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Accounts act as the main billing entity for AWS Resources. Different billing options are available including invoicing, such as "consolidated billing" - letting one account pick up the bill for multiple ‘sub accounts’. With regards to billing we can set up billing alerts, AWS Budgets and automated bill reporting for better insights. We can also utilise tagging for better cost allocation.

AWS Account Structures Edit

Business Unit (BU) Account Structure Edit

This account structure can be beneficial for customers who want to align their AWS operational and billing controls with individual BUs. It offers individual units operational autonomy while providing a company with a consolidated bill and combined view of all AWS charges, separated by group, OU, or cost center. 

Environment Lifecycle Account Structure Edit

This account structure can be beneficial for customers who want to align their AWS operational and billing controls with their application deployment lifecycle. It offers development-lifecycle operational autonomy while providing a company with a consolidated bill and combined view of all AWS charges, separated by development environment.

Project-Based Account Structure Edit

This account structure can be beneficial for customers who want to align their AWS operational and billing controls by product, application workload, or program. It offers project or workload operational autonomy while providing the company with a consolidated bill and combined view of all AWS charges, separated by project. This structure also simplifies the ability to trigger cost alerts based on project, application workload, or program consumption of AWS resources.

Hybrid AWS Account Structures Edit

The basic account structures described previously work for most small companies, however some larger AWS customers find it advantageous to create hybrid combinations that group accounts by multiple dimensions.

Other Billing and Pricing Considerations Edit

Consolidated Billing for Organizations Edit

You can use the consolidated billing feature in AWS Organizations to consolidate payment for multiple AWS accounts. With consolidated billing, you can see a combined view of AWS charges incurred by all of your accounts.  You also can get a cost report for each member account that is associated with your master account. Consolidated billing is offered at no additional charge.

Resource Tagging Edit

Resource tagging can help track expenses throughout the model. Some of the tags that can be useful for billing purposes include:

  • Owner – Used to identify who is responsible for the resource
  • Cost Center/Business Unit – Used to identify the cost center or business unit associated with a resource; typically for cost allocation and tracking
  • Customer – Used to identify a specific client that a particular group of resources serves
  • Project – Used to identify the project(s) the resource supports

Customers can activate an AWS-generated createdBy tag that is automatically applied for cost allocation purposes, to help account for resources that might otherwise go uncategorized. The createdBy tag is available for supported AWS services and resources only, and its value contains data associated with specific API or console events.