Available in PaperCut NG and PaperCut MF.

Shared accounts

PaperCut NG/MF has two types of accounts - personal accountsA personal account is the individual user's account that is charged by default. Each user has their own personal account. and shared accounts. Each user has a personal account. This is the default account charged under normal operation. In some organizations and businesses you might want to provide users, or selected users, with the option to charge printing to a shared accountA shared account is an account that is shared by multiple users. For example, in business, shared accounts can be used to track printing costs by business unit, project, or client. Organizations like legal firms, engineering firms, or accounting offices often have long lists of accounts, projects, clients, or matters. In a school or university, shared accounts can be used to track printing by departments, classes, or subjects.. Some uses of shared accounts include:

In business:

  • Allocate and budget printing by business areas (e.g. cost center)

  • Track printing by project, phase, client or account

  • Track printing by client/matter - popular in legal and accounting firms

In a school or university:

  • Budget staff use via shared faculty or department accounts

  • Provide share accounts for classes or subjects

  • Track printing costs by subject areas


Do you have many client matter accounts? Organizations such as legal firms, engineering firms, or accounting offices often have long lists of accounts, projects, clients, or matters. It is not uncommon to see more than 10,000 accounts, and some organizations run in excess of 300,000 accounts. Here are some tips to help improve performance when you have a large number of shared accounts:

These recommendations improve:

  • account selection lookup and search speed on the popup client software

  • client popup speed after print

  • account selection speed on the copier/MFD embedded software

  • server load (using a scalable database)

Shared account scenario

East Beach High School has implemented PaperCut NG/MF to control their printing. Students are allocated a $5.00 a month budget. Pre-paid cards are sold at the library for students who need extra credit above this allowance.

Teachers and staff are given a small personal budget to cover casual printing with curriculum material to be allocated to share accounts. Shared accounts exist for each faculty. The network administrator has granted staff members access to the share account popup. Access to faculty accounts is controlled via Active Directory group membership.

Sarah is a Science and English teacher at the school. When she prints she is able to allocate the print job to either her personal account or either the Science or English shared account via a drop down list. She can also view the shared accounts balances from the User web pages.


To educate the users about shared accounts, administrators might find the Example 2: Printing with shared accounts (for staff) helpful.