QuickBooks Payroll Error PS038

QuickBooks Payroll Error PS038
Apr 13, 2023     Admin     QuickBooks

Estimated Read Time : 5:00

QuickBooks is a top-of-the-line extensive accounting software that caters to the accounting needs of enterprises of all sizes. It has a special place in the accounting industry to maintain financial records. It provides a myriad range of features and benefits for its users. Although it proves extremely beneficial to its users, like any other piece of software, it is also prone to discrepancies and issues. QuickBooks Payroll Error PS038 is one such error that occurs when you are trying to download the latest tax tables and forms from the servers of Intuit. This issue can also occur when you try to deposit payroll directly into the employees’ bank accounts.

Before you can get the latest tax tables on your system, you need to ensure that you have all the latest updates for the desktop software installed on your system. Also, make sure that you have created a backup of your company files. One must also check the payroll data and make sure that it is correct. In this blog, we are going to provide you with an in-depth understanding of the QuickBooks Payroll Error PS038. Read this blog till the end to know more.

What exactly is QuickBooks Payroll Error PS038?

QuickBooks Payroll Error PS038 is a payroll error that you come across when you attempt to send paychecks online. This happens when the paychecks are stuck in the “Online to send” state. To fix such payroll issues, you need to update to the latest release of the QuickBooks Desktop along with updating the payroll services. When one encounters the QuickBooks payroll Error PS038, the following error message displays on the screen.

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]“

The symptoms of QuickBooks Payroll Update Error PS038 include crashing an active window, lowering the processing speed of the system, and increasing the overall task completion timing.

Read Also – How to Fix QuickBooks Error H101?

Reasons that cause QuickBooks Payroll Error PS038

There are several reasons that can cause the QuickBooks Payroll Update Error PS038. Some of the most important reasons are listed below;

1.) Damaged or Corrupt Company file

A damaged or corrupt company file is the most crucial reason behind the QuickBooks Payroll Error PS038. A damaged company file is responsible for not only infecting the QuickBooks files, but it is also responsible for infecting your computer system.

2.) Retrieval of the latest payroll update

When one tries to retrieve the latest payroll update, this error occurs. Trying to recover the current QB Payroll update and validate the payroll subscription, the error PS038 occurs when one tries to proceed further.

3.) Sending Pay Checks online

This particular error also occurs when one tries sending the paychecks online. At the time of sending the paychecks via the online mode and the paycheck is stuck to “Online to Send”, this particular error occurs.

4.) Outdated or obsolete QuickBooks application

An outdated or obsolete QuickBooks application also causes the QuickBooks Payroll Error PS038 while updating the payroll. The issue arises because the QuickBooks application that has become outdated becomes incompatible with the system.

What are the symptoms of QuickBooks Payroll Update Error PS038?

There are a number of signs that show that the system has been affected by that particular error. The symptoms of QuickBooks Payroll Error PS038 are as follows;

1.) Crashed or Degraded Windows

One of the major signs of the QuickBooks Payroll Error PS038 is a crashed or degraded Windows. It has been often seen that as soon as the error occurs, it crashes a lively window and tends to degrade the Windows performance.

2.) Slowing down system performance

The QuickBooks Payroll Error PS038 decreases the processing speed and slows down the system’s performance. It, therefore, increases the time of task completion. When this occurs, you can understand that the said error has hit you.

3.) Disrupted Payroll Method

An interrupted or disrupted payroll method is also one of the signs of QuickBooks Payroll Error PS038. As soon as the payroll update method is interrupted, you can be assured that you have encountered the error.

4.) System unable to deal with the Pay Checks

This is also one of the symptoms of the QuickBooks Payroll Update Error PS038. The user needs to examine a number of various statistics to verify the error while dealing with the paychecks because of the discrepancies in the data.

What are the precautions that need to be taken before troubleshooting the QuickBooks Payroll Error PS038?

Before one gets into the troubleshooting part of this particular error, one needs to pay heed to the following precautions;

1.) Upgrade QuickBooks to the latest version

In case you are using an older version of the QuickBooks software, then make sure that you upgrade it to the latest version of QuickBooks. Upgrading QuickBooks to the latest version is one of the major precautions that you should keep in mind before troubleshooting the QuickBooks Payroll Error PS038.

2.) Backup QuickBooks company files and payroll data

Another crucial precaution that you should keep in mind is keeping a backup of the company file and the QuickBooks payroll data. Before you get into the resolution of the QuickBooks Payroll Error PS038, you might want to back up your QuickBooks company file and payroll data in order to avoid any loss.

3.) Install the latest payroll tax table on QuickBooks Desktop

This is another significant thing that you should keep in mind before going ahead with the resolution process. Make sure to install the latest payroll tax table on your QuickBooks Desktop application so as to avoid any complications while performing the troubleshooting steps.

How to troubleshoot QuickBooks Payroll Error PS038?

Down below are some of the steps that can help in the resolution of the issue. The steps are as follows;

1.) Update the QuickBooks application and backup your data

Updating the application can help resolve the issue. You must also make sure to back up the QuickBooks data to prevent any loss. Perform the below-given steps to update the QuickBooks application;

a.) Firstly, open up the QuickBooks application.

b.) Secondly, move towards the Help section and then update the QuickBooks Desktop.

c.) Thirdly, on the top right corner, click on the Update Now option.

d.) Subsequently, go to the Get Updates option and click on it.

e.) Furthermore, after you are done with the Update, shut down QuickBooks and open it again. You should do this to check if you have resolved the issue.

2.) Send the payroll data or the usage data

In this troubleshooting step, you need to ensure that you send the payroll data. Doing this also sometimes fixes the problem. The following steps should be performed for this to happen;

a.) Firstly, go to the Employees option and then choose the My Payroll Service. Thereafter, choose the Send Usage data option. If you are unable to view this option, move on to the next step.

b.) In the second step, again access the Employees section and then choose the Send Payroll Data option.

c.) In the window that mentions Send/Receive Payroll Data, choose the Send all option. When prompted, you need to enter your payroll service pin. When the send is successful, you should try to get the payroll updates again. In case you still see the error, proceed to the next step.

3.) Verify and Rebuild the Data

To verify data

In order to verify the data, follow the below-given steps;

a.) Firstly, open up the QuickBooks Desktop application.

b.) Secondly, access the File section and then go to Utilities and Verify data.

c.) Subsequently, click on the OK option to shut down all open windows.

d.) In case the QuickBooks application does not show any problem with the data, click on the OK option.

To Rebuild Data

a.) In this troubleshooting step, first open the QuickBooks Desktop application.

b.) Thereafter, move ahead to the File and Utilities and then the Rebuild Data option.

c.) Consequently, click on OK to create a backup. This will start the rebuilding process.

d.) After the rebuilding process is complete, you need to click on the “View Results” option. Given that there is no issue, you can move ahead to the next step.

4.) Identify the Stuck Pay Checks

a.) In this troubleshooting step, firstly go to the Edit option and then choose Find.

b.) Secondly, choose the Advanced tab.

c.) Access the Advanced tab section.

d.) Furthermore, from the Choose Filter section, choose the Detail level from the Filter list.

e.) Thereafter, select the Summary Only option.

f.) Consequently, go back to the filter list. There, scroll down to choose the Online status. Thereafter, select the Online to Send option.

g.) Lastly, choose the Find option, and you will see all the paychecks that did not get sent to Intuit. Also, make a note of the “Number of matches” on the Find window. Thereafter, proceed to the next step.

5.) Lock the stuck paychecks

Now, to toggle the stuck paychecks, you will need to follow the below-given steps;

a.) Firstly, open the oldest stuck paycheck.

b.) Secondly, choose the Paycheck Detail button.

c.) Thirdly, add the same earnings item as the last earnings item in the list. This should be done in the Review Pay check window under the Earnings section. For instance, if the last item in the list is the Hourly rate, you should add the same earnings item to the list.

d.) Consequently, you will see a Net Pay locked message. Choose an option No here.

e.) Thereafter, ensure that there are no changes to the tax amounts and the net pay. Select the OK option.

f.) In case you receive a Past Transaction message, click on Yes.

g.) In order to close the paycheck, select the Save and Close option.

h.) Where it says recording transaction warning message, click on Yes.

i.) Subsequently, open the paycheck again. Thereafter, click on the Paycheck details button.

j.) Furthermore, the earnings items that you have just added in the Earnings section, delete it.

k.) Also, ensure that there occur no changes to the tax amounts and the net pay. Afterward, select the OK option.

l.) Furthermore, repeat these steps for each of the stuck paychecks.

m.) Lastly, when you are finished, repeat the first step and download the tax table update again.


In this blog, we have mentioned all about the QuickBooks Payroll Error PS038. We have mentioned its causes, symptoms, and troubleshooting methods. Using these methods, you can very easily fix the said issue. However, if you find yourself in a situation wherein you are unable to resolve the issue, then you can get in touch with us. We are available 24/7 to resolve such queries. Feel free to call us or shoot us a mail.

Author Image

Adam Zampa is a subject matter specialist Being a prolific content expert with a significant amount of experience, his writings on top directory categories in the United States are getting recognition among customers across the Globe. In addition to being a well-known writer, Adam has expertise in SEO and SMO strategies.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Request For A Call Back