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Wave Accounting??

Wave Accounting??

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I have been looking for cheap cloud accounting software for a while but most such packages cost at least £15 per month. However someone sent me a link to Wave Accounting which is FREE?. Is there someone with some experience with this accounting software and whether there is a catch? I have 20 small business/self-assessment clients and have been using quickbooks but I wish to reduce the bookkeeping work I do by moving to a cloud accounting package that allows clients to maintain books on their own. Any other free cloud accounting softwares available outthere??

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By Paul Scholes
04th Feb 2014 14:42

Why free?


Here's a similar question from 6 months back.

I've not used any of the freebies mainly because, unless they can generate large fund inflow from outside sources, they won't be able to enhance and develop the systems as fully as the "commercial" ones.

When I looked at Wave however, what confused me was that it seemed to be a US system, so perhaps no UK VAT or Payroll accounting? Don't know if this has changed.

Anyway, if you click on the Accountants link on their website you can get a list of UK accountants currently using it and I'm sure some would be happy to chat.

Let us know what you discover.

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04th Feb 2014 16:21


I started using Exact after seeing them at the Accountex last year. They are very helpful and pricing is cheap, although i am yet to pay for anything as they have offers on for free! They have an excellent support team who are very good at the technical and accounting side. They are constantly developing to meet the needs of the users. See weblink below. Good luck.

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Scalloway Castle
By scalloway
04th Feb 2014 20:02

I tried Wave

It was just as an experiment. I found the chart of accounts was vey restricted, also I don't think it can do VAT.

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By fionahowells
05th Feb 2014 12:25

QB Online

QB has a cloud package which will cost £4.99 + VAT pcm for life if you sign up your clients by 31 March

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By Monsoon
05th Feb 2014 12:32

We've had a few clients use Wave, and the general consensus from the lady in our office who seemed to be the one dealing with those clients was that it wasn't very good! You really do get what you pay for. AccountsPortal has its limitations but is pretty cheap at £8 a month.

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By Paul Scholes
05th Feb 2014 17:25

Price isn't everything.....

....well, maybe it is if you're buying a can of beans or a basic PC but there's a huge amount to consider when picking an accounting system that best matches your clients' needs and no two of these cloud systems are the same.

Even if you find two that seem to suit and that do pretty much the same thing, one may win hands down and save you much more time, in just being better designed and easier to use.

The market is still in its infancy and, with over 20 providers, each is trying to catch our attention and, in my experience, if it seems too cheap, then it either is, or the provider is acting cheap in using price, rather than functions & usability, to win us over.


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By Whinger
05th Feb 2014 19:40

not good

We used it for a while and it's pretty poor.

No VAT and no bank reconciliation. Pretty basic things! 

If you look at the user's wish lists (bank rec. VAT etc) you'll see still no action on it even after a few years!

Also, we tried the auto import bank accounts and paypal. Couldn't get the bank accounts to import from most banks (due to security requirements of the banks) and it actually randomly duplicated loads of imported data from paypal to the point we had to scrap it completely for one client and do the whole year again from scratch.

Not good.

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By Paul Scholes
06th Feb 2014 18:36

We really do need some sort of comparison grid here

I did ask AccWeb last year if it would be possible to set up a comparison blog where people could leave comments, pros & cons, on usability & functions for the systems they tried out.

It seems thousands of firms will all be going through the same processes with lots of systems, whereas there could be some shared info on here to save us all wasted time.

Will chase them up

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By marks
06th Feb 2014 23:34

good idea paul

Was thinking of something myself earlier today.

If you could have a list of  tasks and then list the main online providers. say Xero, Kashflow, SAGEone, Freeagent, Clear Books and say whether or not the do the relevant task.

I have a client that has moved today to Clear Books as they need something to support CIS invoicing and seemingly that does (never used it myself).  If a comparison table was available for the above listing if they support this or not then I could have quickly gave him an answer as to what packages to look into.

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07th Feb 2014 08:12

Believe a comparison matrix did exist ...

on Aweb a few years ago in the days when Dennis contributed.

Would suggest a search for it but the Aweb search is so hopless you probably won't find it - maybe ask member of Aweb team if they recall

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By newstarter1
07th Feb 2014 14:58

I also got replies on Wave Accounting on here:

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By paulcolman
21st Feb 2014 11:01

We recommend Wave

Just thought I'd defend Wave a bit. It isn't perfect by any means, but if used well it's better than a spreadsheet or a box of records.

It's free because it has a small ad banner on the right, which I hardly notice. In the US/Canada they also have payroll which isn't free.

It does now have a bank rec, and it can cope with UK VAT but at the moment anything other than standard invoice accounting needs adjusting when you do the returns.

They said they were getting Yodlee soon so the bank feeds should be improving considerably. Until then, the bank statement import works fine.

The chart of accounts can be added to quite easily.

We recently wrote a full review of Wave Accounting.


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By chatman
27th Feb 2015 18:01

@paulcolman - Does Wave allow you to access your clients' data Paul, or do you have to log in with their login details?

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Replying to Tax Dragon:
By paulcolman
31st Mar 2016 16:39

Sorry @chatman, I didn't realise you had asked a question until I stumbled upon the discussion again today!

In case you haven't found out - yes, the subscriber can invite guest collaborators to edit or just view their data. So you don't need the client's log in details.

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By capsitech
07th Apr 2016 12:00

accounting software

I know one free online accounting software. They are constantly developing to meet the needs of the users. See weblink below.

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