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How To Fix QuickBooks Error PS038 [Payroll Update Error]

QuickBooks error ps038

Facing payroll errors in QuickBooks is a common thing for its users. These errors come when the user updates the payroll or when the paychecks get stuck as “Online to send“ when they try to send it via online mode. One such error is QuickBooks Error PS038. The users generally get stuck with this error and are not able to process the payrolls. That is why solving this error ps038 in QuickBooks desktop is a compulsory need.

This blog will help you in that aspect; it will provide you with detailed solutions for the QuickBooks error ps038, so read the full blog.

QuickBooks Error PS038: Explained in Details

QuickBooks error ps038 is a technical error that appears on the screen when the user tries to send a paycheck online, and it gets stuck in the middle, saying Online to Send. Thus the user is unable to process the QB payroll to its employee and gets stuck with the error ps038 in the QuickBooks desktop. The error message for the QuickBooks error ps038 that the user gets on the screen says,

Error Message: 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]“

QuickBooks error ps038
QuickBooks error ps038

QuickBooks Error PS038: Reasons That Trigger it

As the error message says, the most apparent reason for the occurrence of QuickBooks error ps038 is an inactive payroll subscription. Because the message says, “QuickBooks payroll won’t update error PS038; validate payroll subscription.”

The other reasons for the error ps038 in QuickBooks desktop include:

  • Outdated QB application can lead to QB error ps038. 
  • Using an old approach to download the QuickBooks Payroll can trigger this ps038 error.
  • The error pops up when the paychecks get stuck as Online to Send while the user tries to send it via online mode.
  • The damaged company files are also an apparent reason for Error Code ps038.
  • An inactive payroll subscription is also a error message ps038.
  • An inactive bank account can also lead to this error ps038 in QuickBooks.
  • When you have not installed payroll updates, then also this QuickBooks error code ps038 can appear.

QuickBooks Error PS038: Signs and Effects on the System

Besides the immediate effects on the update process, QuickBooks payroll error ps038 additionally also has some negative effects on your system. These effects are described as

  • Crashed or Damaged Windows: As the error occurs, it crashes a live window and degrades or damages its performance.
  • Slower System Performance: The QuickBooks Payroll Won’t Update Error Ps038 lowers the processing speed and increases the timing of any task completion.
  • Interrupted Payroll Updates: When this error ps038 shows up, the payroll update method gets interrupted.
  • Not being able to Deal with Paychecks: The user has to examine various statistics to check for errors while dealing with paychecks because of data discrepancies issues.

QuickBooks Error PS038: Essential Factors to Consider Before Troubleshooting

There are some specific points that you need to take care of before moving forward with fixing the error code ps038 effectively.

First, Update the QuickBooks application to the latest version.

  • Open the QuickBooks application and then click on the Help section.
  • Then select the Update QB Desktop option.
  • Then, from the top right corner, you need to click on the Update Now button.
  • Lastly, click on the Get updates option and complete the update process.
Update QuickBooks Desktop
Update QuickBooks Desktop
  • After the updates get completed, close and re-open the QB application.

Try to Create a Backup of the Company File and Payroll Data.

Backup of the Company File and Payroll Data
Backup of the Company File and Payroll Data
  • And when the Create Backup Window pops up on the screen, select the Local Backup option.
  • Click on the Options button given there.
Create Backup Window
Create Backup Window
  • Then, when the Backup Options Window appears on the screen, then click on the Browse button.
Backup Options
Backup Options
  • Select a Location to store your Backup copy.
  • Once the location is selected, click on the OK button.

Install the latest updates of the payroll tax table.

Install the latest updates of the payroll tax table
Install the latest updates of the payroll tax table
  • And when the Update is completed, you will get an informational window on the screen.
  • Then, to get the payroll updates’ full function, make sure that the QuickBooks application is updated with the latest version.

QuickBooks Payroll Update Error PS038: Steps to Rectify the Error

QuickBooks payroll update error ps038 can be rectified by sending the payroll data properly. This way, any stuck data like paychecks or something would not affect your accounting experience in the software. Thus, follow the given solutions to fix the error ps038 in QuickBooks desktop:

Step 1: Update your QuickBooks Desktop Application:

You need to make sure that your QuickBooks version is the latest and then up-to-date. The steps to update include

  1. First, start by launching the QuickBooks application and navigating to the Help menu.
  2. Then choose the Update QuickBooks Desktop button and then hit the Update Now button at the top-right corner.
  3. Next, select the Get Updates option and after the download gets finished, close and reopen your application and verify the QuickBooks payroll update error ps038.

Step 2: Send Usage data or Payroll data After updating application

  1. First, launch the QB Payroll application.
  2. And then click on the Employees tab and then choose the My Payroll Service option.
My Payroll Service
My Payroll Service
  1. Then, in the My Payroll Service tab, select the Send payroll usage data option.
  1. Later, you need to try to send the payroll data. If the data is sent successfully, go back to update QB Payroll.
  2. In case you still face the QuickBooks error code ps038, you may reach out to our experts at our Toll-free number+1-(855)-955-1942.

Step 3: Check and Find the Paychecks Stuck as “Online to Send”

In this step, you will identify if any of the paychecks are stuck on the QB online mode as “Online to Send.” If yes, then you do not require to delete or edit those stuck paychecks; you just need to make a note of the total number of matches with the help of the Find window at the bottom right corner. Also, make sure to take notes of both the newest and oldest stuck checks for further reference.

Follow the given step-by-step procedures to identify the stuck paychecks and resolve QuickBooks payroll error PS038.

  1. First, under the Edit tab, go to the Find option and choose the Advanced button.
QuickBooksFind Option
QuickBooks Find Option
  1. Then, under the Choose Filter tab, you have to look for the Filter list and then select the Detail Level option.
  2. After that, you have to choose the option saying Summary Only.
  3. Next, from the Choose Filter tab, this time you have to look for the Filter list and select Online Status.
  4. Also, from the drop-down menu on the right-hand side of the screen, select the Online to send option.
  5. Then lastly, click on the Find button and check all the unsent paychecks causing the ps038 payroll error.

Step 4: Use the Verify and Rebuild Data Tool.

Before you move on with this step to fix the Unable To Update Payroll Error PS038, make sure to get the backup of your QB files. Also, first, run the verify data tool, and if it shows stuck paychecks, then you need to run the rebuild data check.

Steps to use the Verify Data Tool:

  1. Launch the QB application and move to the File menu, followed by the Utilitites tab.
  2. There, you need to opt for the Verify Data option.
Verify Data Tool
Verify Data Tool
  1. Then, close all the open windows by hitting OK.
  2. Lastly, if the QB did not detect any issue with your data, you need to tap on OK.

Steps to use the Rebuild Data Tool:

  1. Go to the File menu then to the Utilities tab.
  2. After that, hit on the Rebuild Data option.
Rebuild Data Tool
Rebuild Data Tool
  1. Next, hit the OK button to allow it to create a backup, followed by the Save button.
  2. Then, once the rebuild tool finishes the scan, go for the View Results option.

If the rebuild data tool shows that it has fixed the issues in paychecks. But, if the rebuild data cannot eliminate all the stuck payrolls and you still face the QuickBooks ps038 error during downloading the payroll updates, then there can be these probable causes for the glitch.

  • Your paychecks may have crossed the oldest billing dates. However, in this case, most of the time, you won’t receive the ps038 error notification.
  • You might have utilized the condensed data tool earlier in the QB desktop file for some particular dates that consist of stuck paychecks.
  • Maybe your accountant’s copy is pending.

In such cases, you need to follow one more step which is given below:

Step 5: Verify the Information on Paychecks Stuck in QuickBooks Application.

  1. Follow the steps mentioned in the Check and Find Paycheck Stuck as Online to Send section and get the list for all the paychecks that are still stuck in the application.
  2. Then, you need to open the first paycheck from the list and click on the Paycheck Details option.
  3. Once you get the Review Paycheck window, you need to go to the Earnings tab.
  4. Then, go for the last item in the list and again add it as a new item.
  5. This action will prompt QB desktop to display a Net Pay Locked window. Here, you need to click No and close it.
  6. After that, you have to choose the Rate Field option for the item you had just added as new in the fourth step.
  7. Now, make sure that there are no changes made in the Net Pay and taxes fields and then click OK.
  8. Then, click Yes if any pop with the Past Transactions message comes up on the screen.
  9. Next, you need to hit the Save & Close buttons, followed by the Yes button when the Recording Transactions message appears on the screen.
  10. Then, re-open the paycheck and click on the Paycheck Details button.
  11. Moving forward, delete the item that you added in the fourth step.
  12. Now, once again, make sure that no changes are made in the taxes and Net Pay fields and click OK.
  13. Finally, hit the Save & Close buttons to save the changes.
  14. Lastly, follow the same instructions for each stuck paycheck and check if the error is now resolved.

To Sum up!!

The above-mentioned steps are to be followed in the given sequence only in order to resolve the QuickBooks Error PS038. And also, make sure you follow the steps for all the stuck paychecks. Otherwise, you will still face the error ps038 in QuickBooks even after performing all the steps. However, these steps might be too technical for you, so we recommend you take the help of some experts to solve the issue. You can connect with our QuickBooks experts by calling us at our Toll-free number +1-(855)-955-1942. Our experts will patiently understand your problem and will help you rectify it easily.

1. Why am I facing the QuickBooks payroll error ps038?

You are facing the  QuickBooks payroll error ps038 because of the following reasons:
1. You have not installed the latest payroll update.
2. You have damaged the QB company file on the system.
3. Invalid payroll subscription can also be a reason for ps038.

2. How does the PS038 error affect my system?

The PS038 error affects your system in the following ways:
1. It can affect or degrade your system’s performance.
2. Can hinder the payroll update process.
3. Can make you stuck over sending paychecks online.

3. How do I remove a paycheck in QuickBooks Online?

You can delete a paycheck in Quickbooks Online by clicking on the Payroll tab from the left menu. Then go to the Employee list, and from the Run Payroll tab, select the Paycheck List. You can also change the date range if you want and then select the paycheck that you want to delete. Lastly, click the Delete button and checkmark the tickbox to confirm the deletion process.

4. How do I delete a paycheck in QuickBooks Online?

To delete a paycheck in QuickBooks Online, simply locate and open the paycheck. Next, select the Edit menu and go for the Delete Paycheck option. Then, a message saying, “Are you sure you want to delete this paycheck?” will appear on the screen; click OK to permanently delete it.

5. How do I fix the error ps038 in QuickBooks desktop?

Fixing the error ps038 in QuickBooks desktop involves a multi-step process. This includes: Updating the application, creating the backup, sending payroll or usage data, identifying the stuck paycheck, and then running the Verify and Rebuild Utility Tool.

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Lily Evans

Lily Evans is a Certified Accountant with Expertise in QuickBooks, Sage and Quicken Accounting Software. Lily has been working with Data Service Solutions for the last 3 years as a QuickBooks Expert and is Helping Accounting software users with their day to day accounting tasks and issues.

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