Automated bookkeeping with auto-updates

Wave automatically categorizes new transactions and merges duplicate transactions to keep your books accurate. Any auto-updates that Wave makes are highlighted on the Transactions page so that you can be in control of your books. This article walks you through how Wave automates your bookkeeping, and how to review and confirm the auto-updates to your transactions or make the required changes.

How are transactions automatically categorized?

What transactions are automatically merged?

How to identify transactions that are auto-updated

How to view only the auto-updated transactions

How to review auto-updates to your transactions

Frequently asked questions

How are transactions automatically categorized?

Wave uses a transaction’s description field and your past activity to automatically categorize transactions imported with a bank connection or statement upload. Wave categorizes as many expense transactions as possible.

If a transaction was incorrectly categorized or left uncategorized, you can change the category or manually categorize it.

Learn how to manually categorize or recategorize transactions.

What transactions are automatically merged?

Wave automatically detects and merges duplicates that occur when a bill or invoice is manually marked as paid, and a transaction with the same amount is imported from your bank connection or statement upload. Only transactions in the same account are automerged.

There are some types of duplicate transactions that cannot be automatically merged. Learn more in How to resolve duplicate transactions.

If an imported transaction has multiple potential matches with invoice or bill transactions, Wave will not automerge it. This prevents incorrect merges. However, you can manually merge transactions that were not automerged, or unmerge transactions that were incorrectly merged.

Learn more about how to manually merge duplicate transactions or unmerge transactions that were incorrectly merged in How to manually merge or unmerge transactions.

How to identify transactions that are auto-updated

To see if there are any auto-updates to your transactions, go to Accounting > Transactions, and click Auto-updates at the top of the page. The dropdown shows if transactions were automatically categorized or merged. Wave updates this feed once a week.

Wave also highlights transactions that were auto-updated on the Transactions page so that you can easily identify them. The auto-updates Wave made are highlighted on a transaction as described below:

  • A small purple dot to the left of the Category field means Wave automatically categorized the transaction.
  • A transaction row highlighted in purple means Wave automatically merged duplicate transactions into one.
  • A transaction can be highlighted in purple and have a purple dot, which means the transaction has been automatically categorized and merged.
  • There is an auto-updates icon to the right of transactions that are automatically merged, categorized, or both, in place of the checkmark button that marks a transaction as reviewed. Use this icon to review the accuracy of the transaction.

How to view only the auto-updated transactions

  1. In Accounting > Transactions, click on Filter at the top right of the page.
  2. Click the Wave auto-updates dropdown.
  3. Select the transactions you want to view by clicking the checkbox next to Categorizations or Merges, or select both to see all auto-updated transactions.

The Wave auto-updates filter replaces the Automerge filter.

How to review auto-updates to your transactions

When you identify a transaction that has been automatically categorized or merged, confirm the transaction is accurate, or make necessary corrections.

  1. In Accounting > Transactions scroll to the transaction you want to review.
  2. Click on the auto-updates icon to the right of the transaction.

If a transaction has been automatically categorized and merged, you can review the categorization and the merge separately. You can choose which you would like to review first;

  • Click Review categorization to confirm or change the category.
  • Click Review merge to confirm the merge or unmerge.

    If the transaction hasn’t also been automatically categorized, you’ll see Review Automerge instead of Review merge.

When reviewing the categorization:

Learn about different types of categories in Understanding your chart of accounts.

  • Click Confirm category if the category is correct.
  • Click Change category if the category is incorrect, then select a new category, and click Save.

Selecting either of these options removes the purple dot on the transaction. If there are other unreviewed transactions that were categorized to the same category, you will see a View other transactions option to view those transactions.

When reviewing the merge:

  • Select Confirm merge if the merge is correct.
  • Click Unmerge if the merge is incorrect.

Selecting either of these options removes the purple highlight on the transaction.

Once you’ve verified the transaction is accurate, click the checkmark button to the right of the transaction to mark it as reviewed.

Frequently asked questions

Can the auto-updates be turned off?

No, auto-updates to your transactions cannot be turned off. However, if a transaction is incorrectly categorized you can change it. You can also unmerge transactions that were incorrectly merged. Wave learns from your choices to improve your experience with automated bookkeeping in the future.

What is an expense transaction?

Expense transactions appear on your bank statement as withdrawals.

Do transactions get automatically categorized as soon as they are imported?

Auto-updates are scheduled to run once a day. This means that depending on when transactions are imported, they may not get categorized immediately.

Why aren’t all my transactions automatically categorized?

Wave may not categorize all expense transactions. Income transactions (deposits on your bank statement) are not automatically categorized.

Why did Wave stop automatically categorizing some transactions?

Wave learns from your choices when automatically categorizing future transactions. If you manually assign different categories to transactions with matching descriptions, Wave leaves similar transactions uncategorized in the future.

Can Wave merge a lump sum payment transaction with manually recorded individual invoice or bill payment transactions?

No, Wave only automerges transactions when their amounts match.