Intuit's QuickBooks Payroll suffers outage, users miffed

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.

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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

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48 comments
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  • "The community wasn't pleased."

    The community wasn't realistic, either. Regardless of the service, what you put on the cloud... it's [i]going[/i] to go down. It's not a question of if, but when.
    SonofaSailor
    • RE: Intuit's QuickBooks Payroll suffers outage, users miffed

      @SonofaSailor yep
      Funwoman
      • LOL!!! intuit=into it

        They all got what they deserved... On the plus side, Intuit can now come up with all sorts of new slogans... i.e. "When sh1t happens, we'll help you intuit"... LOL
        i8thecat3
    • RE: Intuit's QuickBooks Payroll suffers outage, users miffed

      @SonofaSailor It professionals may know this, but a small business owner is occupied running their business and won't know that. Intuit should make all their customers aware of that possibility.
      Al_nyc
    • I'm going to have to check through the terms of service

      There are many costs to missing a payroll. Some of them are soft costs, like employees wondering if it was a "real" system issue rather than a fuding issue. Others are exact dollar costs. Terminated employees in many states must be paid on the next payroll date, and this "glitch" would allow them to persue damages.

      It's a bad deal all around, but at the end of the day the service is usually quite reliable and well priced.
      rolivi
    • Agreed, but...

      @SonofaSailor .. Payroll is one of those things you <i>can't</i> screw up.. Any provider of payroll services, payroll software, payroll consulting, etc, knows this. Companies that can't pay their employees on time don't stay in business very long.

      If you are in the business of handling someone's payroll, you'd better be darned sure that you have a good backup plan in place in case something goes wrong, and you better have quick communication with your customers if something does go down. Intuit dropped the ball here, not only by letting the system go down, but by not letting customers know in a timely manner so that they could respond quickly to get their people paid.
      daftkey
    • A two-day payroll delay can trigger legal problems

      @SonofaSailor

      Many states require that employees be paid no more than every 15 days. A two-day delay is a serious breach of law, and can result in criminal penalties for the employer.
      cdgoldin
    • RE: Intuit's QuickBooks Payroll suffers outage, users miffed

      @SonofaSailor Professionalism would be being proactive about the issue for such a critical service so the businesses can remedy the problem.
      snoop0x7b
    • RE: Intuit's QuickBooks Payroll suffers outage, users miffed

      @SonofaSailor

      While it may or may not be realistic. Intuit should have a Plan in effect to deal with such. Like a Backup system that automatically kicks in.

      Intuit has reputation for the absolute worst support. Adobe is catching up with them fast and may surpass them. They never fix bugs in software they just come out with new versions that have even more bugs
      pjones
  • RE: Intuit's QuickBooks Payroll suffers outage, users miffed

    Yeah... how's that cloud workin' for ya?
    Hallowed are the Ori
  • To the cloud!

    You watch: there will be a cascade of bounced house payments, car payments, and other ACH payments -- complete with ever-larger overdraft fees for each one -- from sea to shining sea.

    This will get ugly.
    Robert Hahn
    • RE: Intuit's QuickBooks Payroll suffers outage, users miffed

      @Robert Hahn sad but true. Intuit should offer to pay all those fees.
      Al_nyc
    • RE: Intuit's QuickBooks Payroll suffers outage, users miffed

      @Robert Hahn Exactly what I was thinking. Sad isn't it?
      snoop0x7b
    • RE: Intuit's QuickBooks Payroll suffers outage, users miffed

      @Robert Hahn ...Almost makes you think that it was planned - designed by financial institutions for financial institutions. Hmmmm...
      j28n
  • RE: Intuit's QuickBooks Payroll suffers outage, users miffed

    As a small business owner, I am just not "feeling" the cloud.
    It makes me nervous... squeamish even. I have only 3 folks to do dd for regularly but my consultants also get it so it is more like 3 - 500 depending on the project. Computers will go down... its why HP and etc are such huge businesses, stuff is not built to last. I dont understand why they did not have hot swappable drives and serious backup solutions in place so when one goes down, another comes up and you have had maybe an hour or two of inconvenience
    Funwoman
  • RE: Intuit's QuickBooks Payroll suffers outage, users miffed

    Ironically enough, after managing to convert a number of direct deposits to paper checks (which Intuit does NOT provide thorough instructions for on their website) (which we had to figure out because there was a 2 HOUR hold time if you called in trying to get help), I get an email touting additional payroll features we can buy. I'm going to guess their robot emails are on a different server....
    eric__m
    • RE: Intuit's QuickBooks Payroll suffers outage, users miffed

      @eric__m Your lucky you didn't get through to the India based call center. Have had to work with them in the past and once you get to the end of their scripted answers they ask if they can put you on hold "to go talk to a supervisor" and while on hold the line goes dead. This has happened to me with Intuit 5 times and each time I have to start all over again with the next rep I got on the phone.
      non-biased
      • RE: Intuit's QuickBooks Payroll suffers outage, users miffed

        @non-biased

        No way I would put up with that. When something like that happens to me I call back and immediately ask to speak to a supervisor. Then I calmly explain to the supervisor how displeased I am and ask how he/she is going to resolve the issue. That usually gets some action.
        BB9193
      • RE: Intuit's QuickBooks Payroll suffers outage, users miffed

        @non-biased We have ADP, and while the customer services reps are in the US, they suck just as bad.
        snoop0x7b
  • RE: Intuit's QuickBooks Payroll suffers outage, users miffed

    I am a professional contractor in the I.T. industry who works for Fortune 100 clients, and I'm here to tell you that anybody who depends on "cloud" computing for anything is an idiot. Buy your own servers and workstations; Own your own applications; Manage your own network; Host your own domain and have not one but two links to your upstream provider. There is no "Easy" button and it's only going to get worse and more expensive.
    Skipper Tom