Wave, formerly Wave Accounting, a Toronto-based startup focusing on free accounting solutions for small businesses, has released its first cross-platform app called Receipts.
Wave is a very interesting company: it’s taken a traditionally-expensive use case, namely accounting services like payroll, invoicing and expense tracking, and made it available for free to most small business owners. The ad-supported model has been incredibly successful, too, boosting the company’s user base to over half a million in under three years, stealing loyal customers from big names like Freshbooks and Concur in the process. It’s also available for personal users to track expenses and bank transactions.
Receipts by Wave is a free app available for iPhone and Android, though the latter is still in beta. It allows you to take photos of your receipts and have the app parse the data into intelligible, sortable information using OCR technology. The receipts are stored securely on Wave’s servers, allowing you to recall them across platforms, including the web. While the app can be used on its own to cover your monthly expenses, it performs more effectively when integrated into Wave’s larger ecosystem, which includes tracking bank account transactions, bills, invoices and, now, receipts.
Wave has integration with all Canadian banks and many credit unions, and like services such as Mint or Pageonce, you can track your financial “health” on a business or personal basis through the company’s web portal. The company has also released an iOS app for payroll services, but Receipts is the company’s first attempt at an Android app.
The Android app feels well-designed and native, hewing pretty close to the Holo template set out by Google. It uses a left-side navigation bar and a nice camera interface, though the iPhone version feels faster and more full-featured.
Wave is a great choice for small business owners looking to save a bit of money on their monthly services, but the company’s excellence goes beyond just the freemium model; it approaches solutions to existing problems with a startup’s eye, endeavouring to be nimble and mobile-focused in a time where most small business owners are trying to cut down more than just expenses, but time spent organizing them.