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Technology Services Printing, Accounts and Balances
Every customer in PaperCut has multiple personal accounts, just as you might have both a personal checking and savings account with your bank. Balances for accounts track activity in the PaperCut system and should not be confused for a bill or statement. Having a negative or zero balance on a PaperCut account will not normally prevent you from printing.
You can view your print transaction history using the instructions here: Technology Services Printing, Print History
These are the different personal accounts in PaperCut, how they are used, and what the balance means.
This is the default account PaperCut uses for many kinds of transactions when no other account has sufficient funds. Some transactions on the Default account are charged to Student Accounts Receivables and will appear on your monthly statement. The Default account is available if:
- The printer is not a billable printer (it is only being tracked by PaperCut), or...
- The printer is billable, but not Illini Cash enabled ( sent to Student Accounts Receivables), or...
- The printer is billable and Illini Cash enabled, but the user is not Illini Cash enabled ( sent to Student Accounts Receivables).
It is expected that the balance will be zero or negative for this account. The balance is not adjusted as bills are paid; it will keep declining until it is manually reset by the Printing Team (usually before the start of the Fall semester).
Amounts due on your Student Accounts on-line only change once a month, on the the date of the billing cycle. There could be a month delay between when you print and when the charge appears on the Student Accounts on-line.
This is the account PaperCut places Illini Cash funds in before they are used to pay for print jobs. When a print job is released PaperCut first withdraws the required funds from Illini Cash, adds them to the External account, and then creates transactions against the External account for each print job. If PaperCut cannot add enough funds from Illini Cash to this account then the job is denied because of insufficient credits/funds. The External account is available if:
- The printer is a billable printer, and...
- The printer is Illini Cash enabled, and...
- The user is Illini Cash enabled.
It is expected that the balance will be zero or positive for this account. During normal operations PaperCut will only move the amount needed into this account before immediately using it. In the transaction logs you should see one
ADJUST_EXTERNAL followed by matching
Jobs charged to the External account will not appear on your Student Accounts on-line. They are paid for immediately from your Illini Cash funds.
Other -credit Accounts
You might see other accounts ending with "-credit" in your transaction history. For example, "Media-credit" or "FAA-AD-credit". These are departmental issued credits for use on specific printers and none of the transactions against them are sent to Student Accounts Receivables. If one of these Credit accounts is available then credits from it are used to print jobs before either the External or Default accounts are used. A particular Credit account is available if:
- The printer owner has decided to allow the account on their printers.
For example, the "FAA-AD-credit" account will only be used on consumer printers owned by the FAA Art+Design department.
It is expected that the balance will be zero or positive for these accounts. During normal operations the Credit accounts do not have an overdraft. For most users, having zero funds in one of these accounts will not prevent you from printing since PaperCut will use one of the other billed accounts. However, some users are only allowed to print using Credit accounts on some printers. You should have been notified if this is the case.
Jobs charged to the Credit accounts will not appear on your Student Accounts on-line.
Other Balance Displays
PaperCut in some places will display balances from external sources or a summary of balances in all personal accounts.
Illini Cash Balance
This is displayed in the user portal for PaperCut on the Summary page and is a live view of your Illini Cash balance. It is funds that PaperCut might use, but have not been transferred to the PaperCut system yet. Funds will be transferred from Illini Cash into PaperCut using the same rules for when the External Account is available.
Sometimes the system will display a single amount and call it a "balance". The number PaperCut calculates is highly misleading in our environment. It's a sum of the balances of all your PaperCut personal accounts and your balance in Illini Cash, but does not take into consideration if those accounts are available for use in a particular department or on a particular printer. For examples of why this number is misleading:
- A user might not be Illini Cash enabled for PaperCut but the single balance is positive because of unusable credits in Illini Cash.
- A user might have a zero global balance because their positive Illini Cash balance is enough to cancel their negative Default balance. However, Illini Cash funds cannot be used to pay a Student Accounts on-line statement, and so the user will receive a bill even though their global balance shows as zero.
- A user might have a positive global balance from a Credit account that's not available on most printers.
- A user might have a negative global balance because of print jobs done on non-billable printers, and never receive a statement or deduction from Illini Cash.
Where possible the global balance has been hidden in PaperCut and on the PCClient.