Small business owners and freelancers look for efficient, reliable, and affordable tools to manage receipts, expenses, and finances. Shoeboxed and Wave are two such tools.

Which is right for you: Shoeboxed vs Wave?

The only way to know which is right for you and your business is to compare the two and their key features.


Shoeboxed's official homepage

Shoeboxed is a receipt and expense management tool designed to help businesses and individuals digitize and organize their paper receipts.

It simplifies expense tracking, financial transactions, tax prep, and financial records.

Receipt scanning

All receipts on Shoeboxed!

With Shoeboxed, you can convert paper receipts into digital format for easy storage and retrieval.

One way to do this is to use your mobile phone or device and Shoeboxed’s mobile app.

Photograph the receipt with your smartphone’s camera and upload the data to your Shoeboxed account using the receipt scanner app.

Magic Envelope service


Users can scan and digitize receipts using their mobile devices or by mailing in their paper receipts.

You can outsource scanned receipts to Shoeboxed by sending them to Shoeboxed’s processing center in their Magic Envelope.

Their team will scan and combine human data verification and upload the data to your Shoeboxed account.

Gmail plugin


With Shoeboxed, you can easily forward receipts from your email to your Shoeboxed account.

The Shoeboxed’s Gmail plugin will auto-import receipts from your Gmail inbox to your Shoeboxed account, making your receipt management process more efficient.

Shoeboxed is the only receipt scanner app to handle your paper and digital receipts—saving customers up to 9.2 hours per week from manual data entry!

Add notes to receipts

In the Shoeboxed web app, you can add receipt information like client name or meeting purpose under the “notes” section. Better documentation of Meals and Entertainment receipts will protect you from audits and verify that the expense is indeed deductible.

In the Shoeboxed app, you can add more details under the “notes” section to manage receipts better.

Document organization


Shoeboxed extracts critical information using optical character recognition or OCR data extraction from receipts and categorizes expenses into 15 tax or custom categories to simplify accounting and maximize tax deductions.

Shoeboxed is an excellent platform to organize receipts.

Shoeboxed - Simplify daily bookkeeping tasks

Receipts are turned into digital data that is extracted and human-verified data that is categorized, organized, searchable, editable, and available anytime, anywhere.

Expense tracking and reporting

You can create comprehensive expense reports with just a few clicks.

You can create expense reports for reimbursements from the web and mobile app with a few clicks.

You can also send expense reports with images of receipts from anywhere.

Integrates with accounting software

Shoeboxed works with the tools you already use.

Shoeboxed integrates with Wave, Xero, and QuickBooks, so you can seamlessly manage receipts and reconcile bank accounts.

No more manual entry, no more lost receipts, and no more headaches.

Never lose a receipt again 📁

Join over 1 million businesses organizing & scanning receipts, creating expense reports, and reclaiming multiple hours every week—with Shoeboxed.✨

Get Started Today

IRS accepted receipt images

Shoeboxed's receipt scanning service for truckers

Shoeboxed’s digital images of your receipts are accepted by the Internal Revenue Service and the Canada Revenue Agency in the event of an audit.

Shoeboxed has been voted as the best receipt scanner app for tax season by Hubspot and given the Trusted Vendor and Quality Choice awards by Crozdesk.

Business card management

Business cards

Turn business cards into online contact lists with Shoeboxed.

Ditch the piles of business cards and create an online contacts database.

Send contact information to your favorite email or CRM or download a CSV file to import into any program you use.

Mileage tracker

Shoeboxed's mileage tracker

Shoeboxed has a feature that makes tracking your mileage for business trips more effortless.

After you sign up for Shoeboxed, you can start monitoring miles in seconds:

Shoeboxed will track your location and miles as you start driving and save your route as you drive.

You can drop pins to make tracking more precise as you stop at restaurants or pick up passengers.

When you’re done driving, click the “End Mileage Tracking” button to create a trip summary.

Each summary will include the date, editable mileage, trip name, tax-deductible miles, and rate information.

Click “Done” to create a receipt for your drive and get a route map.

Shoeboxed’s mileage tracker will categorize your trip under the mileage category in your account.

Their mileage feature makes it easy to claim deductions during tax season with the miles you log.

Add free sub-users

With Shoeboxed, you can add a bookkeeper or accountant as a sub-user for tax reports and grant sub-users access to your team.

Adding Shoeboxed to your receipt management process will save you time, reduce the risk of losing important documents, and improve your business’s bottom line.

Turn receipts into data with Shoeboxed ✨

Try a systematic approach to receipt categories for tax time. Try free for 30 days!

Get Started Today


Wave accounting software.

Wave is an accounting software for small businesses and freelancers.

It has a suite of tools to manage everything in one place, including invoicing, accounting, and receipt scanning.

Wave also has bank reconciliation features and a full financial management tool.


Wave provides double-entry accounting features, including income and expense tracking, bank reconciliation, and financial reporting, making it easy to manage bank accounts.

Wave provides double-entry accounting features, including income and expense tracking, bank reconciliation, and financial reporting, making it easy to manage bank accounts.


Wave users can create, send, and track professional invoices and estimates.

Users can create, send, and track professional invoices and estimates.

Receipt scanning capabilities

Wave’s mobile app allows users to scan and digitize receipts, automatically syncing them with their accounting records.

Wave’s mobile app allows users to scan and digitize receipts, automatically syncing them with their accounting records.


Wave online payments

Wave facilitates online payments, including credit card processing and bank payments.


Wave offers payroll services to manage employee salaries, tax calculations, and direct deposits.

Wave offers payroll services to manage employee salaries, tax calculations, and direct deposits.

Expense tracking

Wave’s mobile app is great for expense management, and it has features like budgeting, bill payment, and real-time expense management through receipt digitization.

Shoeboxed vs. Wave comparison

Now that you have an overview of the two platforms let's compare their features.

1. Automatic receipt scanning vs manual data entry

  • Shoeboxed and Wave have automatic receipt scanning, so there is no manual data entry for bookkeeping tasks.

  • Data extraction from scanned paper receipts ensures accurate financial records.

2. Supported file formats and upload options

  • Shoeboxed supports PDF, JPEG, and PNG and has multiple upload options, including mobile app upload, email upload, and pre-paid Magic Envelopes.

  • Wave’s receipt scanning feature supports multiple file formats, and users can upload receipts from their computer, mobile device, or email account.

  • Shoeboxed integrates with popular accounting software, such as QuickBooks, Xero, and Wave, so you can manage receipts and track business expenses.

  • Wave’s accounting software has core accounting features like bank reconciliation and income/expense reports and integrates with other financial management tools such as Shoeboxed.

4. Expense reporting and analytics

  • Shoeboxed has tools to create expense reports and analytics to track and manage business expenses.

  • Wave’s expense tracking allows you to track and categorize expenses and generate expense reports for tax time.

5. Ease of use and mobile app

  • Shoeboxed and Wave have user-friendly interfaces and mobile apps to manage receipts and track business expenses.

6. Customer support and resources

  • Shoeboxed and Wave have customer support and online resources, including tutorials and FAQs, to help you get the most out of your receipt scanning.

7. Data security and encryption

  • Shoeboxed and Wave have data security and encryption, so your financial records are stored safely and accessible anywhere.

8. Tax compliance and audit-ready reports

  • Both have tax compliance and audit-ready reports so you can prepare for tax time and have accurate financial records.

Here’s a table comparing the differences between Shoeboxed and Wave:




Receipt scanning

Mobile app, email forwarding, mail-in service

Mobile app

Data extraction

Automatic extraction and categorization

Automatic extraction

Document management

Manages receipts, business cards, invoices

Primarily focuses on receipts

Mileage tracking


Not available

Integration with accounting software

Integrates with QuickBooks, Xero, and Wave

Built-in accounting system, limited third-party integration

Customer support

Known for excellent support, responsive

Primarily email support


Starts at $18/month

Core services free; charges for payments and payroll

Specialized features

Mail-in service for physical receipts

No mail-in service


Comprehensive receipt management

Accounting features

Shoeboxed vs Wave pros and cons

Now, let's examine the pros and cons of each.



  • Receipt scanner app with fast receipt digitization and organization.

  • Integrates with major accounting software like QuickBooks, Xero, and Wave.

  • Mail-in service for physical receipts.

  • User-friendly interface with excellent customer support.

  • You can categorize scanned receipts using custom categories.

  • Convenient for managing expenses and generating expense reports


  • Mileage tracker is not automatic, making separating business and personal miles easier.



  • Complete accounting solution with invoicing, payments, and payroll.

  • Free core accounting and invoicing.

  • User-friendly and for small businesses and freelancers.

  • Integrates with other business tools and services.

  • Has bank reconciliation features to enhance financial management.


  • Paid add-ons for payment processing and payroll.

  • Limited to small businesses; may not scale for larger companies.

  • Customer support is email only with limited phone support.

Shoeboxed vs. Wave pricing


Shoeboxed has multiple pricing plans, including a free version that allows unlimited receipt scanning and expense tracking.

  • Startup: $18/month

  • Professional: $36/month

  • Business: $54/month


Wave’s accounting software is free; premium features are paid.

  • Starter: Free

  • Pro: $16/month

Shoeboxed vs Wave: Which is better?

Shoeboxed has some advantages over Wave regarding receipts and expenses, especially for businesses that need robust receipt management and organization.

Here are some reasons why Shoeboxed might be better than Wave for your use case:

1. Multiple methods for receipt digitization

  • Shoeboxed: You can capture receipts in multiple ways: scan them with your mobile device, forward them via email, or use the mail-in service to send physical receipts for digitization.

  • Wave: Wave has receipt scanning via mobile app but no mail-in service, so you're limited if you have a large volume of physical receipts.

2. Data extraction

  • Shoeboxed automatically extracts and categorizes vital information from receipts, such as vendor name, date, amount, and payment method, reducing manual data entry and errors.

  • Wave: It also extracts information from receipts, but users may find Shoeboxed’s categorization and accuracy more advanced and reliable.

3. Document organization

  • Shoeboxed manages receipts and organizes other essential documents, such as business cards and invoices. This feature is excellent for businesses that must keep multiple documents in order.

  • Wave: Only manages receipts and needs the broader document management features of Shoeboxed.

4. Mileage tracking

  • Shoeboxed: Has mileage tracking for users who need to log business travel for reimbursements or tax purposes, a feature not available in Wave.

  • Wave: It does not have mileage tracking, which can be a big drawback for businesses that need this.

5. Mail-in service

  • Shoeboxed: The mail-in service allows users to send physical receipts to Shoeboxed for scanning and digitization. This service is excellent for businesses with large volumes of paper receipts or those without scanning each receipt manually.

  • Wave does not have a mail-in service, so users must manually scan or upload receipts via the mobile app.

6. Accounting software integration

  • Shoeboxed integrates with major accounting software like QuickBooks, Xero, and Wave. All digitized receipts and expenses can be synced with your existing accounting system.

  • Wave: Wave has its accounting system but does not integrate with other third-party accounting software.

7. Customer support

  • Shoeboxed is known for its excellent customer support. It responds quickly and helps, which is a big plus for businesses that need quick solutions to issues or guidance on using the platform.

  • Wave: Only offers support via email, which may not be as responsive or comprehensive as Shoeboxed’s support.

Frequently asked questions

Is Shoeboxed more expensive than Wave?

Shoeboxed offers various pricing plans starting at $18/month, which may be higher than Wave’s free core services.

However, the specialized features and convenience of Shoeboxed can be worth the cost for businesses that need robust receipt management.

Wave has free accounting and invoicing but charges for additional features like payments and payroll.

Can Shoeboxed help with tax preparation?

Yes, Shoeboxed can help with tax preparation by organizing and digitizing all receipts and expenses so you can track deductible expenses and prepare accurate tax reports.

Wave also has accounting features that can help with tax preparation, but Shoeboxed’s focus on receipt management can provide a more streamlined process for processing financial documents.

In conclusion

Both Shoeboxed and Wave are beneficial, but Shoeboxed stands out in many areas, especially for businesses that need advanced receipt and document management features.

Its superior receipt digitization, comprehensive data extraction, mileage tracking, mail-in service, and seamless integration with other accounting software make it an excellent tool for managing receipts and expenses.

For businesses that prioritize these features, Shoeboxed is the better choice over Wave. Also, remember that Shoeboxed integrates with Wave so you can have both!

Caryl Ramsey has years of experience assisting in bookkeeping, taxes, and customer service. She uses various accounting software for setting up client information, reconciling accounts, coding expenses, running financial reports, and preparing tax returns. She is also experienced in setting up corporations with the State Corporation Commission and the IRS.

About Shoeboxed!

Shoeboxed is a receipt scanning service with receipt management software that supports multiple receipt capture methods: send, scan, upload, forward, and more!

You can stuff your receipts into one of our Magic Envelopes (prepaid postage within the US). Use our receipt tracker + receipt scanner app (iPhone, iPad, and Android) to snap a picture while on the go—auto-import receipts from Gmail. Or forward a receipt to your designated Shoeboxed email address.

Turn your receipts into data and deductibles with our expense reports, including IRS-accepted receipt images.

Join over 1 million businesses scanning & organizing receipts, creating expense reports, and more—with Shoeboxed.

Try Shoeboxed today!