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Level 1

Employee Status (Name already exists)



I had an employee that worked in 2019, and recently has come back. For whatever reason, when I try to change his status to "Active" it does not stay and he doesn't show up under active employees, but does show up in payroll? I tried changing some things to see if that made a difference and it keeps saying "The name supplied already exists: Another employee is already using that name. Please use a different name."

I'm not adding him as a new employee, I'm just trying to change his status to active and for it to save so I don't have to keep messing with it every payroll period. I also have checked and there is no other employees or vendors with his name. I will change it to active to do payroll, and right after payroll is sent, it changes back to "Terminated". He is on QB workforce as well and has no issues with it. 

Please help, Thanks!

2 Comments 2

Employee Status (Name already exists)

I appreciate you sharing the troubleshooting steps to make the employee active again, CVA22.


I suggest you search for a duplicate name of the employee you’re trying to activate by writing a check. Here's how:


  1. Select + New, then select Check.
  2. In the Payee▼ drop-down, enter the name you’re trying to activate.
  3. Duplicate names appear on the list, and you’ll know if they’re added as a vendor, employee, or customer.


If there are no other records, you can log into your QuickBooks account using a private browser or incognito.  Then, activate the employee from there. Here's how: 


  • Press Ctrl+ Shift + N keys on your keyboard (Google Chrome)
  • Press Ctrl+ Shift + P keys on your keyboard (Firefox or Internet Explorer)
  • Press Control+ Option + P keys on your keyboard (Safari).


If the private browsing session works, it means that you need to clear the browser's cache so the system can start fresh. 


You can also do this task on other supported, up-to-date browsers. Clearing the cache will refresh the system, and you'll be able to work with clean trash. 


If you're still getting the error, I recommend contacting our QuickBooks Online Payroll Live Team. They can check the record of the employee for you and provide additional information about the status.


This specific error message also occurs for your customers and vendors. See this article for more info: Fix the name supplied already exists error message.


Please send a reply in the comments below if you have any other concerns about activating an employee. I'll get back to you as soon as I can. 

Level 1

Employee Status (Name already exists)

Thank you, 

That did work. I see that his name does show up twice as an employee when I go to write a check, one of the names has an * before it (if that means anything). However when I search under employees (all, active and inactive) he only shows up once, so I'm not sure how to delete one or the other. 

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