How to Read Your Managed Print Service (MPS) Print Invoice.
Mon Dec 19, 2016 | Lasers Resource
Benjamin Franklin once said “… in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes”. Then the business equivalent to that might be “nothing is certain, except emails and invoices”. We get or send invoices all the time in business. This company needs to get paid or that person owes us this and so on. The managed print industry is not exempt to the business certainties (seriously though, we get a lot of emails).
I will explain the Lasers Resource managed print invoice, covering the questions we get the most. I will start with the top section of the invoice, then move to the end, and finally specific invoice requests to better meet your companies needs. Each section will have an image for a visual reference, an image of a full sample invoice can be found here.
There is a lot of information in our invoices, but we try to be as transparent as we can. Most copier contracts will combine a lease with a cost per page contract, giving you only one bill instead of two. They turn the lease amount for the copier into fractions of a penny and add it to your cost per page rate. This may sound good until you realize that you’ve paid off the lease in 2 years of the 3-year contract and you’re giving the copier dealer half a machine in payments and not getting anything in return that last year.
This kind of lease roll up will also come to an end with the upcoming changes in leasing practices and with Topic 842, click here to read more on Topic 842 and what it means.
Now, without further ado, the invoice explained.
The top of the invoice
This is where a lot of the important information is held. It acts as the overview of the document. Most of the questions we get about invoices have the answers here.
Ask us your questions directly:
In the top right corner of the invoice, you can find both the invoice number and the invoice date. These are important for referencing when calling in to ask a question, dispute a charge, or for your own internal record keeping. I have highlighted this in a red box on the image below. Highlighted in a blue box is the due date. This, like it sounds, is when the payment for the invoice is due. It is in the middle of a lot of other numbers, so it seemed like a good idea to draw attention to it.
Highlighted in a green box is the balance due. This is the amount that is to be paid at the due date. There are other numbers that you may confuse with this so I will explain them all briefly. Next to balance due is invoice total - In my example, they are the same number, this might not always be the case. In the chance that there was a preexisting credit on your account, the credit amount could be applied to the invoice total prior to the invoice being sent out. Below due date there is a box with the contract amount - this is the total of the summary section, which I will cover in a little bit, and does not include any applicable tax.
The top section of the invoice ends with a summary section that I highlighted below with an orange box. This will break the invoice billing up into line items, also without applicable tax. Two lines that will show is the contract base rate for the billing period and the contract overage charge for the overage period. The contract overage charge will show any billing overages from the previous billing cycle and apply them to the current invoice. Other information that can be found in the summary section is the equipment rental amount, miscellaneous charges, or credits.
This section is the end of every invoice we send out. It covers the pages printed by device in each meter group.
Each meter group will be examined here with each device in a meter group listed, showing all the pages each devices printed. Across the top of each meter group will be a summary (highlighted in green below) showing the how many total pages were printed in the billing period under the header total copies next to the amount of pages covered with the contract under the header covered copies. The difference of these two numbers is found to the right of that under the header billable and that is how many pages will be charged as overages. Finally, it shows the overage rate, normally the same rate for a page as the covered pages, then the total dollar amount for the overages that is being charged.
This will be shown for each meter group you have under contract. As you see in our example, meter group Mono has an overage of $1,804.47 while meter group Color has a credit of ($594.55) bringing the total overage charge to $1,209.92 (highlighted in orange). If your contract has what we call “Allowance with Credits” then any pages you print under the contract base amount will be credited back to you.
A service we offer here at Lasers is to provide a breakdown of your invoice into predetermined sections. We call these invoice spinouts. We can do this either by location or cost center or include both. This is used if your company charges each department or location for what they print. In order for us to create a spinout for you, your contract base charge and contract overage charge must be in the same cycle – they either both have to be monthly billed or quarterly billed. We could not do this with a monthly contract base bill and quarterly overage charges.
Location spin out is used for multiple offices. Typically broken down into different physical addresses, it shows devices and printing volumes by location. This can be found in the section titled Summary of base and usage by Location.
Cost centers have many names, they can also go by bill code, department and many others, depending on your company’s naming structure. These are typically used to spilt up departments with an office or to group departments across many locations. If the west side of building A is marketing they are Cost Center: 001, or marketing departments found in building A, B and C all fall under Cost Center: 001. This can be found in the invoice under the section Summary of base and usage by Cost Center.
Hopefully this will answer some of the questions you have on your invoice. If you have any additional questions you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
For some insight into the terms used in our invoice, download our glossary to managed print services below!
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