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QuickBooks, a leading accounting software, is not immune to technical glitches. Among these, the Payroll Error PS038 is a common issue that users may encounter. This article aims to provide an in-depth understanding of this error and detailed troubleshooting methods.

What is Payroll Error PS038 in QuickBooks Desktop?

Error PS038 in QuickBooks Desktop occurs when users attempt to update payroll but the process fails, typically displaying a message indicating a payroll update cannot be completed.

Reasons For QuickBooks Payroll Update Error PS038

  • Damaged company files.
  • Outdated QuickBooks Desktop software.
  • Paychecks stuck as “Online to Send”.
  • Incorrect payroll setup.

Prior Things to Consider Before Troubleshooting

  • Backup your QuickBooks data.
  • Ensure QuickBooks Desktop is updated to the latest version.
  • Verify internet connectivity.

Troubleshooting Steps For QuickBooks Error Code PS038

Method 1: Update QuickBooks Desktop

Regular updates can resolve many errors including PS038.

  1. Open QuickBooks Desktop.
  2. Go to the 'Help' menu.
  3. Choose 'Update QuickBooks Desktop'.
  4. Click on the 'Update Now' tab.
  5. Select 'Get Updates' and restart QuickBooks after the update is complete.

Read More: QuickBooks Error PS036

Method 2: Verify and Rebuild Data

This method helps in rectifying data integrity issues.

  1. Go to the 'File' menu.
  2. Select 'Utilities' and then 'Verify Data'.
  3. If issues are found, go back to 'Utilities'.
  4. This time, select 'Rebuild Data'.
  5. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the process.

Method 3: Resend Paychecks

Resending stuck paychecks can clear QuickBooks Error PS038.

  1. Navigate to the 'Employees' menu.
  2. Select 'Send Payroll Data'.
  3. If there are no paychecks to send, close the window.
  4. If paychecks are listed, resend them.
  5. Check if the error is resolved.

Method 4: Contact QuickBooks Support

If the above methods don’t work, contacting QuickBooks support is advisable.

  1. Open QuickBooks Desktop.
  2. Navigate to the 'Help' menu.
  3. Choose 'QuickBooks Desktop Help'.
  4. Click on 'Contact Us'.
  5. Describe your issue to get specific help.

Bottom Line

Error PS038 in QuickBooks Desktop, while frustrating, can often be resolved with these methods. Regular software updates and data backups are key preventative measures.

For further assistance, reach out to the QuickBooks Data Service Team at +1-888-538-1314.


Q: Can Error PS038 lead to data loss?

A: While it’s unlikely to cause data loss, it’s always advisable to back up your data before troubleshooting.

Q: Should I try troubleshooting if I’m not confident in my technical skills?

A: If you're unsure, it’s best to contact QuickBooks support or a professional to avoid further complications.