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Is an MFP Lease The Best Choice for Your Business?

By Toshiba

businesses have discovered the multitude of benefits of multifunction printers (MFPs). They are centralized office machines that print, copy, fax, scan, send emails, and through which you can access the internet.

An MFP can also connect to your entire network of computers, so your team has one source for office production. Some businesses buy MFPs outright, while others prefer an MFP lease as their best choice. Which option is best for your office? Keep reading as we outline the benefits and shortcomings of both.

Why Some Businesses Purchase Their Office MFPs

There are a few obvious benefits of purchasing your MFP outright, including:

•  It’s Mostly Hassle-Free — One of the biggest reasons people buy MFPs rather than opting for an MFP lease is that there are more steps to complete the leasing process than an outright purchase.

•  No Credit Check — With a lease, you have to provide your company’s financial information. You may also have to tell the leasing company where the machines are located for maintenance.

•  It Can Be More Affordable in the Long-run — The last benefit is that buying outright is a little more affordable in the long run. However, because a purchase requires you to control the device’s maintenance, you will have to manage its upkeep, supplies, and repairs, which can compound the price of your MFP over time.

The process sounds easy; however, there are downsides to buying an MFP, and companies of all sizes often prefer to lease office equipment rather than buying it.

Why The Majority of Offices Opt for an MFP Lease

Several decades ago, more businesses purchased MFPs and office equipment rather than leasing them. However, with significant advancements in technology and the increased speed that technology evolves, more companies now opt for an MFP lease over buying an MFP outright. The noteworthy reasons are as follows:

•  An MFP Lease Provides Access to The Latest Tech — Many companies face technology challenges that evolve faster than they do. With an MFP lease, document technology never holds you back. Your equipment can be updated when you need it to, ensuring your MFPs and other devices meet your workflow and document imaging demands. Conversely, if you purchase an MFP, you are stuck with it unless you buy another machine.

•  Decrease in Office Setup Purchases — Some small- to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) need only one or two MFPs to handle their copying, printing, faxing, and scanning needs. Leasing just a few devices is generally much more affordable than buying a device for each office or cubical and then maintaining them.

•  Consistent Monthly Billing — The lease terms spell out what it costs for your MFP lease each month and includes ongoing maintenance. This predictable billing makes it easy to incorporate the cost of office technology into your monthly budget, rather than having to budget for downtime and repairs.

•  Rarely a Down Payment — Very few MFP lease details include a down payment. You start with the monthly lease payment, which saves valuable cash for more important purchases. However, be sure to review the lease terms with your vendor, as some leases do require a down payment prior to installation.

With technology constantly advancing and evolving to meet the workflow needs of businesses, an MFP lease can help you keep up with your competition and marketplace. Consistent monthly payments allow you to budget for improved technology, on-site maintenance, and supplies, which means your employees can focus on value-adding tasks rather than maintaining your devices or ordering supplies. An MFP lease means your employees can concentrate on what they do best and leave the maintenance of your multifunction printers to professionals.

The last benefit of an MFP lease is that they are fully tax-deductible. The IRS Tax Code Section 179 allows businesses to deduct the entire expenditure allocated to office equipment leases from their taxable income. It is important to note that a lease is a business expense, whereas buying an MFP is considered a capital purchase and requires depreciation to be taken into account when leveraging Section 179.

MFP Lease or Purchase: Which is the Best Choice for Your Business?

How do you determine which is better for your business, a purchase or MFP lease? There is not a blanket answer because every company faces different challenges. A few questions to consider to help you decide are:

1. Can you afford the cost of purchasing an MFP? Consider not only the overarching cost of the device itself but also the ongoing maintenance, toner, supplies, and labor to make sure it runs correctly.

2. How long is the lease? If you choose an MFP lease, are you able to extend it if the device continues to suit your needs? What are your options to change devices mid-lease?

3. As technology evolves, you may need to upgrade to a more advanced machine. So, what happens if you need to upgrade your MFP? What are your options? Leasing makes upgrading easy, where your vendor can match your workflow needs with terms of a new device. Purchasing makes upgrading more challenging. The onus is on you to find the capital for your next device and to recycle or sell your now-used multifunction printer.

4. What happens if you terminate the lease early? Are their penalties? What does it cost to terminate the lease before it ends?

5. What are your responsibilities to the lease and equipment? Will you need to include the device on your insurance policy? What happens if there is catastrophic damage to the machines?

6. What happens if you need to add more machines? Often that is not a problem, and for most leases, the terms of the MFP lease remain the same.

For many companies, leasing is the best option. It enables them to acquire the latest technology for physical printing and office document management, as well as app-based technology to assist in streamlined workflows and enhanced productivity. The predictable billing is much easier to manage, and a lease comes with professional care and maintenance. On the other hand, when you buy a multifunction printer, you are tied to your purchase and will need to replace the machine should you need a more advanced technological approach to managing office documents.

Which is better for your company? If your business needs a new MFP and you want to explore options that are customized to your workflows, contact Toshiba America Business Solutions today. Our leasing specialists are available to answer your questions and prepare information that fits your business profile. By partnering with a variety of reputable leasing agencies, we offer various leasing options to help match your needs and budget.

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