Both Wave and QuickBooks offer solid invoicing features and capabilities for small businesses.
Wave invoicing is better suited for freelancers and businesses of one, with a user-friendly interface and basic features that let you record client details and save product or service information to easily build invoices each time. Wave doesn’t include a time-tracking feature, so you’ll have to track hours separately and enter them manually for hourly work.
QuickBooks invoicing is built to scale with more complex businesses, including construction and other service businesses. It offers time tracking and item-based pricing, along with the features you can expect from most invoicing software: customized templates, client database and recurring invoices.
Wave doesn’t include an integrated time tracker for hour-based pricing, a feature that’s fairly standard among other invoicing software. If you charge by the hour with most clients, QuickBooks is a better fit.
Both Wave and QuickBooks include a section for tracking business expenses, which you can connect to your bank account and credit cards to automatically import transaction details.
QuickBooks includes an option to add on accounting, which adds bill management, inventory and job costing capabilities 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.
Wave and QuickBooks facilitate online payments identically. When you send an invoice, clients have the option to pay with the click of a button by entering their credit card or bank account information or connecting to Apple Pay.
Transaction fees apply on both platforms, and all payment methods are optional. You can disable payments and let clients pay another way, such as through a 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 client’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’ll pay a 2.9% plus $0.25 per transaction fee for invoiced credit card payments; and 1% (up to $10) for ACH payments.
Both Wave and QuickBooks have an option to add payroll capabilities to your account for an additional fee.
Through Wave, you can onboard and pay employees and independent contractors via direct deposit. Wave also handles payroll taxes in 14 states, but all other states are self-serve (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-serve states, the cost is $20 plus $6 per employee or contractor per month. It doesn’t manage employee benefits.
QuickBooks payroll includes employee and contractor payroll, HR and benefits, employee time tracking and automatic payroll tax filing and payment. Payroll pricing depends on your QuickBooks plan and runs between $35 to $77.50 per month plus $4 or $8 per employee or contractor.
Both Wave and QuickBooks give you the option to open a free checking account integrated with your invoicing account. You can receive online payments directly into this account, so you can get paid faster and avoid issues related to connecting an external bank account.
Wave Money is a free business bank account that integrates with your Wave account for easy bookkeeping and faster payments. It comes with no monthly fees and no minimum, and you can receive invoice payments instantly instead of waiting for a payment to process and hit your bank account.
With QuickBooks Checking, you can get integrated bookkeeping plus instant deposit of your payments, plus 1% APY interest on your balance (as of July 6, 2022). You’ll pay no monthly fee and have no balance minimum.