#29 Is QuickBooks Online better than Wave?

by | Jul 21, 2020

About This Episode

When deciding what bookkeeping software to use, it can be confusing and hard to compare one to another without diving in and actually using them. The two most popular software choices, and the ones new business owners usually are wondering about are QuickBooks Online (affiliate link) and Wave. 

So which one is the best? And what is the reason you should pick one over another? 

On this episode, we’re talking about how each of these cloud based systems can automate your bookkeeping, how to integrate each of these with the platform you sell from, and how to know which one is best for you, because December 31st isn’t the only time you should be looking at your numbers and reports.

Are you using the accounting software that’s best for your business? 

What we’re talking about

  • QuickBooks Online vs Wave: The Basics
  • Integrations With Your Selling Platform
  • Thinking Long Term – Which Will Serve You Best

organize business finances

QuickBooks Online vs Wave: The Basics 

Most people aren’t thinking of what accounting software they want to use when they start their business. It’s something that happens over time, out of necessity, unless you’re a numbers geek like me, and like nerding out about software. 

So, it may come as a pleasant surprise to find out that QuickBooks Online (not to be confused with QuickBooks Desktop or QuickBooks Self-Employed) and Wave both automatically download your bank transactions plus key information, like the date, amount, and bank description, into the system. 

Both are cloud based, and you can access your information and categorie your transactions from your web browser or their app.

QuickBooks Online and Wave also both offer digital invoicing and digital invoice payments. If you’re a service based business with a simple business model, both QuickBooks Online and Wave will fit your needs. 

One of the biggest differences between QuickBooks Online vs Wave is that QuickBooks Online is a paid product and Wave is free. So why would you choose a paid product over a free product?

QuickBooks Online is more robust than Wave when it comes to reporting and more nuanced tracking. For example, in QuickBooks you can do class or location tracking per transaction, which can help you see the profitability of different branches of your business. QuickBooks Online also enables you to create income and expense subcategories that can help you extract key financial information about your business. 

Integrations With Your Selling Platform

The last thing you want when you’ve got a booming business is to worry about the tedious task of entering each sale, breaking out the sales tax, and merchant processing fees from your credit card processors (think that 2.9% Stripe, Square and PayPal charge you). 

This is where third party integrations come in. Third party integrations connect the software and payment processors you’re already using with your accounting system and automates the data entry. 

While Wave has some integrations that work with various selling platforms such as Etsy and Square, QuickBooks Online, has a many more free and paid integration options. You can integrate virtually any software with QuickBooks Online and most software companies will prioritize creating a QuickBooks Online  integration over other accounting software. 

This is something you’ll want to check into before making the final decision of which system to ultimately go with.

Thinking Long Term – Which Will Serve You Best

Free always sounds good, but when deciding on which software system to choose, you want to think about your long term goals. 

Will you have multiple locations? Do you need your expense categories subdivided? How detailed do your reports need to be? Which system works with the selling and payment platforms that you’re already using? Is the free software worth the amount of time it will take you to manually do some of the functions the paid one does automatically? 

Whatever you system you choose, you want it to be a long-term commitment. It’s hard to transfer your financial data from one system to the next. So you want to choose a bookkeeping program that will grow with your business.  

Don’t forget that the cost of the system can be expensed out!

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