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How to Fix QuickBooks Error PS038

QuickBooks is an essential tool for many businesses, but sometimes, users encounter errors that can be quite frustrating. One such error is QuickBooks Error PS038. This error can disrupt your workflow and cause significant delays if not addressed promptly. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll cover what QuickBooks Error PS038 is, the general causes, and the troubleshooting solutions to fix it.

How to Fix QuickBooks Error PS038

What is QuickBooks Error PS038?

QuickBooks Error PS038 occurs when you are trying to update your QuickBooks payroll, but the system is unable to verify your payroll subscription. This error typically appears with the message:

“QuickBooks is having trouble verifying your payroll subscription. Please try again later.”

This issue can be particularly troublesome as it prevents you from processing payroll updates, which is a critical function for maintaining accurate employee records and ensuring timely payments.

General Causes of QuickBooks Error PS038

Understanding the root cause of QuickBooks Error PS038 is essential for effectively troubleshooting the problem. Here are some common reasons why this error might occur:

  1. Pending Paychecks: If there are paychecks stuck in the system that haven’t been sent to Intuit, this can trigger Error PS038.
  2. Damaged Company File: Corruption in your company file can lead to various issues, including this error.
  3. Incomplete Payroll Update: If the payroll update process is interrupted or incomplete, it might cause this error.
  4. Software Compatibility Issues: Using an outdated version of QuickBooks can result in compatibility issues, leading to errors.
  5. Network Problems: Connectivity issues or server problems can also be a contributing factor.

Troubleshooting Solutions to Fix QuickBooks Error PS038

Now that we’ve covered what QuickBooks Error PS038 is and its common causes let’s dive into the troubleshooting steps to fix it.

Step 1: Update QuickBooks to the Latest Release

Before you begin troubleshooting, ensure that your QuickBooks software is updated to the latest release. This helps fix many minor bugs and compatibility issues.

  1. Open QuickBooks Desktop.
  2. Go to Help and select Update QuickBooks Desktop.
  3. Click on Update Now.
  4. Select Get Updates.
  5. Restart QuickBooks once the update is complete.

Step 2: Verify and Rebuild Data

Verifying and rebuilding data in QuickBooks can help fix data integrity issues within your company file.

To Verify Data:

  1. Go to File.
  2. Select Utilities.
  3. Click on Verify Data.

To Rebuild Data:

  1. Go to File.
  2. Select Utilities.
  3. Click on Rebuild Data.
  4. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the process.

Step 3: Check for Pending Paychecks

Pending paychecks can often cause Error PS038. You need to identify and delete any stuck paychecks.

  1. Go to the Employee Center.
  2. Select Payroll.
  3. Look for any paychecks with a status of “To be sent.”
  4. Delete these paychecks and reprocess them if necessary.

Step 4: Run the Payroll Update

After ensuring there are no pending paychecks, run the payroll update again.

  1. Go to Employees.
  2. Select Get Payroll Updates.
  3. Click on Update.

Step 5: Use the QuickBooks File Doctor

QuickBooks File Doctor is a handy tool provided by Intuit that fixes common company file issues.

  1. Download and install QuickBooks Tool Hub.
  2. Open QuickBooks Tool Hub.
  3. Select Company File Issues.
  4. Click on Run QuickBooks File Doctor.
  5. Follow the on-screen instructions to fix your company file.

Step 6: Check Internet Connectivity

Ensure that your internet connection is stable and that QuickBooks is able to communicate with Intuit servers.

  1. Open your web browser and try accessing a few websites to check your internet connection.
  2. If the connection is unstable, troubleshoot your network issues.

Step 7: Repair QuickBooks Installation

Repairing your QuickBooks installation can fix various software-related issues.

  1. Close QuickBooks Desktop.
  2. Open Control Panel.
  3. Select Programs and Features.
  4. Find QuickBooks in the list and click on Uninstall/Change.
  5. Choose the Repair option and follow the on-screen instructions.

Step 8: Manually Send Paychecks

If the error persists, you might need to send the paychecks manually.

  1. Open the paycheck that is causing the error.
  2. Change the status from “To be sent” to “Sent”.
  3. Save the changes and try updating payroll again.

Step 9: Contact QuickBooks Support

If none of the above steps work, you might need to contact QuickBooks Support for further assistance. Please provide them with detailed information about the error and the steps you’ve already taken to resolve it.

Preventing QuickBooks Error PS038

To avoid encountering QuickBooks Error PS038 in the future, consider implementing the following best practices:

  • Regular Updates: Ensure that QuickBooks and your payroll tax table are always updated to the latest versions.
  • Frequent Backups: Regularly back up your QuickBooks data to prevent data loss and corruption.
  • Network Maintenance: Maintain a stable and secure network connection to prevent connectivity issues.
  • Periodic Data Verification: Regularly verify and rebuild your data to maintain data integrity.


QuickBooks Error PS038 can be a significant roadblock in managing your payroll efficiently. However, with a clear understanding of the error and a systematic approach to troubleshooting, you can resolve this issue and get back to your business operations smoothly.

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