Organize costs by customizing your billing account

Your billing account for Microsoft Customer Agreement provides you flexibility to organize your costs based on your needs whether it's by department, project, or development environment.

This article describes how you can use the Azure portal to organize your costs. It applies to a billing account for a Microsoft Customer Agreement. Check if you have access to a Microsoft Customer Agreement.

Structure your account with billing profiles and invoice sections

In the billing account for a Microsoft Customer Agreement, you use billing profiles and invoice sections to organize your costs.

Screenshot that shows Microsoft Customer Agreement billing hierarchy

Billing profile

A billing profile represents an invoice and the related billing information such as payment methods and billing address. A monthly invoice is generated at the beginning of the month for each billing profile in your account. The invoice contains charges for Azure usage and other purchases from the previous month.

A billing profile is automatically created along with your billing account when you sign up for Azure. You may create additional billing profiles to organize your costs in multiple monthly invoices.

Important

Creating additional billing profiles may impact your overall cost. For more information, see Things to consider when adding new billing profiles.

Invoice section

An invoice section represents a grouping of costs in your invoice. An invoice section is automatically created for each billing profile in your account. You may create additional sections to organize your costs based on your needs. Each invoice section is displayed on the invoice with the charges incurred that month.

The image below shows an invoice with two invoice sections - Engineering and Marketing. The summary and detail charges for each section is displayed in the invoice. The prices shown in the image are for example purposes only and don't represent the actual prices of Azure services.

Image showing an invoice with sections

Billing account structure for common scenarios

This section describes common scenarios for organizing costs and corresponding billing account structures:

Scenario Structure
Jack signs-up for Azure and needs a single monthly invoice. A billing profile and an invoice section. This structure is automatically set up for Jack when he signs up for Azure and doesn't require any additional steps.

Info graphic for a simple billing scenario

Scenario Structure
Contoso is a small organization that needs a single monthly invoice but group costs by their departments - marketing and engineering. A billing profile for Contoso and an invoice section each for marketing and engineering departments.

Info graphic for a simple billing scenario

Scenario Structure
Fabrikam is a mid-size organization that needs separate invoices for their engineering and marketing departments. For engineering department, they want to group costs by environments - production and development. A billing profile each for marketing and engineering departments. For engineering department, an invoice section each for production and development environment.

Info graphic for a simple billing scenario

Create a new invoice section

To create an invoice section, you need to be a billing profile owner or a billing profile contributor. For more information, see Manage invoice sections for billing profile.

  1. Sign in to the Azure portal.

  2. Search for Cost Management + Billing.

    Screenshot that shows search in portal for cost management + billing

  3. Select Billing profiles from the left-hand pane. From the list, select a billing profile. The new section will be displayed on the selected billing profile's invoice.

    Screenshot that shows billing profile list

  4. Select Invoice sections from the left-hand pane and then select Add from the top of the page.

    Screenshot that shows adding invoice sections

  5. Enter a name for the invoice section.

    Screenshot that shows invoice section creation page

  6. Select Create.

Create a new billing profile

To create a billing profile, you need to be a billing account owner or a billing account contributor. For more information, see Manage billing profiles for billing account.

Important

Creating additional billing profiles may impact your overall cost. For more information, see Things to consider when adding new billing profiles.

  1. Sign in to the Azure portal.

  2. Search for Cost Management + Billing.

    Screenshot that shows search in portal for cost management + billing

  3. Select Billing profiles from the left-hand pane and then select Add from the top of the page.

    Screenshot that shows billing profile list

    Note

    If you don't see the Add button in the Billing profile page, the feature is not available for your account. Currently, it is only available for accounts that have been set up while working with a Microsoft representative.

  4. Fill the form and click Create.

    Screenshot that shows billing profile creation page

    Field Definition
    Name A display name that helps you easily identify the billing profile in the Azure portal.
    PO number An optional purchase order number. The PO number will be displayed on the invoices generated for the billing profile.
    Billing address The billing address will be displayed on the invoices generated for the billing profile.
    Email invoice Check the email invoice box to receive the invoices for this billing profile by email. If you don't opt in, you can view and download the invoices in the Azure portal.
  5. Select Create.

Once you have customized your billing account based on your needs, you can link subscriptions and other products to your desired invoice section and billing profile.

  1. Sign in to the Azure portal.

  2. Search for Subscriptions.

    Screenshot that shows search in portal for subscription

  3. Select Add from the top of the page.

    Screenshot that shows the Add button in Subscriptions view

  4. If you have access to multiple billing accounts, select your Microsoft Customer Agreement billing account.

    Screenshot that shows the Add button in Subscriptions view

  5. Select the billing profile that will be billed for the subscription's usage. The charges for Azure usage and other purchases for this subscription will be billed to the selected billing profile's invoice.

  6. Select the invoice section to link the subscription's charges. The charges will be displayed under this section on the billing profile's invoice.

  7. Select an Azure plan and enter a friendly name for your subscription.

  8. Click Create.

If you have existing Azure subscriptions or other products such as Azure Marketplace and App source resources, you can move them from their existing invoice section to another invoice section to reorganize your costs.

Important

Subscriptions and other products can only be moved between invoice sections that belong to the same billing profile. Moving subscriptions and products across invoice sections in different billing profiles is not supported.

  1. Sign in to the Azure portal.

  2. Search for Cost Management + Billing.

    Screenshot that shows search in portal for subscription

  3. To link a subscription to a new invoice section, select Azure subscriptions from the left-side of the screen. For other products such as Azure Marketplace and App source resources, select Recurring charges.

    Screenshot that shows the option to change invoice section

  4. In the page, click on ellipsis (three dots) for the subscription or product that you want to link to a new invoice section. Select Change invoice section.

  5. Select the new invoice section from the dropdown. The dropdown will only show invoice sections that are associated with the same billing profile as the existing invoice section.

    Screenshot that shows selecting a new invoice section

  6. Select Save.

Things to consider when adding new billing profiles

Azure usage charges may be impacted

In your billing account for a Microsoft Customer Agreement, Azure usage is aggregated monthly for each billing profile. The prices for Azure resources with tiered pricing are determined based on the usage for each billing profile separately. The usage is not aggregated across billing profiles when calculating the price. This may impact overall cost of Azure usage for accounts with multiple billing profiles.

Let's look at an example of how costs vary for two scenarios. The prices used in the scenarios are for example purposes only and don't represent the actual prices of Azure services.

You only have one billing profile.

Let's assume you're using Azure block blob storage, which costs USD .00184 per GB for first 50 terabytes (TB) and then .00177 per GB for next 450 terabytes (TB). You used 100 TB in the subscriptions that are billed to your billing profile, here's how much you would be charged.

Tier pricing (USD) Quantity Amount (USD)
1.84 per TB for the first 50 TB/month 50 TB 92.0
1.77 per TB for the next 450 TB/month 50 TB 88.5
Total 100 TB 180.5

The total charges for using 100 TB of data in this scenario is 180.5

You have multiple billing profiles.

Now, let's assume you created another billing profile and used 50 GB through subscriptions that are billed to the first billing profile and 50 GB through subscriptions that are billed to the second billing profile, here's how much you would be charged.

Charges for the first billing profile

Tier pricing (USD) Quantity Amount (USD)
1.84 per TB for the first 50 TB/month 50 TB 92.0
1.77 per TB for the next 450 TB/month 0 TB 0.0
Total 50 TB 92.0

Charges for the second billing profile

Tier pricing (USD) Quantity Amount (USD)
1.84 per TB for the first 50 TB/month 50 TB 92.0
1.77 per TB for the next 450 TB/month 0 TB 0.0
Total 50 TB 92.0

The total charges for using 100 TB of data in this scenario is 184.0 (92.0 * 2).

Azure reservation benefits might not apply to all subscriptions

Azure reservations with shared scope are applied to subscriptions in a single billing profile and are not shared across billing profiles.

Info graphic for reservation application for different billing account structure

In the above image, Contoso has two subscriptions. The Azure Reservation benefit is applied differently depending on how the billing account is structured. In the scenario on the left, the reservation benefit is applied to both subscriptions being billed to the engineering billing profile. In the scenario on the right, the reservation benefit will only be applied to subscription 1 since it’s the only subscription being billed to the engineering billing profile.

Check access to a Microsoft Customer Agreement

Check the agreement type to determine whether you have access to a billing account for a Microsoft Customer Agreement.

  1. Go to the Azure portal to check for billing account access. Search for and select Cost Management + Billing.

    Search for Cost Management and Billing, Microsoft Azure portal

  2. If you have access to just one billing scope, select Properties from the menu. You have access to a billing account for a Microsoft Customer Agreement if the billing account type is Microsoft Customer Agreement.

    Microsoft Customer Agreement, Billing Account Type, Properties, Microsoft Azure portal

  3. If you have access to multiple billing scopes, check the type in the billing account column. You have access to a billing account for a Microsoft Customer Agreement if the billing account type for any of the scopes is Microsoft Customer Agreement.

    Microsoft Customer Agreement, Billing Account Type, Billing account list, Microsoft Azure portal

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If you need help, contact support to get your issue resolved quickly.

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