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QuickBooks Error PS038 How To Fix? Explained 

QuickBooks Error PS038 How To Fix? Explained 

QuickBooks error PS038 can take you to your wit’s end when it occurs. The error basically occurs when running payroll operations or sending paychecks online. QuickBooks Desktop Payroll service enables users to manage their business payroll. You can track payable hours and make payments with the utmost ease.

However, when running payroll in QuickBooks, you may experience different issues. QuickBooks error code PS038 is also one such error that can affect your payroll operations. If you are not sure what causes this error to take place or how to troubleshoot it, scroll this post down to the end to find the best solutions. Let’s start!

QuickBooks Error Message PS038 You Will See On Your Screen

When the error PS038 occurs, it gives an error message on your screen, which reads as –

“You’ve retrieved the latest payroll update and validated your Payroll subscription. We strongly recommend that you go online again. [PS038]”.

When updating payroll information or processing paychecks, this error can crop up due to several reasons. However, when the error occurs, you may not be able to perform the task you are trying to execute. It is not good for your payroll management. You may end up wasting a lot of time and effort in troubleshooting the problem. To keep you away from this annoyance, we have explained everything in this post. Let’s start with finding the common reasons behind QuickBooks error PS038.

What Causes You To See The QuickBooks Payroll Error PS038?

When trying to send paychecks online, it may get stuck as “Online to send.” It can’t be processed with this status, and you need to troubleshoot the error if you don’t want your paycheck to be stuck for too long. Some of the main reasons behind error PS038 in QuickBooks Desktop are described in the below-given list:

  • The paycheck is stuck as “Online to send” while sending it online.
  • A damaged data file is affecting the other files, causing various data discrepancies.
  • The error can also occur when recovering the latest QuickBooks updates and validating your QuickBooks payroll subscription.

Aftermath of QuickBooks Payroll Update Error PS038

Apparently, QuickBooks payroll error PS038 can prevent you from updating your payroll and performing important payroll tasks. However, it is not limited to this. There are some other issues that can be evoked by QuickBooks update error PS038. Check the below-given list:

  • The error can severely hamper the performance of Windows, including reduced process speed and increased time of task completion.
  • It also affects your payroll update, which means you may not be able to reap the benefits of improved payroll features.
  • Error PS038 in QuickBooks can also give rise to data damage, which means you need to check your records when creating paychecks. If not, data discrepancies are likely to occur.

Before troubleshooting the error, you need to keep some important details in your mind.

Some Important Points You Need To Adhere To

If you want smooth error troubleshooting, you need to give it an ideal environment by considering the below-listed points:

  • Make sure that you have installed the latest maintenance release for your QuickBooks Desktop application.
  • Create a backup of your company file so that your crucial financial data is safe from unfavorable outcomes caused due to troubleshooting.
  • Install the latest payroll tax table updates in your QuickBooks application.

When you move ahead with the troubleshooting steps after ensuring these points, your way will definitely be easier.

How To Eliminate QuickBooks Error PS038? 

Now is the time for the most crucial part of this post – troubleshooting. We have tried to put the solutions in the simplest possible manner so that you can get the job done without much distress. Alternatively, reaching out to professional experts can also save you undesired hassles. Check below for the solutions:

Solution 1: Send Your Payroll Data After Updating QuickBooks

Now that you have the latest update of the QuickBooks application installed on your system, try re-sending your payroll data by following the below-listed steps:

  • From within QuickBooks, navigate to the Employees tab.
  • Here, you need to select My Payroll Service and then Send Usage Data.

It should now send the payroll data successfully. If not, you need to launch the QuickBooks payroll update again, and if the error persists, you need to look for the data damage issues.

Solution 2: Verify and Rebuild The Company File

We have already discussed that the damaged company file can be the protagonist of the QuickBooks error PS038. Hence, you need to verify your data file for possible damages and rebuild it if damaged is found.

Verify Data

Verify Data is a utility in the QuickBooks application that checks if your QuickBooks company file is damaged or not. Below is how it works:

  • First of all, open the QuickBooks application.
  • Next, go to the File and select Verify Data from the Utilities option.
  • Now click the OK button to proceed further.
  • You need to click OK again if it detects a problem with your data. 

Rebuild Data

  • Again, you need to navigate to the File menu, select Utilities, and then choose Rebuild Data utility.
  • Next, click the OK button and Save option to create a data backup.
  • Now, wait for the rebuild process to complete and click View Results.

Now that the error is resolved try sending your payroll data and check the status of the QuickBooks error PS038.

Solution 3: If Your Paycheck Is Stuck As “Online To Send”

  • Go to the Edit menu and select Find.
  • Next, choose the Advanced tab
  • Using the filter option, select Detail Level and Summary only.
  • Again, from the filter option, select Online Status.
  • Here, you need to select Online to Send when a drop-down menu appears.
  • Thereafter, click Find to see the paychecks.
  • In the end, verify your data, and you will see the paychecks that are stuck when sending.

Ending Words!

Payroll issues can be annoying, but with the solutions discussed in this post, you can troubleshoot QuickBooks error PS038. After troubleshooting the problem, you can send your payroll data without facing any annoying hindrances. If the error continues, you can get expert help by connecting with our chat option and requesting a callback.


My name is Bob Uni. I work at Quickbooksupportnet which is an accounting industry. It work towards resolving all type of QuickBooks issues for the QuickBooks software. I provide solutions to the errors that might be faced when using the QuickBooks software. quickbooks invalid product number

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