Learn how to resolve error PS038 when running payroll.
Did you receive the error message PS038 when trying to run payroll or when downloading payroll updates?
Fix the error
We developed a fix for the error PS038: when paychecks get stuck as "Online to Send".
Update to the latest release of QuickBooks Desktop before performing the steps below.
Depending on your payroll service, use
- Under Employees, select My Payroll Service, and then Send Usage Data or
- Under Employees menu, select Send Payroll Data
If the send is successful, attempt to get payroll updates again. If you still get the PS038 message, proceed to Step 2. If the send is not successful, contact the payroll service for support.
Identify if you have paychecks stuck as online to send. You don't need to edit or delete the stuck paychecks. Simply take note of the "Number of matches" on the bottom right of the Find window and make sure to make note of the oldest stuck and newest stuck checks for reference later.
To determine the stuck paychecks:
- Select Edit, and then Find.
- Select the Advanced tab.
- In the Choose Filter section, select Detail Level from the Filter list.
- Select Summary Only.
- In the Choose Filter section, select Online Status from theFilter list.
- Select Online to Send from the drop-down.
- Select Find to see the paychecks that haven't been sent to Intuit.
- Run a verify data. Stuck paychecks should appear in the results.
- Create a backup of the QuickBooks Desktop company file.
- Run Verify data.
- If the Verify Data shows stuck paychecks, then run a rebuild data. The rebuild should show that it fixed the paychecks.
- If the rebuild isn't able to remove the stuck paychecks, and/or if you still receive the PS038 message when downloading payroll updates, proceed to the next section of this article
Reasons the rebuild is not able to remove the stuck paychecks
- The paychecks are beyond the oldest date for billing (these will not cause the PS038 message).
- A Condense Data was performed on the QuickBooks Desktop file for dates that include the stuck paychecks.
- An Accountant Copy is pending. Merge the Accountant's changes, or cancel the Accountant's Copy to proceed. Canceling the Accountant Copy will require a new one be made if your accountant is still making changes.
If PS038 still occurs after the rebuild
Depending on your payroll service:
- Under Employees menu, select My Payroll Service, and then Send Usage Data or
- Under Employees menu, select Send Payroll Data
If the send is successful, attempt to get payroll updates again. If you still get the PS038 message, proceed to Step 2.
- Create a backup of the company file.
- Select Edit, and then Find. Select the Advanced tab.
- In the Choose filter section, select Detail Level from the Filter list. On the right, select Summary only.
- In the Choose filter section, select Online Status from the Filter list. Select Online to Send.
- Select the Find button to see the pay checks in QuickBooks Desktop that haven't been sent to Intuit.
- Record the details of the paycheck(s). (You can also create a Payroll Summary report for the date of the transaction.) Send to Excel and Save.
- Start with the first check in the list. Locate and open the paycheck.
- Select the Paycheck Detail button.
- In the Review Paycheck window, in Earnings section, add the same earnings item as the last earnings item in the list. (Example: If the last item in the list is Hourly Rate, add another earnings item named Hourly Rate in the list.)
- A Net Pay Locked message will appear. Select No to close the message.
- Select in the Rate field of the new earnings item that you have added.
- Confirm that the taxes and Net Pay did not change and select OK to save your changes.
- If you receive Past Transaction message, select Yes.
- Select Save & Close to close the paycheck.
- Select Yes to the Recording Transaction warning message.
- Open the paycheck again.
- Select the Paycheck Details button.
- Delete the earnings items that you have just added in the Earnings section.
(Always make sure that the Earnings section doesn't have blank line items before considering on deleting or recreating paychecks.)
- Confirm the taxes and Net Pay didn't change and select OK, then Save & Close to close the paycheck.
- Repeat these steps for each of the paychecks in the results of the Online to Send status. When complete, try sending Usage Data again.
Alternatively, you may delete the stuck paychecks and then re-create them. This may require additional steps to re-reconcile your QuickBooks bank account.
Check that you are on the latest tax table. Under Employees menu, select Get Payroll Updates, and then select Update. If you can't get the latest tax table: If you have another file you do payroll in, open that file and try to get the payroll update. If successful, open your original file and try to get the Payroll Update again. If the Payroll Update completes, you will be able to create and send payroll, however this will not remove the PS038 message in the original file