PaperCut provides a large list of different reports that can be run to show the printing, copying, faxing and scanning that happens in your environment. There are also dashboard views of this data and other views such as the User web pages which show historical data. In certain circumstances, numbers on the dashboards or reports can appear to be different. This article hopes to answer what we’ve found to be the most common questions that come into our support email over the years!
If you’re looking to try to reconcile different page count numbers between the numbers reported in PaperCut, and the numbers reported on the physical device page counters, then please take a look at Validating page counts using hardware checks - and also take a look at Comparing Device Meters to PaperCut Logs to see why there may be differences.
Alternatively, if you have more general questions about reports and what type of reports can be generated - including ‘Can I get a report that shows…’ type questions, please take a look at the Reporting FAQs.
1. Firstly, what is a ‘Page’ in PaperCut’s reports?
In the dashboards and user lists, you’ll see the ‘Page’ count listed. Generally, this refers to one ‘side’ of a sheet of paper printed. So for a 3 page Color PDF document, it will report as 3 color pages. If you’re printing Duplex, it will show as 3 color pages, or 2 duplex pages (it took 2 duplex sheets of paper to print the job - 2 pages on one sheet of paper and 1 page on the other sheet).
N-up print jobs (where you might have the option to print 2 pages per side with some print drivers) will follow the same format - a 3 page Color Word Doc printed 2-pages-to-a-side will show in PaperCut as 2 pages, since it’s one side with 2 pages on it, and the other side with 1 page on it. All on one physical sheet of paper.
2. What happens to the historical data of a user/printer when they are deleted?
One important piece of background information is that when users or printers are deleted from PaperCut, the history is not deleted, so customers can still report on this data if necessary. This is useful for a large number of customers who may need to report on data over the past year, where there may have been changes in their infrastructure setup.
Things can become complicated if users or printers are deleted by mistake, and re-added at a later point. From a PaperCut point of view, these are two different users/printers. For example, the user who was in the system with the username ‘tim’ prior to deletion, is a different user compared to the user with the username ‘tim’ who exists in the system now. Jobs that were printed under that account name prior to the deletion will count towards the statistics of the first account - jobs printed by the ‘current’ user ‘tim’ will be counted towards the current user account.
3. Why do I have multiple users with the same name listed in the Printing summary report?
You’ll see the above user/printer deletion issue appear in reports such as ‘User Printing - Summary’. Duplicate users may appear in reports with the exact same username, with different printing information on the different rows. This can happen when a user with a particular name was deleted and then added again. Even if these users had the same user name, they will be treated as two different users in PaperCut as described in the above question.
One way to limit the report to show only the ‘current’ user (new user account) is to use the ad-hoc function of the report in question, and specify a particular user name in the parameters. By doing that, the report will run on only the user account that is currently listed in the PaperCut ‘users’ tab.
4. I have run two different reports and the numbers don’t match. What can I check?
- Are you using the same date range? Date ranges are normally listed in the header of the report so that you can reference the filters that were set for a particular report later. Make sure that the date range you’re comparing to matches up with with the source date range.
- Are there any other filters being applied to one report that aren’t being applied to the other? If you’re using ‘ad-hoc’ settings for one report, make sure that they match for the other report - for example are you specifying a subset of printers to report on in one report, but then reporting on user printing in the other, with no printer filters applied?
- Were the reports run on different dates? e.g. If you ran a report yesterday and you’re comparing against a report run today, there could be differences for a number of reasons - including:
- Groups - group memberships can change overnight - have there been changes to group memberships that have resulted in a drop in printing numbers for one group and an increase for another? Group membership (unlike Department/Office) is based on ‘current’ group - so if someone moved to Group2, all their printing is shown as Group2.Hold/Release Time - there can be differences based on the Hold/Release Timeout. For example yesterday I print a large number of jobs that are held in a hold/release queue. I run a report yesterday and the held jobs are not included - since they haven’t been printed. However, the jobs get released today, and since they were printed yesterday they will show up in yesterday’s print report - so if I run the same print report for yesterday, today, I will get a different set of total print jobs!
5. I see differences in the page counts / job counts for one particular user or printer. What could be the problem?
For example, in the User list (Users → User List), I see the user has printed 0 jobs and 0 pages. However when I run a report showing the User Printing Summary, I see that user has printed many jobs with 1000s of pages.
See the above ‘Historical Data’ question - was the user deleted from the system at some point? Check this through the user properties in the PaperCut admin console → Users → [select user] → Details, then at the very bottom of the page, confirm the user creation date:
If the creation date is a lot later than what you would expect it to be, then chances are that the user was accidentally deleted and then re-created.
6. I’ve run a report and I see printers missing from the report in question - what can I check?
The first thing to check is to see if the printer in question has had any activity for the date range / other filter settings that you’ve set. E.g. If you’re running a report for today, and you don’t see all your printers, is it just that some of the printers haven’t had anything printed to them today? Try expanding the date range, or check the individual print job log through Printers → [select printer] → Job log to see when the last job was processed for that printer.
The same thing applies to users - depending on the report, if there hasn’t been any activity for a particular user in the date range selected, or for the filter settings that you’ve applied, then they may not appear on the report at all.
7. In my ‘shared account security access’ report, I don’t see anything listed at all, but I have access set up for some accounts. What’s wrong?
Some reports, such as this one, take into account other environment settings to give a deeper insight into the data you’re reporting on. In this case, users would firstly have to have access to the shared account - e.g. under Accounts → [select account] → Security. However, they would also have to be able to charge to that account. If they are set to e.g. ‘Automatically Charge to Personal Account’ under Users → [select user] → Account Selection, then even though they have security access to that shared account, they can’t actually charge anything to that account, since it’s set to automatically charge their personal account. As a result, they won’t show up on that particular report.
8. I still see differences in the data - is there anything else I can check?
The best way to get to the bottom of reporting discrepancies is to try to narrow down the root source of the discrepancy. E.g. if it’s page count, can you use one of the ‘logs’ reports - e.g. User Printing - Logs, to narrow down to a particular date, or printer, or user. Try using a different report to show the same data, e.g. Logs if you’re using a Summary report, or a Printers report if you’re looking at page totals in the dashboard.
- Ensure that the dates that you’re specifying will bring back the expected data
- Ensure that users/printers have not been deleted at some point in the past (see above)
- Ensure that there was activity in the date range that you’ve selected, for the user/printer/account that you’re reporting on
If you’re still seeing issues, then you can always chat with us over at support.papercut.com . We’ll be forever grateful if you also include a description of the issue that you’re seeing, with as much ‘supporting information’ about the issue as possible. E.g. if you’re seeing issues with a particular printer summary report, as well as sending that report, can you also send the printer logs report for that same printer, with the exact same date range? If you’re seeing issues with a particular user appearing in a report, can you send the reports, as well as a screenshot of the User details page, showing the creation date?
9. I want to start ‘fresh’. Can I reset all the statistics and history?
Yes, you can reset the counters only, by following the information on the Reset User Counters page. That will reset only the page counters for the users, for example on the Users tab in the PaperCut Admin Console.
You can also reset the Print Statistics totals and other stats mentioned in the dashboard of PaperCut by following the instructions on the Editing Page Counts page.
If you want to reset all printing history, including all transaction logs and print job logs, then you can use the delete-old-logs command as detailed on the Database Tools page. Definitely worth taking a Database Backup before doing this, in case you decide to revert the change.
10. The department and office reports are not recording the departmental (or office) history correctly, what gives?
‘Department’ and ‘Office’ are two special user values in PaperCut - in that they keep a track of the history of movement of users between different departments or offices. This is explained more in the Department/Office History section of the manual.
In short, unlike Group reporting, Department/Office keeps the history of when a user moved between Office1 and Office2. Group reporting does not.
To look at an example, suppose Phoebe is a user who recently moved from Group1 to Group2. They performed 200 print jobs when they were in Group1, and then they got moved to Group2, and have since performed a further 100 print jobs.
When using Group reports, since Phoebe is in Group2 currently, the report will show 300 print jobs logged against Group2 for Phoebe.
Now switch that to e.g. Office (Departments behave in the same way), and Phoebe printed 200 print jobs when they were in Office1 and then moved to Office2 and printed a further 100 jobs.
When using Office type reports, since the history of the move is recorded, the report will show 200 print jobs logged against Office1 and 100 jobs logged against Office2.
However, there is one scenario when you might see the history being ‘ignored’. The Department/Office history is recorded to the ‘day’ level and not the hour level (normally these type of changes happen at the HR level, and then gets reflected in e.g. Active Directory, and then gets sync’d to PaperCut overnight, so usually this is satisfactory). If you are testing or demonstrating the reporting functionality however, it can easily look as though the historical reporting is not working correctly:
For example, today you set up a test user, Phil, and Phil is in Office1. Phil prints 2 test jobs, and you see this successfully recorded in the job log. You then move Phil to Office2, and print another 2 test jobs. When you run the Office printing report, you’re expecting to see 2 jobs for Office1 and 2 jobs for Office2. Instead, what you see is 4 jobs recorded against Office2.
Why is this? In the background, PaperCut has recorded the fact that Phil moved to Office2 ‘today’ - i.e. this morning at 12am. So when you run the report, the 2 test jobs printed are still within the timeframe of Office2. If Phil was in Office1 yesterday, and Phil had sent a test print job yesterday too, then you would see that 1 job recorded as Office1, and the 4 jobs from today under Office2.
Keywords: data, mismatch, don’t match, numbers, reset, page counts, counters, user data