Get the QuickBooks PS038 Error Fixed in 5 Easy Steps

The QuickBooks PS038 error is a payroll=related error that occurs while sending paychecks online or downloading payroll updates. The paychecks get stuck and the user faces difficulty in processing payroll. Hence, it is one of those errors that need immediate fixing. If you are facing QuickBooks PS038 error and are unable to update payroll, we have solutions for your problem. Keep reading this article, to fix payroll update error PS038 in 5 easy steps.

If you need help in resolving the error or are unable to understand the steps, contact us at 1-855-948-3646 for technical assistance.

What Prompts the PS038 Error While Running Payroll?

Possible reasons that can cause the error are –

  1. QuickBooks application is not updated to the latest version.
  2. Paychecks are stuck online.
  3. Payroll is not up-to-date.
  4. You are trying to validate the payroll subscription after you have recovered the current payroll update.

You may read also : Error 15225 QuickBooks

5 Step Guide to Fix the Error

Now, let’s get into the steps involved to fix the payroll error and get rid of the error code PS038 in QuickBooks –

Step 1 – Updating QuickBooks and Taking a Backup of Your Data

As a prerequisite to performing the troubleshooting, make sure that your QuickBooks Desktop is updated to the latest release and create a backup of your data so that you don’t lose any important data while fixing the issue.

Step 2 – Sending Your Payroll Data

Try to send your payroll data post updating QuickBooks.

  1. Go to Employees > Payroll Service > Send Usage Data.
  2. If the above option isn’t available, try selecting Send Payroll Data option instead.
  3. Select Send All from the Send/Receive Payroll Data window.
  4. Enter your payroll service pin if asked and check if the send was successful.

Step 3 – Running the Verify and Rebuilt Tool

Verifying the data can help resolve the error by showing the stuck paychecks.

  1. Run the Verify Data post-closing the Find window.
  2. Click on Rebuilt your Data File.
  3. Once done, try downloading the payroll updates again.

Step 4 – Identifying the Paychecks that Are Stuck

Identifying the stuck paychecks may be help find the root cause of the error.

  1. Select Find from the Edit menu.
  2. Go to the Advanced tab and select Detail Level from the Choose Filter section.
  3. Then, click on Summary Only.
  4. Scroll down and select Online Status from the Filter list. Select Online to Send > Find.
  5. The stuck paychecks will appear. Note down the number of matches.

Step 5 – Switching the Stuck Paychecks

Now try toggling the stuck paychecks found above.

  1. Open the stuck paycheck which is the oldest and select the Paycheck Detail button.
  2. Under the Earnings tab in the Review Paycheck window, add the last earning item in the list as the earning item.
  3. Select No when the Net Pay locked message appears.
  4. Select OK and click on Yes when if you receive a Past Transaction message.
  5. Select Save & Close and record the transaction.
  6. Now again select the Paycheck Details button and delete the earning item added in point 2 above. Select OK.
  7. Repeat the steps for each stuck paycheck and once finished, download the tax table again.


These five steps can help fix the QuickBooks PS038 error so that you can run the payroll functions seamlessly. If the error persists, contact our technical team at 1-855-948-3646 to get assistance with this issue.

You may read also : QuickBooks Update Error 12031

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