Toronto-based Wave Accounting is reshaping its online network of small business customers and accounting professionals to more closely resemble a social network.
The company offers free small business accounting software online. NowWave, which has raised about$19-million in venture capital fundingover the past year and a half, has added new tools to Wave Pro Network,its online community for small business accountants and bookkeepers.
The new added features include a searchable directory of accountants,bookkeepers, consultants and tax experts so Pro Network users can finda professional in their region when needed. Professionals who sign upto become ‘pros’ in the network get a profile page including theirphoto, logo, and a description of their services, all of which can beintegrated with their existing social media accounts.
Also new is a forum where users and experts can post questions andanswers, with the top contributions promoted actively within thenetwork and via email and social media.
Profiles? Photos? Social media integration? Sounds pretty social.
Like the rest of Wave’s services, membership in the Pro Network is freefor professionals who list their profiles, as well as for smallbusiness owners who use the network to hire accountants or ask aquestion.
Even though Wave now has customers in 200 countries, none of them payto use its online accounting software. So how does Wave make money,aside from the $19 million it’s alreadyraised from VCs?
So far, through advertisements placed on its siteby the likes of RBC,Dell, HP, Microsoft, Yahoo, GoDaddy, Symantec and American Express.Wave doesn’t just make money from the ads posted on its site. It alsogenerates revenue whenever Wave users sign up for offers posted on itssite by those advertisers.
“When you’re logged into your Wave account, you’ll see special dealsfrom a variety of advertisers,” the Wave folks state on their site. “Ifyou choose to take advantage of any of these opportunities, Wave getspaid by the supplier. Or to put it another way, you save money, we getpaid, and Wave Accounting stays free.”