Comparing Device Meters Counts to PaperCut Logs

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PaperCut is an end-user tracking and charging system as opposed to a meter collection and device billing system. Hence our objective is to track usage of MFPs and printers by users. When comparing the device meter/billing reports with the logs from PaperCut there usually is not a perfect match.

We have analyzed data from a number of customer sites, and have found there is typically less than 1 or 2 percent difference between these counters. The precise differences will depend on how the devices are used.

The reasons for differences between the meters and PaperCut counts are explained below.

PaperCut tracks usage performed by users, including:

  • Network printing from workstations
  • Off-the-glass MFP usage of copying, scanning and faxing (when using PaperCut MF).

However, there are some types of usage that may not be tracked by PaperCut because they are not performed by individual users which include:

  • Technician / admin device reports (e.g. configuration reports, meter count reports, etc)
  • Inbound fax prints
  • Fax transmission reports.

Other reasons for differences can include:

  • Prints that are sent to the printer directly (not via a print server PaperCut is monitoring). This can be avoided by locking access to direct printing - see here
  • When print jobs are cancelled at the printer/MFP (after PaperCut has recorded the job at the print queue). This can be reduced by implementing hardware page checks - see here
  • When PaperCut On Demand User Creation is configured to not add the user and allow printing.
  • Periods where PaperCut is not monitoring the device usage. e.g. if the device is being serviced, or PaperCut is disabled temporarily.
  • Rare error events such as a power failure or system failure leading to missed event reporting.
  • PaperCut miscounting the number of pages, color or duplex in a print job. If you find cases of these please report them to us to be resolved - see here.
  • Paper jams, while rare, may cause undercounts or overcounts depending on how the printer behaves, e.g. does it reprint the job or not. This can be reduced by implementing hardware page checks as above.

Categories: Tips & Tricks, Printers

Keywords: device meters, billing meters, charging meters, billing reports, MFP, MFD, invoice, reconcile, page count, incorrect


Share your findings and experience with other PaperCut users. Feel free to add comments and suggestions about this Knowledge Base article. Please don't use this for support requests.

Article last modified on July 19, 2013, at 02:47 AM
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