How To Fix QuickBooks Payroll Error PS038: Can’t Download QuickBooks Payroll Updates

QuickBooks Payroll Error PS038 can occur while running payroll (either attempting to run payroll updates or while downloading payroll updates) by following the message. You can also get the same error when a regular user attempts to send a paycheck online but the check hangs in-between “Online to Send”. This error prompts on your screen specifying “QuickBooks Payroll won’t update error PS038: Validate Payroll Subscription.” Check out below what are its causes and how to fix this error.

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Causes of QuickBooks Error PS038

There are multiple reasons due to which error prompts on your screen. Check out all the reasons below:

  • When working with an outdated release of QuickBooks Desktop
  • Paycheck stuck while sending the payment
  • Having outdated payroll updates after releasing new payroll updates has been released

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Quick Steps to Fix QuickBooks Payroll Error PS038

Below we have listed some useful steps that help in fixing QuickBooks Payroll Update Error PS038. Have a look at it to do this:

Important! Before starting implementing our solutions, we highly recommend checking that the QuickBooks software version on which you’re working is 2018 or later versions. To prevent yourself from any kind of data disturbances, you need to create a backup of your company file as well as payroll data.

If you don’t know how to update it then do it with simple steps:

  • Launch QuickBooks Desktop >> Help >> Update QuickBooks Desktop
  • Move your cursor to the top right corner and then click on Update Now
  • Click on Get updates 
  • Once you’re done, quit all the tabs and relaunch QuickBooks Desktop

Step 1: Resent Payroll after Updating QuickBooks

If you’re no longer able to resend the payroll update data during this error, then fix the issue with our simple steps:

Go to Employees then click on My Payroll Service >> Send Usage Data

                                                     Or

Go to Employees then click on Send Payroll Data

If you are now able to send it→ Attempt to get payroll updates again

If the Error PS038 still unresolved→ Contact IT Professionals to fix your issue entirely

Step 2: Browse and Check the “Online To Send” Paychecks from the Record

This step enables you to check and verify that you have paychecks stuck when “Online To Send”. Deletion or editing the stuck paychecks were not helpful, you have to determine the “number of matches” from the Find window by scrolling to the bottom right. Prepare a note of both the oldest stuck as well as the newest stuck for your future references, in case the same issue happens again, the previously prepared note will help you to fix it again.

Steps to Determine the Stuck Paychecks

  • Choose Edit and then Find >> Advanced tab
  • Go to the Filter section, then click on Detail level by reaching inside the Filter list
  • Click on Summary Only
  • Go to the Filter section, then click on Online Status by reaching inside the Filter list
  • From the drop-down menu, click on Online to Send
  • Click on Find to check the paychecks that ever been sent to Intuit
  • Click to run a verify data, Stuck paychecks will appear inside the results

Step 3: Using Rebuild to remove the Stuck Paychecks

  • Take a backup of the QuickBooks Desktop company file
  • Click to Run Verify Data
  • If the verified data showing stocks paychecks, at that moment you have to rebuild data. Once everything is fixed inside, the rebuild data will show you
  • If the Rebuild is no longer able to remove the stuck paychecks or you’re getting the same error message on your screen then move to follow the alternative steps to fix the same issue.

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Alternative Steps to Fix QuickBooks Payroll Error PS038

Move to follow these steps if the above steps aren’t able to fix QuickBooks payroll error PS038. Start following the steps in the same order placed here.

Step 1: Resent Payroll after Updating QuickBooks

Follow the same procedure as we have discussed above in step 1.

Step 2: Browse and Check the “Online To Send” Paychecks from the Record

  • Choose Edit and then Find >> Advanced tab
  • Go to the Filter section, then click on Detail level by reaching inside the Filter list
  • Click on Summary Only
  • Go to the Filter section, then click on Online Status by reaching inside the Filter list
  • From the drop-down menu, click on Online to Send
  • Click on Find to check the paychecks that ever been sent to Intuit
  • Click to run verify data, stuck paychecks will appear inside the results

Note: Make sure that you’re working with the latest tax table. To ensure, go to Employees menu>> Get payroll updates>> Updates. If you found an outdated tax table: if you’re having another file you do payroll in, open the file and attempt to update it as early as you can. If you’re successful, click to open your original file and then try to get the payroll update one more time. Once you’re done, you’ll be able to make or send payroll updates.

  • Do start by opening the first check from the List
  • Click on the Paycheck Detail option
  • From the Review Paycheck window, click on the Earnings section, manually add the same earnings item as the last earnings item in the list. (Example: Suppose your last item in the list is Hourly Rate, add another earnings item in the list as well)
  • A Net Pay Locked message prompts, then click No to quit
  • Select the Rate field of the new earnings item that you have added
  • Give confirmation that the taxes and Net Pay didn’t change then hit Ok
  • If you get a Past Reconciliation message then Save and Close to close it
  • Click Yes to the Recording Transaction warning message then open the paycheck again.
  • Choose the Paycheck Details button
  • Now remove the earnings item you have recently added in the earnings section
  • Give confirmation that the taxes and Net Pay didn’t change, hit Ok >> Save and Close
  • Repeat the steps again and again whenever you do this each of the paychecks in the results of Online to Send paychecks. Once you’re done trying to send the usage data once again
  • Alternatively, you can delete the stuck paychecks and recreate them, this process will take some additional steps to take care of you while reconciling your QuickBooks Bank account

Important! Don’t get worried if you see the PS038 message in your original file. The process we have discussed can resolve your error but it is by default the message still shows in your original file.

The Bottom Line

After following the steps in the same order as shown, you’re no longer able to face QuickBooks Payroll error ps038. But in case of error persists or you’ve found something difficult in implementing the solutions, simply get in touch with our Intuit Certified ProAdvisors through the toll-free number.

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