Payroll by Wave Reviews

Learn about Payroll by Wave payroll software for small businesses. Includes info on Payroll by Wave, free trials, pricing, customer reviews, and FAQs.

Updated on January 31st, 2020

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Payroll by Wave is a web-based payroll software created for small business owners. The software was designed to help small business owners simplify and automate payroll processes while remaining compliant with taxes and deductions. Features include invoicing, accounting, online payments, and receipts.

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Payroll by Wave is free to use.


Payroll by Wave is a mid-tier solution that comes loaded with standard features like automatic payments, deductions, payroll reports, and multi-state filing.

However, it is missing a few common features, such as multiple pay rates, flexible payroll scheduling, garnishments, and off-cycle payroll, which could pose limitations for some users who require these features. Patriot Software, a closely-ranked solution, offers all these features.

Payroll by Wave offers some nice-to-have features like contractor payments and new hire reporting.

Although Payroll by Wave lacks the flexibility of multiple pay rate and different payroll schedules, it is still a budget-friendly solution for small businesses with basic payroll needs.

Key Information:

Legal Name

Wave Financial Inc.


Kirk Simpson


235 Carlaw Ave, Suite 501, Toronto, ON, M4M 2S1, Canada

Number of Employees


Number of Customers



+1 416-521-9141



Does Wave do payroll?

Yes, Wave offers a web-based payroll software.

How much does Wave Payroll cost?

Payroll by Wave is free to use.

Is there a Payroll by Wave free trial?

Payroll by Wave offers its software for free.

Customer Reviews:


Reviewed: Jul 07, 2016

Source: Signs101

I suggest you take a look at Wave payroll. It's an online service, and you do have to do some input - but I've found it to be simple and straightforward. Just two employees would run you less than US$ 300 a year. I can recommend them


Reviewed: May 31, 2017

Source: Reddit

I used Wave for my freelance web business and while it was a big step up from just a spreadsheet with invoice generation, bank account linking and receipts uploading. After a while I realised it sucks for customized reports that accountants need especially for limited companies. Also, reconciling your transactions is a real pain, you have to 'merge' transactions and it not a good workflow, you loose where you are constantly when you have over 100 transactions to process.


Reviewed: May 31, 2017

Source: Reddit

I tried to use Wave. Worked fine, but lack of integration with other software and what my accountant uses pretty much forced me into Quickbooks. I don't regret it. It is $10/mo without payroll, but with it, it's like $35/mo. You could just do it manually for a single employee (it's not hard) and make sure you make those payments to the treasury.


Reviewed: May 31, 2017

Source: Reddit

I've used Wave for the past year on an ecommerce site. My site only generates about $400/mo so I wouldn't say I've really tested it thoroughly. It sucks in financial data from my PayPal and checking accounts. From there I can easily categorize the transactions with the type of income/expense it was. It's very easy to add new categories. Reconciling at the end of each month is super easy. I also like that it emails me a quick summary once a week.


Reviewed: Jan 05, 2016

Source: Reddit

I've used Wave since incorporating 2.5 yrs ago.

Pros: - it's free. - use it in collaboration with their payroll service, which is great. Having them under the same roof simplifies things a bit. When my payroll is run, it creates a journal entry making all adjustments to proper accounts. Generating T4s at year end is simple. - as a Canadian company, I've found they have good functionality for Canadian taxes like HST.

Cons: - some advanced accounting things, like journals are a little bit clunky with the web interface. But, you can do journal entries which many free / cheap platforms don't allow for. For doing your own books it's fine, but if I was a hired bookkeeper the slowness would drive me a bit nuts. But this goes for any web-based service I imagine. - I really wish they had memorized date ranges, like 'current fiscal YTD' or 'previous fiscal year' or 'last fiscal quarter'. Having to constantly enter the date range is annoying.

summary: Overall I'm very satisfied with Wave. As someone who does books every few weeks, its drawbacks are very acceptable for a free service.