Email not delivering - SMTP error, 550 SPF check failed


I seem to have an issue with email delivery which has only just become a problem in the last couple of days. When I send invoices out from the system (many are sent on a recurring profile) copies are sent successfully to my email address, but all other email addresses seem to bounce and I get the following error in an email from my provider (I’ve masked my clients email address):

Your message did not reach some or all of the intended recipients.

Sent: 2 Nov 2013 07:36:36 +0000
Subject: New Invoice Created

The following recipient(s) could not be reached:
Error Type: SMTP
Remote server ( issued an error.
hMailServer sent: MAIL
Remote server replied: 550 SPF CHECK FAILED


Can anyone suggest what might be the issue? I use Office365 email and I suspect it could be something to do with this, however I have been using it for over a month with no issues at all and this problem has developed over the last couple of days.

Many thanks in advance for anyone able to assist.


Quick question, are you using your own SMTP account?

The message indicates that the address used to send the email (defined in account settings >> Routine emails) is not authorised by the mail server to send emails from that account. The other mail server is looking for an SPF record to check if it is permitted but it can’t find one. Not all your clients’ mail servers will be so strict but some will bounce the email on this basis.

There’s some information here on setting up an SPF records.

Improving Email Reliability

Sorry if this is a bit technical!

I’ve start experiencing a similar issue.

Since May the system has been sending invoices automatically to a client, but Oct 25th’s invoice wasn’t received by them.

I’ve tried resending it manually but QF keeps telling me the email address format is invalid.

I’ve put in a different email address for the customer, and still can’t send the invoice, but I can send an email from the customer profile page.

Any suggestions as to why it’s stopped working and how I might fix the issue?


We’re probably talking cross-purposes here, emails can bounce for all sorts of reasons. The most reliable method for sending emails is to always use your own SMTP server. @brconway if you are already using your own server we’d need to dig a little deeper. Feel free to PM me your QF account number and client details and I can take a look for you.

Thanks Glenn, your reply reminded me that I had changed the password on my email account recently, never thought that it would affect QF.

All sorted - at least I’ve been back through the SMTP verification process and getting a thumbs up.

I guess I’ll know for sure on the 25th of the month.

GREAT support - thanks.

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