If you are creative or a professional, and you are trying to start/ run a small business or freelancing career, you will find out that you need to manage the financial aspect of the business. This is is from creating quotations, invoices managing purchases, and keeping track of all your transactions. This can be a complex task without good tools and you may find your self spending more time on the overhead of business management, rather than doing creative tasks or solving customers' problems. Today we are going to talk about WAVE, an easy to use online small business management software that will help you to manage all aspects of business finances, from quotations to financial reports.
Wave started in 2010 by two tech entrepreneurs, who hated everything to do with accounting, they wanted to create a tool that will simplify their work but as well as helping other entrepreneurs to easily manage their finances in order focus more on the business and doing actual work that brings revenues to the business.
Wave is divided into four modules, sales, purchases, accounting, and reports, and within each module there are sub-sections. In sales, you have a full sales lifecycle, from estimates/quotations, Invoices, recurring invoices, customer statements, customers, and products/services. In purchases, you have bills, receipts, vendors, and products/services. In accounting, you have transactions, reconciliations, and chats of accounts. And in reports, you have a wide range of financial reports.
Sales (Quotations, Invoices, customers & products/services)
Wave let you create beautiful professional invoices and quotations, you can customize colors, labels, and put your logo for the invoice to have a look and feel of your brand colors. Under normal sales scenario, a customer will request for a quotation, upon acceptance of a quote, maybe after negotiations, then wave allows you to convert a quote to an invoice, once converted to an invoice the amount will be tracked in receivable as money you are supposed to receive. Also, wave allows you to create recurring invoices that can be scheduled weekly, monthly, or yearly in case you have subscription services or invoices. re-curring invoices have an option to send emails and reminders direct to customers copying you, so you have notifications and reminders of all due invoices.
Customer statements allow you to keep track of receivable amounts and pending amount per customer, this is to simplify payments follow-ups when you have regular customers with multiple services or projects with you. In products/services and customers is where you manage all your products/services information as well as customers' information.
Purchases (Bills, receipts, vendors & products/services)
Purchases are where you keep track and manage your business's expenses or account payable. In bills, you track your payable bills, in receipts, you can also keep track of your daily expenses. Wave has a nice mobile application that you can install in your phone, and use it to take photos of receipts and then upload directly to expenses/receipts. This is a very good feature as most of the time we keep forgetting to keep track of small expenses. Let's say you went for a business meeting in a restaurant and ordered coffee, to keep track of that expense, you take a picture of your receipt with your phone and automatically it will reflect in the system.
In products/services under purchases, you can manage products and services that you normally buy on regular to regular bases. And under vendors, are you can manage/keep track of detailed information of your regular vendors.
Here is a place where you can view your transaction journals in detail, reconciling your account balances against transactions and setting up a chart of accounts. as long as you keep your records properly, received payment and expenses, you don't have to worry much about these sections. You can leave it to a certified accountant who helps you to file quarterly/yearly returns.
In this section, you have a wide range of reports, from financial statements, which will be generated automatically as long as you keep a record of each received payment, business purchases/expenses and other investment transactions in the software. But also you can see who are your high valued customers based on their revenues, aging of payables and receivables, account reports, and more.
But also on a landing page after login into the software, you always have a summarized snapshot of your business, from pending invoices, income vs expenses graphs, business expenses distribution, bills you are supposed to pay, and bank accounts balances.
I have been using wave for almost 5 years now, and I can say at a zero cost it is an amazing tool to manage your financials and keep track of business records. If you manage your records well, it becomes easier to work with a certified accountant to generate audited financial reports which makes your business more credible. But also it helps you to understand the performance of the business, and which areas to focus either to increase sales or reduce expenses. I recently realized as you grow, some companies may request audited financial reports before working with you. Without proper record keeping, you won't be able to provide the reports hence miss business opportunities.
To set up your account and start using wave, you visit https://www.waveapps.com/ create an account, upload your logo, and customize your business settings, set up your currency and you are ready to go.