How-to Guide: Getting Started with AWS Billing Conductor


Getting started with AWS Billing Conductor (ABC) is simple. While this guide will focus on the console workflow, you can also leverage the AWS Billing Conductor APIs or CloudFormation templates to automate your configuration.

What you will learn

  • How to get started with AWS Billing Conductor

 AWS Experience


 Time to Complete

10 minutes

 Services Used


For this walkthrough, you should have the following prerequisites:

    • 1.2 — Go to the AWS Billing Conductor Console
      • You can navigate to the AWS Billing Conductor under the AWS Cost Management section of the Management console or by searching for “AWS Billing Conductor”.
    • 1.3 — In the AWS Billing Conductor landing page, click “Create billing group”.
      • Billing groups allow you to have an aggregated view for a set of accounts at specified billing rates. 
      • The primary account that you selected will have cross account visibility within the billing group. Note that you must select your primary account when you create your billing group, since you can't change your primary account after the billing group is created. 
      • To assign a new primary account, you need to delete this billing group and regroup your accounts. 
    • 1.3 — In the AWS Billing Conductor landing page, click “Create billing group” (continue)
      • Currently, a payer account can be included within a billing group, but cannot be assigned the role of the primary account. If you move accounts across billing groups in the middle of a month, it will initiate a re-computation of billing groups impacted back to the start of this very billing period, not previous billing periods. 
      • View user guide “create billing group” for more details about this step.
    • 2.1 — Create pricing rule
      • While we created a default pricing plan with no rules associated during the billing group creation process, I want to walk you through the pricing configuration resources, pricing rules and pricing plans.
      • Pricing rules allow you to apply global (applying to all services) and service specific rules to the resources running in a given account. Any adjustments, markup or discount, is calculated based on the public on-demand rate. You can also use 0%, for discount or markup options to default to the public on-demand rate for a given service. A pricing rule, once created, can be used across multiple billing groups.
    • 2.1 — Create pricing rule (continue)
      • Pricing plans are simply a container for your pricing rules. This approach allows you to update a pricing rule (e.g., change my EC2 discount from 3 to 5 %) that spans across multiple pricing plans with a single pricing rule change. For pricing plans with a mix of global and service specific pricing rules, the most granular rule is run first, before the global rule is applied to the remaining services (no rate stacking). Only one pricing plan can inform the billing group for a given billing period.
    • 3.1 — Check the margin analysis reports
      • The margin analysis reports are available as a bar chart and a table view in ABC console, where you can view your margins for an individual billing group or a set of billing groups.
    • 4.1 — Pro forma Cost & Usage Report and Billing View
      • The primary account in the billing group can generate a pro forma Cost & Usage Report (CUR) for the group, while other non-primary accounts in the billing group can only generate a pro forma for their own account. A summary view of pro forma billing data at the billing group level is also available on the AWS Bills page. Read this user guide and learn how you can create the pro forma CUR report for the billing group you created. 
      • The pro forma AWS CUR has the same file format, granularity, and columns as the standard AWS CUR. You’ll notice a slight delay between your standard CUR and your pro forma CUR. This is expected as they are separate workflows. Monir data volume differences can be attributed to this time difference throughout the month, but both reports will match once the billing period is closed. Your pro forma CUR file, once created, can then be queried directly using Amazon Athena or integrated into your existing analytics and reporting tools such as Amazon QuickSight and our AWS Well Architected Cloud Intelligence Dashboards.
      • 24 hours after you create billing groups and assign them with the pricing plans and rules, you can view the pro forma billing in your AWS billing page. Read this user guide and learn the things you need to look out for in this pro forma billing view.


You have started using AWS Billing Conductor!