General AWS Billing Conductor FAQs

Q: What is a Billing Group?

A billing group is a set of accounts within your consolidated billing family – in the pro forma billing domain only – that share a common end customer. That end customer maintains the “Primary Account” and can see the cost and usage that accrues across its group. Each billing group’s pro forma usage is computed as its own consolidated billing family, sharing RI and Savings Plans benefits only within the group and accrues volume tier discounts (e.g., S3 and CloudFront) and an “always” free tier offering. An account can only belong to one billing group during a billing period.

Q: What’s the relationship between my Billing Groups and Organizational Units?

While there isn’t a direct relationship between Billing Groups and Organizational Units today, you can easily mirror your Organizational Unit structure when creating your billing groups.

Q: How can I configure pricing?

You can adjust pricing rates either globally or by individual service. You will be able to create pricing plans, which are a collection of pricing rules that you can assign to one or to multiple billing groups in a billing period. Each billing group can have its own pricing plan, as needed. Global rates apply to all usage in a billing group whereas service-specific rates only apply to a specific service consumed in the billing group.

Q: What is a custom line item?

A custom line item is an adjustment applied to a specific billing group for a specific billing period (either current month or last month). Custom line item can be either flat, or percentage based. Each adjustment has a free text description and can be edited or deleted during the current or last month.

Q: Where do my custom lines items show up after they are created?

Custom line items, and their free text description, will show up under the ‘Billing Conductor’ service name on the Billing console. For the CUR, custom line items will be under the product_product_name column as ‘AWS Billing Conductor’ with the free text description under the line_item_line_item_description column.

Q: Can I backfill my AWS Billing Conductor configuration before sharing with my accounts placed within billing groups?

Yes. You can request a backfill of your existing billing group configuration. To do so, please cut a ticket to support and specify the billing group name and time period you need. Limitations apply.

Q: Are there differences between the standard bill computation logic and the logic used to generate pro forma billing data?

Yes. While the AWS Billing Conductor logic shares many similarities with the standard AWS Billing data model, there are a few differences. The AWS Billing Conductor does not include credits (redeemed at the payer or linked account level), tax, support charges, or any non-public discounts. Additionally, the AWS Billing Conductor shares reserved instances and savings plans with the accounts placed within the same billing group, irrespective of your sharing preferences in the standard billing domain.

Q: What is margin and how is it calculated?

Margin is the difference between the charged amount (what accounts within a billing group are shown) and the actual AWS costs for the same set of accounts. Margin is shown both from a month to date view on the dashboard and we as the margin analysis section of the AWS Billing Conductor console. If you are not interested in retaining margin, you can also use the margin calculation to determine the appropriate amount of “unallocated savings” which you can apply to your billing groups at your discretion.

Q: How are my AWS-issued credits reflected in the AWS Billing Conductor?

AWS-issued credits are not directly reflected in the AWS Billing Conductor data. By excluding credits from pro forma computation, we are giving you the discretion to determine where your credits apply, which you can do using the credit custom line item.

Q: What happens when an account moves across billing groups during a billing period?

The AWS Billing Conductor computation flexes to the changes that you make in a given month, while retaining the historical integrity of your prior period billing data. This is best described with an example:

In this example, we have two billing groups, A & B. Billing group A starts the billing period with accounts 1-3 in the group. At the mid-month point, the payer account moves Account 3 to billing group B. At that point, the re-computation of the costs for billing groups A & B are required to accurately model the latest change. When Account 3 is moved, billing group A’s usage is modeled as if Account 3 was not a part of the billing group during the current billing period. Additionally, billing group B’s usage is modeled as if Account 3 was a part of billing group B since the beginning of the billing period. This approach eliminates the need to calculate complex rates and chargeback models when accounts move across groups within the billing period.

Billing Group A

Days: 1-15

Days: 16-30

EOM

Account 1

$ 100

$ 100

$ 200

Account 2

$ 100

$ 100

$ 200

Account 3

$ 100

N/A

N/A

Total

$ 300

$ 200

$ 400

Billing Group B

Days: 1-15

Days: 16-30

EOM

Account 4

$ 100

$ 100

$ 200

Account 5

$ 100

$ 100

$ 200

Account 6

$ 100

$ 100

$ 200

Account 3

$ 100

$ 100

$ 200

Total

$ 400

$ 400

$ 800

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