Occasionally people say to us, “Yes, Wave looks great, and I can see how it would save me a ton of time, but I just can’t bring myself to connect my bank accounts and credit cards with an online service.”

No problem.

If you go for the full online connection with Wave, you do turbo-charge your ability to get things done, but it’s not your only option. You can still use Wave to get rid of accounting headaches and find out more about your money. Here’s how:

Upload your bank statements manually

Instead of having Wave talk to your bank account and pull in your transactions, you can download bank statements yourself and bring them into Wave manually. Advantages:

  • still wa-a-a-ay better than inputting all your transactions manually. It’s more accurate than manual entry and will save a ton of time.
  • you don’t need to share your online login credentials
  • you can use any financial institution, even if your bank isn’t one of the 10,000 that Wave supports

Disadvantages

  • you don’t get a day-by-day view of your money. Your accounting is only as up to date as the last time you uploaded a statement.
  • you have to do it yourself.

We have a super-detailed step-by-step explanation on setting up Wave for manual entry in our FAQ section. It looks like a lot of work, but that’s only because we spelled out every last step. The whole thing should take no more than 5 minutes.

Use Wave like a traditional accounting application

If you don’t mind the manual entry, you can use Wave like you would any other accounting application. Just input your income, expenses and so on manually.

Advantages:

  • Wave is still easy to use
  • you still get all the tools most small businesses need
  • the tools are still built to make sense for non-accountants
  • you can still track your personal and business expenses in the same application
  • Wave is still free

Disadvantages:

  • manual entry takes more time
  • there's a risk of human error when you’re putting in numbers
  • your accounting is only as up to date as your efforts

In short, Wave doesn’t rely on a bank connection the way some online dashboards and tracking tools do. Even without connecting to a financial institution, you’ll still have a much better understanding of your money than you do when you cram receipts into a shoebox. And it’s all free.

If you're still interested in doing a full connection between your bank or credit card accounts and Wave, I can also assure you that we take security very seriously. You'll find details about our security features in the Security section of our FAQs.