Wave Accounting Software vs Xero Accounting Software – Comparison

xero vs wave

One of the most critical stages in organizing and managing your small business finances is selecting accounting software. However, with so many alternatives on the market, selecting which accounting system is appropriate for your company isn’t always easy. If you’re searching for user-friendly, web-based accounting software, you could consider comparing Xero vs Wave.

Xero is a popular accounting software program that is recognized for its simple user interface and ease of use. However, it is far from the only choice available to company owners seeking dependable accounting software. Wave is a popular Xero competitor with a unique selling point: it’s completely free.

How can you know which of these two choices will best satisfy the demands of your company? You can assist with this tutorial. In this comparison, we will examine all of Xero vs Wave services — including features, plans, add-ons, price, and much more — to find out which platform is the ideal one for your business.

Wave vs Xero – Let’s Compare

wave vs xero vs quickbooks

How does Wave differ from Xero? The key distinguishing feature is that Wave is free and not Xero. However, there are a few more reasons why one program might match your organization better than the other. Read about the best way to select Wave or Xero.

When Should You Choose Wave Accounting?

wave accounting vs xero

1. While on a Tight Budget

Although the price options for Xero vary from $9 to $60 per month, the software for Wave accounts is free. Perhaps you will question whether it’s actually free. The quick reply is yes. You get free accounting and invoicing software and, after signing up with a credit card, you have immediate, unrestricted access to all functions.

Only the payroll feature and access to expert services are needed for you to budget. Credit card transactions are also charged. Go to our Wave versus Xero comparison price to learn more about the cost of Wave.

2. For Small Businesses & Freelancers

Wave is a wonderful free alternative to Xero if you want a budget-friendly accounting and invoicing system.

Wave is for companies employing one to nine people and offers an easy yet customized solution, which is suitable for marketing, design, and consulting freelancing companies as well as small agencies.

As a ‘future for small company banking,’ Wave started in June 2020 with Wave Money. This provides clients with a corporate bank account including a debit card and a mobile app for integrated bookkeeping. It is only offered to single-owner US-based companies in a restricted version at the moment.

3. If You are From the US or Canada

One of Wave’s primary drawbacks is that it is inaccessible to consumers outside of North America. Wave’s automatic bank feeds, payroll, and add-on services such as accounting assistance are accessible here.

Customers outside of the United States and Canada may be disappointed by the absence of automated accounting solutions in their location. You may check their list of bank feeds to see whether yours is listed.

When Should You Choose Xero Accounting?

xero vs wave

1. Outside North America

Wave’s benefits are primarily confined to US and Canadian clients, but Xero thrives. Throughout New Zealand, where it had been created, and in Europe, Xero is a strong favorite.

Xero isn’t popular with clients in the US – she is incredibly popular and gives QuickBooks a run for its own money to competitors and market leaders. Accountants adore Xero and many are specially educated in the use of software to help their customers, which is not the case with Wave.

2. Small Business or Freelancer with Higher Revenue

Xero, like Wave, is an excellent solution for small enterprises and freelancers. It’s especially useful if your company has to charge clients in several currencies or integrate inventory and point-of-sale operations.

Xero is very configurable, but this comes at a greater cost than Wave, especially if you need the $60/month subscription to access all capabilities.

3. You Need Better User Experience 

Some companies are not so benefiting from saving money on a free offering as paying for additional value. Xero is recognized as the “wine company online accounting software.” Xero’s user experience and simple design are difficult to overcome.

If you enjoyed using Xero while trying freely, we would urge that you do it – particularly if you just want the cheap or intermediate pricing plan.

The difference in Features of Wave Accounting vs Xero 

waveapps vs xero

Easiness in Setting Up

Wave is for self-employed individuals and extremely small companies, and it’s incredibly easy to start up. You may add your bank accounts and import up to three months of previous transactions when you sign in and input your business name and type if it’s one of over 10,000 banks that connect. The products, services, and data of your customers may be added. You can sync it from your other Wave apps instantaneously using PieSync.

Xero is a pleasure to use, as indicated before. It’s easy to establish and structured accounts are very easy to keep. All you need to do is reconcile costs using a feed set up with your company banking accounts (even including TransferWise and PayPal), and have it all ready for taxation.

Data Invoicing

invoicing in xero

Wave’s free offering offers unrestricted customized invoicing, a big gain for self-employed individuals and enterprises that need primarily accounting software.

In the meantime, invoices are a piece of cake to be put together and sent, as is almost anything else at Xero. If you want something more customized you may utilize basic invoice templates or design your own. Some template modifications of the invoice may be complicated to customize or to add additional columns, but in most companies, it is easy to begin invoicing customers.

Expense Tracking

Wave has limitless tracking of costs that distinguishes out here – Xero fences their spending behind pricier subscriptions and additional features. Wave’s iOS and Android Receipts App allows you to scan receipts on your way to save storing paper entries or fighting with unpleasant tablets. Xero also provides an easy-to-use app for the management of bills and invoices, conciliation, and on-the-go shopping. The Apple and Google Play shops have a high rating of 4.7/5.

You will need to select the $60/month subscription with access to the Costs function to monitor expenses outside reconciled bank transactions inside Xero. If you’re outside of the USA, the Xero Expenses (and Projects) functionality will be accessible instead as a paid add-on.

Report Generation

Wave gives a simple summary of assets, liabilities, income, costs, and equity accounts on the account diagram of your dashboard to keep your account informed all year long.

chart of accounts in wave

On a quick look, you can also see essential cash flow data, profit and loss reports, balance sheets, sales tax records, and more.

xero vs wave

It is quite straightforward to explore and make conclusions from Xero’s reporting package. The Business Performance Snapshot provides a closer look into the time frame of your choice. You may see your important metrics on the main dashboard immediately.


What about Wave and Xero integrating into other business applications? So, when it comes to integrations, the two accounting software can compare.

Wave has PayPal, Shoeboxed, and Etsy connections. You can now add your Shopify shopping orders and payouts to Wave, an outstanding addition for small businesses.

Xero offers an amazing array of App Marketplace connections. These include inventory and point of sale applications, including DEAR Inventory and Vend, Proposify documents signing applications, and Syft and Fathom reporting tools.

Pricing Difference: Xero vs Wave

All of the products are free to use for Wave’s invoicing, accounting, receipts, and payment, however, there are a few aspects of Wave that need to be paid for. These comprise:

Transactions: With Wave, you pay 2.9% + $0.30 for non-European issued card transactions by credit card and 1.4% + 20p for European issued card transactions.

Payroll: Including a $20-35/month basic charge + $6 per working employee and the independent contractor paid, your payroll services for businesses in the US and Canada are to be paid by you to Wave.

Wave Advisors: You may obtain even more Wave advantages if you are in North America by paying a wave consultant. Their accounting tutoring is at $79/month, whereas US companies are at $129/month in bookkeeping and tax services.

If you pick Xero, one of three premium options can be selected: Early, Growing, and Created. Most firms pick a $30/month growth package for limitless bank transactions, bills, and invoices. Some freelancers, though, and extremely tiny companies can do rid of the Early $9 plan and retain a lesser budget.

Benefits in B0th Softwares


With its enhanced functionality, mobile app, and integration opportunities, Xero distinguishes itself from Xero when compared with Wave.

Firstly, as we have said, Xero gives even its most fundamental plan a broader range of features in its software. While the Early Plan limits you to the number of invoices, bills, and transactions that Wave does not give, you are provided with capabilities, such as unlimited users with configurable roles, rights, and access; inventory monitoring; purchase orders and the administration of fixed assets.

In addition, you will gain project management features Wave doesn’t provide with the highest-level plan. All in all, although Wave has certain (free) capabilities requiring the Xero Plan—expenditures and multi-currency—Xero still offers a wider range of tools within your platform.

Next, in contrast to Wave, Xero’s mobile app is far more useful. You can handle most of your accounting procedures, including reconciliation, accounts, bills, customers, and connections, using Xero’s accounting software.

Finally, in comparison to Wave, Xero has far more integration options. While Wave offers you the opportunity to pay for either add-on or link to a number of platforms, like Zapier (which lets you connect to other tools as a platform itself), Xero integrates more than 700 technologies – from sales systems to tax systems to customer relationships. That being stated, it may be much easier using Xero vs Wave Accounting to link a product that you already use to your accounting software.


Wave, on the other hand, shines out with its price, ownership of add-ons, and simplicity of use in contrast with Xero.

As we said, when it comes to price, it is difficult to beat Wave. Wave is not only free but extremely functional – including a few free software features, which you must pay for accessing with Xero – as one of the few fully free accounting software platforms on the market. Again, Wave offers capabilities for cost control and multi-currency features which need the highest Xero plan. Moreover, Wave comprises free limitless invoices, bills, and transactions—all of which are Early, Xero plan, restricted to $11 a month.

That said, Wave’s paid add-ons are very remarkable in addition to their free software. These additional features are usually cheap, functional, and provide enhanced features that fit your Wave account perfectly. Although Xero offers third-party connections that can provide you with the same services as Wave or Wave Payroll Payments, managing all these features in the same location can undoubtedly be easier.

Bottom Line!!

In the end, you must assess the comparison between Wave Accounting and Xero and decide which (if any) options are appropriate.

Having said that, Xero is most appropriate for business owners that require a broader range of functions on their accounting platform and who don’t care about estimating monthly software costs. Additionally, Xero is a superior alternative for companies who retain stocks and can use Xero’s inventory monitoring and its buying orders and fixed assets capabilities.

However, it is crucial to remember that if you want to use Xero’s platform to the fullest, you will most likely choose the growth plan because of the Early Plan’s invoice, bill, and transaction limits.

On the other hand, Wave is ideal for smaller and new companies that just wish to organize and automate their bookkeeping and accounting, but do not require expanded capacity necessary. In general, Wave is undoubtedly a great pick if you’re primarily searching for free accounting software.

It is totally up to you to decide which of these amazing software suits you. You can easily evaluate the features and prices according to your needs. We hope that you would make a wise decision.

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