Quickbooks error PS038 can take place when opening or updating the QuickBooks Desktop Payroll service. In fact, all the issues that take place that start with “PS” depict a problem with the Payroll service in the program. The payroll feature in QuickBooks enables employers to manage their payroll tasks efficiently, including tax filing, calculating payable hours, making payments, and several others. However, there are many cases when you can’t access QuickBooks Payroll when required. Why Intuit Payroll error PS038 occurs and what are its best solutions; are all covered in this post in a comprehensive manner. Let’s find out!

What is QuickBooks Payroll Error PS038?

QuickBooks Desktop Payroll Error PS038 often takes place when installing the latest updates for payroll tax tables in QuickBooks Desktop. When the error occurs, it gives an error message on your screen that says-

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 error code can also crop up on your screen when processing pay-checks in QuickBooks Desktop. It was a bug in the QuickBooks program, which was resolved with the rolling out of the QuickBooks Desktop 2018. However, several users have reported this error recently, which is why we have explained the best solutions that can help in troubleshooting the Payroll error PS038 in QuickBooks.

What Makes QuickBooks Payroll Update Error PS038 Appear on Your Screen?

If the update process is hampered in QuickBooks Payroll, several factors can be responsible for it. Check below:

  • When a user tries to send paychecks using online mode, the paychecks get stuck.
  • Damaged or infected QuickBooks company files not only affect the update process but also affect the system-promoting error PS038 in QuickBooks.
  • When you retrieve the latest payroll update and try to validate your payroll subscription, then the error message can crop up on your screen.

What Are The After-Effects of QuickBooks Payroll Error PS038?

Once the error occurs, you may experience the below-given symptoms:

  • Sluggish performance of the Windows is one of the immediate effects you may experience after the arrival of the error. Thereafter, Windows crashes and can hamper your workflow.
  • The payroll update you were trying to accomplish will be hindered, and you may not be able to proceed further with the ongoing procedure.
  • When sending the checks, data discrepancies can take place, and you may need to check various records to find the root behind the error.

How To Eliminate Intuit Error PS038?

If the error is preventing you from downloading the latest payroll tax tables, you need to resolve it as soon as possible. Using outdated tax tables can lead to undesired penalties. Before you start, you need to consider the below-given points:

1: Update QuickBooks

Verify that you are using QuickBooks 2018 or a later version of the QuickBooks program. If not, update your accounting software. Below is how to update the QuickBooks application:

  • First of all, you need to open the QuickBooks Desktop.
  • Now go to the Update tab, and then you need to initiate the process of updating the QuickBooks Desktop.
  • From within the Update now tab, select all the recommended updates you need to install.
  • Thereafter, click on the Get Update button.
  • Once the update process is finished, close QuickBooks and restart your system.

2: Create A Backup of the Company File

Create a backup of your company file before proceeding further. Thereon, you can perform the below-given solutions to resolve the issue:

Solution 1: Try Resending The Payroll Data

The problem occurs when sending the payroll data. However, you should try resending the payroll data to check if it overrides the error. Here are the steps:

  • From underneath the Employees tab, click on the My Payroll Services option.
  • Next, you need to click Send Usage Data and check if you are able to send payroll data.
  • If you can send the data successfully, try to update your payroll service.

If it does not fix QuickBooks Payroll error PS038, try the next procedure.

Solution 2: Locate & Check “Online To Send” Paychecks From Your Record 

Here, in this procedure, you need to find if there are unsent paychecks in the records and then check them:

  • From under the Edit tab, select Find and then select the Advanced option.
  • Next, go to Choose Filter tab and when the Filter list appears, select the Detail Level tab.
  • Moving ahead, choose Summary Only and then go to the next step.
  • Here, you need to select Online Status from the Filter list.
  • Now from the drop-down menu, select Online to send.
  • Click the Find button to locate and check all paychecks that are not sent.

If the QuickBooks Payroll update error PS038 occurs again even after performing this solution, try the next method.

Solution 3: Run Verify & Rebuild Data Utility to Fix Damaged Data

Verify and Rebuild Data utilities work together to determine and resolve damage in the QuickBooks company file. In the first place, you need to run the Verify data utility that will detect the possible data damage. Once detected, you can run the rebuild data utility, which will repair the damaged data in QuickBooks. Thereafter, you need to run the Verify Data utility again to check if the data are repaired or not. Below are the steps:

To Run Verify data:

  • Launch QuickBooks Desktop in the first place.
  • Next, go to the File menu and then select Utility >> Verify data.
  • Thereafter, select your company file and hit the OK button.
  • Wait until the utility verifies your company file data.
  • In the end, click OK to finish the process.

For Rebuild data

  • Again, from the File menu, select Utility >> Rebuild.
  • Next, you will be prompted to save the backup of your file in the Next wizard. Click OK.
  • When the rebuild process ends, you need to check the results.

Again run the Verify data utility and check if it gives the results that are free from the errors.

Other Instances of Errors Related to QuickBooks Desktop Payroll Update

Similar to QuickBooks error PS038, there are several other issues that users may encounter when using QuickBooks Desktop payroll services. Check the list below:

QuickBooks Payroll Error PS077:

QuickBooks Error PS077 can take place when downloading payroll updates. The error message suggests that the error has occurred due to an unregistered QuickBooks software or a damaged QuickBooks company file.

QuickBooks Payroll Update Error 17337:

According to Intuit, error, 17337 can take place when updating the payroll service in QuickBooks. Erroneous Internet Explorer Settings can bring forth this error on your screen. Besides, faulty SSL settings can also cause this problem.

Payroll Error PS058:

When downloading the latest payroll updates, QuickBooks payroll error PS058 can crop up on your screen. A corrupted Windows Explorer or a damaged QuickBooks company file can cause this error to take place.

QuickBooks Payroll Error 30159

An improper file set up in the operating system of the computer used in upgrading the payroll can cause QuickBooks Payroll update error 30159. When the issue occurs, you may not be able to update the payroll service in QuickBooks Desktop.

QuickBooks Desktop Payroll Error PS107

Error PS107 occurs in QuickBooks when an internal file in the program becomes unreadable. When installing the latest updates of the QuickBooks payroll service, you can encounter this annoying error.

Intuit QuickBooks Error PS032

Updating payroll tax tables is crucial; however, when performing this task, you may encounter QuickBooks Payroll error PS032 due to a corrupted tax table file or due to invalid components.

QB Payroll Error PS033

QuickBooks Error PS033 is another error code related to the payroll service, an update that can prevent you from downloading the latest updates for the payroll service. On having trouble when updating QuickBooks, you can reach out to a QuickBooks expert in the error resolution.

Payroll Feature in QuickBooks Desktop

QuickBooks Payroll service is basically a subscription-based service that enables users to access payroll features in QuickBooks Desktop software. You can choose from the available payroll subscription plans, which are Basic, Enhanced, and Assisted payroll plans. You can choose one based on your specific payroll management requirements.

Unfortunately, if you are a Mac user, you may not be able to harvest the advantages of QuickBooks Desktop Payroll services. Intuit Online Payroll acts as stand-alone software and exports data only to QuickBooks Desktop and QuickBooks Online versions.

Read Also: How to Solve QuickBooks Error 103

Ending Words!

This post elaborates on how to fix QuickBooks payroll error PS038 using a few simple solutions. Moreover, it also explains the signs and possible causes behind the error, along with some common instances of the similar error. Now that you are here, it means you have resolved the concerning error using the described solutions. If not, you can reach out for relevant help.


1: Why is it important to update the payroll service in QuickBooks? 

Updating QuickBooks Desktop payroll service can keep your organization up to date. Payroll errors not only affect human resource management but also hamper your workflow. Outdated payroll services can make your accounting prone to multi-faceted errors that can even evoke some undesired penalties. On the other hand, updating the payroll service in QuickBooks Desktop ensures that you are using the most enhanced features of your accounting application. Make sure to update QuickBooks payroll service on a regular basis.

2: Why won’t my QuickBooks Payroll update install? 

If you are having trouble installing your payroll updates in QuickBooks, missing files is one of the main reasons behind this error. Additionally, faulty SSL configuration in Internet Explorer is also one of the apparent reasons behind this error. These issues can also give rise to the paycheck update problems in the program when managing your payroll operations.

3: How do I fix the issues related to the QuickBooks Payroll? 

When managing your payroll tasks in QuickBooks, getting errors is common. However, for efficient management of your payroll system, you need to resolve these issues as soon as possible. To resolve the common payroll issues in QuickBooks Desktop, you need to click on the Help menu and then choose About QuickBooks. Thereafter, press CTRL + Alt + Y and then hit Next. When you see Employee Summary Information on your screen, select your underpaid employees. Once done, you need to double-click on the employee’s name and review the YTD Adjustment details. In the end, hit the OK button to complete the procedure. Make sure that your QuickBooks Payroll issue is resolved now.

4: What are the most common issues related to payroll?

There are some payroll errors that should not occur in your accounting system; otherwise can have a severe effect on your business. Frequently missing the payroll tax deadlines is one of the most common errors on the list. Inability to maintain clean records can also disrupt your payroll processes. Furthermore, you need to keep a regular backup of your payroll data. If not, you are prone to lose your crucial data.

5: How to download the latest tax table in QuickBooks Desktop? 

To get the latest tax table in QuickBooks Desktop, follow the below-given steps:

  • From within the QuickBooks application, select Employee >> Get Payroll Updates.
  • Next, checkmark the Download Entire Update box.
  • Moving ahead, select Download Latest Update. After the completion of the update process, you will see a confirmation window will appear on your screen.

Updating payroll service regularly can keep the QuickBooks error PS038 at bay.

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