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Billing

Both Wave and QuickBooks offer strong invoicing features and capabilities for small businesses.

Wave Invoicing is best suited for freelancers and sole proprietorships, with a user-friendly interface and basic functionality that lets you record customer details and save product or service information to easily create invoices every time . Wave doesn’t include a time tracking feature, so you’ll have to track times separately and enter them manually for hourly work.

QuickBooks invoicing is designed to accommodate more complex businesses, including construction and other service businesses. It offers time tracking and item-based pricing, plus the features you’d expect from most invoicing software: custom templates, customer database, and recurring invoices.

time tracking

Wave doesn’t include built-in time tracking for hourly pricing, a fairly standard feature among other billing software. If you bill by the hour with most clients, QuickBooks is a better fit.

Expense tracking

Wave and QuickBooks both include a business expense tracking section, which you can connect to your bank account and credit cards to automatically import transaction details.

QuickBooks includes an option to add accounting, which adds invoice management, inventory, and job costing features in addition to expense tracking. The platform also includes receipt capture and mileage tracking, so you can automatically gather all the information you need to claim expenses for tax purposes in one place.

Payments

Wave and QuickBooks facilitate online payments in identical ways. When you send an invoice, customers have the option to pay with one click by entering their credit card or bank account information or by signing in to Apple Pay.

Transaction fees apply on both platforms and all payment methods are optional. You can turn off payments and allow customers to pay another way, such as paper check or PayPal.

Wave deposits money into your connected bank account within two business days of payment. You’ll pay 2.9% plus $0.60 per transaction for Visa, Mastercard and Discover; 3.4% plus $0.60 per transaction for American Express; and 1% per transaction for ACH transfer from your customer’s bank account.

With QuickBooks, your online payments will be deposited into your connected bank account within the next business day, or you can pay a 1% fee for instant deposit (free with a QuickBooks checking account). You will pay a fee of 2.9% plus $0.25 per transaction for credit card payments charged; and 1% (up to $10) for ACH payments.

Pay

Both Wave and QuickBooks have the ability to add payroll functionality to your account for an additional fee.

With Wave, you can onboard and pay employees and independent contractors by direct deposit. Wave also handles payroll taxes in 14 states, but all other states are self-service (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-service states, the cost is $20 plus $6 per employee or contractor per month. It does not manage employee benefits.

QuickBooks payroll includes payroll for employees and contractors, human resources and benefits, employee time tracking, and automatic reporting and payment of payroll taxes. Payroll pricing depends on your QuickBooks plan and ranges from $35 to $77.50 per month plus $4 or $8 per employee or contractor.

Banking

Both Wave and QuickBooks give you the option of opening a free checking account that’s integrated with your billing account. You can receive online payments directly to this account, to get paid faster and avoid the hassle of connecting an external bank account.

Wave Money is a free business bank account that integrates with your Wave account for easy accounting and faster payments. It comes with no monthly fees or minimums, and you can receive bill payments instantly instead of waiting for a payment to process and reach your bank account.

With QuickBooks Checking, you can get built-in accounting plus instant deposit of your payments, plus 1% APY interest on your balance (as of July 6, 2022). You will pay no monthly fees and have no minimum balance.