Intuit's QuickBooks Payroll suffers outage, users miffed

Summary:Intuit's QuickBooks Payroll service was hit with an outage that has prevented small businesses from paying workers via direct deposit.

Intuit's QuickBooks Payroll service was hit with an outage that has prevented small businesses from paying workers via direct deposit.

The outage occurred on Wednesday and Intuit is still working to stabilize QuickBooks Payroll through Thursday.

On Intuit's community site, the company said:

We know you rely on Intuit and understand the need to restore your ability to upload direct deposit payroll. We’re sorry for the inconvenience. We’re working to get it running as soon as possible.

In a "critical payroll" notice emailed to customers, Intuit said:

Important Direct Deposit Update: June 1, 2011

Dear Valued Payroll Customer,

You may be aware of a service disruption today with your QuickBooks Payroll service that may have prevented you from processing your direct deposit payroll. We apologize for this disruption and the impact it has had on your business and your employees.

If you were unable to successfully process your direct deposit payroll today, June 1, 2011, or you did not receive an email confirming that your payroll was successfully processed, you have 2 options to pay your employees:

You can process your direct deposit payroll when the system becomes available and your employees will be paid two banking days later.

You can pay your employees with paper checks in order to pay them on or before Friday, June 3.

Thank you for your patience. We know that you and your business rely on our payroll services, and we are sorry about the unplanned disruption to the service today.

Kind regards, Nora Denzel Senior Vice President, Intuit Payroll Services

The community wasn't pleased. Some excerpts:

The professionally responsible thing to have done would have been to send an e-mail notice to all customers impacted at the time of the incident (which was ~8am CDT for us) and follow it up with updates.

You are just now acknowledging there is an issue 6 hours into it?

My only hopes are that you will continue to provide a minimum of hourly updates...

And.

Now I have my direct deposits sitting in limbo and risk not getting it thru before the bank cut-off. Had I known about this problem this morning, I could have printed payroll checks instead!

And.

Despite claims by Intuit that the payroll servers are now up-and-running, our attempts to submit the direct deposit payroll continues to fail. It is quite impractical to pay our employees with paper checks. I hope the system comes up soon for the sake of those employees that depend on their paychecks to be available in a timely fashion.

And.

Because of the mission-critical nature of this payroll service, I would have thought Intuit would have had more effect "high-availability" controls in place for dependable service to paying clients.

Another customer, who flagged the outage for me, summed up the business implications for Intuit. "What gripes me is that Intuit is always trying to push me to buy more products and services, yet fell completely flat on quality, proactive support for their current users," he said.

Topics: Enterprise Software, Banking, Outage

About

Larry Dignan is Editor in Chief of ZDNet and SmartPlanet as well as Editorial Director of ZDNet's sister site TechRepublic. He was most recently Executive Editor of News and Blogs at ZDNet. Prior to that he was executive news editor at eWeek and news editor at Baseline. He also served as the East Coast news editor and finance editor at CN... Full Bio

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