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Resolve QuickBooks Error PS038 – Can’t Update Payroll

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Want to run bug-free payroll and paycheck processes in QuickBooks Desktop? This blog has a whole bag of tricks to resolve QuickBooks Error PS038 in an instant.

What is QuickBooks Error PS038?

QB error PS038 occurs due to Payroll subscription issues. It also happens when there’s a problem with downloading updates. This payroll error can also come from incorrect tax table information. Or from a problem with the user’s payroll service key. Additionally, issues with the billing or subscription status may trigger error PS038. You will receive an error message stating:

QuickBooks Error message PS038

“You’ve retrieved the latest payroll update and validated your Payroll subscription. We strongly recommend that you go online again before mm/dd/yyyy. [PS038]” 

This error message indicates that the primary reason is an inactive payroll subscription. Verifying your payroll subscription would help resolve the error PS038. Don’t worry; this comprehensive guide delves into the depths of solutions.

Why did I end up with a PS038 error while running payroll? Get in touch with our experts and get the answers to all such queries on QuickBooks payroll errors. Dial our Asquare Cloud Hosting Helpline Number +1.855.738.0359. Our team is available 24X7 for your assistance if your Intuit paycheck not working in Pro, Premier & Enterprise.

What Causes of QuickBooks Error Code PS038.

The correct way to resolve the error is first to understand its primary causes, which is essential for effective troubleshooting. Here, we have mentioned some significant reasons that promote the Intuit QuickBooks error code PS038 while updating software.

  1. While sending Paychecks online: The payroll error code PS038 in QuickBooks appears when you try to send paychecks via online mode, but the paycheck gets stuck as “Online to send“.
  2. The PS038 error occurs due to corrupted/damaged payroll data in the QuickBooks company file.
  3. While Recovering the latest payroll update: The issue may occur while you try to recover the latest QB payroll updates and validate your payroll subscription.
  4. This error occurs when a backup copy of a company file is restored with outdated direct deposit payrolls.
  5. Incorrect internet connection settings.
  6. A misconfigured firewall setting blocks payroll updates in QuickBooks Desktop.
  7. You are using an outdated QuickBooks version

Key Points Before Resolving Payroll Error PS038 In QB

We understand that your time and work are being hampered due to the QuickBooks desktop error PS038. Hence, before you proceed, there are certain points of great importance that you must take into consideration to fix the ps038 QuickBooks efficiently:

  1. You must update the QuickBooks software as per the latest available version.
  2. Before you proceed with the troubleshooting, create a backup of your company file and payroll data.
  3. Install the latest updates of the payroll tax table in your QuickBooks Desktop application.

Follow the next part of the article to learn the steps to troubleshoot PS038 in QuickBooks desktop. Remember, the steps are a bit technical and are required to be followed in order, so make sure to perform them carefully. If you require any assistance, then connect with our experts anytime.

How To Resolve QuickBooks Payroll Error Code PS038 

The step to resolve the QuickBooks Payroll Error PS038 starts with sending usage data. The step takes some time to add paychecks to the Items to Send area. Then, you need to get the payroll updates. After that, when the update is completed, you need to identify the stuck QuickBooks payroll checks and then go for the Verify and Rebuild data process. Lastly, you need to toggle the stuck paychecks to complete the troubleshooting process.

Now, check the detailed Steps below if QuickBooks payroll update not working.

1: Resend Payroll Data/Usage Data after Updating QB

Depending on the kind of payroll service that you have, you can follow either of the below steps:

  • Firstly, click on My Payroll Service under the Employees menu. Then, select the Send Usage Data option. 
  • Alternatively, you may also select the Send Payroll Data option from the Employees menu.
click on My Payroll Service under the Employees menu
  • Now, choose to Send All in the Send/Receive Payroll Data window, and if asked for, enter the service pin..

If the send is successful, then try to get payroll updates again. However, if you still see the error, then proceed to the next step. 

If the send is unsuccessful, then you can connect with our experts for further assistance.

2: Find and check the “Online To Send” Paychecks from the Record

With the steps mentioned below, you will get all the Inuit paychecks that are stuck. You need not edit or delete the paychecks if they are stuck as ‘online to send.’ You just have to note down the number of matches in the bottom right corner of the Find window. Further, to keep track, make sure to note down the oldest and newest stuck paychecks.

Find Paycheck stuck as “Online to Send" by going on find option under edit menu.
  • Firstly, select Edit> Find> Advanced tab.
  • From the Choose Filter menu, search for Filter list and select Detail Level
  • Now, choose the Summary only option.
  • Again, under the Choose Filter menu, look for the Filter list and select the Online Status option.
  • From the drop-down menu, click on the Online to Send option.
  • Afterward, select Find, and you’ll see paychecks that weren’t sent to Intuit. Take note of the “Number of matches” on the Find window.
  • Lastly, you need to Run a verify data utility from the Verify and Rebuild data tool. It will display all the stuck paychecks.
  • For that, navigate to Windows and choose Close All.
  • Now, click on File and then on Utilities.
  • Choose Verify Data.

3: Run the Verify and Rebuild Data Tool

Firstly, you need to close the Find window and then run the Verify Data tool. It allows you to see the stuck paychecks waiting to be sent. Let’s first learn how to run the Verify Data tool.

Run Verify and Rebuild Data tool by clicking Rebuild Now.
  • Click on Rebuild Now. Once the rebuild process is completed, it will show the status of stuck Inuit paychecks. 
  • Now try to download your payroll updates again; if you can not complete the update process and still see the error, proceed to the next step.

4: If an Error occurs even after Rebuild, Toggle the Stuck Paychecks

These are the same paychecks found in the “Identify the Stuck Paychecks” troubleshooting section. Let’s learn how to toggle these paychecks in this section.

  • First, open the oldest stuck paycheck and select the Paycheck Detail button.
  • In the Review Paycheck window, under Earnings, consider adding the same earnings item as the last earnings item in the list. For instance, suppose the last item in the list is Hourly Rate; you must add another earnings item named Hourly Rate to the list.
  • A Net Pay Locked message will appear on the screen. Click NO to close the message.
  • Ensure that the tax amounts and net pay are unchanged and click OK when you are done.
  • Select Yes if you receive a Past Transaction message.
  • Click on Save followed by Close to close the paycheck.
  • Select Yes when the Recording Transaction warning message appears on the screen.
  • Open the paycheck again, select the Paycheck Details button, and then delete the earnings items you recently added in the Earnings section.
  • Again, ensure that no changes are made to the tax amounts and Net Pay. Then, click OK.
  • Lastly, repeat the same steps for all the paychecks that have been stuck.

The next step is to update QuickBooks to the latest release and then try downloading the tax table update again to check whether the QuickBooks Error PS038 has been resolved. We have given the step-by-step instructions to download the latest tax table:

  • Move to the Employees menu and select Get Payroll Updates.

In order to know the tax table version:

  1. Check the number which is next to ‘You are using tax table version.’
  2. See the latest payroll news and updates in order to identify if it’s the correct version.
  3. Select Payroll Update info to find more details on the tax table version.

What if you don’t get the latest tax table?

Check for Payroll Updates after switching the company file

In order to get the latest tax table:

  1. Select Download Entire Update and then select the Update option. When the download finishes, an information window appears on the screen.

If you have another company to do payroll in, open that file and look for the latest payroll updates. When found, open the original file and try to get the Payroll Update again. If the update completes, it will allow you to create and send payroll. You must know that this won’t remove the PS038 error message in the original company file. If this doesn’t help you get past the payroll error PS038, move to the next solution.

5: Restore a Backup of the Company File

Try to restore a different backup of the company file, preferably one created before the error first appeared, if you can. Let’s learn how to restore a company file backup.

Note: If you have kept your backup company file on an external device like a USB or a hosting service like Box, consider moving it to your local hard drive first. Then, follow the steps below.

  1. Open QuickBooks, move to the File menu and select Open or Restore Company.
  2. Select Restore a backup copy and then choose Next.
  3. Select Local Backup and then hit Next again.
  4. Consider browsing the computer for the backup company file. It looks like this: [Your company name].qbb.
  5. Choose a folder to save the restored company file and then select Open.

Note: If you open the backup in the same folder where the existing company file lies, you may end up overwriting the data. In order to avoid that, you can either rename the existing company file or the backup so the names are different from each other, or you can save the backup in a separate folder.

  1. Lastly, select Save when you are ready. In case you see any messages about overwriting the data, choose the option that best suits your needs. Now, you have a completely new company file you can work from.

Try downloading the payroll updates to check if the error has been eliminated. If not, consider moving to the next troubleshooting solution.

6: Check the Payroll Service Subscription

An inactive payroll subscription is one of the primary reasons for QuickBooks error PS038. Therefore, let’s check the status of the payroll subscription using the steps below:

  1. Close all the company files and then restart the system.
  2. Open QuickBooks, go to Employees and select My Payroll Service >Manage Service Key.
  3. If the Service Name and Status are correct, it will show as Active.
  4. Select Edit to verify the service key number. If it is incorrect, enter the correct service key.
  5. Hit Next, uncheck the Open Payroll Setup box, then hit Finish.

It helps download the entire payroll update. But, if you still can’t, move to the next troubleshooting solution.

7: Register & Update the QuickBooks Desktop

Updating QuickBooks Desktop can help you resolve many QuickBooks errors. Therefore, in this specific section, we will first learn how to register and update the software. Follow the instructions below:

1. Press the F2 key to open the Product Information window.

2. Besides the license number, check if the status shows Activated.

Note: If it doesn’t show Activated, consider registering the QuickBooks Desktop following the steps below.

  1. Firstly, open QuickBooks and select Activate QuickBooks Desktop from the Help menu.
  2. Secondly, follow the steps on the screen to verify the info.

After registering QuickBooks Desktop, the next step is to update it to the latest release. Then, try downloading the latest payroll tax table update. If you still see the error, proceed to the next troubleshooting solution below.

8: Run Quick Fix My Program from the QuickBooks Tool Hub

The Quick Fix shuts down any open background processes that QuickBooks uses. It runs a quick repair on the program to fix the issue. However, you first need QuickBooks Tool Hub to run the Quick Fix My Program tool. Let’s first download and install the Tool Hub and then consider running the Quick Fix My Program by following the steps below:

  1. Open the QuickBooks Tool Hub and select Program Problems > Quick Fix My Program.
  2. Open QuickBooks Desktop and then access the data file.

Lastly, try to download the latest tax table to check if the QuickBooks error PS038 has been fixed. Otherwise, move to the next solution below.

9: Configure the Firewall Setting That Blocks Payroll Updates

Incorrect port numbers or configuration settings in the firewall can trigger QuickBooks error PS038. See this article to check and reconfigure the firewall settings for QuickBooks Desktop.

10: Check the Internet Connection Settings

Incorrect Internet connection settings may not allow you to download the payroll updates. Therefore, ensure that the internet connection settings are appropriate. Follow the instructions below for the same.

  1. Open QuickBooks and click Internet Connection Setup.
  2. Tap  “Use my computer’s Internet connection settings to establish a connection when this application accesses the Internet” and then hit Next.
  3. Select Advanced Connection Settings followed by Restore Advanced Settings under the Advanced tab.
  4. Lastly, select OK and then Done.

How Does Payroll Update Error Affect Business Accounting?

No doubt, QuickBooks payroll Error PS038 restricts you from updating the payroll. Otherwise, it will affect other payroll activities like payroll tax calculation and paycheck creation in some of the different ways as listed below:

  1. It Degraded the Windows performance: The moment you end up with Error PS038 while updating payroll, it crashes your active window. Along with that, your processing speed is reduced, and task completion time is enhanced.
  2. Payroll Update Process is Hindered: It hinders your payroll update process, and thus you won’t be able to proceed with the update.
  3. Error while sending a paycheck: Sometimes, the QuickBooks error PS038 leads to data damage, due to which you need to check your records while handling paychecks.

These methods listed above should help you fix QuickBooks error PS038, unable to update payroll. However, PS038 is a tricky situation, and there are chances that you might face difficulty in resolving it. We recommend that you seek assistance from a technical expert who has sound knowledge of QuickBooks problems. Contact us at +1.855.738.0359 and connect with our QB ProAdvisors to resolve the QuickBooks errors in the quickest way!

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is PS038 QuickBooks payroll update unable to send usage data?

PS038 is a QuickBooks payroll update error that prevents you from downloading tax table updates due to problems in QuickBooks or company files. The PS038 error hinders company operations, paycheck calculations, and deposits.

2. Why does QuickBooks payroll won’t update error PS038 occur?

QuickBooks payroll fails to update owing to the error code ps038 in QuickBooks. This occurs due to reasons like damaged company files, outdated QuickBooks Desktop, invalid QuickBooks subscription, etc. If the issue persists after updating QuickBooks Desktop, follow the troubleshooting steps listed in the blog.

3. How can I fix payroll update error ps038?

To fix QuickBooks payroll update error PS038. The steps include updating Windows and QB Desktop and attempting to send usage or payroll data after that. If the problem persists, run the verify data utility to identify stuck checks and then rebuild the data. For detailed steps to resolve the error code PS038 in QuickBooks, go through our comprehensive blog.

4. Why is my QuickBooks unable to send payroll updates after the rebuild?

You can verify and rebuild the data utility to fix the PS038 error in QuickBooks Desktop. However, sometimes the rebuild data operation might be unable to resolve the stuck paychecks. It might occur due to a pending accountant copy or because QuickBooks has performed condensed data on the same data as the stuck paychecks In that case, consider canceling or toggling stuck paychecks in QuickBooks.

5. How To Run Payroll In QuickBooks?

To run payroll in QuickBooks, set up payroll details, enter employee information, create paychecks, review and approve payroll, print checks or enable direct deposit, pay taxes, generate reports, and file tax forms at year-end. Backup data regularly and consult a professional for any uncertainties.

6. How do you cancel a payroll in QuickBooks if it is stuck?

To cancel a payroll in QuickBooks, go to the Payroll Center, select the payroll you want to cancel, click “Edit,” and choose “Cancel Payroll.” Confirm your decision and follow any additional prompts. Keep in mind that canceled payrolls cannot be reversed, so review before proceeding.

Top Hints How To Fix QuickBooks Error PS038 While Updating Paychecks
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Top Hints How To Fix QuickBooks Error PS038 While Updating Paychecks
Can't run Payroll activities due to QuickBooks Error PS038 after updating paychecks? Follow to correctly setup payroll & easily edit, delete, or cancel paycheck records, if verify data is stuck or un-processed in Desktop/Online.
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