Automated bookkeeping with auto-updates

This feature is available with a Pro Plan or Receipts subscription, or if you have a legacy business auto-importing transactions as of May 1, 2024.

Wave automatically categorizes your bank-imported expenses and merges certain duplicate transactions to keep your books accurate. Any auto-updates that Wave makes are highlighted on your Transactions page.

How are transactions automatically categorized?

What transactions are automatically merged?

Find transactions that are auto-updated

Frequently asked questions

How are transactions automatically categorized?

Wave uses a transaction’s description field and your past activity to automatically categorize expenses imported through a bank connection. Transactions imported through statement uploads are not automatically categorized.

If a transaction was incorrectly categorized or left uncategorized, you can change the category or manually categorize it. Learn how to categorize or recategorize transactions.

What transactions are automatically merged?

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

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

Some duplicate transactions cannot be automatically merged. Learn more in Resolve duplicate transactions imported from your bank.

Find transactions that are auto-updated

To see if there are any auto-updates to your transactions, log in to your account from a web browser at, then:

  1. On the left-side menu click Accounting > Transactions.
  2. Click Auto-updates at the top of the page. The dropdown shows if transactions were automatically categorized, merged, or were automatically created from scanned receipts.

Wave updates this feed once a week.

Wave also highlights transactions that were auto-updated on the Transactions page in the web version and the mobile app so that you can identify them. The auto-updates are highlighted on a transaction as described below:

  • In the mobile app, a purple dot means Wave automatically categorized and/or merged the transaction. Accounting transactions on mobile are included with Wave's Pro and Receipts Plans.
  • In the web browser, a purple dot means Wave automatically categorized the transaction. A transaction row highlighted in purple means Wave automatically merged duplicate transactions into one.

You can also use filters in the web version of Wave to view only the transactions that were auto-updated. Learn how to use filters in Filter and sort your transactions.

You can review the auto-updates made to your transactions to ensure they are accurate or make changes. Learn how to review the auto-updates to your transactions.

Frequently asked questions

Can the auto-updates be turned off?

If you subscribe to Wave's Pro Plan, Receipts subscription, or you are a Legacy business with a bank connected for transaction imports as of May 1, 2024, 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 or merged 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 or merged immediately.

Why are there duplicate transactions from receipts uploaded using Wave’s mobile receipts feature?

Because auto-updates run once a day, you may notice duplicate transactions when you upload a receipt, or when your bank connection imports the expense transaction that matches a receipt. Within 24 hours, auto-updates will detect the duplicates and merge them.

Why aren’t all my transactions automatically categorized?

There are a few reasons why you may have transactions that were not automatically categorized:

  • Auto-updates are not included in Wave’s Starter Plan.
  • Income transactions (deposits on your bank statement) and transactions imported through statement uploads 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.

What happens to the receipt attachment when the transactions are automerged?

The receipt image uploaded will still be attached to the transaction, and you will be able to view it by clicking the Receipt icon.