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Our Day-1 Support for AWS Billing Conductor to Customize Billing Data to Align to Cost Centers

Austin Fuller

5 min read

Last updated on March 16th, 2023 at 5:01pm

Amazon Web Services (AWS) offers a variety of native tools to make working in AWS an even better experience. They continually develop new tools based on the needs of their users and customers. Recently, AWS released AWS Billing Conductor aimed at helping AWS solution providers and enterprise customers by supporting showback and chargeback requirements.

Kion has worked closely with the AWS development team and is excited to offer Day 1 support to all our partners and customers leveraging the AWS Billing Conductor.

What is AWS Billing Conductor?

What is AWS Billing Conductor, and what does it aim to solve? AWS published a user guide in conjunction with this new feature: "AWS Billing Conductor is a fully managed service that can support the showback and chargeback workflows of AWS Solution Providers and Enterprise customers. Using AWS Billing Conductor, you can customize your monthly billing data. The console models the billing relationship between you and your customers or business units."

A chargeback model is a method of allocating and attributing the costs of cloud services to the internal consumers or departments within an organization. It enables businesses to accurately track and bill the usage of cloud resources to the responsible parties, creating transparency and promoting cost awareness.

A showback model is a method of tracking and reporting the costs of cloud services to the internal consumers or departments within an organization. Unlike a chargeback model, which directly bills departments for their usage, the showback model provides visibility into resource consumption without actually billing the individual departments. It helps raise awareness of cloud usage and costs, encouraging users to optimize their resource consumption.

It is important to note that AWS Billing Conductor doesn't change how AWS partners and customers are billed by AWS each month but provides them with a way to "configure, generate, and display rates to certain customers over a given billing period."

How Does AWS Billing Conductor Help Kion Customers and Partners?

Kion goes beyond simply setting up a budget for your cloud spend. By leveraging funding sources in Kion, you can align spend back to internal cost centers. Combining Kion's funding sources with AWS Billing Conductor makes that alignment of costs even more accurate, including the addition of custom line items to represent per-account expenses that may need to be accounted for. Now customers can reflect resellers' negotiated rates that match internal cost centers. Resellers also can ensure that any reseller-negotiated rates are not visible to the Kion end-customer. This gives both partners and customers the ability to not only track spending but know where those funds are coming from within their organization and more accurately trigger budget enforcements based on their organizations' real cloud costs.

Kion’s financial management features help customers understand and control their costs in AWS, prevent blown budgets, associate spend to internal cost centers, report on costs by service, and much more.

Kion’s support for AWS Billing Conductor gives Kion customers more control and precision to their cost data. Many customers and partners purchase cloud through a reseller or other channel at a different rate than is reflected in the Cost & Usage Reports (CUR). This can lead to a mismatch of what is shown on the CUR or what is shown in Kion and what the customer is actually paying. AWS Billing Conductor can help remedy this situation in two key ways: customizable billing groups and global and service-specific pricing rules.

  • Billing groups enable customers and partners to map their accounts to mutually exclusive financial groups called billing groups. This allows them to group accounts with the same financial owner, providing a clearer view of costs and usage across different business units or projects. They can also create CURs for each billing group to have a comprehensive view of their costs and usage, making it easier to manage and optimize their cloud resources.
  • Custom global and service-specific pricing rules enable customers and partners to create global and service-specific pricing rules, which can be combined to determine the rate visible to their end customers. They can also create custom line items to allocate fees and credits using flat or percentage-based calculations. This level of customization helps align billing data with their actual cloud costs.

Accurate cloud cost data makes Kion even more effective and increases the confidence in managing established budgets for AWS within Kion.

How to Configure AWS Billing Conductor in Kion

Configuring AWS Billing Conductor is Kion is easy. Customers can review the complete walkthrough in our support documentation. We'll share the abbreviated process here.

When Adding a Billing Source to Kion:

  1. Log in to Kion.
  2. Click Accounts on the left menu.
  3. Click Billing Sources.
  4. Click the Add New + button at the top of the page.
  5. For Account Type, select AWS.
  6. Fill in the form with the following information:
  • Billing Source Name. Enter AWS management account.
  • AWS Account Number. Enter the account number of the commercial AWS management account.
  • Billing Report Type. Selecting  Cost & Usage Report and Detailed Billing Report generates data from both reports and is recommended. Selecting  Only Cost & Usage Report generates data from the Cost and Usage Report (CUR), which supports the use of the AWS Billing Conductor.

Please reach out to our team if you’d like to learn more about AWS Billing Conductor or how Kion can help you further align AWS financials with your internal cost centers.

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About the Author

Austin Fuller

Austin has nearly a decade of experience in enterprise software and cybersecurity and is an AWS-certified cloud practitioner.

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