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Quickbooks online duplicate name exists

  • 24 May 2020
  • 6 replies

Userlevel 2
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I am following the procedure for Zapier to check and see if a new customer exists based on email, and then only create a new customer if that customer does not exist. The script worked fine for a while, and now it’s throwing this error that the customer exists and it’s not proceeding. What could be causing this and how might I fix it?




Best answer by Bellevuefineart 17 June 2020, 18:23

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6 replies

I am also being hit by this bug in Zapier.

If a user has a different email but the same name as an existing quickbooks user the Zap will fail. If you use the work around suggested (search by the user name) then whatever you are sending to Quickbooks will be attached to the existing user (not the new one user which should have been created)

The original is marked as solved but not sure it is. For now I think we can manually watch for failing zaps and manually add the new customer to qb but its not ideal

Userlevel 2
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Thanks. Zapier support has reached out. To summarize for the community: 


I would like the same functionality as, unless we can find another workaround to this: 

Current behavior

search by customer email in QBO

If not found, create new customer in QBO

If same First Last name exist, QBO fails. 

(in if customer exist add a space between first and last name in display name)


Possible workaround?: 

If I search by First and Last name, or display name, instead of email, QBO will let me create a new customer with a different display name but the same email as an existing customer. Will Zapier let me search by Name instead of email? It looks however like that is not an option. 


Userlevel 7
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I can definitely see what you mean, @Bellevuefineart. It would be helpful to find a way around this issue as opposed to running into an error. I’m going to add your comment above to the conversation that you had with the Support Team and ask them to get back to you about it.  In this case they have the full context of the errors and can dig into the logs to better understand what’s happening and therefore what the feature request should be. 

Userlevel 2
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After much reflection and working with this issue, I think this is a Zapier Bug that needs to be addressed. If you search by email and don’t find a client, but a client with the same display name exists, then Zapier should find a more elegant workaround than aborting the zap. adds a space in the name so as to complete the bot action without aborting. Zapier just barfs. 

There has to be a better way, and this is a very common scenario. 



Userlevel 2
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Yes, they have been very helpful! For the benefit of the community, here’s what we found: 


Jotform/web form is used to create an order in Quickbooks Online. As shown above, if the customer already exists, the zap moves on to the next task and creates the invoice. However, if the client already exists but they have filled out the form with a different email address, Quickbooks throws an error and the zap will not advance. 

What’s happening is that Quickbooks is looking for a match by email to determine if the client exists. Quickbooks doesn’t find that client as they’ve used a new email, but when Quickbooks goes to create a new client with the zapier zap, it finds a matching display name and then barfs and can’t continue with a fatal error. 

This could either be a shortcoming of the Quickbooks API or Zapier, as it is possible to create duplicate client names with a different email in Quickbooks directly. Obviously this is a problem if clients use different emails randomly, which is not an uncommon scenario, especially over time. 

None-the-less, the root cause has been identified and Zapier users can expect to see fatal errors if an existing client fills out a form that is converted to a Quickbooks invoice using Zapier and the client uses a different email than was previously used in Quickbooks. This error can also occur if there are two clients with the exact same name in Quickbooks. 

Thanks for your help with this issue. 

Userlevel 7
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Hi @Bellevuefineart ,

Thanks for reaching out- sorry you are running into this error!

I see that Paolo and Joseph in Support on are working to troubleshoot this issue. I will let them continue to dig in as they have access to your specific Zap!

Just let us know if you have any additional questions- always happy to help!