If you are using any add-on products that work with QuickBooks Desktop, I strongly recommend that you do not update your product to QuickBooks 2021 R11. I’m getting reports from a variety of users who have that version and are reporting an 80040400 error. Note that this is an internal QuickBooks error number, your add-on product might not display it (or it might be buried in the details).
This is one of those generic QuickBooks error numbers that can cover a lot of potential problems. It relates to how add-on products send information to QuickBooks Desktop. It indicates that there is an error of some sort in the data stream that the add-on program is sending to QuickBooks.
There are two reasons why this might be a valid error:
- The software has improperly formatted the data. This can happen, but usually you will only see this in new software, or if the developer has just updated the software to add a new feature. If you have software that you have been using with QuickBooks for a long time, this error is unlikely.
- It also can happen if you have some odd data characters in your QuickBooks database. It might happen, for example, if you have a single quote (‘) character in an item description. It also can occur if you are using a non-US keyboard that sends characters in another language, such as Chinese. Some kinds of data that QuickBooks allows you to enter directly cannot be transmitted to or from QuickBooks through their very archaic programming interface.
However, in the case of QuickBooks 2011 R11, as soon as customers started updating to that release we found a number of users getting the 80040400 error with data that did not contain invalid characters, when working with add-on products that had not been recently released. Examining the data stream being send to QuickBooks no improperly formatted data was being transmitted, and yet we were seeing this error.
How can you fix this? It is fairly simple, use a different version/release of QuickBooks. In the cases I examined we found that as soon as users updated to QuickBooks 2022 R5 or later, the problem went away. I assume that rolling back to QuickBooks 2021 R10 would also resolve the problem, but that is somewhat complicated to do.