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How To Resolve QuickBooks Error PS038, New Guide Is Here

If you’re using QuickBooks to handle your business finances and payroll, you know how valuable it is for keeping things organized. But sometimes, even the best software can run into problems that throw a wrench in your operations. One such headache is QuickBooks Error PS038. This pesky payroll error tends to pop up when you’re updating or sending paychecks, and it can really mess with your workflow.

Error PS038 can be a real pain, leading to delays in payroll processing and leaving your employees frustrated. But don’t worry—help is here. In this guide, we’ll walk you through what causes QuickBooks payroll error PS038 and how it can impact your business. More importantly, we’ll give you clear, easy-to-follow steps to fix the issue so you can get back to business as usual.

Whether you’ve been using QuickBooks for years or you’re just getting started, our practical tips will help you resolve this error quickly and keep your payroll running smoothly. Let’s dive in and tackle QuickBooks update error PS038 together!

What is QuickBooks Error PS038? Why It Happens?

Learn what exactly is QuickBooks Error PS038, and why does it occur during payroll updates?

QuickBooks error PS038 prevents the users from downloading the payroll updates or carrying out the payroll operations.

When the users attempt to do the same, they get an error message that usually looks like this:

how to fix quickbooks error ps038

This usually happens because of reasons like outdated QuickBooks Desktop, payroll stuck as online to send, etc. In this article, we will explore various reasons why you see payroll update error PS038 in QuickBooks Desktop and learn how to resolve them.

Understanding Why Payroll Error PS038 Occurs

Let us discover the common causes behind error code PS038 in QuickBooks Desktop and how they can affect your payroll

  1. Stuck Paychecks: Sometimes, paychecks in QuickBooks get stuck as Online to Send. This is one of the major reasons why you get a payroll update error PS038.
  2. Outdated QuickBooks: If your QuickBooks is outdated or hasn’t been updated for long, you can face several errors and issues. This is why you must keep the software up to date.
  3. Damaged Company File: PS038 is likely to arise if your company file has issues. Therefore, check its integrity.
  4. Incorrect Internet or Firewall Settings: Payroll update requires an internet connection and can end up with errors if the internet is interrupted. However, check the internet and firewall settings to ensure you can download payroll updates smoothly.
  5. Inactive Payroll Subscription: You can only update the tax table if you have an active payroll subscription. However, if your payroll subscription has expired, you might see an error when downloading the tax table updates.

In this section, we will learn how to fix the QuickBooks error PS038 while sending paychecks or updating payroll.

Follow the instructions given below in the order they are written. If you run into an issue or have a query, you can call us anytime.

1. Backup Company File

Let us begin by creating a backup of your company file. This will prevent you from losing company data.

create a local backup in qb to fix pso38 error

Once you have created the backup, proceed to the next step.

2. Update QuickBooks Desktop

It is important to update your QuickBooks Desktop to the most recent release. This is to install the latest components, bug fixes, and software enhancements on your computer.

When you do so, make sure to check the box for reset updates.

3. Check Your Payroll Subscription

We need to make sure that your payroll subscription is active.

Here is how you can find the payroll subscription.

  • Log in to the QB company file as Primary Admin or Payroll Admin. 
  • Go to Employees, followed by Payroll Center
go to employees, followed by payroll center to check your payroll subscription
  • Now, you will be able to see payroll service under Subscription Statuses in the Payroll tab.
check quickbooks payroll service under subscription statuses

If the payroll service has expired, you will need to reactivate it.

4. Re-Enter Service Key

If your payroll service key hasn’t expired, and yet it shows inactive, you can re-enter the payroll service key. This will prompt QuickBooks to re-initiate the connection and reactivate the payroll subscription.

click on employees and choose manage service keyin qb
  • Tap on Employees and choose My Payroll Service.
  • Select Manage Service Key.
  • Locate the payroll service key and choose it.
  • Tap on Remove and choose Add.
  • Type in the active payroll service key.
  • Now, click on Finish and OK.

Now, start QuickBooks Desktop and run the payroll operations again. If you see the QuickBooks Error PS038, continue to the next step.

5. Send Payroll Data or Usage Data

Follow the instructions given below to send payroll or usage data. 

  • Tap on Employees and choose My Payroll Service
  • Now tap on Send Usage Data. However, if you can’t find this option, open the Employees menu and choose Send Payroll Data.
  • Now, when the Send/Receive Payroll Data window opens, choose Send All.
  • If asked to, provide the payroll service.

If you were able to send the payroll or usage data, try downloading payroll updates again. If you still encounter QuickBooks error PS038, proceed to the next step.

However, if you were unable to send payroll or usage data, move on to the next QuickBooks PS038 solution.

6. Find Stuck Paychecks

Payroll errors like PS038 can be due to stuck paychecks in QuickBooks Desktop. Let us check if there are any stuck paychecks.

  • Tap on Edit and choose Find.
click on edit and choose find to stuck paychecks
  • Click on the Advanced tab.
click on Advanced tab to find stuck paychecks
  • Now, go to the Choose Filter section. 
  • Tap on the Filter list and choose Detail Level
tap on the filter list and choose detail level
  • Click on Summary Only.
  • Tap on the Filter list and scroll down to the Online Status.
  • Choose Online to Send, followed by Find.
  • Check which paychecks are stuck and haven’t been sent to Intuit.
check which paychecks are stuck and haven’t been sent to Intuit

Note down the number of matches there are in total.

7. Verify and Rebuild Company Data to Fix QuickBooks error PS038

Verify and Rebuild utility allows you to search for the issues in the company file and fix them.

You do this in three steps.

(a) Verify Company Data

verify company data

First, we will verify company data to search for issues.

  • Open QuickBooks Desktop.
  • Tap on Window and choose Close All.
  • Click on the File menu and choose Utilities.
  • Choose to Verify Data

There are two scenarios you can see. If QuickBooks detects no problems with your company file, the data is clean, and you can proceed to the next solution right away—you don’t have to rebuild the data.

However, if QuickBooks detects issues with your company file or says, “Your data has lost integrity”, you will need to rebuild the data. 

(b) Rebuild Company Data

rebuild company data

Now, let us proceed to rebuilding the company file to resolve the issues found earlier.

  • Click on the File menu and choose Utilities.
  • Choose to Verify Data
  • You will need to create a backup before you can rebuild the company file.
  • Tap on OK when QuickBooks asks you to create a backup.
  • Choose where you will be saving the backup and tap on OK.
choose where you will be saving the backup and tap on ok
  • Choose Save.
  • Finally, you will see the message stating the rebuild has been completed.
  • Tap on OK

(c) Verify Data Again

Finally, we will need to verify the company data again to find additional damages that may be remaining.

  • Click on the File menu and choose Utilities.
  • Choose to Verify Data
  • If you find more damage, go ahead and fix them manually. You can do so by searching the error message you see on the screen on the internet and following the instructions to resolve them. Alternatively, you can connect to a QuickBooks advisor.
  • Moreover, you can open QuickBooks Tool Hub and go to the Program Problems tab. Select the QBWIN.log folder button to open the folder and note down the issues you see. Then, fix them using the instructions available for the error or issue on the internet.
find program problems tab in qb hub 
  • If you can’t resolve the error, you can restore a company backup instead. To do so, open the File menu and choose Open or Restore Company.

Now, open QuickBooks Desktop company and continue the payroll operations. Check if you find the QuickBooks payroll error while doing so.

8. Toggle All the Stuck Paychecks

Stuck paychecks might be preventing you from updating your payroll.

toggle all the stuck paychecks to fix pso38 issue

Earlier in a step, when we verified the company data, we found stuck paychecks. We will toggle these stuck paychecks to resolve the payroll update error.

  • Open the oldest of the stuck paychecks you found earlier.
  • Tap on Paycheck Detail.
  • Go to the Review Paycheck window.
  • In the Earnings section, find the last earnings item in the list. Add the same earnings item again. 

For instance, if you find that the last item in the list is Hourly Rate, add an earnings item named Hourly Rate again to the list.

  • When you see the Net Pay Locked message, choose No.
  • Check and verify that there are no changes to the tax amounts and net pay. Tap on OK.
  • Click on Yes if a Past Transaction message appears.
  • Now, tap on Save & Close. This will close the paycheck.
  • If you see a Recording Transaction warning message, choose Yes.
  • Now, open the same paycheck again and click on Paycheck Details.
  • Go ahead and delete the earnings item you recently added.
  • Check and verify that there are no changes to the tax amounts and net pay. Tap on OK.

Do the same for all the stuck paychecks present in your company file. Once you are done, re-attempt to download the payroll update.

9. Check Internet Connection

You should download payroll updates with an unstable or slow network connection; it will only run into errors. Therefore, check your internet connection before you run the payroll updates.

Moreover, also check the antivirus and firewall settings.

If Nothing Works, Connect to an Expert

These are all the tips and best practices to prevent QuickBooks Error PS038 from occurring again. Carry out the troubleshooting methods given in this article carefully, and if you have a payroll error queries, you can reach out to us.

However, if the payroll error PS038 persists, even after carrying out these solutions, you should get assistance from a A2AutoCare expert. Dial +1(800) 780-3064 and connect to them now!

  1. Why are my paychecks stuck as Online to Send?

    Online to Send means the paychecks are stuck and weren’t delivered to Intuit. To resolve that, you should toggle the stuck paychecks.

  2. How to Resolve QuickBooks error PS038?

    To resolve QuickBooks error PS038, here’s what you should do:
    a. Update your QuickBooks Desktop
    b. Send payroll or usage data
    c. Check and refresh the payroll subscription
    d. Find and toggle the stuck paychecks
    e. Verify and rebuild company data.

  3. How do you fix a payroll error on QuickBooks?

    To solve the payroll errors in QuickBooks, you should begin by updating the QB software and payroll. Now, try sending the payroll or usage data, and if you can, run the payroll operations again. Moreover, check your payroll subscription.

  4. How to Rectify ps032 in QuickBooks desktop?

    Here is how you can resolve PS032 in QuickBooks Desktop:
    a. Update your QuickBooks Desktop to the latest release available. 
    b. Now, check the payroll subscription and make sure it is active
    c. Try resetting the QuickBooks update by going to the Help menu and choosing Update QuickBooks followed by Update Now.

  5. How do I correct a payroll tax overpayment in QuickBooks?

    What you can do is apply the overpayment to the next quarter or request a refund. Here is how:
    a. Tap on Taxes and choose Payroll tax.
    b. Go to Payments.
    c. Find the Overpaid tax.
    d. Choose Resolve.
    e. Now select the options available to resolve the payroll overpayment in QB.

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