Free accounting software can be a great option for businesses that are just starting out, or those who simply want to save a little on their bottom line. Wave Accounting is a free, cloud-based accounting solution that can work well for self-employed entrepreneurs, freelancers, and contractors, or even small businesses that plan to remain small. It is recommended by many accounting firms, including our own accountants in New Malden. It doesn’t offer the full functionality that you would find in paid software options, but for many, it gets the job done.
What You Can Do
At this price, there is actually a surprising amount of functionality packed into the lightweight Wave Accounting software. It has all the core features basic businesses will need to tackle their accounting tasks, as well as a variety of useful time-saving features. With Wave Accounting, users can do all of the following, at no charge:
- Track expenses
- Create and manage financial reports
- Send invoices
- Link bank accounts
- Automatic/recurring billing and invoicing
- Data syncing
- Automatic data backup
- At-a-glance account reports
and all of these features are unlimited, so you won’t have to worry about running into invoice caps that cripple your progress or force you to shell out for expanded functionality. Wave Accounting can also help you save even more money through its partnership offers, which provide discounts to Wave Accounting users on a number of different small business products and services.
What You Can’t Do
Of course, with any free product, there are some limitations. You’ll have to weigh these against the benefits to decide whether Wave Accounting is a sufficient solution for your business, or whether you’ll need to budget a bit for a heftier accounting solution, whether that be paid accounting software or the services of professional accountants, such as our friends in Brighton. Here are a few things present in other accounting software that you may find lacking in Wave:
- Customer Support – Though there are extensive FAQs, webinars, user guides, and forums on the website where users can go for assistance, formal customer support with Wave comes at a price. In order to get someone on the phone to assist you, you’ll have to pay for Premium Services at a price of 9 dollars per month.
- Payroll – Payroll services are not included in the basic free version of Wave Accounting, but may be purchased at a rate of 15 dollars per month, plus a fee of 4 dollars each month for each employee on the payroll. This can quickly add up for larger businesses with more employees, but isn’t a problem for sole proprietorships.
- Advertisements – The free version of Wave Accounting is funded by advertising revenue. This means that users will see ads when they use the software. A minor annoyance for most, but if this is a dealbreaker for you, paid software is the only way to go.
To summarise, Wave Accounting can be a great free solution feature-rich enough to handle the accounting needs of most small businesses. For businesses with 10 employees or fewer, it can make an excellent budget-friendly solution, but starts to lose its appeal for businesses with many more employees than that. It is great for businesses just starting out, but they may outgrow it in time.