SlickPie and Wave offer something that most small business accounting software does not—a feature-packed product for free that has the ability to handle all of the bookkeeping basics. Both of these options are great for freelancers, sole proprietors, and businesses with a few employees. Wave is more widely used, but SlickPie might be better if you invoice a lot of customers.
When to Use Wave
Wave is a free accounting software that is ideal for freelancers, sole proprietors, and small companies with a few employees. Wave allows you to handle all of the bookkeeping basics, such as invoice customers, track expenses, give other users access to your data, and run financial statements; however, it doesn’t have an accounts payable function. Still, it’s one of the most widely used free accounting software programs and has over 2,500 certified accounting advisors.
When to Use SlickPie
SlickPie is another free accounting option that is somewhat comparable to Wave. However, they target new freelancers and single-member startups, and if you’re brand new to accounting software, this might be a good free option. The software also allows for manual accounts payable and may be good for you if you invoice a lot of customers. However, if you have employees and/or contractors that you need to pay, SlickPie is not going to work.
When to Use an Alternative
If you’re a growing business (or plan on growing in the near future), you might want to check out QuickBooks Online, our top-rated accounting software. This accounting software is the most widely used, with over 100,000 certified advisors, and has four overall tiers for businesses of all sizes, including a self-employed version. If you require things like customer service, training, tutorials, and the help of CPAs and bookkeepers, then this might be an option for you.
For alternatives other than Quickbooks, checkout our guide to the best Quickbooks alternatives.
SlickPie vs. Wave at a Glance
|Number of Users Included|
|Manage Accounts Payable|
|Manage Multiple Businesses with One Account|
|Integrations with Other Systems|
|Ease of Use|
How We Determined When to Use SlickPie & Wave
Business owners typically turn to SlickPie] or Wave because they’re looking for a free accounting software option. They usually want the most bang for their buck, but aren’t concerned about getting the full suite of functionality that you would with a product like QuickBooks Online. Further, business owners are looking for intuitive and easy to use products.
We therefore compared SlickPie and Wave on the following:
- Number of users
- Ease of use
- Integrations with other apps/programs
After our review, SlickPie and Wave both fell short when it comes to managing money that you owe to vendors (accounts payable) and financial statements. While you can easily run a Profit & Loss and Balance Sheet report in both products, you cannot produce a Cash Flow Statement in SlickPie or Wave.
When it comes to tracking your outstanding bills, you can enter bills in SlickPie and run an A/P Aging report to see bills that are coming due or past due. However, you cannot actually pay bills in SlickPie; instead you must pay the bills outside of SlickPie and then manually enter the payment to mark bills as paid. Wave does not allow you to enter or track unpaid bills but, similar to SlickPie, you can record payments after they have been made.
When it comes to price, both products are winners because they don’t charge you to use their software. They are about evenly matched on customer support options, and SlickPie has a slight edge over Wave in the features department. Even so, people are more familiar with Wave, shown by Wave’s 2,500 advisors to SlickPie 100, and Wave is your best bet if you need bookkeeping help.
SlickPie vs. Wave: Pricing & Features
Both SlickPie and Wave debunk the myth “You get what you pay for.” As a matter of fact, I think you will be pleasantly surprised to see the number of features that are included in SlickPie and Wave at no cost to you. As part of our research, we set up accounts in both SlickPie and Wave so that we could see how easy or challenging the product is to use, and to see what features you need to know about from each one.
Wave Pricing & Features
Similar to SlickPie, Wave has one pricing plan—free. When you sign up for your Wave account, there is no credit card required and no bill to worry about unless you use one of their add-on services like Wave Payroll or Wave Payments. You might be surprised to learn all of the features that come with an accounting software that costs you nothing.
Below are just some of the features included in Wave, along with a brief description of each.
Unlimited Number of Users
Similar to SlickPie, Wave allows you to invite an unlimited number of users to view and/or edit your data. Like SlickPie, you can grant users access to the areas that you want them to see. The only downside to granting user access in Wave is you cannot give any users access to bank and credit card information like you can with SlickPie.
Manual Inventory Tracking
Wave does allow you to track inventory, but it is 100% manual. For example, when you purchase inventory, you will have to manually calculate the value per unit. In addition, when you sell an item, you will have to manually calculate the decrease in inventory and the cost of goods sold amount.
Manage Multiple Businesses with One Account
Like SlickPie, Wave allows you to manage multiple businesses under the same account. Once you are logged into your Wave account, you can easily toggle between businesses as you need to. You can create as many businesses as you like at no additional cost.
SlickPie Pricing & Features
I don’t think we can stress enough that you can use SlickPie for free. When you sign up for your SlickPie account, there is no credit card required and no monthly bill to worry about.
In addition to having most of the minimum feature requirements we discussed previously, there are a few “bells and whistles” as well.
Below are some of the features included in SlickPie, along with a brief description of each.
Automatic Receipt Data Entry
This cool feature will save you a ton of time. MagicBot is an automated receipt data entry tool that automatically pulls information from a receipt or invoice and converts it into digital data. It’s a simple, two-step process. Step one, you set up a Dropbox folder and scan all of your receipts and bills to the folder.
Step two, SlickPie will fetch the data from the folder, read the information and automatically create transactions in SlickPie for you. On top of this, the documents will be attached to their corresponding transactions for safekeeping.
Unlimited Number of Users
Similar to Wave, SlickPie allows you to invite an unlimited number of users to view and/or edit your data. This means you can give your bookkeeper, CPA or even a contractor access to your data—free of charge. You also get to determine what information they have access to within the program. Unlike Wave, you can give other users access to bank and credit card information.
Manual Inventory Tracking
Inventory tracking in SlickPie works similar to what we discussed previously for Wave—all manual. Calculations for inventory cost, quantities and value must be done by hand and then manually entered into SlickPie.
Manage Unlimited Number of Businesses with One Account
Do you have more than one business? SlickPie allows you to manage multiple businesses under the same account. This means that you just have to sign into SlickPie once and then toggle between businesses as you need to. Similar to the number of users, you can set up an unlimited number of businesses for the same price as the first one—absolutely nothing.
SlickPie vs. Wave: Ease of Use
Both SlickPie and Wave are very intuitive products. There are a variety of ways to navigate each program, depending on your preference. Both SlickPie and Wave have a dashboard that provides key information about your business, such as open invoices, paid expenses, and profit & loss. Let’s take a look at each dashboard in more detail.
Wave Ease of Use
Below is a snapshot of the dashboard in Wave, along with a brief description of the information you will find here.
- Income & Expenses: An at-a-glance look at income & expenses by month or for the year.
- Invoices Payable to You: Groups outstanding amounts owed to you by customer (accounts receivable) based on current (coming due) or overdue (1-30 days, 31-60 days, 61-90 days and over 90 days past due).
- Bills You Owe: Groups outstanding bills that you owe to vendor suppliers (accounts payable) based on current (coming due), or overdue (1-30 days, 31-60 day, 61-90 days and over 90 days).
SlickPie Ease of Use
One of the benefits of using SlickPie is you have access to a demo company that has already been populated with data. You can enter any kind of transaction into the demo company to see how it works. If you make a mistake, you don’t have to worry because the changes that you make are not saved once you close out of the file.
Below is a snapshot of the dashboard in the demo company along with a brief description of the information you will find here.
- Receivables: See what remains unpaid, what is due today, and what is overdue on open customer invoices.
- Payables: See what remains unpaid, what is due today, and what is overdue on open supplier bills.
- Sales Report: In this section, you can see your sales trend by month without having to run a report.
- Profit & Loss: In this section, you can see your profit & loss trend by month without having to run a profit and loss report.
- Contact Overview: In this section, you can see a list of contacts and their outstanding balances. Contacts can be customers and vendors; just click the drop-down arrow (as indicated in the above screenshot) to switch between the two.
SlickPie vs. Wave: Customer Service
One of the downsides to both SlickPie and Wave is that neither offer live customer support. Instead, you can send an email to the support team and wait for a response or you can search their help database (which includes answers to frequently asked questions).
Wave Customer Service
Like SlickPie, Wave does not offer live customer support. You can contact the Wave support team by submitting a support ticket. To do this, just log into your Wave account, click on the “help” link, and follow the instructions. Support tickets are generally answered within one business day.
If you prefer to do a little research, you can access the Wave Help Center; similar to the SlickPie knowledge database, you will find several help guides, video tutorials and answers to frequently asked questions (FAQ) about the basics of using Wave.
SlickPie Customer Service
As mentioned, you have two options when it comes to getting help with SlickPie if you get stuck. You can send an email to email@example.com. The support team is available Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. PST. You can also look up your questions by accessing their support knowledge database.
SlickPie vs. Wave: Customer Reviews
Both SlickPie and Wave have pretty good customer reviews. The area in which Wave fell short is customer service and the one area where SlickPie had negative reviews is that they don’t provide enough charts and graphs.
Wave Customer Reviews
Small businesses really enjoy all of the features and benefits of using a real accounting software like Wave without having to pay for it. They also like the user-friendly interface and the fact that you don’t have to have an accounting background to use the software.
The area that Wave customers feel needs improvement is customer service. Similar to SlickPie, you can’t talk to a live customer service rep. Apparently the response time to emails (the only way to communicate with the support team) is very slow.
SlickPie Customer Reviews
Like Wave, customers enjoy the features included in SlickPie at no cost. They also feel that the user interface is simple and easy to use. While there weren’t many negative reviews for SlickPie, the negative review that we did find felt that there needed to be more charts and graphs available.
Now that we have shown you two great accounting software products that have a ton of features and will cost you nothing, which one will you choose? If you are a startup without any employees, go with SlickPie.
As a great alternative for your small business, check out QuickBooks Online. With QuickBooks Online you gain access to the industry leading accounting software that is able to grow with your business. Get started for free with QuickBooks Online.