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Payroll users encounter error message “Name Already Exists” or “Something you are trying to use has been made inactive”

by Intuit Updated 5 months ago

If you are trying to add an employee to QuickBooks Online Payroll and encounter an error message that includes “Name Already Exists” or “Something you are trying to use has been made inactive”, we’ve got some steps to help you resolve them.

If you know the time range of when the error message started appearing, the audit log will be the best place to start looking as you can check to see what was modified.

Using the audit log

Sign in as an admin user to access the audit log. Ask your primary admin if you don’t see it:

  1. Navigate to Settings ⚙ and select Audit log.
  2. Use the fields on the page to choose the appropriate User, Date, or Events filter to narrow the results. The audit log displays 150 records at a time.
  3. For most transactions or events, select View in the History column to open the audit history. This tells you who made the change and what they did.

Note the following:

• Only a Primary Admin can pull up an audit log.
• The Filter menus are located at the top of the Audit log.
• To narrow search results, select a date range if you know the last time you entered a transaction without getting any errors.
• You can also select a user if you know who has the most interaction in the fields that need investigating.

If you don’t know the exact time frame when you first started seeing the issue, continue troubleshooting below

Next troubleshooting step

Check if the employee name you are trying to add has already been added as an Account, Customer, Product/Service, or a Supplier using the Reports tab.

Select the filters at the top of each report:

  1. Ensure that Inactive/Deleted is checked within the menus.
  2. Select All Dates where a date range is available.

This will help ensure that all existing items are included within that report.

Example: Suppliers (use screenshot content for steps to follow):

  1. Select Reports from the left navigation menu.
  2. Search for Supplier Contact List Report.
  3. Once in the report, select Customize.
  4. Select the All/All Dates option for each filter.

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If you cannot locate a duplicate in any of these reports, continue troubleshooting using the steps below.

  1. Navigate to the employee list and ensure it is set to all employees.
  2. Determine if there are any inactive employees with the same name.

If the employee isn't on the employee list, you will need to add them as a new employee with a number added to the last name (for example, Steve Smith1).

If the employee is on the employee list, edit their employee profile information and add a “1” to their last name (for example: Steve Smith; change to Steve Smith1).

If that didn’t resolve the issue, let’s try one more step

Navigate to the time report and determine if any of the impacted employees have timesheets in the system.

If Yes:

  1. Uncheck the box for the Billable hours.
  2. Clear cache and cookies.
  3. Log back in.
  4. Try to add the employee again.

If the error persists after unchecking the box, contact our support team.

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