Wave is basic cloud-based accounting software that is free to use for most of its features. Wave believes in empowering small businesses, like law firms, to take control of accounting, invoicing, payments, and payroll.
Truly Free. Wave is an accounting software solution ideal for firms on a seriously limited budget. Its free level has many of the features you’ll need to run your small firm smoothly. Link up your bank accounts and see your income and expenses at a glance in their easy-to-use dashboard. You can also categorize expenses and import bank statements. Although they don’t have any tax preparation capabilities, you can run a payroll wage and tax report that will assist you in filling out tax payment vouchers and filing tax returns.
Receipts and Invoicing. Keeping track of receipts is simple. Just take a photo of your receipt and upload it via your desktop, mobile device, or by emailing a special Wave account. When it comes to getting paid, you can easily invoice clients and save contact details, which saves time on data entry. You also have the option of customizing the design of your invoices. Set up recurring invoices for clients on a retainer that you can repeat on daily, weekly or monthly intervals.
Optional Paid Services. You can use Wave as your credit card processor for an additional fee. For a monthly fee, Wave can also handle payroll for your firm. With the payroll upgrade, there is free direct deposit for your employees and 24/7 live support. Check printing is also not available in the free version, but accessible via the payroll upgrade.
Wave’s invoicing and accounting software is free. You’ll start paying once you use its online payment processing or payroll services.
You’ll pay 2.9% + $0.30 per credit card transaction and a 1% transaction fee for ACH payments ($1 minimum fee).
For payroll in California, Florida, New York, Texas, Illinois, and Washington, the tax service states, you’ll pay a $35 monthly base fee plus $4 per active employee or independent contractor paid. Wave will automatically transfer tax payments and file the paperwork with your state’s tax office and the IRS.
For all other states, the self-service states, you’ll pay a $20 monthly base fee plus $4 per active employee or independent contractor paid.
Any checks with * mean the feature is available with an upgrade.
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Things You Might Want to Know
Security. Wave uses bank-grade 256-bit SLL encryption. When you connect Wave to your bank account, it connects as read-only. Account numbers and passwords are stored separately from other information.
Migration. Wave provides guides on how to migrate your data from QuickBooks and FreshBooks, from a spreadsheet, or from a payroll application.
Apps and Integrations. Wave has iOS and Android apps for invoicing only. At this time, it has no integrations with other applications.
Who Wave is For
Wave is a good fit for firms looking for well-rounded features in a cloud-based accounting solution. It’s also great for firms on a tight budget who want to use free software. However, it’s probably not a good fit if you’re looking for bill payments or robust, built-in tax preparation features.
Want to check out other accounting software? See all the key features for all the law firm accounting software options in our directory on our handy dandy features chart.