Small business owner or freelancer, you’re likely wearing many 🎩s
Digital marketer, customer support specialist, sales rep, including the hat we all love to hate - the chief financial officer.
(Or if you actually like it, chief FUN officer... whatever floats your boat 🚤😂)
But if you’re human and have no idea what you’re doing when it comes to managing your cash flow (a.k.a. money coming in and going out of your biz), you could find yourself in all sorts of trouble.
One of them being suddenly discovering the tax department breathing down your neck...
Avoid this by getting financial software, which are invoicing and accounting tools that simplify and automate your financial tasks.
One quick Google search will pull up a lifetime’s worth of financial software to check out, Wave and FreshBooks being just two.
In our opinion, they’re a couple of the best a freelancer or small business owner like you can look into and use.
Besides from having both been on the market for over a decade, their similar features are bar-none.
Don’t believe us? See for yourself how the accounting software FreshBooks and Wave stack up against each other below 👇🏽
OK, starting from the top.
FreshBooks and Wave are web-based financial software designed mainly for freelancers or small business owners.
✔️ Practical features and functionalities
✔️ User-friendly platforms
✔️ Affordable plans
Yes, we realize you’re probs a bit impatient, and just want us to tell you which is better for your business and why.
However, considering these similarities, there is plenty that still divides them 💔
FreshBooks was launched for sole proprietors.
This is why it’s historically been a big hit with professional service providers and solopreneurs such as:
However, its wide range of plans means it’s also an excellent fit for a growing business.
Its intuitive user interface (praised by many, not just PCMag) makes it an ideal platform if you have no clue about accounting - which is like, almost everyone but accountants.
Wave was designed for solopreneurs, freelancers, and micro-business owners 💪🏽
One of its huge perks? Its accounting features are free.
That’s right. You read correctly. FREE.
As in, you pay nothing to use it.
Overall, Wave is an excellent choice if you plan on keeping your side hustle solo in the long term.
But, if you’re looking to grow your biz, you’ll fer sure outgrow it at some point.
While we’ll obviously have to pick a winner at the end of this, it’s worth noting that both platforms are continually adding new features and enhancing current functionalities.
So, you likely won’t regret whichever one you choose 👍🏽
Bet you didn’t see that one coming 🙈
We do admit it’s a close call.
Both FreshBooks and Wave are great accounting systems for a solopreneur or a micro-business.
However, while Wave is excellent for scheduling bills and forecasting your cash flow, if you need to cost a project accurately, FreshBooks is the way to go.
Also, FreshBooks offers you hundreds of integrations that improve the effectiveness of the platform (more on this below!).
On the flipside, Wave’s limited integration capabilities is a considerable downer 😟
We call it how it is. #sorrynotsorry
Let’s dive deeper into those integrations ⏬
If you’re worried about feature bloat or paying for features you’ll never use, app integrations are for you.
In short, app integrations allow you to connect your accounting software to the essentials, like Dropbox or Gmail, ensuring you only use features you absolutely need.
So, how do FreshBooks and Wave compare?
You’ll just have to find out for yourself!
FreshBooks offers over 100+ ‘FreshBooks tested’ and ‘community built’ integrations. Some of the most popular are:
You can also connect to over 1,500 apps via Zapier, a company that dedicates itself to helping people integrate their apps across the interwebs.
On the other hand, if integrations are your middle name (i.e. vital to run your freelance business), Wave might be a bit of a letdown 😖
Sadly, Wave only connects to two add-ons directly:
❇️ Google Sheets
❇️ BlueCamroo (built by a Wave partner)
However, using our home boys at Zapier, you can connect to 100s of others, some of which include:
In other words, a Zapier subscription is needed alongside the use of Wave to cash out on those apps we just mentioned.
So obviously, FreshBooks is a clear winner here.
Yes, we have to credit Zapier for being a fantastic service for app integrations and all that.
However, nothing beats the simplicity of direct integrations.
It just makes things sooooo much easier.
No one wants to waste time trying to figure out any software, no matter how important it is to your business.
We repeat: NO ONE.
There are always other easier-to-use platforms out there that will allow you to spend more time doing what you do best 🤑
So, when it comes to ease of use, it’s an area you don’t want to skimp on researching.
Luckily, we’ve done the work for you to give you the lowdown on user experience with each platform 😉
FreshBooks offers you an intuitive and user-friendly dashboard.
It’s soups easy for first-time users to find their way around the platform with the various smart prompts.
Like, so easy that even your technologically handicapped grandma could probably figure it out 🤭
Because it’s available on IOS and Android, you’ll never skip a beat when moving between desktop and mobile as it syncs data across all your devices.
Once you are done with setup, FreshBooks is a boss at summarizing all your transactions every time you log in.
Plus, if you are ever confused or stuck, you just click on the ❓ to access the online help center.
For new users, the Wave Launchpad is a great starting point.
It guides you through the setup process, depending on what you plan to use Wave for.
Once done with the setup, the dashboard becomes your default homepage. Here, you get a high-level overview of your business.
The vertical menu bar is also similar to FreshBooks. Access all the features and integrations from here.
Plus, the online help center button also resides at the bottom of the menu bar.
Yeah, a bit disappointing, we know. But there’s no winner here.
Both platforms offer user-friendly and easy-to-use dashboards, even allowing you to customize them to show what’s most relevant to your business.
Because both FreshBooks and Wave are incredibly intuitive, we’re certain that you’ll easily get the hang of either in no time.
Doesn’t poor customer service make you wanna 🤯?
We may be going out on a limb here by saying this, but s***** customer service can really ruin a perfectly good product. (Take notes here to not fall into this with your own biz 👀📝)
The LEAST you need here is a timely and empathetic shoulder to lean on, especially considering how vital a reliable accounting platform is to your business’ finances.
I mean, if you don’t get your ducks in a row and don’t get your books right, you could have to pay ha-yuuuuge fines come tax time.
Save yourself the time (and money!); opt for a platform that will be there for you when the going gets rough.
Here’s how FreshBooks and Wave measure up against each other.
Telling things how they are, FreshBooks’ customer support is top notch.
FreshBooks’ users are allowed support through email, their online support center, and their comprehensive blog.
As a user, you can also speak to an actual 🧍🏾 on the ☎️ without waiting forever.
(We’ve heard the customer service reps are some of the sweetest and most well-informed humans you’ll ever speak to, but that’s just what we’ve heard. Take it as you will.)
Soooo, what more could one ask for? 🤷🏽
On the flip side, with Wave, you can only speak to a real 🧍🏾 if you are on the paid platforms – Wave Payroll and Wave Payments.
Freemium platform, after all… Can’t ask for much... 🤐
However, its online help center and email support are free, and most customer emails get responded to within 24 hours.
Wave also has a detailed blog with hundreds of articles and an online community where you can reach out to other users for assistance.
In the end, it’s not too shabby.
While both platforms have similar customer support options, it’s hard not to give this one to FreshBooks.
Their live support option is a no-brainer.
Need we say more?
Before we start to wind things up here, this product review wouldn’t be complete without discussing other pros and cons of each.
Similar to the customer support, depending on your requirements, this could be a make it or break it section.
Let’s check them out.
A significant downside of FreshBooks is the lack of an accounts payable (A/P) feature.
A/P is kind of necessary to forecast your business cash flow and track what invoices are coming up and what invoices are past due.
In other words, no A/P = no idea where you stand financially.
Depending on how much you make/ how many customers and clients you bill, you could be missing out on important financial details and deadlines without even realizing.
You know what that means?
Anyways, moving along...
In case you didn’t catch on by now, Wave is completely free.
That is, as long as you only plan to use basic features, such as invoicing, receipts, and accounting.
Also, Wave does have an accounts payable feature, unlike FreshBooks.
You can run an A/P aging statement to track your due, coming due, and past-due bills.
So, that’s reFRESHing 😂 (not so punny, because it’s Wave we’re talking about here… but we’re still laughing).
When you want to know the truth about something, you go to the real people who have used it, not some highly edited text put out on behalf of the company.
So, let’s see what actual users have to say about each of these accounting platforms.
All reviews are from G2.
All reviews here are also from G2.
It looks like Wave takes the icing on the cake due to its FREE plan.
Your choice 😏
OK, OK. It’s the moment you’ve all been waiting for.
Drum roll, please.
And the winner is: FreshBooks!
We had to call it in FreshBooks’ favor, especially if budget isn’t a dealbreaker for you.
It offers better features, app integrations, and customer support - tying with Wave on user experience.
However, we do have to mention that finding the best accounting solution depends on your own situation.
If you’re a small business looking to expand, FreshBooks may be the better option.
But for solopreneurs, freelancers, and micro-business owners, Wave’s completely FREE plan and easy-to-use features are hard to ignore 🤓
Wondering what we think?
The proof is in the pudding. Just pick one, and get to work.
And if getting more meaningful insights to run your microbusiness like a boss is your thing, get early access to Boost. It’s the only work platform you’ll need to reach your #goals 💪🏽