface (API), the tools used to write add-ins and interfaces to other products, is still being alpha tested, and has not been released to the developer community as of yet.
  • Some users may have concerns with their privacy and the ad-supported business model of some of the Wave Apps modules, although the company has a well-documented (and comparatively easy to read) privacy policy on its website at www.waveapps.com.
  • Wave isn’t designed to create financial statements which are in strict compliance with the traditional definitions of either “cash basis” or US GAAP “accrual basis”, although adjustment to bring the books into compliance with either standard are possible with adjusting entries.

Best Firm Fit:

  • Self-employed individuals and small businesses with fewer than 10 employees
  • Individuals and firms who need a simple, inexpensive tool to bill customers, manage receivables, track spending, and produce reporting which can be used by the company, its investors, and others such as accountants, lawyers, regulators, and financial institutions with whom the business wants to communicate business performance.

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