Kashoo vs. Wave: Which Is Right for Your Business?
If you’re a freelancer or contractor—or you’re just starting your small business—you might not need the more complex and advanced features found in some accounting software solutions. If you only need business accounting software that can help you with basic bookkeeping and accounting processes, you’ll want to look at platforms that focus on the essentials—like Kashoo or Wave.
Both Kashoo and Wave are affordable, user-friendly, web-based solutions that allow you to manage and automate your finances—so that you have time to spend on other parts of your business. When deciding which accounting solution is best for your needs, then, you’ll want to know how Kashoo and Wave compare in terms of features, pricing, and even user reviews.
We’re here to help. In this guide, we’ll break down the differences between Kashoo vs. Wave, discussing everything you need to know to make an informed decision about what’s right for your business.
Kashoo vs. Wave: The Basics
First and foremost, as we mentioned briefly above, Kashoo and Wave accounting are actually similar in many ways. Both platforms are web-based—meaning you can access your account anywhere you have an internet connection—plus, both are known for their ease of use, simplicity, and general bookkeeping and accounting capabilities.
Therefore, due to the similarities between Kashoo and Wave, distinguishing the ways in which they do stand out from one another will be all the more important to help you decide which (if either) can best meet your needs.
This being said, you can find a summarized version of our Kashoo vs. Wave comparison in the chart below:
One software plan available on a month-to-month or annual subscription basis
One software plan available with proprietary add-on options
$16.65 per month (billed annually) or $19.95 per month (billed monthly)
No monthly or annual fees; additional costs for Payments by Wave or Wave Payroll
– Project management and costing tools
– Three different ways to contact customer service
– Unique inbox-based interface for approachable bookkeeping
– Highly customizable invoices and estimates
– Free accounting software that can accommodate multiple businesses
– Seamless payroll and payments integrations
Unlimited users; four access levels
Unlimited collaborators; four access levels
Free iOS accounting app available
Free invoicing and receipts apps available for Android and iOS
WePay, Square, Stripe, BluePay, FreshBooks; SurePayroll or Paychex for payroll
Wave add-ons, as well as PayPal, Shoeboxed, Google Sheets, BlueCamroo, Etsy, and Zapier
Phone, email, or live chat from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m PT
Email only for free software; priority live chat for Payments by Wave and Wave Payroll customers
New and smaller business owners who want to manage their own bookkeeping and accounting, especially if they operate on a project-by-project basis
Smaller and newer businesses who need a free (yet functional) accounting software; B2B or similar businesses that invoice their customers
Kashoo vs. Wave: Features
With this overview in mind, let’s break down the Kashoo vs. Wave comparison in terms of features. To start, Kashoo and Wave each only offer one accounting software plan—as opposed to competitors like Xero or QuickBooks Online that give you multiple plans to choose from.
Therefore, unlike other platforms whose features vary based on the plan level you opt for, both Kashoo and Wave’s features will be the same for any business owner using the system.
With Kashoo, you’ll receive the tools you need to manage your basic bookkeeping and accounting tasks. Additionally, it’s worth noting whereas most accounting platforms open your account to a dashboard overview page, Kashoo opens up to an inbox-style feed of your expenses (as seen below).
Once you set up your Kashoo account, it will open up to an inbox like this one. Image source: Kashoo
From your inbox, you can categorize and review your transactions, as well as navigate to other parts of the system. According to Kashoo, the purpose of this inbox interface is to make an accounting platform that’s simplified for business owners who don’t necessarily have prior bookkeeping or accounting experience.
This being said, Kashoo includes the following capabilities:
- Bank feeds: With Kashoo, you can connect your business bank account, credit cards, and other financial accounts to facilitate the automatic import of transactions into the platform. Kashoo can connect with over 5,000 banks around the world and accommodate multiple currencies.
- Transactions and reconciliation: Through your inbox, you can categorize your transactions, as well as review and reconcile them. As you continuously go through this process, Kashoo’s machine learning will begin to automatically categorize and post incoming records.
- Income and expense tracking: Track and manage your income and expenses through your bank and financial account connections, as well as through manually entered transactions—including digital receipt capture and upload.
- Sales tax management: Receive automatic sales tax calculations based on your location; track sales tax on your goods, services, and even expenses.
- Invoicing: Create customized invoices, send them to customers, and stay up-to-date with client statements; you can also set up recurring invoices for repeat clients.
- Payments: Accept online payments on your Kashoo invoices by working with Kashoo’s payment processor WePay. You can also integrate a Stripe or BluePay account to accept payments.
- Bills: Track and manage the bills you need to pay; print checks.
- Project management: Add an unlimited number of projects to your account and associate income and expenses with specific projects; view cost reporting based on project.
- Item tracking: Add items that are both sold and purchased; associate these items with income and expense accounts.
- Contacts: Manage an unlimited directory of clients and suppliers; add basic contact information and associate transactions with specific businesses or individuals.
- Reporting: Generate basic and customized financial reports—including profit and loss statements, balance sheets, sales tax reports, and more; export and send reports.
- Users: Attach an unlimited number of users to your account at no additional cost. Sort user accounts into one of four access levels.
- Mobile app: Download and utilize the free Kashoo business accounting app for iOS devices (Kashoo does not have a mobile app for Android devices); create and send invoices, capture receipts, and track sales using the app.
- Integrations: Connect your Kashoo account to third-party tools like Square, BluePay, Stripe, and FreshBooks; integrate with either of Kashoo’s payroll providers—SurePayroll and Paychex—to sync payroll data to your account.
- Customer support: Access the Kashoo customer service team via phone, email, or live chat from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m PT.
Overall, Wave has many of the same capabilities as Kashoo. Unlike Kashoo’s inbox-based initial interface, however, Wave’s system opens up to a dashboard overview (shown below)—where you can see your cash flow, profit and loss, accounts payable and receivable, net income, and expenses breakdown.
Using the Wave dashboard, you can view your business’s core financial data as well as navigate to other parts of your account. Image source: Wave
From this starting point, you’ll be able to navigate and utilize the other parts of your Wave account. On the whole, Wave accounting offers the following features:
- Account connections: Set up unlimited bank and credit card transactions and import transactions into Wave automatically; reconcile accounts through platform (Payments by Wave users will receive automatic reconciliation for those incoming payments).
- Income and expenses transactions: Access unlimited income and expense tracking, create customized categories for your chart of accounts, make bulk transaction updates, search transactions descriptions, and receive automatic exchange rate calculations.
- Bills: Add, track, and manage your outstanding bills; set bill reminders.
- Estimates: Create and send customized estimates; turn them into invoices upon customer approval.
- Payments: Use Payments by Wave to accept credit cards or bank payments, set up recurring payments, accept payments in a foreign currency, set up automatic payment reminders for customers, send professional payment receipts, and track payments and partial payments.
- Items: Add products or services purchased (by you or by customers) and use them as items on bills or invoices.
- Customers and vendors: Add customers and vendors to your account—including billing, shipping, and other relevant information; send outstanding invoice or account activity statements to customers based on their profile.
- Reporting: Generate and export traditional financial statements and reports—profit and loss statements, cash flow statements, sales tax reports, account balances, etc.
- Users: Add an unlimited number of collaborators to your account and assign them to one of four access levels.
- Mobile apps: Download the free invoicing and receipts mobile apps for iOS or Android to scan receipts and attach them to expenses, as well as create and send invoices on the go.
- Integrations: Connect to PayPal, Shoeboxed, Google Sheets, BlueCamroo, Etsy, and Zapier; integrate Shopify transactions; opt-in for either of Wave’s paid add-ons, Wave Payroll, or Payments by Wave.
- Customer support: Receive email support from the Wave customer service team (access priority support via live chat if you use either of Wave’s paid add-ons).
Kashoo vs. Wave: Pricing
As you can see, with the exception of a few capabilities here and there—estimates for Wave, for example, and project management for Kashoo—these two platforms are very similar in terms of the features they offer small business owners.
When comparing Wave vs. Kashoo in terms of pricing, however, you’ll find much more distinct differences. Whereas Kashoo is priced on a monthly or annual subscription basis, Wave is a free accounting software.
As we mentioned, Kashoo prices their software on a monthly or annual subscription basis. If you opt for the month-to-month plan, you’ll pay $19.95 per month. If you opt for the annual plan, on the other hand, you’ll pay a reduced $16.65 per month, essentially saving you two months’ worth of costs.
For either the monthly or annual subscription, you’ll receive all the features Kashoo has to offer. Kashoo also provides a 14-day free trial of their platform, no credit card required.
All of this being said, however, there are a few instances in which you may incur additional costs while using Kashoo.
If you want to accept online payments through Kashoo, you have a few options to be able to do so. First, you can work with Kashoo’s payment processor, WePay, to accept Visa, MasterCard, and American Express credit cards. In this case, you’ll only pay 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction and $15 per chargeback.
You also have the option to connect to either Stripe or BluePay to accept online payments. With Stripe, you’ll be able to accept all credit and debit cards (as well as other payment types) for the same credit card processing fees. BluePay, on the other hand, does not offer pricing information on their website, so you’ll have to work with them directly to find out what costs would look like for your business.
In order to manage multiple businesses through your Kashoo account, you’ll need to pay additional monthly fees. To add another business, Kashoo charges a discounted rate of $13.95 per month or $139.95 billed annually. If you want to add more than five businesses, however, you’ll have to contact Kashoo to get a package quote for your software.
Finally, if you want to connect your payroll to your Kashoo account, you’ll need to work with either of Kashoo’s payroll partners—SurePayroll or Paychex. Unfortunately, both SurePayroll and Paychex are quote-based services, meaning you’ll have to work with them to determine pricing for your business.
This being said, however, most payroll software providers charge a base monthly fee plus a monthly fee for each employee or contractor you pay using their system.
With this in mind, if you’re interested in purchasing either of these payroll services, you can contact them through your Kashoo account to qualify for special pricing.
Although like Kashoo, Wave only offers a single accounting software option, Wave does not charge any monthly or annual fees for use of their system. With Wave, all you need to do is sign up for an account online and you’ll be able to access all of the standard features within their platform.
If you want to expand your functionality within the Wave system, however, you do have two options for paid add-ons.
Payments by Wave
First, Wave offers Payments by Wave, which allows you to accept online payments, including both credit cards and bank payments. This service is pay-as-you-go—meaning you’ll only pay processing fees when a transaction is actually made and won’t incur any ongoing monthly or annual service fees.
This being said, you’ll pay 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction for accepting Visa, Mastercard, and Discover cards; 3.4% + $0.30 per transaction for American Express cards; and 1% per transaction for ACH transfers (with a minimum $1 fee required).
Whereas Kashoo works with third-party payroll providers, Wave offers their own payroll service as an add-on to their accounting platform.
With Wave Payroll, you’ll be able to run and manage your payroll processes—pay employees and contractors, set up direct deposit, manage payroll taxes—and integrate seamlessly with Wave accounting.
Wave Payroll comes in two pricing plans: tax service and self-service. For the tax service plan, in which Wave handles the filing and paying of your payroll taxes, you’ll pay $35 per month, plus $6 per active employee and $6 per independent contractor paid per month. This plan, it’s important to note, is only currently available in 14 states.
For the self-service plan, on the other hand, you’re responsible for filing and paying your own payroll taxes and will therefore receive Wave Payroll at a lower rate. The self-service plan will cost $20 per month plus the same per-employee and per-contractor monthly fees.
Kashoo vs. Wave: How They Compare
So, based on all of the information we’ve reviewed, you may have a sense of what the final Kashoo vs. Wave comparison looks like.
Ultimately, due to the number of similarities between these two platforms, the comparison largely comes down to the smaller details. This being said then, Kashoo stands out with their project management features, customer service options, and unique inbox interface. Wave, on the other hand, stands out with their invoicing and estimates capabilities, as well as overall pricing.
As we mentioned, Kashoo was designed as an accounting solution particularly for small business owners, especially those with no prior bookkeeping or accounting experience. In this mission, Kashoo generally succeeds—it’s simple, user-friendly, and functional. If you’re a new business owner looking for self-employed accounting software, it’s very possible that Kashoo will be able to meet your needs.
In comparison to Wave specifically, however, Kashoo has a few noteworthy benefits. First, Kashoo provides project management tools, allowing you to add an unlimited number of projects and associate income and expenses with those initiatives. This is one capability that Wave does not offer within their system.
Additionally, although neither Wave nor Kashoo offers 24/7 customer service of any kind, Kashoo provides many more options for customers to contact their support team. You can contact Kashoo almost 12 hours per day via email, phone, or live chat. With Wave, on the other hand, you only have the option to email their team unless you’re a Payments by Wave or Wave Payroll customer.
Finally, Kashoo stands out with their unique inbox-based interface. Although most accounting platforms, including Wave, offer a part of their platform for managing transactions, Kashoo puts these capabilities front and center, presenting them in a more approachable way—especially for those who have no prior experience with bookkeeping or accounting.
With this inbox interface, Kashoo puts more of a focus on business bookkeeping—managing your day-to-day tasks and transactions—as opposed to a traditional dashboard interface like Wave’s, which focuses more on accounting—offering graphs and charts to display data over time and give insight into the financial health of the business.
Like Kashoo, Wave is a great accounting solution for newer business owners, especially those who want access to an easy-to-use, yet fully functional system. However, compared to Kashoo, Wave has a number of benefits to offer that may make it a better choice for your business.
First, the Wave software has a few capabilities that Kashoo doesn’t. Wave allows you to create and send estimates—and turn those estimates into invoices once approved. Along these lines, Wave’s overall invoicing capabilities are much more customizable than Kashoo’s—with options to add your logo, edit colors, move line items, and manipulate columns.
In addition, Wave also offers their two mobile apps for iOS and Android devices (Kashoo only has an iOS app) and can accommodate multiple businesses in one account, at no additional cost (Kashoo charges a monthly fee per business). Moreover, with their proprietary add-on options, Wave allows you to more seamlessly manage several financial processes within a single software at an affordable cost.
On the whole, perhaps the biggest benefit of Wave in comparison to Kashoo is pricing. Despite the similarities between these two systems, at the end of the day, there is no monthly fee to use Wave accounting. Therefore, if you’re looking for a simple system that allows you to manage your day-to-day bookkeeping and accounting tasks without having to pay a monthly fee, there’s no doubt Wave is going to be one of your top options.
This being said, with a free software platform and competitive costs for online payment processing, Wave is a particularly noteworthy option for freelancer accounting software, as well as other smaller businesses that invoice customers.
What do users have to say about their experience with Wave and Kashoo?
On the whole, it seems that online reviews of both Kashoo and Wave are largely positive. Many users recommend and highly rate both of these services, especially for new and smaller businesses.
In particular, Kashoo reviewers highlight how easy it is to set up and use the platform, particularly for business owners with no prior accounting experience.
Similarly, Wave reviewers also mention the usability of the platform, often praising the integrated invoicing and payment capabilities. Additionally, many users highlight the range of features you receive with the Wave accounting system at no cost.
Of course, both Kashoo and Wave receive critiques and users list areas where they feel the solutions could improve. Specifically, Kashoo users would like to see more customization for reports and client contacts, as well as more integration options for third-party tools. Some users also feel that Kashoo lacks features for the monthly subscription price.
With Wave, users would like to see inventory tracking capabilities, a more comprehensive mobile app, and faster payout times for their payments platform.
All of this being said, however, for a direct customer comparison between Wave vs. Kashoo, we talked to Meg Marrs, founder of K9 of Mine, who has used both systems. She said:
“Kashoo is a decent accounting tool, but it’s not my favorite and I’ve switched to Wave since I first started with Kashoo. For one, I have not had great success with Kashoo’s customer service, with some of my emails asking for support going completely ignored.
“I also find the UX clunky with Kashoo. The design feels outdated and old, which isn’t really how you want to feel about your accounting software, considering the kind of information it holds.
“Honestly, I much prefer Wave. Wave has a cleaner UX and offers a lot of the same features that Kashoo does. Plus, it’s free.”
Choosing Between Kashoo vs. Wave for Your Business
As we’ve discussed in this Kashoo vs. Wave comparison, either one of these accounting solutions may be worthwhile options for your small business. On the whole, Kashoo and Wave can effectively help you manage your basic bookkeeping and accounting tasks, especially if you’re a smaller or new business or a business owner who wants to manage their own financial processes but doesn’t have previous experience doing so.
However, when it comes down to it, unless you really need the basic project tracking that Kashoo offers, Wave can provide all of the same features—without the monthly cost. Therefore, if you’re looking for the best way to minimize your accounting software investment, you should consider using Wave.
On the other hand, you may find that both Kashoo and Wave are too limited in what they can offer—overall, both systems lack advanced features, scalability, and integration opportunities. So, if you need more than what either Kashoo or Wave can offer, you might look into more expansive platforms like FreshBooks or QuickBooks Online.
Ultimately though, only you can decide which (if either) of these options is best for your business. If you’re still unsure if Kashoo or Wave can fulfill your business’s accounting needs, you might decide to sign up for a free Wave account or 14-day free trial of Kashoo. By actually testing out and investigating each platform for yourself, you should be able to get a more comprehensive sense of how it will (or won’t) work for your small business.