Why Does The Summary Amount Not Equal The Invoice Balance On My Copier Contract Invoice?
Mon Jan 30, 2017 | Lasers Resource
I have received some questions on the Lasers Resource copier contract invoice and how it is set up. One of the main questions I get asked is “Why is my summary amount not the same as my invoice balance due amount?” The answer to this will need some explanation of toner cartridges, how managed print service (MPS) contracts are created, and finally, why the summary section is different than the balance due.
In my earlier post, How to Read Your Managed Print Service (MPS) Invoice, I covered the information on the top of the invoice, overage and underage details, and invoice spinouts if you're looking for information on those topics.
To begin on why there may be two or more sections on your invoice, I need to cover the basics, the difference between original equipment manufacturer (OEM) and remanufactured (REMAN) toner.
Differences between OEM and REMAN toner
Let’s start with OEM. This is toner developed by the same manufacturer that created the printer or copier. When HP makes a device, like the M630z for example, they also have a team of engineers developing the toner cartridge for the device. OEM is usually the best option for a device since it has proven to cause less service issues for the printer or copier, have a better look when printed on the page, brighter colors, and works with the toner management software created by the manufacturer.
REMAN toner, for the purpose of this post, is when a 3rd party company takes the OEM toner cartridge and refills the cartridge. The major advantage of REMAN toner is the price. The cost of the cartridge is typically lower than that of the OEM which brings a lower cost per page rate if the printer or copier is under contract. Since the 3rd party toner is not designed by the OEM, there are cases of service issues including the cartridge leaking inside the device or jamming prints.
REMAN toner is used mostly in older devices. Since the REMAN process requires the 3rd party company to gather a supply of empty toner cartridges and refill them, it is not possible to get REMAN on new equipment.
So now that we know the difference between OEM and REMAN toner, why is knowing this important?
How is the contract created?
Before you sign a managed print service (MPS) agreement, you will discuss cost per page rates with a MPS sales representative. This is where the difference between OEM and REMAN really comes into play. In order to make budget, or if it is a good fit, REMAN toner may be used on some, or all, of your printers and copiers.
Every device you have under a service agreement will fall into a category called a meter group. A meter group contains all of the printers and copiers that have the same black-and-white or color cost per page. There can be multiple types of devices sharing a meter group, as long as they all cost the same to print. As I said before, the cost of REMAN toner is lower than that of the OEM, so devices that are filled with REMAN cannot be in the same meter group as OEM devices. We create equipment schedules, or sections, for the sake of billing, which I’ll touch on in a little bit, and to give you a clear picture into your fleet. There will be a section for OEM meter groups and a section for REMAN meter groups.
Why is the total on the summary not the same as my balance due?
If you have a copier contract that is either all OEM or all REMAN and there is no need for multiple equipment schedules or sections on your invoice, the Summary will be the balance due before tax. The only way to have the summary and the balance due be the same is if your organization is tax-exempt.
So why is the summary amount different that the balance due amount? Let’s say you have a mixed contract of OEM toner filled devices and REMAN toner filled devices. That would cause two different equipment schedules, or sections, on your MPS agreement. Each section will have a summary overview and a summary amount for that section, highlighted in blue above. The summaries of each section, with adding tax when applicable, becomes your balance due, as shown in red above. If your MPS agreement has OEM and REMAN meter groups, be sure to locate each section and the summary for each section within your invoice.
This example invoice has two summary sections; the second one is located at the bottom of page three.
Make sure to find each section's summary for a complete picture into your invoice.
The OEM section of your invoice will also have a different contract number than the REMAN section. located in green in the image above. The contract numbers can be completely different from one another. Moving forward, the contract numbers will be combined into one number and each section will have a different letter identifier attached to it, starting with “a” and working through the alphabet. You may notice this on your contract either at or before, renewal.
So why can’t these be combined into one section?
The reason there are multiple contract numbers on your invoice is because of your supplies. If you have a mixed contract with us, then you have one contract with Lasers Resource while Lasers Resource has contracts with the OEM and the REMAN providers. We try to make things as simple and transparent as we can, by splitting up the OEM and REMAN contacts into different sections it helps us with billing, gives you data and costs by type of contract, and lets us provide an educated recommendation when it is time to renew the MPS agreement or when adding equipment to your contract.
To summarize: The summary amount shows you the total for that particular equipment schedule, or section, of your invoice. If you have multiple equipment schedules, because of a mixed copier contract with OEM and REMAN toner, make sure to locate all of them to get a complete picture. All of the summaries combined create the balance due amount of the invoice, after applying tax.
You may also have some other questions on MPS invoices, which may be answered in my post: How to Read Your Managed Print Service (MPS) Invoice. There I cover the information on the top of the invoice, overage and underage details, and invoice spinouts.
There are a lot of terms used in this article and on your invoice that may need definition. Download our MPS Glossary eBook to brush up on your knowledge of the industry and to fully understand what your invoice is telling you.
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